When it comes to planning a honeymoon, most people envision relaxing beaches and luxurious resorts. However, the U.S. has a wealth of romantic destinations that are ideal for couples seeking a more adventurous and memorable experience.
Whether you’re looking for a rustic cabin getaway or an adrenaline-fueled activity like whitewater rafting, the choice is up to you. Some of the best states for honeymoons include California, Florida, and Hawaii. Each offers something unique and romantic that is sure to create lasting memories for years to come.
1. Maui, HI Honeymoon
Maui, Hawaii, is one of the most beautiful places in the world and is perfect for a honeymoon! With its clear blue waters, gorgeous sandy beaches, and lush vegetation, it’s no wonder many couples choose to honeymoon here. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, Maui has something for everyone. Snorkeling, hiking, and whale watching are endless possibilities for fun activities. And after a long day of exploring, you can retire to your luxurious ocean-view room to relax and enjoy all that paradise has to offer. So, if you’re looking for an unforgettable honeymoon experience, Maui should definitely be at the top of your list!
We honeymooned in Maui during the end of January shoulder season. We found a post-holiday deal on an oceanfront condo that was steps from the water! Rent a car if you’d like to explore the island. There are many incredible things to do, like visiting Haleakala National Park, hiking the famous Pipiwai Trail through the Bamboo Forest, and beach hopping. Make time to see a Luau and maybe even try surfing for the first time!
Visiting during shoulder season, you can beat the crowds and spikes in prices. Don’t be shy about telling people you are on your honeymoon. Sometimes, they make extra special accommodations for you! Plan to spend an entire week in Maui. There really is that much to see and do. You don’t want to leave!
Recommended by Ashlee Fechino of The Happiness Function
2. Leavenworth, WA Honeymoon
Set in the Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth, WA, is an excellent destination for nature-loving couples who want a little adventure for their honeymoon. This traditional German/Bavarian town is a lovely combination of a small town and a rural feel. Exemplified by the one hardware store in town where you can get your trail pass and a little coffee if so inclined and the expanded, limitless feeling of the mountainous backdrop, hiking trails abounding.
The air BNB we stayed in was similarly rustic and beautiful in decoration and style with its A-frame windows that looked out onto the mountains and the long winding drive through trees and fields to get there.
Driving the main drag toward the Cascades, one could stop and climb the boulders along the rapids or pick up one of the many other hiking trails. However, the ultimate jewel and reason to stay in Leavenworth is its access to the epic hike and time spent at Colchuck Lake.
Nothing compares to the striking beauty of this incomparable alpine lake. The journey, an arduous four-hour trip one way, is not only worth the first glimpse you get of Colchuck Lake but also imparts the healing aspects of presence in the natural world, requiring a level of fitness that those who love the challenge will relish. If nature is your love, Leavenworth is the place to be after saying, “I do.”
Recommended by Davin Eberhardt of Natureofhome.com
3. Lake Tahoe Honeymoon
Our extremely busy kitchen schedule left us with no choice but to take a regional honeymoon with a road trip to Lake Tahoe instead of an elaborate overseas adventure.
This was just fine with us as Lake Tahoe offers up almost everything we loved to do together as a couple in one destination.
One of our favorite things to do on our days off was to hike the trails all around Northern California. It turns out that Lake Tahoe has some of the best in the state, with many finishing with breathtaking viewpoints of the entire basin and the lake’s blue water.
We hiked up to Maggies Peak and traversed the west side of the lake on the Rubicon Trail. We also acquired a wilderness permit and made our way past Lower Eagle Falls. We headed into desolation wilderness and set up camp for a romantic night under the stars.
We also took some relaxation time checking out several of Lake Tahoe’s best breweries. One of our favorites was South of North Brewing Company at Basecamp, where we sat around the fire in their beer garden while listening to local live music.
Some of our favorite moments from our honeymoon included spending time at several of Lake Tahoe’s most beautiful natural attractions. We took some time to enjoy the stunning Glen Alpine Falls, and we went for a casual paddle in a kayak at Sand Harbour Beach and watched the sunset over the mountains.
The honeymoon wasn’t only filled with outdoorsy adventures, as we took plenty of time to relax and enjoy the start of our marriage together.
We rented a cabin on the lake’s West Shore and cooked some amazing dinners together with a couple of special wines. We then cuddled up around the fireplace to cap off our days exploring Lake Tahoe.
Recommended by Kristel Flores of ChefTravelGuide.com
4. Isle of Palms, SC Honeymoon
Do you envision your honeymoon on a pristine beach with clear water? Would you like to be pampered with southern hospitality? Isle of Palms is the perfect honeymoon destination for you.
When searching for a honeymoon destination, Julie and I explored the United States map for something unique. We knew we wanted a beach setting without crowds of tourists to spoil our oasis.
Admittedly, we stumbled upon the Isle of Palms. We had never heard of it before. So, we conducted a little research. To this day, it is one of the best decisions we have ever made.
Isle of Palms is a small barrier island on the coast of South Carolina. In general, the atmosphere is quiet and upscale. Like Hilton Head, it is family-friendly but well-suited for couples.
