While you may not be able to travel to a traditional honeymoon spot like Bali or Rome right now (sigh), you can still have a blissful post-wedding trip without leaving the United States.
Whether you prefer mountain biking, snorkeling, or shopping, these ten American honeymoon destinations are chock-full of activities from brewery- to beach-hopping — that are sure to delight and inspire. Read on for our top picks, plus hotel recommendations for each locale.
Editor’s note: Save these ideas for when it’s safe to travel again, and always follow all COVID-19 restrictions, rules, and safety regulations both at your destination and upon returning home.
Key West, Florida
Between the beautiful beaches, lively drinking and dining scene, and history-packed attractions, Key West genuinely has something for everyone. Stroll the waterfront Mallory Square hand-in-hand before dropping into the Hemingway House for a tour of the famed authors’ former home. Key West is also known for its snorkeling (it’s home to the only living barrier reef in the continental US, after all). After mingling with the local marine life — think tropical fish, sea turtles, reef sharks, dolphins, and stingrays — hop aboard your own private charter for a sunset cruise around the island. Cap off your honeymoon with a romantic meal at Bagatelle and a cocktail (with a side of some conch fritters) at the historic Sloppy Joe’s.
Where to Stay: The upscale Southernmost Beach Resort boasts a central location that still (somehow) feels miles away from vibrant Old Town. On-site amenities include three swimming pools, a private beach, secluded cabanas, and a spa.
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, with its charming fountains, scenic parks, and pastel-hued architecture, oozes all-around romance. Embark on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Holy City to familiarize yourselves with some of the city’s best attractions, including the eight-acre Waterfront Park and Charleston City Market (which dates back to the 1790s). Afterward, explore the city on-foot: Indulge in a shopping trip down King Street, gallery-hop through Broad Street (also known as Gallery Row), or stroll through cobblestone-lined Chalmers Street. Afterward, dig into hearty southern fare at Circa 1886 or Virginia’s On King.
Where to Stay: Reserved an elegantly appointed suite at Hotel Emeline, housed in a 19th-century-era structure that’s been completely reimagined. The boutique property offers unique touches like a 500-plus vinyl record collection, a lush courtyard, vintage posters, and complimentary bike rentals.
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara has become a beloved celebrity hotspot over the years, and, with its pristine beaches, stunning mountain vistas, and fairytale-worthy Spanish architecture, it’s easy to see why. Throw on your swimsuits and make your way down to East Beach (which spans over one-and-a-half miles of beautiful shorelines), Hendry’s Beach (which is known for its wildlife spotting opportunities plus surfing and paddleboarding), or Butterfly Beach (a palm-tree-lined stretch of sand that’s especially popular amongst locals and travelers at sunset). The historic Old Mission Santa Barbara is arguably the city’s most recognizable structure and now houses a museum. Don’t forget to carve out some time exploring Downtown Santa Barbara, the city’s culinary and cultural hub.
Where to Stay: Rosewood Miramar Beach is a honeymooner’s dream come true, with luxe accommodations, a tranquil spa, and rolling acres of gardens and greenery. The idyllic waterfront property also features an adults-only cabana-lined swimming pool, six bars and restaurants, and an array of on-site activities, including paddleboarding and kayaking.
Asheville, North Carolina
Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this vibrant city is best known for its ample hiking and biking opportunities — plus its burgeoning craft brewery scene. No trip here is complete without a visit to The Biltmore: The expansive mansion is set on over 8,000 acres of land. Here, you’ll also find an on-site winery, museum, and library, the latter of which features a curated collection of books from George Vanderbilt. The Asheville Art Museum, with its collection of 5,000-plus works, is another highlight. After biking your way through Asheville’s many public parks, grab a (craft) beer at one of the many nearby breweries, including Asheville Brewing Co., Catawba Brewing Co., or Highland Brewing. (Fun fact: Asheville has the most breweries per capita than any US city.). The fun continues at Luella’s, where you can feast on epic BBQ like pulled pork, brisket, and wings.
Where to Stay: The Inn on Biltmore Estate offers luxury accommodations in a historic 19th-century-era setting. As the former home of the Vanderbilts, this dynamic property is nothing short of show-stopping. Here, guests can expect upscale amenities like afternoon tea, nightly turndown service, marble bathrooms, and a full-service spa.
This desert city is chock-full of postcard-worthy scenery, stunning hiking trails, and innovative eats. Cathedral Rock is one of the city’s most renowned landscapes. The 1.2-mile hike takes about two hours total, and you’ll certainly want to bring along your camera to capture the views. For added adventure, embark on a jeep tour through the desert or explore the terrain from above on a hot air balloon ride. If you and your new spouse love to shop, look no further than Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village. The outdoor market is modeled after a traditional Mexican village. Here, you’ll find plenty of specialty shops and eclectic galleries. And, when it comes time to refuel, there are plenty of options to choose from. For example, don’t miss Elote Cafe (a timeless staple loved by locals and tourists) or The Cowboy Club (a western-inspired steakhouse known for its “high desert cuisine” like cactus fries, bison chili, and rattlesnake bites).
Where to Stay: Splurge on a stay at L’Auberge de Sedona — it is your honeymoon, after all! Here, luxury accommodations await, panoramic views abound, and activities are endless. The expansive creekside property houses 62 cottages (complete with private decks, fireplaces, and, depending on the category, jetted tubs) and 26 lodge-style guest rooms. Don’t miss the holistic-inspired spa, yoga classes, fine dining options, or free duck feedings.
