As part of California’s wine country, Sonoma is a great place to go for amazing views and sweet glasses of wine. Head up the coast along Highway 1, where you’ll be able to stop and watch sea lions and otters lying on the beaches as the ocean waves repeat their cycle and the vibrant colors of the sky start to set at dusk. Once you get to Sonoma, book a wine-tasting tour at a local vineyard and stay at a local resort or bed and breakfast. There are more than 400 wineries and over 50 regional parks in Sonoma County. The area is also within a short drive to San Francisco, allowing for couples to hit the Golden Gate Bridge on the last (or first) leg of their honeymoon.
For couples who enjoy tropical locations near the water, the Key West area offers plenty of activities. Enjoy a day of snorkeling in the bright blue waters at Fort Jefferson, rent a boat at the Key West marina, go saltwater fishing or sign up for a dolphin encounter. If laying low is more your speed, stay at a beachfront hotel and relax with your feet in the sand. There is a lot to see, do and eat on Duval Street, including museums, shops, and art galleries. Dine on fresh seafood at a local restaurant and wash it down with a tasty cocktail.
If you’re looking for a honeymoon location that offers action and adventure, you’ll find that in Jackson Hole. Depending on what time of year you plan your honeymoon, there are tons of outdoor activities to keep you busy. For a summer getaway, there are options for hiking through Grand Teton National Park, places to mountain bike, ways to experience hang gliding, or you can take a hot air balloon ride. During the winter, snowbirds can hit the slopes to ski, snowmobile or go ice skating. Yellowstone National Park is just a 90-minute drive, and if you head out another 45 minutes, you’ll reach Old Faithful.
Small-town charm meets boardwalk beauty—that’s the Charleston experience; in 2016, the city was even ranked “World’s Best City” by Travel + Leisure. Couples looking for a laid-back yet eventful place to spend their honeymoon will enjoy the waterfront views and impressive architecture in Charleston. Rainbow Row, a strip of homes along the harbor that dates back to the 18th century, is worth checking out if you have an interest in art and design. You can also take a carriage ride through the city that will teach you about the history of Charleston as you ride past antebellum mansions and secret gardens. Board the Schooner Pride ship for a view of the skyline and watch the dolphins that live in the water.
The beach town of Cape Cod, located at the southeastern corner of Massachusetts and extending into the Atlantic Ocean, has over 550 miles (885 kilometers) of coastline with upwards of 60 public beaches. Due to several ship accidents that happened on the water, lighthouses were built along Cape Cod beginning in 1797 to assist with navigation on the sea; Highland Light is the oldest and tallest lighthouse still standing today. Because of its location, Cape Cod is a popular spot for outdoor activities such as boating, golfing, kayaking or biking. Prime honeymoon accommodations in Cape Cod include vacation houses and bed and breakfasts.
With gorgeous red rock formations and glorious evening sunsets, the city of Sedona is a place for honeymooners to delve deeper into their relationship with nature. Two parks in the Sedona area are Slide Rock State Park and Red Rock State Park, which have swimming holes for cooling off and trails that allow for hiking, bird-watching or strolling through wildflowers and orchards. There is public artwork on display throughout the city, especially in the parks and plazas in the Gallery District. Finally, there’s Buddha Beach, where stacked rocks form a totem that resembles a miniature Stonehenge.
Known as the most popular gambling spot in the United States, Las Vegas has the largest strip of land-based casinos in the world. And while gambling is the main reason many people like visiting Vegas, it certainly isn’t the only reason. For newlyweds, the city can be an enjoyable place to explore, thanks to its bustling nightlife, entertainment venues, and street performers. If you’re hoping for a honeymoon that is full of fun and adventure, you’ll get that in Las Vegas. Catch a show by a top entertainer such as Celine Dion, walk around the various hotels that the city is known for, or just stroll the streets and make friends with the costumed Elvis impersonators that are sure to make you smile.
Known as “The Gathering Place,” Oahu 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 visit because of the relaxing atmosphere and historical insight that the island offers. If you want to surf, you can head to North Shore. There is also Waikiki, a white sand beach where you’ll find fabulous shops and restaurants, and Chinatown is where the urban art scene has a home. 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.
Most known for its jazz music scene and the annual Mardi Gras celebration, New Orleans makes a great honeymoon destination for couples who enjoy cultural history. The French Quarter is where you’ll find many of the city’s bars, hotels, and nightclubs, as well as the infamous Bourbon Street. 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, which is a museum that contains the second-largest collection of Confederate Civil War memorabilia in the world. Architecture lovers will find the French and Spanish Creole architecture of New Orleans worth exploring.
Bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the city of Gatlinburg, a vacation resort town along U.S. Route 441. It is home to the only ski resort in Tennessee, Ober Gatlinburg, with eight ski trails and a wildlife encounter area. Located in nearby Pigeon Forge are Dollywood theme park and its sister attraction, Dollywood’s Splash Country. The entire downtown area is decorated with lights for Winterfest at Christmas time, where visitors can take a trolly ride for $5.00. There are also over 20 wedding chapels in Gatlinburg and the surrounding area, making it a popular place for couples who want to be married and take a honeymoon in the same location.