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U.S. Virgin Islands

Family-friendly travel on the U.S. Virgin Islands

By Ilona Kauremszky, Special to QMI Agency

St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. (Fotolia)

St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. (Fotolia)

Q: Are the U.S. Virgin Islands a good choice for kids?

-- B. Garner, Toronto

A: Do your children like pirate lore? Tales of swashbuckling, sunken treasure and infamous privateers swirl around St. Thomas -- one of USVI'S three main islands. Start your visit at Blackbeard's castle, where you can tour the ruins and climb a real pirate tower for views of the capital -- Charlotte Amalie -- and, on a clear day, Puerto Rico 64 km away.

Want to search for buried treasure? Endless trails around St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John provide ample opportunity. The 3.5-km Reef Bay Trail on the island of St. John packs in stunning vistas, ruins and has ancient petroglyphs.

Children will also be captivated by the abundant green iguanas, which are harmless and as common on the islands as squirrels are in Canada.

USVI has fun for other family members, too. Everyone will enjoy a snorkelling excursion or a day at the beach. Moms will no doubt love the shopping, hotel spas and resort programs for kids, while dads will enjoy the variety of golf courses.

There are many family friendly resorts to choose from. At the casual Bolongo Bay Beach Resort on St. John's Trunk Bay, the calm clear waters are ideal for young snorkellers and turtle sightings are a good bet. Fringed by white sands, Trunk Bay has a Blue Flag designation based on strict environmental standards. For travel information, see visitusvi.com.

Q: I've heard Scotland is hosting a new golf tournament but it's hard to find information on it. I was hoping you might know something.

-- P. Fowler, Aurora

A: The next two years are an exciting time for golf in Scotland. Not only will the country be hosting one of golf's premier events -- the 2014 Ryder Cup at the legendary Gleneagles -- but a new golf tournament will tee-off this summer in the same stunning scenery.

The first Scottish Clans Golf World Championships will take place July 27-Aug. 3 at Gleneagles.

"It's open to golfers and non-golfing partners. But most importantly representatives of Scottish clans around the world will for the first time have an opportunity to represent their families in a truly international event," says Lynda Robinson of tour operator Platinum Golf Scotland, which is selling packages. For details on the event, see platinumgolfscotland.com and click on "clan tournament."

Send your travel questions to mycompass.ca


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