There are plenty of recreational activities, both on and off the water, such as kayaking and paddleboarding. The island has many bike paths for you to explore. We enjoyed several leisurely bike rides during our week.
Wide, sandy beaches are perfect for a beautiful stroll as gentle waves lap against your feet. Julie and I have fond memories of our walks on the gorgeous beach.
Southern hospitality is authentic, and you will find it in spades at Isle of Palms. Everyone treated us like family, making us feel right at home.
The island has various accommodations, including hotels, resorts, houses, and villas. There are plenty of restaurants.
You can drive to historic Charleston in less than 20 minutes. As much as we loved lounging by the ocean and pool, exploring Charleston for a few days was excellent. The wonderful city has southern charm and rich history.
You will find plenty of dining and entertainment options between the Isle of Palms and Charleston. It is the perfect combination of city offerings and beach relaxation.
Recommended by Scott and Julie McConkey of MilesWithMcConkey.com
5. Sonoma, CA Honeymoon
Nestled in the heart of wine country, Sonoma is the perfect place to enjoy a romantic honeymoon. With its breathtaking scenery and relaxed atmosphere, Sonoma is the perfect place to unwind and celebrate your new marriage.
Sonoma Valley is easily accessible from anywhere in North America. You can fly directly into Santa Rosa or for more flight options, fly into San Francisco (SFO) or Oakland (OAK) and rent a car so you can fully explore Sonoma.
My husband and I stayed at the Fairmont Sonoma during our honeymoon and it was pure romance. The Fairmont brand is known for its exceptional service and amenities and the large jetted tub in the room by the fireplace was perfect for relaxing with a bottle of Champagne. We went in September during harvest season when the weather was ideal and the majority of tourists were long gone.
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy during your honeymoon in Sonoma. Take a hike through one of the many vineyards or go for a bike ride through the scenic countryside. You can also visit some of the local wineries and enjoy a romantic wine tasting or two. If you wish to explore Napa, it is a quick drive from Sonoma.
After a long day of exploring, you can relax at one of the many spas in Sonoma or have side by side massages at Fairmont Sonoma’s spa. There are plenty of great restaurants to enjoy a romantic dinner in downtown Sonoma and we loved just strolling leisurely through the town before and after dinner.
If you are looking for a truly unique honeymoon experience, Sonoma is the perfect place for you. With its beautiful setting and award-winning food and wine, Sonoma is sure to create lasting memories.
Recommended by Casandra Karpiak of Savoteur.com
6. Vero Beach, FL Honeymoon
If you’re looking for a hidden gem destination for a honeymoon in the United States, consider Vero Beach, Florida. Located on the state’s east coast, just over an hour north of West Palm Beach, Vero Beach is reminiscent of decades past in Florida, before the coastline was overbuilt and overdeveloped. It’s one of the best laidback places to visit in Florida on your honeymoon.
Here you can relax on beautiful beaches, which will seem empty even in the high season compared to shores closer to West Palm Beach, making it the perfect spot for a relaxing honeymoon getaway.
Vero Beach is also the perfect spot for a more active honeymoon, with countless activities for travelers. It is a great place to enjoy the intercoastal waterway; here, visitors can enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding, and sailing. Visit Round Island State Park, just a few minutes south of Vero Beach, for a stunning beach on the ocean side and almost guaranteed manatee sightings on the intercoastal waterway side!
If you’re traveling in the summer, make sure to kayak, paddleboard, or even swim out to the wreck of the S.S. Breconshire just 400 feet offshore. In the summer’s calmer waters, you can often see the nose of the ship sticking out of the water, and an American flag on a flagpole also marks it to help swimmers reach the wreck easily.
Stay at Costa D’Este in the small downtown center of Vero Beach’s barrier island for a relaxing and stylish stay on the beach. The hotel has a lovely spa with a host of excellent services and is just across the street from quaint restaurants and shops. Make sure to visit the Lemon Tree for brunch, and the historic Ocean Grill for dinner, with its host of excellent seafood options and its unique bar cantilevered over the beach. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic honeymoon meal!
Recommended by Carley Rojas of HometoHavana.com
Final Thoughts on U.S. Honeymoon Destinations
Planning a honeymoon is one of the most exciting parts of getting married. With so many options available, it can be difficult to narrow down the perfect destination for the trip of a lifetime. The U.S. offers many incredible options, from serene natural landscapes to vibrant cities full of excitement and culture.
Whether you’re drawn to the rugged beauty of the mountains or prefers a relaxing beach getaway, there are plenty of amazing destinations to choose from within our borders. Ultimately, choosing where to go on your honeymoon will likely come down to personal preferences and individual interests, but there is no doubt that whatever you decide is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
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Alexandrea Sumuel is a travel writer and the founder of the Wander With Alex travel blog, where she provides vacationers with trip ideas, travel guides, news, and itineraries. She travels to experience, eat, explore, and, on occasion, escape! Alex’s mission is to help peopl find the perfectv acation destination.