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Charlotte Amalie
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Explore the Virgin Islands: The Real Skinny on the U.S. and British Virgins

May 24, 2005 – Harry Pariser's Explore the Virgin Islands is a guide book written the way all guide books should be; it's insightful, informative, up-to-date, and has a unique voice. This isn't a watered-down guide from a massive multi-national publisher. It is the real skinny on what to see and do in the Virgin Islands from a seasoned traveler and writer with an eye for details and interesting facts and a passion for his subject.
Explore the Virgin Islands covers the U.S. (St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas plus Water and Hassel Islands) and British Virgins (Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada and more) in breadth and detail, with a keen eye on the history and ecology of one of the Caribbean's most beautiful areas.
The book's introduction demonstrates Pariser's true interest in the region and its environment. Pariser includes a ton of great background information, as well as anecdotes about the history of the Virgin Islands old (the Carib Indians, Slavery) and new (former Sen. Adelbert Bryan). There is also an expanded section on the flora and fauna of the Virgin Islands, its animal life, and of course the many coral reefs. He sends his readers on vacation with the knowledge and appreciation to fully enjoy the complexities and beauties of the Virgin Islands.
Explore the Virgin Islands is a handsome, softbound volume with a stunning cover photo. It's filled with numerous detailed maps, color and black and white photographs, and helpful charts and sidebars (more than one hundred) with diverse information ranging from Anegada's pink flamingos to Blackbeard the Pirate. Indeed, it's Pariser's mix of island history and folklore with complete travel nuts and bolts that make this book both interesting and useful.
Vacationers will find everything here they need on the practicalities of planning their trip – where to stay, what to eat, and the best things to do. Each island's most popular attractions are given ample space. For example, on St. John the hiking trails and the U.S.V. I. National Park are fully explored, while St. Croix's diving gets the spotlight, with lots of information on dive sites and shops. All of this is presented with relevant phone numbers, website and e-mail addresses, locations, opening times and more.
As part-time Virgin Islands residents we are familiar with most of the travel guides to the area, and this book is clearly our favorite. It contains a great mix of information attractively presented, with the entertaining sections on the history and natural wonders of the Virgin Islands, both above and below the water, complimented and balanced by the practical advice that any traveler would need. It is an indispensable tool for your pre-trip planning. But, once you are here, you will find yourself picking it up for a restaurant phone number, to check for what you might see while snorkeling, or to find out the name of an interesting building you saw while walking in any one of the islands' towns during the afternoon.
To order Explore the Virgin Islands click here.

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