Going on a honeymoon is supposed to be a joyous time in a newlywed couple’s life – but the cost of travel can be too much for some. Keep the romance alive, your stress level down, and the finances in check by choosing to honeymoon in these affordable US destinations, including Las Vegas, Key West and Oahu.
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1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Wine lovers? Make your way to the vineyards of Sonoma, a major wine-producing region in California, to learn about the wine-making process while sampling sweet glasses of local wine. Have you pick from more than 400 wineries, neighbouring over 50 regional parks in Sonoma County that are free to visit; pack your hiking boots and hit the many trails. Drive up the coast, along Highway 1, and you’ll come across sea lions and otters frolicking on the beaches, while you can also make the short drive to San Francisco to hit the Golden Gate Bridge on the last (or first) leg of your honeymoon.
Key West, Florida
If you’re looking for an active honeymoon, with sea adventures like snorkeling and dolphin-spotting, opt for Key West, Florida. Make the most of this tropical location by booking into a beachfront hotel and getting stuck into the numerous water sports; snorkeling at Fort Jefferson is a must, as is renting a boat from the Key West marina, going saltwater fishing, and getting up close and personal with dolphins. There is loads to do on land too – namely on Duval Street, where you’ll find museums, shops and art galleries.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
You’ll also be in for an action-packed honeymoon in Jackson Hole. There are numerous outdoor activities to keep you busy, whatever time of year you choose to visit. Heading to Wyoming in the summer? You’re spoiled for choice with hiking routes and places to mountain bike through Grand Teton National Park that don’t cost a dime, along with opportunities to experience hang-gliding or even hot air balloon rides. During the winter, hit the slopes to ski, snowmobile or ice skate. Yellowstone National Park is just a 90-minute drive, and if you head out another 45 minutes, you’ll reach Old Faithful.
Charleston, South Carolina
Fancy visiting the World’s Best City during your honeymoon? South Carolina’s Charleston was awarded this title in 2016 for its small-town charm and boardwalk beauty. Couples looking for a laid-back yet eventful place to spend their honeymoon will love this city’s waterfront views, architecture and history. Rainbow Row, a strip of homes along the harbour that dates back to the 18th century, is worth checking out if you have an interest in art and design, while you can take a carriage ride through the city to ride past antebellum mansions and secret gardens. Board the Schooner Pride ship for a view of the skyline and look out for local sea-life, including dolphins.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Head to the beach town of Cape Cod, at the southeastern corner of Massachusetts that extends into the Atlantic Ocean, if you can’t think of anything better than catching rays on the beach. This town has over 550 miles (885 kilometers) of coastline with upwards of 60 free-to-visit public beaches, so you’ll be sure to find an idyllic spot for you and your partner. Cape Cod is a popular spot for outdoor activities such as boating, golfing, kayaking or biking, and there are numerous lighthouses worth visiting; Highland Light is the oldest and tallest lighthouse still standing today.
With gorgeous red rock formations and glorious evening sunsets, Arizona’s city of Sedona is the place to visit for honeymooners looking to delve deeper into their relationship with nature. There are two must-visit parks in the Sedona area, Slide Rock State Park and Red Rock State Park, which have swimming holes for cooling off and trails made for hiking, bird-watching or strolling through wildflowers and orchards. There is also public artwork on display throughout the city, especially in the parks and plazas in the Gallery District.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is rightly known as the most popular gambling spot in the United States, with the largest strip of land-based casinos in the world. But while gambling is the main reason many people like visiting Vegas, it certainly isn’t the only reason. Don’t gamble with your cash, and instead explore the city’s bustling nightlife, entertainment venues and street performers. Catch a show by top entertainers, such as Celine Dion, snap pictures with famous monuments like Fountains of Bellagio and make friends with the costumed Elvis impersonators who are sure to make you both smile.
Oahu, known as ‘The Gathering Place’, is Hawaii’s most frequented island. It attracts visitors from far and wide who come to explore the scenic views and water activities – and honeymooners love the island for its laid-back, relaxing vibe. Head to North Shore for the surf, Waikiki, a white sand beach, for lazy days and great shopping and restaurants, and Chinatown to discover the island’s urban art scene. You can also learn about the history of Pearl Harbor by taking a tour of the battle site, which acts as a monument to the men who were killed.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Music loving couples should make their way to New Orleans, which is best known for its jazz music scene and the annual Mardi Gras celebration. It makes a great honeymoon destination for couples who enjoy culture: the French Quarter is where you’ll find many of the city’s bars, hotels and nightclubs, as well as the infamous Bourbon Street, while not far from the Quarter is the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park and the New Orleans African American Museum. There’s also Confederate Memorial Hall, a museum that contains the second-largest collection of Confederate Civil War memorabilia in the world.
Get hitched at one of Gatlinburg’s 20 wedding chapels and spend your honeymoon connecting with your loved one in the city’s great outdoors. It borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, along U.S. Route 441., and is home to the only ski resort in Tennessee – Ober Gatlinburg – which features eight ski trails and a wildlife encounter area. Elsewhere, the Dollywood theme park and its sister attraction, Dollywood’s Splash Country waterpark, are in nearby Pigeon Forge. The entire downtown area is decorated with lights for Winterfest at Christmas time, where visitors can take a trolly ride for $5.00.
Glacier National Park, Montana
There’s no need to spend big in this national park—there’s more than 700 miles of hiking trails, which are all free to explore. To experience the park’s natural beauty at its best, take the Hanging Gardens Trailhead through alpine meadows to the photogenic Hidden Lake. But be sure to depart early in the morning to avoid crowds, as the trail is one of the most popular in the park. Make it a truly romantic getaway by booking a secluded cabin.
San Antonio, Texas
You don’t need to travel to Venice or Amsterdam to find romantic canals, historic sites and world-class museums—instead, book a trip to San Antonio, Texas. The city has its very own picturesque canal system that features quaint blue- and red-painted canal boats and limestone bridges. Known as The River Walk, the canal system is around 15 miles long and winds from downtown San Antonio through pretty woodland to the historical site of Mission Reach. This Unesco World Heritage Site in the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park connects five missions built by Franciscan missionaries in the early 1700s. The canal then leads into Museum Reach, which boasts some of the city’s most exciting cultural destinations, including the Robin Center for the Performing Arts and the San Antonio Museum of Modern Art.
This city, on California’s rugged coastline, is known for its spectacular natural beauty—which is completely free to enjoy. Book a room at one of the area’s quaint B&Bs or inns and plan a trip that makes the most of the romantic setting. Point Lobos State Reserve is often called ‘the crown jewel of the State Park system’, and offers both easy walks and more challenging hikes. For expansive cliff top views over the Carmel coastline and Pebble Beach, take the North Shore Trail. Pack a picnic basket and a bottle of local wine and make a day of it. In the evening, head to one of the city’s live music venues, many of which offer happy hour deals. Cibo Ristorante Italiano is a local favourite, with jazz, funk and soul almost every night.
Mandi Keighran contributed additional reporting to this article.
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