Yay, you're married! Now that the wedding planning fun has concluded, it's on to your next adventure: the honeymoon!
Some people associate honeymoons with an international trip like traversing romantic European cities or exploring the jungles of Southeast Asia. But did you know there are several unique honeymoon destinations in the U.S. too? That's right, we've got incredible honeymoon places in our own backyard!
Let's get into honeymoon ideas for newlyweds who want to stay stateside!
But first, why choose a U.S. honeymoon?
International trips take work, brah! For some folks, the idea of finishing a year of wedding planning and then having to coordinate the next big thing in unfamiliar territory is not appealing. Planning a U.S. honeymoon can require less extensive planning and gives you the opportunity to take a well deserved beat and stay present in your newfound newlywed bliss!
Honeymoon trends for 2023
Waiting to go on their honeymoon
More marriers are waiting months or even years after the wedding to go on their honeymoon! After all, there's no rule that says you have to jet-set right after you tie the knot. Many newlyweds are choosing to book the trip at a time that makes the most sense for their budget. It makes sense, especially since weddings can cost a big chunk of change. We're seeing marriers take time after the wedding to save up money so that when they're finally ready for their dream trip, they're able to fully splurge on all the bells and whistles!
Another trend we're noticing is “mini-moons.” That's when newlyweds don't want to do a big, long trip and opt for something short and sweet. Mini-moons can be more budget friendly and take the form of local weekend getaways or traveling somewhere that's a quick flight away.
Choosing inclusive and LGBTQ-friendly honeymoon places
Finally, a trend we LOVE seeing is that more U.S. honeymoon destinations are becoming more inclusive, disability-friendly, and LGBTQ-friendly. It sucks to be riding on that newlywed bliss only to feel unwelcome at your honeymoon destination, and we ain't about that!
Here are the top 13 unique honeymoon destinations in the U.S. right now:
From tropical islands to breathtaking mountains, there are so many magical U.S. honeymoon ideas to choose from. Oh, and we've made sure to do extra research to make sure these destinations align with our values of acceptance and inclusivity.
Romantic honeymoon destinations in the U.S.
Looking for honeymoon ideas that feel like you and your boo are the only people in the world?
1) Napa Valley, California
Most known as a beautiful destination for wine lovers, honeymooners looking for a lil' luxury will fall in love with Napa Valley. Newlyweds can take in the stunning countryside, sip wine at one of several vineyards, or explore the lively downtown area. From classy hotels to world-renowned wineries and Michelin restaurants, this Northern California destination is full of the finer things in life.
2) The Catskill Mountains, New York
Having an autumn honeymoon? The Catskills is something straight out of a Hallmark movie. Enjoy the tranquility of the changing leaves or wander hand in hand through the charming small towns filled with farm-to-table restaurants, breweries, antique shops, and art galleries. Depending on the time of year, the Catskills offer different attractions, such as skiing and snowboarding in the winter, apple-picking and pumpkin-patching in the fall, and swimming and fishing in the summer. For honeymooners looking for disability-friendly activities, we found accounts from other folks who use wheelchairs on having fun and accessible travel in the Catskills!
3) Sedona, Arizona
Sedona is known for its stunning red rock formations, canyons, hiking trails, and an epic sunset view that should not be missed. Take a jeep tour, hike to a scenic vista, or see the world from a hot air balloon. Sedona is also known for its wellness offerings, with many spas, yoga studios, and healing centers. It has a world-wide reputation as a spiritual mecca and is especially known for it's energy vortex which attracts healers, intuitives, and artists from all over. Ideal for the active and spiritually adventurous honeymooners!
4) Asheville, North Carolina
Offering a blend of cultural and outdoor activities, Asheville's been put on the spot as a scenic mountain town with a funky and creative scene. It's almost like if the eccentricity of Austin, Texas were dropped in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The neighboring cities like to joke that they can smell Asheville's patchouli from their homes. Known for their artisanal producers and farm-to-table scene, this hidden Southern gem is a unique U.S. honeymoon destination for folks who want to explore off the beaten path!
Island honeymoon destinations in the U.S.
Dreaming of warm weather and the ocean breeze in your hair? Escape to one of these island honeymoon places!
5) Key West, Florida
You don't know the meaning of “island time” until you hit the southernmost part of the continental U.S. Watch the sunset at Mallory Square, snorkel above the coral reefs, or enjoy your fill of fresh-caught seafood and tropical rum drinks. Key West is notoriously queer and trans friendly and boasts a small but popular drag scene that's adored by the locals. Plus, there are several resorts specifically catered to the queer community! Perfect for the honeymooners seeking the ultimate laid-back island destination. Pro tip: Talk to the locals! They love making new friends, have the best reccs, and you might even get invited onto someone's boat.
