Everyone dreams of romantic getaways, and what could be more magical than planning a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon? For those who want something straight out of a fairytale but are unsure about traveling abroad, here are eight gorgeous US destinations for your happily ever after.
Santa Barbara, CA
Picture walking hand-in-hand past Mediterranean-style buildings with red tile roofs, flanked by the glittering Pacific Ocean on one side and the towering Santa Ynez Mountains on the other. This coastal town in central California is full of romance with beautiful beaches, which aren’t as crowded as Malibu. You and your significant other can make a day of riding bikes along the pier, sauntering down State Street, horseback riding with views of the ocean, and whale watching. Plus, there are plenty of gourmet restaurants downtown with perfect views of the sunset.
Escape everyday life with spectacular scenery and the remote frontier that newlyweds will find in Alaska. Skagway is rife with rich history from its past as a railroad town born from the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1800s. Take a cliff-hugging ride on a vintage train past magnificent glaciers and fjords on the White Pass and Yukon Route, or sip drinks at one of the working saloons that once served as a scandalous brothel. For a once-in-a-lifetime bonding experience with your beau, look for the hard-to-catch and otherworldly Northern Lights dancing in neon streaks across the starry skies.
Santa Fe, NM
New Mexico is the land of enchantment, and Santa Fe is full of treasures—from its earthy Pueblo-style architecture to its creative bohemian atmosphere. Explore the colorful art scene with a visit to Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, New Mexico Museum of Art, various art markets, and the galleries of Canyon Road. The charm of the city is well preserved, especially in the Native American petroglyphs and centuries-old adobe plazas where the magic of years ago is alive and well.
Find the perfect hideaway in this former mining town, nestled in an alpine valley at the base of the towering Rocky Mountains. Spend some time getting in touch with nature with a hike to one of the pristine lakes or cascading waterfalls (check out Bridal Veil Falls, the tallest waterfall in the state!). Tour a ghost town to get a taste of the wild west from years ago or take a gondola ride through the mountains where you can soar high above the city for breathtaking views with your love by your side.
Lake Tahoe, CA and NV
You and your partner will never want to leave the intimacy of Lake Tahoe: the crisp air and glimmering jewel-toned waters create an intimate, romantic atmosphere where you can hide away from the world. Engage in outdoor activities on the lake by day, like jet skiing, parasailing, or boating, and let the sparks fly at night by cozying up to a crackling bonfire in the woods.
This charming southern city is known for period homes, dramatic Spanish moss oak trees, and its haunted past. Take a step back in time to revel in the bewitching gardens of Bonaventure Cemetery, the striking architecture of St. John the Baptist Cathedral, or the grandeur of Wormsloe, an old plantation lined with hundreds of towering oaks that dates back to colonial times. Carve out a few hours to spend nearby on Tybee Island, a laid-back seaside town with relaxing beaches, historic lighthouses, marine life watching, and watercolor sunsets.
Make lasting memories with all that Jackson has to offer, from the rugged wilderness of the national parks to the serenity of the upscale spas and lodges. This western cowboy town is located in Jackson Hole valley, on the outskirts of Grand Teton National Park, and not far from Yellowstone National Park. Visit the parks to marvel at some of the natural wonders of the world like the majestic snow-capped Grand Teton mountain range and the explosive eruptions of Old Faithful.
Hawaii may not be the most original spot for honeymooners, but sometimes people forget that this storybook destination is part of the United States, no passports required. Kauai is the lushest of the Hawaiian islands, with dramatic green cliffs, cascading waterfalls, crystal blue waters, and white sand beaches. The scenery is so unreal that dozens of movies have been filmed here—you might recognize the otherworldly landscapes featured in Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Be as adventurous as you wish by trekking the rugged shoreline of Nā Pali, ziplining through the valleys of Princeville, or exploring dozens of hidden beaches across this exotic paradise.