After months of dress fittings, meetings with caterers and working on seating charts, the honeymoon is the perfect chance to slow down and just enjoy the company of your new life partner. If you can do that while vacationing in a spot peppered with majestic backdrops and romantic accommodations, so much the better. From booming metropolises, to island escapes, to sleepy small towns -- the U.S. provides honeymooners with an assortment of diverse landscapes.
Dotted with swaying palm trees, crystal clear waters and white sand beaches, Hawaii is a mecca for honeymooners, with each island offering a different set of romantic perks. Escape the crowds of Maui with your sweetie by traveling the Road to Hana, the world-famous coastal scenic highway through tropical jungles filled with waterfalls. Lanai provides remote beaches for intimate moments and underwater reefs for exploring, while the rural island of Kauai is home to breathtaking natural landscapes, such as Waimea Canyon, a lush green 10-mile-long canyon, and the cliff-lined coastline of Na Pali. You’ll find massive resorts on the island of Hawaii, such as Fairmont Orchid, a 32-acre beachfront hotel with massive gardens, a lagoon swimming pool and an outdoor waterfall massage, where couples can huddle together in a private hut. Kahala Resort in Oahu has private beaches, gardens, waterfalls and the "Kissing Point," a popular spot where couples can watch the sunset.
Move beyond the bright lights and slot machines to see the romantic side of Las Vegas. Take a ride down the canals in a gondola at the Venetian, complete with a singing gondolier, or simply enjoy a date night topped off with a Broadway show. All of the major hotels have gourmet restaurants, many of which are run by celebrity chefs. Dine at Picasso, an upscale restaurant set in front of the majestic Bellagio fountains, or grab a drink atop the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas. Many of the hotels, such as the Luxor, have private poolside cabanas for rent. Book a couples massage at the Mandarin Oriental Spa inside treatment rooms with private steam showers and two-person hydrotherapy tubs. Hotels in the city provide romantic settings, such as the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas’ poolside bungalows or lanai suites with private balconies with whirlpools. Four Seasons has romantic packages with such perks as limousine service with Champagne, helicopter rides down the Strip and horseback riding excursions with a picnic lunch.
Tucked away in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe straddles the California and Nevada border, serving as a year-round retreat for honeymooners. In the winter, snow blankets the region, creating a romantic white wonderland. Explore the region’s 12 alpine ski resorts or enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride as you snuggle with your honey. Retreat to an area cabin or lodge as you warm yourselves by the fireplace. In the warm weather months, the mountains are covered in vibrant green forests, surrounding the sparkling blue and massive freshwater lake. Embark on a romantic canoe or kayak ride upon the lake or take a moonlight or sunset cruise, a service provided by many area charter companies. Enjoy a picnic on the tranquil sandy shores of the lake, including such sites as Regan Beach and Pope Beach.
Wine and Dine
Napa Valley is a rustic region, home to upscale small towns and vineyard-covered hills dotted with stone mansions, many of which house some of the area’s more than 400 wineries. Embark on an afternoon of wine tasting via such tour groups as Napa Valley Wine Country Tours and Beau Wine Tours, both of which provide transportation to wineries in limos. The latter also offers picnic lunches and Champagne. Soar over the hills in a hot air balloon ride. Book sunset and sunrise excursions through Napa Balloons Above the Valley and Napa Valley Aloft. The region is filled with romantic and high-end eateries, including The French Laundry in Yountville, widely considered one of the world’s greatest restaurants. Enjoy a three-hour journey upon the Napa Valley Wine Train, complete with a gourmet meal and regional wine served inside a vintage 1915 dining car. Numerous romantic hotels dot the landscape, such as Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford. The lavish resort has a massive spa, including, for couples, a private area outfitted with an outdoor garden, fireplace and springs. The Carneros Inn in Napa is a 27-acre retreat where cottages include outdoor showers for two, fireplaces and private gardens.
Old world charm comes alive in Charleston, South Carolina, a city lined with cobblestone streets and 18th-century townhomes. Plan for a romantic stay at Planters Inn, an 1844 building outfitted with flickering lanterns and brick pathways. Suites include four-poster beds and deep soaking tubs, while special packages include in-room Champagne and roses. Housed inside a three-story, 1889 brick building, Fulton Lane Inn provides special packages that include a three-course dinner at a nearby restaurant, complete with transportation via rickshaw, and beach cruisers which you can ride along historic waterfront mansions. Take a cruise of Charleston Harbor upon the Schooner Pride, a tall ship with wine-tasting sunset cruises, or enjoy dinner cruises and overnight stays in a luxury yacht or houseboat through Charleston Charter and Yacht. Tour the city on land via an old-fashioned carriage ride. Classic Carriage Works provides private tours, evening rides and adults-only tours.