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For the most part the accessibility of hotels and restaurants in the U.S.V.I. remains far behind the progress made on the mainland, and you must take this into account if you're planning a vacation here. Of the U.S. Virgins, St. Thomas and St. John, because of their hilly terrain, remain the most unfriendly islands to those who are wheelchair bound. Because it is flat, St. Croix is an easier place to get around.

Some resorts on St. Thomas and St. Croix have made inroads in catering to persons with disabilities; St. John and all of the British Islands lag far behind in this regard. As of this writing, about a third of the major resorts (and none of the cheaper guesthouses or villas) in St. Thomas or St. Croix have the facilities to accommodate vacationers who have disabilities. Of all the hotels in the U.S.V.I., the Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, is the most hospitable to persons with disabilities. It maintains "accessible rooms" -- rooms that can be reached without navigating stairs -- in every price category. The Ritz also offers beach wheelchairs (resting on balloon tires). Most hotels in the Virgin Islands, however, have a long way to go before they become a friend of a person with disabilities. If you're planning a vacation in the Virgin Islands, you should contact a travel agent or call the hotel of your choice to discuss your requirements.

Accessible Adventures (tel. 340/344-8302; www.accessvi.com) is a tour operator in St. Thomas that offers a land-based tour of St. Thomas in a wheelchair-accessible trolley. Originating from Wico Dock at Havensight or Crown Bay at the Sub Base, tours stop Magens Bay, Drakes Seat, Skyline Drive, and Mountain Top, and cost $34 per person.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.