Need More Than a Weekend to Satisfy Summer Beach Fever? EXPLORE EXOTIC U.S. ISLAND TERRITORIES by Hampton Rhodes

Need More Than a Weekend to Satisfy Summer Beach Fever? EXPLORE EXOTIC U.S.

Ready for a unique Summer Jaunt that may not be in your own backyard? How about something that may be a little exotic?

This week, explores the travel opportunities of the U.S. Territories. Spread all over the world, the U.S. Territories are principally islands that are begging for our exploration and adventure.

Currently, the United States has sixteen territories, five of which are permanently inhabited: Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa. They are classified as unincorporated territories, meaning that they are not States within the U.S., but they are under our government and protection.

Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is at the heart of the giant cluster of the Caribbean Islands. Aside from the fabulous beaches and restaurants, the night clubs, festivals and rum factories, just two of the uniquely amazing things that await you in Puerto Rico are the zip-lines and the bioluminescent bays.

Toro Verde features one of the longest Zip Lines on Earth: La Bestia. It uses a specially designed harness to soar through the air across 4,745 feet of terrain.

Now it features El Monstruo the longest zip-line in the universe, yes we said universe, with a 2.5 km cable where you will reach a scary speed of up to 93.20 miles per hour.

Bioluminescence exists around the world, but there are only a few biobays on our planet. Puerto Rico has three of them, Vieques being one of the most popular, that are only a kayak or boat-ride away from our shores, and they must be seen to be appreciated – pictures do no justice to their magnificence.

Plan your trip to Puerto Rico here.

Known for its warm, hospitable people, Guam is a destination like no other. Sitting almost midway in the Pacific Ocean between Japan and Australia, only on Guam can you find star-sand beaches, crystal clear blue skies, the friendly and warm diverse native peoples, and world-famous sunsets. These are just a few reasons why millions of tourists have made Guam their top travel choice.

Whether you’re looking to experience a thrilling adventure on land or at sea, unravel 4,000 years of intriguing history, shop for the latest fashion and trends, taste the famous chicken kelaguen and red rice, or just wind down beneath some shady palm trees, Guam is waiting for you.

Guam’s annual Electronic Music Concert, Electric Island Festival, returns for its 5th year, showcasing the raw energy and culture of electronic music that has taken the world by storm over the past 10 years. EIF is fueled by millennials and made for the open minded; a vision to unite people from all walks of life through music and good vibes.

Date: June 24, 2017
Location: Guam International Raceway Park
Address: Yigo, GU
Contact: Andrew Hong
Visit Website

The U.S. Virgin Islands
Whether you’re searching for the perfect spot to hide away from it all or a jam-packed trip filled with exotic adventures, you’ll find it here in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Now celebrating its 100th year Centennial Celebration of becoming a U.S. Territory.

With three distinct islands to choose from, St. Croix, St. John or St. Thomas, you’ll find historic windmill ruins, lively shops and restaurants and picturesque beach views. Any one of which would make the perfect backdrop to an unforgettable Summer Jaunt.

St. John’s vibrant main town and port, Cruz Bay is home to most of the 28-square-mile island’s restaurants, bars, stores and dive centers. Two-thirds of affluent St. John is a national park, and many safari buses and jeeps set out from Cruz Bay. Don’t miss local art and history at Elaine Ione Sprauve Museum or the pristine sand of Hawksnest Bay, popular with snorkelers due to its nearby reef. There is no airport; ferries connect the town of 2,750 with other U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Anytime of year is the perfect time of year to visit beautiful and romantic St. John Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

American Samoa
With warm temperatures year-round, the unspoiled beaches of American Samoa are a paradise waiting to be discovered. In the southwest Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and New Zealand, the five islands and two coral atolls that make up American Samoa are a collection of rainforests, pristine shorelines and amazing archaeological sites. You can visit native villages, dive with dolphins or marvel at more than 800 species of fish while snorkeling in the national parks. The adventure is up to you.

The main city in American Samoa is Pago Pago but the smaller Fagatogo is the constitutionally designated seat of government. The governor’s office is located in the village of Utulei, located on the opposite side of Fagatogo from Pago Pago. If you choose to visit American Samoa, we recommend that you use Pago Pago as a home base during your trip and from there, take day-trips to the other six islands for glorious outdoor hiking and sea snorkeling adventures.

Plan your trip to American Samoa here.

Northern Mariana Islands
The Northern Mariana Islands are a U.S. commonwealth in the Pacific Ocean. Saipan, the largest island, is known for its sandy shores and mountainous landscapes. In clear waters off its west coast is the tiny, coral-fringed Mañagaha islet. On Saipan’s northeast coast, turtles inhabit the Grotto, a cavern dive site. Nearby, memorials mark Banzai Cliff and Suicide Cliff, sites from WWII’s Battle of Saipan.

In our opinion, the best of the Northern Mariana Islands is Mañagaha Islet. We recommend that you visit and walk the sandy beaches and take a dip in the deep blue sea, gaze at the beauty of the coral reef and the colorful tropical fish. Then, towel off and jump aboard an off-road buggy that will take you over rough terrain to explore the remote parts of the islet to areas known only to your guide and few others. After a refreshing drink, continue on to the Mandi Asian Spa and relax with a sauna, steam room, flower bath, and a Jacuzzi. After your adventure, get chauffeured back to your hotel in Saipan for a well-deserved island dinner at one of the fine restaurants featuring some really rather exquisite native seafood.

Plan your trip to Saipan and the Northern Mariana Islands here.

All books are available at Click on titles for more information.
The Not Quite States of America: Dispatches from the Territories and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA
by Doug Mack
US Territories and Possessions: Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Wake, Midway and Other Islands
by John F. Grabowski
Territories: The Claiming of Space
by David Storey

Puerto Rico
US Virgin Islands
American Samoa
Northern Mariana Islands

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