The wedding bells have rung. The cake is just a sweet memory, and all the celebratory rice has been swept up. Take a deep breath and get ready to enjoy -- the well thought-out and prepared honeymoon waiting for you will be a fantastic start to a lifetime of happiness.
Whether you crave beaches, skylines, or mountains, there is a U.S. honeymoon destination that is perfect for you. Mother Nature has gifted the U.S. with some of the world’s most diverse and epic landscapes and unique, fascinating locations. In fact, it can be incredibly daunting to try and narrow down all the options to the best one for you.
Don’t worry! We’ve spent hours researching amazing places to visit, all of which are an easy plane ride or road trip away so you get to spend more time having fun, and less time traveling. And we’ve wrapped it up in an easy package just for you, tied together with some useful tips to help make your trip memorable – consider it a little wedding gift!
Let’s jump right into the big questions.
When should I start planning my honeymoon?
The sooner you can start planning, the better. Planning ahead allows you time to budget accordingly and acquire any necessary documents you might need. It also gives you the opportunity to book that special honeymoon suite or other one-of-a-kind room that many resorts offer.
What activities should I plan?
Are you itching to see a dozen museums and attend cooking classes? Or do you want to lie on a beach for a week? While you definitely want to book your trip and have it all planned out well ahead of time, planning too many specific activities in advance isn’t the way to go. Your time will be heavily scheduled leading up to your wedding; sometimes it’s best to wait to see what you want to do when you arrive.
If it’s rainy one day, go to the spa. Or if you feel like doing nothing but lying on the beach one day, then do that! Even if you are planning a cultural tour of museums in New York city, start with some R&R—book a couple of nights at a beach resort to unwind after the wedding, then hit the streets.
When should I go?
Of course, you need to consider your wedding date when planning your honeymoon, but it doesn’t necessarily have to dictate what you do. For example, if you are getting married in June but want to avoid monsoon season for a tropical honeymoon, you might want to delay for better weather. Or you could pick a U.S. beach destination that has more consistent weather during the summer. Want to celebrate your autumn wedding season and long for a destination that highlights the changing leaves? Consider some more unconventional honeymoon locations like charming towns in Texas, or the mountains of Utah.
Make sure to share the planning with your other half.
Honeymoons don’t have to mean lying on a beach; there truly is the something for everyone. If it’s not your spouse’s thing, don’t force your new husband or wife to visit an exotic beach destination. Instead, compromise on a destination that will make you both happy! Plan to visit a wine tasting destination, go to a national park for adventure or visit a beautiful city with great history.
Maui has it all – it’s a multiple award winner for both Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler’s ‘Best Island in the World’ award – with beaches, hiking, wilderness and luxury accommodations. Plus, Hawaii has fantastic weather all year round, and there are even dormant volcanoes!
Best Accommodation: Check out the Fairmount Kea Lani, on the Wailea Coast. (www.fairmont.com/kea-lani-maui/) It combines the beauty of classic Hawaii with fantastic service and amenities.
Key West, Florida
Want a Caribbean honeymoon while staying in the U.S.? Key West is the place for you. You’ll find an easygoing tropical island, without the cost and difficulty of international travel. Enjoy the cocktails, palm trees, and white side, as well as the romance of beach sunsets and terrific outdoor dining.
Best Accommodation: For romance and sophistication, look no further than Sunset Key Cottages. (www.sunsetkeycottages.com/) The cottages are on an intimate separate island, giving you both privacy as well as access to the attractions of Key West.
Napa Valley, California
If you love wine, Napa Valley is a must-visit. It’s not the typical resort town, but rather an entire locale dedicated to appreciating the finer things in life. Be prepared for fine cuisine, high-class leisure activities and alluring spas.
Best Accommodation: If you’re looking for a room with a vineyard view, you’ll adore Auberge du Soleil, which also features terraces and your own wood-burning fireplace for any chilly California night. (www.aubergedusoleil.com/).
New York, New York
For urban adventure, there is no place like The City That Never Sleeps. The Big Apple offers incredible opportunities for fun, culture, exploration, and entertainment. Spend the day window-shopping on 5th Avenue, then find an amazing restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen before a Broadway show!
Best Accommodation: Le Parker Meridien offers stunning skyline views of the city so you can soak up the bright lights of the big city. (www.parkermeridien.com)
Lajitas, Texas is a wonderfully kept secret. A sleepy resort town, sheltered from the bustle of tourist crowds, Lajitas has an abundance of scenery, golfing and camping. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the company of your new spouse away from the noise and distractions.
Best Accommodation: To experience the best of this out-of-the-way locale, try The Lajitas Resort. (www.lajitasgolfresort.com) It’s nestled in the mountains within easy reach of the Rio Grande River and Big Bend National Park.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, like New York City, has something for everyone, but in this case with a fantastic French Quarter flair. If you love jazz, art, history and food, you’ll want to spend some time in The Big Easy. For a full festival atmosphere, you can choose to honeymoon (or avoid honeymooning!) during the annual Mardi Gras celebration.
Best Accommodation: Take advantage of everything the French Quarter has to offer with the Hotel St. Marie. (www.hotelstmarie.com) It’s the perfect place to walk to all the attractions while savoring the experience of being in the heart of the action.
Palm Springs, California
Palm Springs is practically synonymous with classic, old Hollywood – think Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe or Frank Sinatra. This is the spot for retro glamor. Palm Springs offers the best of everything, including views, beaches, restaurants, golfing and shopping.
Best Accommodation: Dive right into the old-school vibe at The Colony Palms Hotel. (www.colonypalmshotel.com) It has a secluded location in the gardens of Palm Springs, combined with vintage style.
Canyon Point, Utah
For active couples who adore the outdoors, Canyon Point is a must-see. You can choose to camp, glamp or stay in a luxury resort while enjoying the hiking, mountains and fresh air. Combine ruggedness and comfort into one memorable adventure honeymoon!
Best Accommodation: For a truly unique hotel experience, visit Amangiri Resort. (www.aman.com/resorts/amangiri/explore-amangiri) The hotel is entirely constructed out of natural materials and is in fact built directly into a rock formation. It resembles the spectacular hotels in Cappadocia, Turkey without necessitating traveling halfway across the world.
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Like Canyon Point, Pagosa Springs promises both active adventures and easy going resort opportunities. You’ll have access to three million acres of national forest, hundreds of stars, and dozens of art galleries, antique stores and dining option.
Best Accommodation: Explore the Pagosa Hot Springs Resort, which features the world’s deepest geothermal hot spring. (www.pagosahotsprings.com/) Take advantage of the views and mountains as well as the decadent spa services offered by the resort.
Florida Keys, Florida
Key West is not alone! The Florida Keys actually span across both the Gulf and the Atlantic, allowing for plenty of choices. Consider actually hopping from island to island if you want something more active while you bask in the sunshine. If you’re looking for Paradise on earth, the Keys has it – cantinas, beaches, cocktails, seafood and nightlife.
Best Accommodation: For a dreamy Florida experience, try The Postcard Inn Beach Resort and Marina on Holiday Aisle (www.holidayisle.com). Every room has both a balcony and an ocean view in this stylish modern resort.
Of course, the most important thing for any honeymoon is who you spend it with. Beautiful scenery and amazing accommodations will always take second place to starting life with the person you love. Have a wonderful time!
We invite you to share your comments below. Which destination is your favorite on our list? What hotel or place would you add?