Honeymoons in the US are great. We’ve got our Hawaii’s, our Floridas, our Californias, our national parks, even our Niagara Falls. The only problem with honeymooning in these destinations is you’re also honeymooning with… everyone else. For a little more privacy on your honeymoon, you don’t necessarily have to spend all your dollars for that (romantic) Robinson Crusoe experience on some isolated private isle. Instead, you just need to check out these under-the-radar honeymoon destinations in the US. All very local, all without every other single person also on their honeymoon.
If your idea of romance is slowly unbuttoning your flannel while your hatchet rests against a pile of timber, then this small upstate New York town has everlasting love written all over it. About three hours north from New York City is this tiny hamlet at the doorstep of beautiful Catskill hiking and Belleayre Lake, and which plays host to numerous art and music festivals throughout the year. Foodie couples will delight in all things “local.”
Don’t leave without: Satisfying your inner trucker. Make sure to stop at the Phoenicia Diner, which, amid the upstate cultural onslaught of words like “kale” and “organic,” has not lost the art of grease-soaked roadside dining. Oh, and a spa treatment at Emerson Resort and Spa.
Tucked between the urban sprawl of Los Angeles and San Diego is one of the last strongholds of true California surf culture, so if you and your honey get off on the Beach Boys, this is your California dream. Landlubber couples who are just looking for a little sunshine can also make the most out of this SoCal hideaway with attractions like La Paloma Theatre and all the restaurants serving tacos.
Don’t leave without: A dinner at romantic Solterra Winery & Kitchen, which will douse your evening in luxurious Rhone- and Italian-style wines
San Juan Islands, WA
Seattle is definitely cool for honeymooners if you like being, ugh, trendy. But for those looking to go off the beaten path, try the San Juan Islands, located on the west side of Seattle. This cluster of islands is a haven for art lovers, foodies, and outdoor enthusiasts, which is basically Seattle, but minus all the people. Go sea kayaking, eat seafood, and sip a fine West Coast wine at one of the many boutique wineries.
Don’t leave without: Tasting cider at Westcott Bay, the oldest cidery in Washington
Texas Gulf Coast, TX
Why are you booking your beach honeymoon here? There are 367 miles of warm water and sandy stretches, that’s why. Texas might usually come to mind when thinking about steaks, really big hats, and SXSW, but when it comes to beach destinations you’ll be surprised to know Texas is one of the best in the country. With water temperatures that rival the last amazing bath you took (you take baths, right?), cheap and delicious cantinas, and something called the Galveston Schlitterbahn (a massive, and arguably romantic, water park), why WOULDN’T you opt for Texas over Oahu?
Don’t leave without: Camping on the beach. Or making out at the Galveston Schlitterbahn. Seriously, it’s romantic.
For a small-town retreat that is rife with Southwestern adobe-colored culture, consider Taos, New Mexico. Not suitable for indoor kids, Taos is a haven for fly fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hot-air ballooning, river rafting, or hot springing. What’s more, unlike nearby Santa Fe, Taos is incredibly affordable so you might even get to do ALL those things on your honeymoon and still go home with money for that down payment.
Don’t leave without: Llama trekking. Because that is a thing.
Get the very best of a Lake Tahoe honeymoon without the price or the people. This locals-only alternative to the ridiculously overpriced resorts of Tahoe has all the charm of a quaint alpine town, minus all the douchebaggery. Winter honeymooners will be able to make the most out of the slopes and then retire to a casual spot like Morgan’s Lobster Shack for a romantic, laid-back, and butter-soaked meal. If winter’s not your thing, opt for a summer honeymoon, which opens the door to all that gorgeous lake-time fun.
Don’t leave without: Skiing one of the country’s most fantastic slopes at spots like Northstar, Heavenly, or Squaw Valley
What is your favorite destination for an amazing US hneymoon?