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If you want to kick-start your marriage with an especially romantic honeymoon, you might be surprised to find there are many fantastic options right in the United States. From tropical beaches to soaring mountains and exciting cities, these incredible destinations are sure to make for an unforgettable way to begin your life together.
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Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe offers some of the most gorgeous natural beauty in America, with its striking blue waters highlighted with a backdrop of soaring mountains and steep granite cliffsides. While the lake and its numerous beautiful beaches are enough to make it a good place to vacation alone, the surrounding area boasts miles and miles of scenic hiking trails with nearly endless picture-perfect vistas, as well as some of the best skiing on the continent in the winter. For those that like outdoor adventure along with the amenities of the city, you’ll appreciate the high-end shopping and dining in North Shore as well as the gambling and entertainment in the south shore’s casinos. Get cozy in a Lake Tahoe luxury hotel, then enjoy mountain gondola rides, golfing, hot-air balloon adventures and sunset cruises.
Mendocino is a picturesque village set atop the bluffs on the Northern California coast, overlooking the glistening expanse of the Pacific. Filled with Victorian-era homes, it’s renowned as one of the most beautiful and romantic places in not only the United States but across the globe. Spend your days strolling the beach, hiking through the ancient redwood forest, or tasting fine wine at the many wineries found throughout the region, including some of the most fantastic Pinot, produced with grapes grown here along the rugged coast. The MacCallum House Inn & Restaurant, featuring panoramic ocean views and award-winning meals in a Victorian mansion setting, is an ideal place to dine as well as to stay. Accommodations include cottages with private yards, fireplaces and hot tubs.
Take a walk through history and explore Savannah for a wonderfully romantic, relaxing honeymoon. The atmosphere and top attractions in this charming city are very laid back, making it ideal for taking things slow. The moss-canopied trails are perfect for tranquil strolls together hand-in-hand, while those who want to get a bit more active might enjoy kayaking along the shores of Hilton Head or even interacting with dolphins at dolphin-watching tours. There are few better things than exploring the city by hopping aboard a Savannah Riverboat Cruise, and you can also explore lighthouses, Civil War landmarks and other historic sites as well as beautiful art displays and exhibits that showcase Savannah’s culture, history and the arts. A horse-drawn carriage ride through the picturesque streets is a must for honeymooners, followed by a romantic retreat in one of Savannah’s top hotels.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Cannon Beach, set along the breathtaking Oregon coast, is internationally renowned as a top romantic destination, ideal for a honeymoon, anniversary and other special occasions. Discover a wild, rugged coastline with picturesque beaches and tide pools filled with all sorts of colorful creatures. Here, trails wind through the ancient, old-growth forest at the edge of the Pacific, providing numerous picture-perfect spots for a picnic. In town, enjoy dining at fantastic eateries with ocean views, browsing world-class art galleries and unique shops. There are several oceanfront resorts that cater specifically to honeymooners, such as the Stephanie Inn, with all suites overlooking Haystack Rock and the Pacific, as well as featuring a fireplace and Jacuzzi tub.
Outer Banks, North Carolina
The Outer Banks may not be the most popular honeymoon destination, lacking the fine dining of other romantic destinations, but the area makes up for it with breathtaking scenery and pristine sands. It’s also perfect for those who are looking for a budget-friendly honeymoon. Enjoy peaceful alone time together strolling secluded beaches, rugged dunes and historic lighthouses, or enjoy take part in more active pursuits like ATV adventures, windsurfing and other water sports. History buffs will be in heaven – aviators Orville and Wilbur Wright took their famous first flight here at Kitty Hawk, while the infamous pirate Blackbeard fought his last battle at Ocracoke.
The Florida Keys
The Florida Keys offer something for everyone with an array of exciting outdoor attractions. Perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy the tropics without leaving the Continental U.S., the 110-mile island chain is just south of Miami, surrounded by warm, crystal-clear, blue waters. If you want lots of action, head down to America’s southernmost point, Key West. “Margaritaville,” as it’s often referred to, is famous for its glorious sunset celebrations and romantic atmosphere. You’ll have an array of activities to choose from, including sunset sails, reef snorkeling, diving and the chance to visit Dry Tortugas National Park via ferry. Throughout the Keys, there are several spots that offer the opportunity to swim with dolphins or glimpse elusive manatees.
Napa Valley, California
California’s most famous wine country is a top honeymoon destination. Napa Valley offers the chance to spend your days tasting some of the best wine on the planet in its collection of beautiful vineyards or even hopping aboard the famous wine train. You can also indulge in lots of pampering by heading to one of the many world-class spas. By staying at Indian Springs Resort and Spa, you can take advantage of the soothing healing waters and luxurious treatments. The region is not just a wine enthusiasts’ paradise – foodies will love the nearly endless number of high-end restaurants serving gourmet fare. You might celebrate your new life together by soaring over the valley in a hot air balloon on a special champagne brunch ride.
Tucked within a remote area of the Grand Canyon, Havasupai is an idyllic spot for those who love the outdoors. While you won’t find luxurious resorts, you will find some of the most jaw-dropping scenery on earth, including magical Havasu Falls. The blue-green waterfalls are one of the Grand Canyon’s true treasures. Five stunning spring-fed waterfalls, Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, Beaver Falls, Upper Navajo Falls and Lower Navajo Falls, can be found in this hidden valley in the heart of the Havasupai Reservation. The waters plunge down fiery red cliffs into travertine swimming holes at the bottom. While it requires a moderate ten-mile hike into Havasu Canyon, it’s well worth the effort to get here. Other options include guided horseback trips offered by the local tribe as well as helicopter rides to the canyon floor. You can stay the night at Havasu Lodge in the village, or in the campground.
