10 Dreamy Honeymoon Spots in the USA

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Napa Valley is an excellent 40th birthday celebration destination
A Napa sunset. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Honeymoon brochures might feature the overwater bungalows of The Maldives as the ultimate romantic destination, but the prospect of spending the better part of a day flying halfway around the world isn’t everyone’s idea of fun. They want that first trip as a married couple to be just as romantic and memorial but much easier to get to.

Fortunately, America is a big country, with countless opportunities for bucket list experiences. From mountain magic to white sand beaches to exotic experiences, this list of honeymoon destinations in the USA has something to fit just about any interest or budget.

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1. Napa Valley California

This famous California wine region north of San Francisco is best known for its hundreds of hillside vineyards. For wine-loving newlyweds, a Napa Valley honeymoon is a dream come true. Many Napa-area wineries offer casitas, cabins, or small inns for guests. But this is a once-in-a-marriage trip, so you can choose to splurge on a suite at the Four Seasons Napa Valley and step out onto your private balcony with views of the grapes.

Aside from wine tasting and more wine tasting, Napa has a strong gourmet food scene. Check out the Oxbow Public Market. Paddle down the Napa River or explore the area by bicycle. Lots of outfitters and organized tour groups are available. The area isn’t just about wine – several breweries are located within walking distance of each other, so why not plan a beer crawl?

One of the most popular activities in Napa is the Napa Valley Wine Train which allows you to tour the area from a vintage locomotive. The train is also a traveling restaurant, so you can eat well while sipping the region’s best wines.

Rejuvenate from all of that wedding stress with a day indulging in the mud bath spas of Calistoga at the north end of the Napa Valley.

Charleston’s Pineapple Fountain
Charleston’s Pineapple Fountain is one of its most notable landmarks. Photo credit: Carolyn Kopf

2. Charleston South Carolina

Known as the Holy City, Charleston is an under-the-radar romantic spot dripping in Southern charm and Spanish moss. The brick buildings and tree-lined city squares give the city a slightly mysterious vibe. Plus, the nearly year-round warm weather makes outdoor activities in Charleston comfortable during the fall and winter months.

Walking tours and boat tours alike allow you to learn the history of Charleston. An evening horse-drawn carriage tour is a romantic way to end the day, or take a ghost tour at night, then retire to your room to keep one another safe. If you’re an architecture buff, check out the historic homes and buildings on Rainbow Row or Magnolia Plantations and Gardens. Folly Beach is a must-do for beach lovers. Finally, Charleston has a cutting-edge food scene. Get a crash course in low-country cuisine by taking a dedicated food tour.  

One of the places to eat in Chattanooga is in the iconic Chattanooga Choo Choo, STIR.
Fried Green Tomatoes at STIR in Chattanooga. Photo credit: Jill Robbins

3. Chattanooga Tennessee

Located along the Tennessee River, Chattanooga is one of the greenest cities in the United States. With a walkable downtown riverfront area, a fantastic southern food scene, and beautiful outdoor space, this charming Tennessee city doesn’t disappoint.

Stroll hand in hand along the banks of the Tennessee River and check out the street art or head to Rock City Botanical Garden to walk through fairy-tale-like rock structures. Don’t forget to take a couples selfie in front of Lover’s Leap. After visiting Rock City, hop over to the Incline Railroad and ride in the world’s steepest train car. The Chattanooga Choo Choo (a building, not a train) is a don’t-miss spot for dining and nightlife; The old train station is now a huge entertainment complex with restaurants, bars, entertainment, and an onsite hotel.

For elegant, 1920’s style luxury, stay at the Read House in the heart of downtown Chattanooga. Walking in the door feels like a return to another time, but the hotel has all the comforts of modern updates to compliment its yesteryear charm. Couples who love a good ghost story will want to ask for a tour of Room 311, reportedly haunted by the spirit of the guest died there in 1927.

San Juan Resorts include beautiful beaches.
Puerto Rico has beautiful beaches for honeymooners on a budget. Photo credit: Bethany Kandel

4. Puerto Rico

If you want to feel like you’ve left the United States without leaving the United States, Puerto Rico is the place to be. Absorb the warm culture, sands, and warm people at this island destination, just a short flight from Miami. Best of all, Americans don’t need to get a passport or exchange money to enjoy Puerto Rico because it is a U.S. Territory. Spanish is widely spoken, but service people will speak English.

A stroll through Old San Juan is a must to get a sense of Puerto Rican culture and history. Drive an hour away from the city and explore Ciales, which has coffee farms, waterfalls, and lush green landscapes. Other popular activities are exploring the bioluminescent bay by kayak (you can also go swimming), rum tasting, and indulging in all the water sports and beach activities, such as snorkeling. If you want to mix with the locals, pick a lazy Sunday and go on a chinchorro, Puerto Rico’s version of a daytime bar crawl with lots of open air, music, and tasty snacks.

Best Florida Beaches - Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island is reminiscent of a Caribbean beach. Photo credit: Keri Baugh

5. Anna Maria Island Florida

Anna Maria Island is located on the western coast of Florida. This seven-mile stretch of pristine beaches encompasses three towns: Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria, and Holmes Beach. Accessible from the Sarasota Airport, The white sand beaches and clear turquoise water of Anna Maria Island offer Caribbean feel without the international flight. This area is heavy on vacation rentals and beachfront cottages, which are great for honeymooners seeking privacy.

Anna Maria Island is the place for lounging on the beach and eating delicious, fresh seafood. If you’re looking for a laid-back honeymoon that’s all about relaxation and fun in the sun, and small-town charm, put this one on your list. Downtown Anna Maria Island also has fabulous shopping, so carve out some time to fully explore the boutiques.

