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Want to enjoy that amazing honeymoon you’ve always dreamed of but your budget just doesn’t allow you to fly off to some exotic destination across the globe? The good news is that it’s possible to enjoy an unforgettable honeymoon trip that won’t break the bank right here in the United States. Whether it’s soaring mountains, beautiful sandy beach or something else you’re looking for, these destinations offer some of the most budget-friendly honeymoons in the United States.
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Straddling the border of Nevada and California in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Lake Tahoe is one of the country’s most famously beautiful lakes. Here you can do everything from lounging on a sunny beach and hiking breathtaking mountains to enjoying world-class dining and host of entertainment after dark, with frequent big-name concerts, gambling and more at the casinos. If a winter honeymoon is in order, you’ll find some of the best ski resorts that offer access to fresh powder for skiing and snowboarding. No matter what the season, there is a wide range of honeymoon-worthy accommodation options too, from cozy cabins to luxury villas and resorts.
Washington State’s San Juan Island archipelago is a nature lover’s dream. It’s filled with jaw-dropping scenery that includes the mountains and the sea, along with abundant wildlife from bald eagles to harbor seals, porpoise and orca whales. Orcas Island is ideal with its cozy romantic cabins where you can launch a kayak from a pebble beach just steps away, while San Juan Island hosts lots of charming Bed and Breakfast establishments as well as upscale romantic resorts. In the main town of Friday Harbor, dine at farm-to-table restaurants, and browse multiple art galleries, boutiques and museums.
Taos is the town that truly exemplifies New Mexico’s nickname: “The Land of Enchantment.” Here you can do everything from marveling at paintings created by Taos masters, hiking mountains and high desert mesas, enjoying miles and miles of spectacular vistas to skiing at one of five resorts and getting out on the river to experience world-class fly fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding and rafting. After a day of play you’ll find many outstanding restaurants to dine in, with some 60 independently-owned eateries serving delectable Northern New Mexican cuisine and a wide range of other fare with something for just about every taste.
Located on California’s central coast, Santa Barbara is a romantic and eclectic town. It offers lots of charms for honeymooners with ocean and mountain scenery as well as a long list of vineyards and wineries, Old World architecture and host of opportunities for relaxing or getting active. Explore Old Mission Santa Barbara, join the popular Art Walk, stroll the colorful botanic garden, and take a trip back in time at Presidio de Santa Barbara which showcases a number of restored buildings that were part of the last Spanish military settlement. With the frequent sunny weather, walks on the beach and bike rides alongside the coast are especially enjoyable too.
Rocky Mountain National Park is famous for its stunning mountain scenery, with some of the most dramatic landscapes in the country perfect for an array of outdoor adventures. If you two are mountain lovers and enjoy hiking, it may be an ideal choice. Plus, Estes Park, its eastern gateway, offers many romantic B&Bs, cabins and resorts. Look for one with a private Jacuzzi, perhaps on a deck that overlooks serene Fall River, and a fireplace where you can toast to your life together while cozying up to the flames – they’re often more affordable than you might think, especially in the spring and late fall. While you’ll be immersed in the wilderness, the legendary Stanley Hotel is located in Estes Park and offers a world-class dining experience.
If you were hoping for a Caribbean honeymoon but flying overseas just isn’t in your budget, consider Key West in the Florida Keys. Look forward to a stunning drive on the Florida Keys Scenic Highway which stretches over 100 miles across the enchanting islands that are filled with palm trees and endless ocean vistas. Snorkel the warm clear waters, swim with dolphins, embark on a sunset sail and sip tropical drinks – just a few of the highlights of a honeymoon here.
Hawaii can be very expensive, but if you do it right, you might just be able to make it work, especially on the island of Oahu where you can often find some good bargains along with calm, warm waters, relatively dry weather, and lively nightlife. Flights to this island are usually the least expensive and with Honolulu’s wide range of hotels and resorts, there is something for just about every budget. Booking a package deal that includes some combination of airfare, accommodations and a rental car is typically the most cost-effective. When it comes to activities, think hiking, time on the beach and time in the water: all free.
Mendocino is a picturesque village that lies on the Northern California coast about four hours north of San Francisco. This spectacular coastline that’s reminiscent of Ireland features magnificent Victorian homes, pristine beaches hidden in alluring coves, colorful wildflowers and lush emerald hills. It hosts multiple acclaimed restaurants as well as wineries for sipping the area’s renowned Pinot Noirs and a stunning botanical garden with trails that lead to the Pacific. While rooms can be pricey, if you can honeymoon during the off-season, anytime outside of the summer months, you’ll frequently find some great deals.
Often ranked among the world’s most romantic destinations, Cannon Beach is located on the northern Oregon coast and boasts a wild, rugged coastline with beautiful wild beaches and all sorts of wildlife. Large colonies of seabirds can be found on the offshore rocks, while tufted puffins can be seen at iconic Haystack Rock. It’s even home to Roosevelt elk which frequently graze in coastal meadows, while bald eagles fill the skies and brown pelicans skim across the surf. During the spring and winter, tens of thousands of gray whales pass through the waters during migration. Hike the trails that meander through ancient, old-growth forest at the edge of the ocean, with many ideal spots for a picnic. In town, you’ll find oceanfront eateries, art galleries and unique shops. While there are expensive honeymoon resorts, budget-friendly hotels are available as well.