U.S. Virgin Islands
America has its own Caribbean Paradise in the Virgin Islands, with three of the islands considered U.S. territories (Saint Thomas, Saint Croix and Saint John), which means you don’t even need a passport to feel as if you’re worlds away from the mainland. Choose St. Thomas if you want lots of shopping opportunities and exciting nightlife. St. John offers a more tranquil experience, often considered the best of the three for a romantic escape. You’ll discover a quiet, unspoiled setting with pristine beaches – and, nearly three-quarters of the island is dedicated parkland. You can even enjoy some of the best snorkeling on earth at Leinster Bay, including the chance to swim with turtles.
Maui is an ideal island for many honeymooners, not as bustling as Oahu, or as quiet as Kauai, but somewhere in between, offering a taste of just about everything the gorgeous state has to offer, from some of Hawaii’s top beaches to outstanding snorkeling, impressive wildlife, interesting history and the chance to shake your hips alongside professional hula dancers. Travel the Road to Hana and experience some of the most impressive scenery in the islands, including majestic waterfalls, and explore Haleakala, the world’s largest dormant volcano. Take a hike to the top at sunrise or sunset to enjoy some of the most incredible vistas you’ll ever lay eyes on and bask in the sun, and each other’s company, on the pristine white-sand beaches.
Kauai appeals to honeymooners who want to feel as if they’re all alone of their own private island while wandering a secluded, lonely beach. This quiet isle doesn’t have much in the way of nightlife, but it does have lots of colorful flowers and tropical vegetation that you’ve probably never seen before. The Garden Isle doesn’t need to resort to tourist traps to entice visitors, instead, it appeals with astounding natural beauty. Explore the Na Pali Coast, home to some of the world’s highest sea cliffs, kayak Wailua River through lush rainforests, or take a thrilling zipline ride through the amazing scenery. You’ll find a number of fine dining establishments for intimate dinners, as well as romantic resorts where you can indulge in a relaxing couple’s massage and take in glorious honey-dipped sunsets.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Cape Cod is a 70-mile peninsula where you’ll find life moves at a much slower pace, but you and your new spouse will find a myriad of things to do. Stay at a romantic resort or B&B and enjoy activities like whale watching excursions, strolling sandy beaches or browsing the unique treasures at antique shops and art galleries. Horseback riding across the dunes at sunset offers a particularly romantic experience. After a day of play, return to a cozy sea captain’s house, complete with a luxurious canopy bed and fireplace to relax, unwind and enjoy each other’s company.
As one of the most breathtakingly beautiful mountain destinations in the U.S., Aspen is ideal for romance. In the winter, you can enjoy some of the best skiing and snowboarding on the planet, or just cuddle up together by the warmth of a fireplace taking in the scene from inside a cozy cabin or luxurious resort. A sleigh ride through the wintery landscape is especially romantic. There is a ton to do here in the summer too, including whitewater rafting trips, mountain biking and hiking. Be sure to see the Maroon Bells, just a short drive from Aspen and one of the most photographed mountain scenes in Colorado. The lake and views of the 14,000-foot peaks are absolutely stunning. All year round you’ll find high-end shopping venues as well as an abundance of fine restaurants.
San Juan Islands, Washington
The San Juan Islands in Washington State are a scenic ferry ride away from the mainland and offer the chance to enjoy peace and tranquility as well as numerous outdoor adventures. On San Juan Island, the largest in the archipelago, you’ll find fantastic farm-to-table restaurants as well as interesting boutiques, galleries and museums. The island is also one of the best places for whale watching, with orca whales frequently spotted near Lime Kiln Point as well as other spots along the shore. Joining a kayaking excursion can get you up close to a wide variety of marine life in addition to whales, including seals and sea lions, porpoise, otters and more. There are numerous accommodation options here from romantic B&Bs to upscale resorts.
New Orleans, Louisiana
From Spanish mossy oak trees to seductive jazz that wafts through the winding streets of New Orleans, this exciting city makes an especially attractive, sultry destination for a honeymoon. Indulge in luxurious treatments at one of the many spas and take a romantic tour, exploring it from adrift from the deck of a riverboat or under the soft glow of French Quarter streetlamps. A carriage ride, starting in Jackson Square, will allow you to experience New Orleans the original way as you cuddle up together taking in the sights. In this city known for its unique, delicious cuisine, you’ll also find plenty of great places to dine as well as to dance the night away.
Puerto Rico offers another destination option for those who want to enjoy the tropics without a passport. Known as “The Island of Enchantment,” or “La Isla del Encanto,” you can spend your days relishing in more than 200 miles of beaches and take in spectacular sights like the bioluminescent bay. The mysterious blue-green light is created by micro-organisms that thrive in an environment uniquely suited to their needs, and a trip into the bay on a balmy night is a truly magical experience. You can also enjoy the vibrant culture of historic San Juan, including fine restaurants and the opportunity to learn the salsa together.
Sedona is another ideal spot for honeymooners who are nature lovers. Not only will you find beautiful weather nearly all year round – even during Arizona’s scorching hot summers, but there are a wide array of outdoor adventures, including four-wheel jeep tours, miles and miles of hiking trails through towering fiery red rocks and creeks that are perfect for taking a refreshing dip. The downtown area is filled with art galleries and boutiques, and you can also enjoy a good massage and other treatments at world-class spas. After dark, take in the haze-free, typically cloud-free skies that make Sedona one of the best places for stargazing. Sedona also offers a wide range of delicious cuisine, luxurious resorts and a number of wineries nearby.