Best Honeymoon Destinations in the USA
Now that the wedding is out of the way, you and your spouse can begin your new life together, starting with a romantic honeymoon. To help you kick-start your marriage without the added stress of international travel, U.S. News has ranked the best domestic honeymoon spots. Vote for your favorite romantic U.S. getaways below to help us determine next year's ranking.
- View 38 PhotosBelongs on List?#1 in Best Honeymoon Destinations in the USARead More
The Hawaiian island of Kauai is the ideal honeymoon destination for duos who enjoy spending time outdoors. Beach lovers can soak up some sun at Polihale State Park or swim and boogie board at Kalapaki Beach. On the flip side, adventurous couples will find no shortage of activities. Hikers can explore the winding trails and gorgeous lookouts of Waimea Canyon State Park. Meanwhile, sports enthusiasts can kayak the Garden Island's scenic rivers and – weather permitting – in the Pacific Ocean.
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Hundreds of honeymooners venture to Maui to take advantage of its powdery sands, tropical foliage and palatial resorts. But this Hawaiian island is also great for adventure-loving duos: Hike through Haleakala National Park to get your heart racing, or hop aboard a helicopter for an exhilarating aerial tour of the island. After enjoying an adrenaline rush, stop at one of Maui's plantations to sample fresh pineapple and other tropical fruits. No Maui honeymoon would be complete without eating delectable Hawaiian cuisine and watching a hula performance during a traditional luau.
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Carmel Beach#3 in Best Honeymoon Destinations in the USA
With its charming inns, white sand beaches, quaint restaurants and laid-back tasting rooms, the European-style seaside town of Carmel is California's one-stop shop for romance. Stroll hand in hand along picturesque Ocean Avenue while checking out the street's boutiques before heading to the beach to enjoy a leisurely day of sunbathing, surfing and swimming. To dial up the romance, go for a walk along the beachside Scenic Bluff Path and end your day watching the sun set as you cuddle by a beach bonfire.
- View 35 PhotosBelongs on List?#4 in Best Honeymoon Destinations in the USARead More
Maui, Oahu and Kauai may be more traditional choices for a Hawaiian honeymoon, but the Big Island offers geographic diversity in the form of lush jungles, volcanic craters and even snow-capped mountains. Journey to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park and Akaka Falls State Park for some of the island's most idyllic scenery. Then, travel to Maunakea, a dormant volcano and the highest point in the Hawaiian Islands, for unobstructed views of the glittering stars above.
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Big Sur's towering cliffs, serene waters and secluded location make it a superb option for honeymooners seeking peace and quiet. Hike and picnic amid the redwoods at Limekiln State Park, or enjoy each other's company during a stroll down tranquil Pfeiffer Beach. For incredible views of the California coast and the chance to spot wild animals like humpback whales and California condors, take a long drive down U.S. Highway 1. Wrap up your day with a couples spa treatment at a nearby inn.
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The most exclusive of the Hawaiian Islands, Lanai offers fewer crowds and more luxury. Lovebirds can spend their days taking in jaw-dropping scenery – like ethereal red lava cliffs overlooking azure water – on foot or from a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Or, couples can stretch out on isolated Polihua Beach. Duos who time their postnuptial getaways between winter and spring should also save time for a whale watching excursion.
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This idyllic beach town on the west coast of Florida attracts newlyweds with its laid-back vibes and gorgeous coastal views. Stay in one of the cozy, romantic inns and cottages that dot the coast for a bit of privacy. When you're ready to venture outside your digs, visit Bowman's Beach to comb for seashells – a must-do in Sanibel – or enjoy a relaxing bike ride through J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. As the sun sets, savor a romantic waterfront meal on neighboring Captiva Island.
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This South Carolina city pours on the Southern charm like gravy on biscuits. Cobblestone streets lined with Southern-style mansions and Spanish moss-draped trees set the scene for your honeymoon. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride to see the sights and set the mood. Then, unwind with a relaxing spa treatment or explore Charleston harbor during a sunset cruise. Commemorate your trip with a photo beneath the Angel Oak Tree on nearby Johns Island.
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Honeymoons in Oahu offer plenty of diversity. Newlyweds can get pampered at one of Honolulu's luxury resorts, watch the North Shore's massive swells and take in high-class shopping, dining and avant-garde art museums. History-loving couples should also leave time for visits to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial and Diamond Head State Monument. For a romantic way to end the day, head to Sunset Beach to stroll hand in hand on the sand while the sun goes down.
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Cannon Beach#10 in Best Honeymoon Destinations in the USA
Cannon Beach, Oregon, offers a number of quaint inns and lodges to choose from, some of which feature romantic perks like fireplaces and soaking tubs. Take in the area's stunning scenery at Ecola State Park, followed by a picnic at Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site. More adventurous pairs should explore the sea caves and waterfall at Hug Point State Recreation Site during low tide or traverse Oswald West State Park's scenic hiking trails.
