November 9, 2018
Photos courtesy of
Some of the world’s most intriguing honeymoon locales are surprisingly close to home. Take these, four of my favorite, only-in-America spots. These aren’t your typical American go-tos, but are more unexpected suggestions, for couples looking to do something different. Each has romantic extras, a distinct sense of place, unique history and culture that make it honeymoon-worthy.
Why we love it: From the miles of coastline to the fresh lobster rolls at the Clam Shack, this is the ultimate Maine experience in a quaint, smalltown setting.
Romantic extras: A boat tour is a must; join a scheduled outing on a bi-masted schooner or traditional lobster boat, or rent a pair of kayaks and paddle around the harbor. The acclaimed Grace White Barn Inn and Spa is the go-to spot for a romantic dinner; the setting in twin 1820s barns is as exceptional as the cuisine. Can’t get enough? Sign up for a cooking class and work with the kitchen team on an evening meal.
Best time to go: Summer is peak season in Maine, for obvious weather reasons, but we also love it in fall, when the crowds thin out and the cooler air gives you an excuse to cuddle by the fire. Avoid mid-May to mid-June, which the locals call “black fly season.”
Where to stay: Nestled in 60 acres of birch forest, Hidden Pond’s 39 standalone cottages feature luxe touches like Frette linens, gas fireplaces, outdoor showers and screened porches. At Tree Spa, three treatment rooms are perched eight feet off the ground, connected by a catwalk. Produce comes from the on-site organic farm and a five-minute shuttle takes you to the beach. It’s open from May through October.
Why we love it: The creative capital of Texas, Austin has it all: live music, cowboy culture, great restaurants from old-school barbecue to cutting-edge sushi, plus hiking and biking just outside the city.
Romantic extras: Practice your twostep at the Broken Spoke, where dolled-up couples spin around the dance floor to old-school country swing. For a great day trip, try the Texas Wine Trail, with 52 wineries scattered in Hill Country outside the city. Come sunset, hit Congress Avenue Bridge to see the resident bats head out at dusk during warmer months.
Best time to go: Spring and fall are ideal, with sunny skies and low humidity, but even in January the highs reach the 60s – perfect cowboy boot weather. Avoid mid-March, when the South by Southwest festival puts the entire city at peak capacity.
Where to stay: Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt is a cool, 319-room downtown hotel that takes its name from native son and songwriter, Townes Van Zandt. Complimentary happy hour runs nightly and live music at Geraldine’s kicks off at 9:30 p.m. on weekdays.
Why we love it: This stellar ski town is known for its luxurious lifestyle and glamorous clientele, but at its roots Aspen is an Old West mining town, with plenty of historic charm.
Romantic extras: Dining is an event here, whether you do the sleigh ride to rustic Pine Creek Cookhouse or settle in at Piñons, a local favorite in the heart of town. Take in a show at the Wheeler Opera House, which opened in 1889 and remains the cultural heart of the city, showcasing film, music and live theater. The rugged landscape that draws skiers and snowboarders in winter offers over 120 miles of hiking and biking trails come summer.
Best/worst time to go: Aspen is a four-season destination, appealing to skiers, hikers or just lovers of epic natural beauty. Avoid peak times like winter break, when hotels, lift lines and restaurants are packed.
Where to stay: Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection is an iconic beauty that was built in 1889 to standards rivaling the best hotels in Europe. It was fully redone in 2012, blending Western touches with modern plush and is managed by luxe Auberge Resorts. The spa is a must after a day of exploring, as are drinks at the old-school J-bar.
Why we love it: Everything moves slower in Low Country. The relaxing landscape of tidal marshes and Spanish mossdraped trees makes this an ideal place to unwind after wedding craziness.
Romantic extras: Historic Savannah is dotted with 22 picturesque squares framed by historic homes and gardens. There’s no better way to see it than with a walking tour. Join the locals beaching it at Tybee Island and stay for a sunset cruise; dolphin sightings are almost guaranteed.
Best/worst time to go: Spring time is ideal, when humidity is low and the azaleas are abloom. This low-lying city can be affected by storms, so be careful in September, which is peak hurricane season.
Where to stay: The Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront is a 75-room boutique we love. The location on River Street is ideal for exploring downtown and on-site. Rocks on the Roof is one of the city’s top sunset spots.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HONEYMOONIST, SUSAN MOYNIHAN (a.k.a. TRAVELER IN CHIEF), AT THEHONEYMOONIST.COM
This article first appeared in Destination I Do’s Spring/Summer 2018 Issue.