How to Have More Fun on a Sedona Girls Weekend Getaway - Relaxing
While there is much to see and do in Sedona, spend some of your honeymoon just relaxing. Photo credit: Hayley Ringle

6. Sedona, Arizona

If you’re looking for a Southwest honeymoon destination, the jaw-dropping reof d rock formations Sedona offer striking scenery and a serene vibe. Sedona is also known as a center for spiritual healing. The Sedona vortex, a unique geological and spiritual phenomenon said to predominantly occur in and around Sedona, is believed to be the reason for this. A vortex, a swirling center of energy that can produce a range of physical, emotional, and spiritual effects, is thought by many to be the reason behind the appeal of this destination.

Sedona also has some of the best golf courses in the Southwest. The best time to visit is between March and May when the weather is warm but not too hot. You’ll also enjoy great weather in the fall.

Most of the activities in Sedona center on the red rocks. Here are a few ways to enjoy nature and the scenery: hiking trails, horseback riding, yoga, photography, meditation, rock climbing, and mountain biking. There are also a wide variety of tours available for every interest, from Jeep and ATV tours, bike tours, helicopter tours, wine tours, hot air balloon tours and more. The Chapel of the Holy Cross, built directly into the rocks, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. You can also take a day trip to Grand Canyon National Park from Sedona.

Things to do with kids in New York, view from the Empire State Building observation deck
View from the Empire State Building. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

7. New York City

The Big Apple is vibrant and full of culture and almost unlimited options. Whether you want to see the traditional sights, such as taking a ferry ride to see the Statue of Liberty or visiting the top of the Empire State Building, honeymooners will have no trouble creating their own adventures. If you like a little bit of everything or a ton of choices, this is one of the best honeymoon spots.

Few cities are home to as many luxury hotel properties as New York City, so if a splurge is what you want, there are no shortages of luxe properties to choose from. The iconic Plaza Hotel, St Regis, the Langham New York Fifth Avenue, and the Carlyle are just a small sampling of the city’s most well-known luxury hotels. There are also many boutique hotels and pied-à-terre (available through Airbnb and Vrbo), so I recommend deciding your budget and what you want to be near and working backward from there.

While you’re there, take in a Broadway show and have dessert afterward at Junior’s Cheesecake. Take a romantic carriage ride through Central Park. New York City is a museum lover’s paradise, so schedule some time to explore The Met, the Museum of Natural History, and more. And, since New York City is such a melting pot of food culture, foodies can take your pick of whatever kind of cuisine you fancy. But don’t leave without a famous pizza slice or an authentic New York Bagel.

Peninsula State Park in Door County, Wisconsin. Photo credit: Destination Door County

8. Door County Wisconsin

Door County Wisconsin has been called the “Cape Cod of the Midwest.” It’s a popular vacation spot along the shores of Lake Michigan, especially in the fall when the vibrand red, yellow and orange leaves make a gorgeous backdrop for honeymoon photos.

This is an outdoorsy honeymoon spot, with plenty of opportunity for hiking and boating. But there’s also a thriving arts community and no shortage of galleries and boutiques featuring locally made art. Buy some to display in your home as a constant reminder of your fablous honeymoon!

And you can’t go to Door County without attending an iconic fish boil!

trip planner for road trip ideas in the south trip planner Nantahala Outdoor Center
New Orleans beckons with history, music, and FOOD. Start with Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter. Photo credit: Sarah Ricks

9. New Orleans Louisiana

The Big Easy is known as one of the most romantic cities in the United States. There’s a decadent, slightly naughty adults-only energy in the air, especially after dark. The nightlife in New Orleans is like no other.

 Let your hair down on the famous Bourbon Street and have a frozen drink longer than your arm while you enjoy the city’s music scene. Sample delicious Creole fine dining and more rustic Cajun cuisine – don’t forget a stop at the iconic Café Du Monde for beignets and coffee. Stroll through Jackson Square and watch the street performers and artists. If you want to get outside the city and experience nature, a large selection of tour operators will pick you up at your hotel or designated spots within the French Quarter to take you out for a swamp boat tour.

Splurge on a stay at the Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria. The luxe lobby with gilt architecture and gleaming marble tile will elevate your honeymoon and the rooms and suites are comfortable and well-stocked. Pamper yourself in the onsite spa. The property is on the edge of the French Quarter and close to where all the action is.

Hawaiian vacations for couples sunset into the clouds at the Mauna Kea Summit
Sunset into the clouds at the Mauna Kea Summit. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

10. Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands are probably the most popular honeymoon destination in the USA, so it’s fitting that we round out our list here. This archipelago in the Pacific Ocean has it all – romance, adventure, relaxation, and delicious food. The biggest difficulty is choosing which island is the right one for your honeymoon.

Hawaii has eight major islands but the most popular are Maui, Kauai, and Oahu.

  • Maui is popular for its Road to Hana as well as Haleakala, a dormant volcano. At 10,023 feet above sea level, the summit is an ideal place to catch a romantic sunrise or sunset. 
  • Kauai is also known as “the Garden Island.” It is the best island for nature lovers and those who enjoy a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. The island’s mountains and valleys are lush and green, flowing with waterfalls and rivers.
  • Oahu offers everything from urban adventures to laid-back island vibes. Visit the North Shore’s world-renowned surfing spots and a take a surfing lesson.

Whichever island you choose, don’t miss the chance to experience a traditional luau, eat some shave ice and get out on the water in search of dolphins and whales.

Jill Robbins is a freelance writer covering lifestyle, travel, health, and commerce. Her writing has appeared in SheKnows, HuffPost, Tripsavvy, Insider, AARP, and other publications. Jill lives in San Antonio with her husband and two youngest kids, although she’s usually somewhere else. You can find out what Jill is up to by reading her blog, Ripped Jeans and Bifocals.
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