- View 30 PhotosBelongs on List?#11 in Best Honeymoon Destinations in the USARead More
For couples who prefer woodland retreats to beachfront getaways, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is the perfect locale. Fill your days with hiking or skiing, then enjoy a relaxing soak at the Granite Hot Springs or a glass of wine at a luxury resort. Honeymooners should also save time for dinner and a show at the Jackson Hole Playhouse or splurge on a private hot air balloon ride at sunrise.
- View 41 PhotosBelongs on List?#12 in Best Honeymoon Destinations in the USARead More
Lake Tahoe, which straddles the California-Nevada border, is known for its crystal-clear waters and jagged peaks. Couples can spend the day boating on the lake or schussing the slopes before turning up the romance with a gourmet meal on the lake's north shore or catching a sunset at Emerald Bay State Park. Duos who wish to test Lady Luck should visit one of the many casinos that sit close to the lake.
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Couples who want an activity-filled honeymoon should consider visiting Telluride, Colorado. This mountain town boasts superb skiing and bike trails, plus a monthly art walk and numerous events and festivals. Head to Mountain Village or the center of town to check out Telluride's restaurants, bars, bakeries and distilleries. Then, kick back in a room at one of Telluride's cozy lodges. Many offer romantic amenities like fireplaces and hot tubs.
- View 39 PhotosBelongs on List?#14 in Best Honeymoon Destinations in the USARead More
Slow down after your wedding with a honeymoon in Savannah, Georgia, where the trees are draped in Spanish moss and the atmosphere is easygoing. After a stroll through Forsyth Park or a few hours sunbathing on nearby Tybee Island, feast on some classic Southern comfort foods at one of Savannah's highly regarded eateries. If you share a love of the paranormal, sign up for a ghost tour of some of the city's most haunted sites.
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Amelia Island#15 in Best Honeymoon Destinations in the USA
Honeymooners choose this Florida locale for its 13 miles of seashell- and shark teeth-covered coastline. In addition to swimming, shelling and lounging on the sand, lovebirds can enjoy a romantic sunset horseback ride or play a round or two of golf on one of Amelia Island's many courses. When it's time to eat, venture to Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach to dine at one of the charming village's restaurants.
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This park in northwestern Montana is the perfect honeymoon destination for adventurous couples thanks to its more than 700 miles of trails. Duos can choose from easy walks like the Trail of the Cedars or more challenging hikes, such as the Iceberg Lake Trail. Once it's time to retire for the night, newlyweds can pick from multiple inns and lodges or cozy up under the stars while roughing it at one of the park's campgrounds.
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The relaxed pace of this South Carolina town makes it the perfect venue for post-wedding bliss. Honeymooners can enjoy spa services, tennis and golf by day, followed by live music and romantic dinners on the water at night. Be sure to drop by Harbour Town for a daytime date of shopping, yacht-spotting and gazing at its iconic red-and-white lighthouse. And, of course, the city's 12 miles of golden sands – including Coligny Beach and the less-crowded Mitchelville Beach – are not to be missed.
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Well-known for their aquamarine waters and white sands, these quiet barrier islands span 130 miles along the North Carolina coastline. Honeymooners can spend their days sprawled on beaches in Nags Head and Duck, among other places, and their evenings enjoying delicious dinners by the water. Couples who want to live out their own Nicholas Sparks romance should opt to stay in Rodanthe, the titular town in Sparks' romance novel "Nights in Rodanthe." Here, cozy cottages and tranquil waves abound.
- View 16 PhotosBelongs on List?#19 in Best Honeymoon Destinations in the USARead More
Nantucket, Massachusetts, features a charming atmosphere that complements honeymooners' needs. Couples who want a luxury experience should stay in one of the island's resorts, while those who desire something a little cozier can opt for a bed-and-breakfast. Amorous duos can spend their first few days of marital bliss lazing on the beach, biking along the waterfront or looking for osprey during a hike at Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge. Once it's time to refuel, grab a bite to eat at one of Nantucket's eateries before settling in with a beer, glass of wine or cocktail at Cisco Brewers.
- View 35 PhotosBelongs on List?#20 in Best Honeymoon Destinations in the USARead More
The Grand Canyon is a great choice for a springtime honeymoon thanks to comfortable temperatures and thinned crowds. Adrenaline-craving couples can bond while rafting down the Colorado River, backpacking and camping along the canyon or seeing this breathtaking Arizona natural wonder from the air during a helicopter or plane tour. As night approaches, head to the canyon's North or South Rim to cuddle while watching the sun set.
- View 29 PhotosBelongs on List?#21 in Best Honeymoon Destinations in the USARead More
This small Colorado town at the base of the Rockies is ski-focused, so it's ideal for winter honeymoons and twosomes who love cold-weather sports. But if skiing isn't your thing, don't fret: Aspen is also an excellent place to try winter activities like ice skating, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. For an extra dose of romance, go for a ride in a horse-drawn sleigh and curl up by a fire in one of Aspen's luxe lodges.
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