The Most Romantic Honeymoon Spots in America
With no-passport or multi-leg flights required, these domestic destinations are the perfect spots for celebrating your new marriage.
Napa Valley, California
You don’t have to leave the country to find world-class vino, nor the romance that comes with it. Despite the fires that have recently ravaged this idyllic region, Napa is still welcoming guests with open arms and full glasses. The cuisine, viticulture, and vistas are unparalleled. Auberge du Soleil, promises—and delivers—all three. Spend the day sipping Cabernet Sauvignon at one of the area’s acclaimed vineyards, and the evening savoring elevated-seasonal fare at The Restaurant, winner of 12 consecutive Michelin stars. Afterwards, retire to five-star comforts of your own private deluxe suite. Before you jet off to this honeymoon hot spot, brush up on these 20 essential wine terms you need to know.
The picture of antebellum grace, Savannah casts its spell on visitors with its Antebellum buildings, ancient oaks, hanging Spanish moss, warm hospitality, and ghostly lore. Few things are more romantic than a horse-drawn carriage, and even less can beat the ambiance of a ride for two along the cobblestone lanes of this picturesque locale. You can also admire the antebellum architecture through a walking tour or a sunset riverboat cruise. Both beautiful and bewitching, Savannah is widely considered to be the most haunted city in America. Looking to explore its spooky side? From the intricate headstones and ivy-clad crypts of Bonaventure Cemetery to The Marshall House, a former hospital turned hotel, you don’t have to look far to find a paranormal experience.
Set in a verdant valley, surrounded by some of the country’s most majestic peaks—the Teton Range to the west and the Gros Ventre Range to the east—the town of Jackson is as picturesque as it gets. Its wild landscape offers endless recreational opportunities, ranging from hiking, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting in the summer to skiing, snowmobiling, and ice-skating in the winter. But Jackson has so much more to offer than just rugged adventure. The “Town Square,” is crowned by an arch made of (shed) elk antlers from the nearby National Elk Refuge and the National Museum of Wildlife Art houses works from the likes of Carl Rungius, Albert Bierstadt, and Charles M. Russell. There are also a plethora of lodging options and restaurants to refuel after a day of Lewis-and-Clark-inspired exploration. Check out 50 hotel rooms with the dreamiest views.
Captiva Island, Florida
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South Beach may be overflowing with nightclubs and swanky lounges, but not everyone shares its party-till-the-sun-comes-up mentality. Situated off Florida’s Gulf Coast, near Fort Myers, is Captiva Island, a place that’s more “wasting away in Margaritaville” than “bienvenido a Miami.” Miles of serene, white-sand beaches are scattered with shells and dotted with towering palm trees. Captiva Island’s unspoiled, natural landscape is complemented by its laid-back vibe and quirky charm, making for a fairytale seaside getaway. The preferred mode of transport is bicycle. And, instead of high-rise hotels, Captiva Island has quaint inns and old-fashioned beach cottages for rent. If you’re looking for a breath of fresh (salty) air after all the wedding craziness, this coastal gem is for you. If you like this friendly locale, you won’t want to miss the 21 nicest small towns in America everyone should visit.
Park City, Utah
During the winter, Park City is a veritable wonderland of skiing, snowboarding, and outdoor adventure. If hitting the slopes isn’t your thing, you can still take advantage of the seasonal splendor with a slew of cold-weather activities, including ice-skating, tubing, and snowshoeing. Afterwards, warm up by the fire at the sizzling, new Veuve Clicquot après lounge, a rustic-meets-luxe retreat, at Montage Deer Valley. Or skip the mountain entirely and go straight there (no judgment). Of course, you don’t have to be an avid outdoors’ lover to enjoy this alpine escape. The property also flaunts five restaurants, a bowling alley, and the largest spa in Utah—the perfect spot to unwind with a couple’s massage.
Charleston, South Carolina
From Rainbow Row’s colorful homes to the Battery’s antebellum mansions, Charleston is steeped in heritage and charm. But an appreciation for the past hasn’t stopped Charleston from flourishing in the present, including fostering a burgeoning and robust culinary scene. Dine in true southern fashion at James Beard Award-winning Hominy Grill, savor in freshly-shucked oyster at 167 Raw, or get your fix of Asian comfort food at Xiao Bao Biscuit. Stop by The Spectator for a creative nightcap from mixology-master extraordinaire Allen Lancaster, or take in the view of Waterfront Park while enjoying a glass of wine on the rooftop of the HarbourView Inn.
Santa Barbara, California
Those seeking year-round sun and picture-perfect weather needn’t look any further than Santa Barbara. Often referred to as the American Riviera because its wide sandy shores, red-roofed buildings, and scenic vistas rival the romance of Cannes or St Tropez—all without the need for a passport. The sunset over Butterfly Beach is a postcard come to life. For a taste of history, visit Old Mission Santa Barbara, a 1786 landmark with a lovely rose garden. Or take a stroll along the wooden pier at Stearns Wharf, the oldest continuously operating wharf on the West Coast. And, for those looking for a more posh experience, there’s plenty of high-end shopping, fine dining, and luxury boutique hotels, like the Spanish Garden Inn and San Ysidro Ranch.
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When you hear Maui the first thing that probably comes to mind are powder-soft sand and shimmering blue waters. In addition to 30 miles of beautiful beaches, including golden Kapalua and hidden Makena Cove, this tropical paradise impresses with its breathtaking landscape. A visit to Haleakala National Park—home to the island’s highest peak, volcanic Haleakala, plus bamboo forests, and waterfalls of Ohe’o Gulch—is not to be missed! Need a little R&R? Oceanfront resorts, like The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali, and the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort offer all the relaxation-inducing amenities you could dream of…and then some. What could possibly make for a happier or more romantic honeymoon in the U.S. (or anywhere for that matter)?
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