Key Largo, Florida
You've definitely heard of all the amazing beaches in Florida by now—but while Key West gets a lot of steam, the smaller city of Key Largo is worth a Google search. Unlike Key West, it's a more laid back type of vibe, complete with brilliant white sand beaches and awe-inspiring sunsets—only an hour's drive from Miami. Consider booking your stay at Playa Largo Resort & Spa, a new hotel in the area. Newlyweds can stay at one of the resort's 10 private bungalows, all of which come equipped with a Bungalow Ambassador that will help you squeeze the most of your trip. Want to cruise on a yacht? Or want a late-night snack from a grocery store? Just text your ambassador. The resort is also located super-close to local small town attractions, such as artist shops in Rain Barrel Village, the Islamorada Brewing Co., and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. (Check out these surprising honeymoon destinations.)
Want to get away to the mountains but maybe don't want to drive for hours to reach them? The ideal compromise is the super-small town of Cartersville, Georgia, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and just an hour from Atlanta. This charming town has the quintessential "Main Street," complete with gift shops and antique stores, along with the Booth Western Art Museum and of course, plenty of Southern-inspired menus to whet your newlywed-whistle. Consider staying at the Barnsley Resort, where you can book their Ultimate Romance Package. This includes a two-night stay in the luxe Arbor Cottage, dinner for two at one of the resort's two restaurants, a private dinner for two either in the cottage or an outdoor location, breakfast, and a sweet turndown service. As if that's not enough, you'll also receive a $300 credit toward horseback riding, clay shooting, golf, spa services and more. And to top it off? Just staying at the resort will take you back in time as you learn about the romance between the Barnsley's—they built the getaway.
Not only is Sedona, Arizona one of the nicest smallest towns in America, it's also an amazing small town honeymoon spot. You can spend your day hiking the infamous Red Rocks or take the highly-recommended Pink Jeep Tour, go horseback riding or fly up in a hot air balloon for a once-in-a-lifetime view of the southwest. While you're there, stay at the L'Auberge de Sedona, which offers a honeymoon package to write home to your friends about. (Or post on Facebook!) In no particular order, it includes, a breakfast and dining credit, a spa credit, a love kit complete with an elixir, mist and serum, a romantic turndown service with rose petals, champagne and strawberries, and more. Talk about being swept away to marriage!
If you and your new spouse are adventurous oenophiles, book a trip to Willamette Valley, Oregon. This area is known for producing some of the best-tasting pinot noirs in the country, and though it's been around for some time, it's not quite as commercialized or visited as Napa Valley. In addition to being a destination for wine lovers, the small town of Newberg is home to George Fox University and offers that quaint downtown vibe you think of when you consider micro-communities. With a main street full of shops, you'll find ways to pass the time when you need a break from tastings. For a honeymoon-worthy stay, book your reservation at The Allison Inn & Spa, the only luxe resort in the area. You can book the 'Blissful Romance' package, which includes sparkling wine upon arrival, a $100 credit toward JORY—the on-site restaurant—or room service, a $200 spa credit and more.
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Aurora, New York
Inns of Aurora
With only 300 full-time residents in this sleepy upstate town, there's a good chance you'll meet the who's-who in the short time you lay your newlywed heads in the town. With the Cayuga Lake nearby, along with Finger Lake wineries within driving distance, you can enjoy the relaxation of small-town life and taste some renowned vineyard blends, too. While you're there, stay at the Inns of Aurora, which spans the entire length of the village. This experience is affordable at $175 per night, but with thoughtful touches and inclusions, you'll still get that honeymoon experience. From complimentary fresh-baked muffins each morning to wine and cheese in the evening and private couples' yoga upon request, you'll be able to celebrate your love with ease.
When we talk about small town honeymoons, we mean it with this one. With an estimated population of 136 people, Jenner is about as intimate as you can get for a destination. It's off of California's Instagram-worthy Highway 1, right where the redwoods meet the sea, offering a private escape from the bustle of nearby cities. When you're there, consider staying at Timber Cove Resort, which sits on 23 acres of coastline between Bodega Bay and Sea Ranch. With only 46 rooms, you'll get the seclusion you want for your honeymoon, all while enjoying the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture that screams 'beach town.' Make sure to book dinner one night at the on-site restaurant, Coast Kitchen, which offers a micro-seasonal menu and wines from Sonoma valley.
Stone Harbor, New Jersey
Mike Ver Sprill/Shutterstock
Just 15 minutes north of uber-popular Cape May is a laid-back community called Stone Harbor. Not only does it offer white sandy beaches and cute boutiques, but you'll find plenty of seafood dining options, water sports and golfing. Especially if you live in the Northeast, Stone Harbor offers secluded, special, and romantic without challenging your budget. That being said, if you're up for one fancy night in a honeymoon suite, the place to book is The Reeds at Shelter Haven. This 37-room luxury boutique hotel overlooks the bay, giving you an epic #WereMarried sunset image for your Instagram. If you go during the summer, you'll be given your own beach butler with complimentary beach service. For a nightcap, head up to the roof garden sundeck to swim in their pool or cozy up next to the fireplace.
More of a lake couple than a beach duo? Consider selecting Truckee for your honeymoon destination, right in the heart of north Lake Tahoe. Especially if you both like to stay active, this part of California offers plenty of options—from hiking and boating to paddleboarding and golfing—making sure that you're starting your marriage off with quite the adventure. And if there's one time to truly go for the glitz and glam, it's your honeymoon, so book your romantic getaway at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. In addition to having quite the luxury suite, you can also book couples' massages, stargazing tours and more. Cue the romance!
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