6) Kauai, Hawaii
When people think of Hawaii they think of Oahu or Maui, but Kauai is becoming a hot spot too. It's not as developed as the other islands so you'll feel as though you've been dropped into a lush and tropical paradise. Ideal for honeymooners who are looking to enjoy waterfalls, beaches, and culture!
7) San Juan, Puerto Rico
Enjoy an island honeymoon without pulling out your passports! This vibrant getaway is ideal for newlyweds who picture themselves relaxing on white-sand beaches during the day, then dancing the night away. Oh, and mojitos are a must in both of these scenarios.
Top cities for a unique honeymoon in the U.S.
What better way to celebrate marriage than to create new memories in a new city? These honeymoon places will have you talking about your adventure together for years to come.
8) Orlando, Florida
Spend your honeymoon at the most magical place on Earth, Walt Disney World! Whether you're hanging at the House of Mouse or prefer Universal Studios, staying on theme-park grounds means no shortage of activities! They're like mini cities inside a city, so you can find everything you need without ever leaving the theme park resorts. Not to mention these theme parks have come a looong way to become disability-friendly (yay!) and the staff are always incredibly accommodating to make your experience accessible. If you do happen to venture out into the wide world of Orlando, you'll find an energetic city with plenty to do. Don't sleep on the culinary scene, innovative bars, and neighborhood gems like historic Winter Park.
9) Seattle, Washington
Foodie? Seattle. Outdoorsy? Seattle. Artsy? Seattle, Seattle, Seattle. This cosmopolitan city is a great U.S. honeymoon destination for newlyweds who want a mix of city excitement, outdoor adventure, and culinary delights, all against the backdrop of stunning Pacific Northwest scenery. Eat your way through Pike Place Market, snag a pre-roll at one of the city's legal cannabis shops, then hop on a ferry to Puget Sound or take a scenic drive to Mount Rainier National Park. It's a mecca for all things diverse and inclusive with folks of all identities and walks of life living together in offbeat harmony. Oh, and Seattle is listed as one the most accessible places in the States. You'll leave with an addiction to coffee, colorful hair, and maybe several piercings. BONUS: Seattle is the hometown of Offbeat Wed! If you like our vibe, you'll love our city.
10) Provincetown, Massachusetts
Provincetown, affectionately known as P-town, is a charming seaside town located at the tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. It's also known as one of the most queer-friendly vacation spots in the States! Newlyweds can enjoy tons of quintessential New England activities like whale watching tours, art galleries, and museums. Monogrammed knitted sweaters optional.
11) Big Sur, California
Can't decide between the ocean, mountains, or forest? Combine all three at Big Sur! From misty vistas to scenic cliffs and looming cypress trees, this central California coastal strip is a serene and otherworldly honeymoon destination. Take a scenic drive along Highway 1, hike through the forests, or wander around the beaches and tide pools. When you're done exploring the breathtaking views, take your tastebuds on a culinary adventure with Big Sur's world-class food and wine scene
12) New Orleans, Louisiana
The vibes in New Orleans are absolutely unhinged and unmatched! If you love color, food, drinks, gorgeous architecture, and debauchery, NOLA is it. Make sure you talk to the locals. Not only are they incredibly proud of their city, they love sharing their recommendations to newcomers. New Orleans is also recognized as one of the queerest cities in the world. I took the Queer History of New Orleans tour and learned how the Big Easy was integral to the development of sex work, burlesque, queerness, and transness in the U.S. Pro tip: The closer you get to actual Mardi Gras, the more crowded it will be. If you want to experience a parade without the full-blown chaos, go early in the Carnival season which starts after January 6th!
13) Santa Fe, New Mexico
Looking to learn something new on your honeymoon? Santa Fe is perfect for those wanting a cultural experience. This city is known for its extensive art galleries, Spanish-influenced architecture, and rich Native American history. If you're into interactive art, Meow Wolf is a trippy must-see.
You don't have to go far for a memorable honeymoon
There are so many unique honeymoon destinations in the U.S. that offer stunning scenery, romantic experiences, and unforgettable adventures! Wherever you go, remember this time should be about the two of you together. No distractions. As *minimal* stress as possible. Just cuddles and new memories!
Did we miss any unique honeymoon places in the U.S.? Drop your suggestions in the comments below and we'll add it to the list!