Newport, Rhode Island
This coastal New England city is lined with swanky shops, extravagant Gilded Age mansions, and, of course, countless restaurants that specialize in boat-to-table cuisine. Newport also has a fascinating history dating back to 1639. Rent a car and drive along Bellevue Avenue or Ocean Drive to take in the coastal views. If you’re feeling more adventurous, stroll up and down the three-and-a-half-mile Cliff Walk. Carve out an afternoon to tour The Breakers, one of the most historic mansions in the area. Other attractions include the Tennis Hall of Fame and Fort Adams State Park. Book a sailboat tour and take in the city from out in the sea before feasting on fresh seafood at one of the many waterfront eateries like Black Pearl, The Mooring, or The Landing.
Where to Stay: The Chanler at Cliff Walk oozes romantic charm with its central location (steps from the Cliff Walk) plus individually decorated rooms, suites, and villas — each with opulent design elements and ornate decor. The property is also home to three renowned eateries. In-room spa services and private butler service are also available.
Aspen offers so much more than a glitzy aprés-ski scene. (Though you won’t want to miss out on that, either.) Besides the endless skiing and snowboarding opportunities, couples can enjoy a romantic sleigh ride or carriage ride (depending on the time of year). Treat yourselves to something special at one of the many boutiques dotted along Cooper Avenue (Aether, Little Bird, and Max are all local favorites). Don’t miss a live performance at the historic Wheeler Opera House. Built in 1889, the structure’s eye-catching stone facade — combined with its unique blend of Romanesque Revival and Italianate design elements — remains an architectural delight. Toast to a successful honeymoon at one of the many nearby fine dining establishments, including French Alpine Bistro, which serves up French classics like crepes, fondue, and moules frites.
Where to Say: As the destination’s only hotel with ski-in, ski-out access, The Little Nell — located along the base of Aspen Mountain — is undoubtedly one-of-a-kind. A majority of the 86 rooms and suites are elegant yet cozy, with touches like gas fireplaces, heated bathroom floors, and private balconies. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the hotel’s varied collection of photos, paintings, and sculptures from around the world.
The picturesque town of Middleburg is about an hour away from our nation’s capital, yet feels worlds away from any hustle-and-bustle. The destination is flanked by the Potomac River and the Blue Ridge Mountains and is best known for its abundance of wineries. Greenhill Winery offers tastings and charcuterie boards in a rustic-chic farmhouse setting Plus, it’s adults-only (read: no screaming kiddos or crying babies to ruin the romance). Chrysalis Vineyards has also gained popularity thanks to its wide selection of varietals and seasonal fare. After a day spent wine-tasting, you’re sure to work up an appetite. In this case, head downtown and dine at King Street Oyster Bar and Red Horse Tavern.
Where to Stay: The 168-room Salamander Resort and Spa spans a whopping 340 acres. On-site amenities include an equestrian center, a spa, and plenty of lawn games (life-sized chess, anyone?). Also, don’t miss the on-site food and drink options, which include an equestrian-inspired wine bar, an elegant restaurant, and private dining domes.
Jekyll Island, Georgia
This idyllic Georgia island is ideal for nature lovers and relaxation seekers alike, with its pristine public beaches and natural beauty. While you’re here, pay a visit to the Sea Turtle Center to learn more about — and observe! — these adorable sea creatures. Foodies can also embark on their own culinary crawl through the island: The Wharf (which serves up comfort classics like crab dip, and fried green tomatoes), Tortuga Jack’s (where guests can savor tacos or burgers), are both worth a visit. But, don’t forget to leave room for dessert: Island Sweets Shoppe offers delicious hand-dipped ice cream, housemade fudge, and fine chocolates galore.
Where to Stay: The elegant Jekyll Island Club Resort dates back to the 19th century. Today, the landmark property is among Georgia’s most luxurious, elegant accommodations (some with balconies, whirlpool tubs, and fireplaces) and amenities, including private beach access, manicured croquet lawns, a spa, and five restaurants.
This coastal Maine city is best known as the home of Walker’s Point Estate (AKA the Bush family compound). However, even if you aren’t POTUS (or related to one), you can still enjoy some much-needed R&R by the beach. Don’t miss the 50-mile Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, where you’ll find plenty of hiking trails and wildlife spotting opportunities. Head to one of the many nearby farms, including Snug Harbor, Spiller, or Blueberry Hill, to shop fresh produce or go berry picking (seasonal). After feasting on seafood at The Clam Shack, Alisson’s Restaurant, or Nunan’s Lobster Hut, treat yourself to something sweet at Rococo Ice Cream or Satellite Donuts. Be sure to carve out enough time to fully explore Dock Square, where you’ll find some of the destination’s best boutiques like Daytrip Society and Benoit’s.
Where to Stay: Hidden Pond Resort is situated amidst 60 acres of pristine forest. The property takes inspiration from its surroundings in the form of its on-site activities (including guided nature walks and complimentary bike rentals), as well as the holistic-inspired Tree Spa (which, as its name suggests, is nestled eight feet above the ground amidst the treetops). Each accommodation is equipped with a gas fireplace, outdoor shower, and plenty of wooden furnishings and decor. Meanwhile, the on-site eatery (aptly called Earth) is known for its locally inspired entrees like seafood stew and lamb shank and elegant ambiance.
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