15 Alternative Honeymoon-worthy getaways  

After the ‘I do’s’ are said and done and with the stress of wedding planning done and dusted it’s time to enjoy some well-deserved R and R as Mr. and Mrs. For couples seeking the ultimate in relaxation head to The Islands of Tahiti whilst for the adventurous amongst us, fly over to Yosemite, California for an incredible action-packed stay. Here is our collection of faultless honeymoon, mini-moon and anniversary destinations to enjoy from the US to Japan to Tahiti.

 

Action and Adventure

 Hoshinoya Karuizawa, Nagano prefecture, Japan

Japan might not be the obvious honeymoon destination but when it comes to variety and adventure tied with relaxation and serenity, it is the perfect place. Whilst Japan is known for its quirky traditions, beautiful temples, castles and cultural values, it is also home to sub-tropical climates, white-sand beaches and relaxing natural hot springs. Enjoy a few days in the futuristic capital of Tokyo soaking up the unique Japanese culture before travelling off the beaten track and into undiscovered territory. Located in the Nagano prefecture, Hoshinoya Karuizawa, a luxury eco-friendly resort bedded in the mountains. Enjoy the surrounding views, including the Shiraito Falls, Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary and Tombo-no-yu baths and the resorts private gardens provide a peaceful and spiritual atmosphere. https://www.japan.travel/en/

 

Iwaso Ryokan, Miyajima Island, Hiroshima Prefecture

Miyajima Island is an island just off the bustling city of Hiroshima. It is best known for being one of the most beautiful scenic destinations in Japan. Hiroshima boasts a vast amount of Japanese history home to the tragic Atomic Bomb happenings in 1945. Soak up its history before heading over to Miyajima Island and stay in the luxurious Iwaso Ryokan for a true Japanese experience. Encounter the docile population of wild deer and visit the wave-lapped Itsukushima Floating Torii Gate watching the sunset behind it. This shrine is one of the most beautiful and romantic landmarks to visit in Japan. http://visithiroshima.net/

Dunton, Colorado

Colorado is renowned for its outdoor pursuits and there’s plenty of fun to be had in the beautiful San Juan Mountains, such as horseback riding, hiking, fly fishing and stand-up paddle boarding. After a day outdoors, honeymooners can relax at Dunton Hot Springs, a restored 1800’s ghost town with hand-hewn log cabins, fine dining using local produce and soothing hot springs that can be enjoyed year-round. The Mountain Romance package ensures an extra special experience and includes champagne, flowers and chocolate-covered fruit upon arrival, spa treatment and private excursions. www.colorado.com

Yosemite Tuolumne County, California

Surround yourself with towering granite peaks, alpine meadows, vast lakes, wildlife and more in Yosemite’s Tuolumne County for couples who prefer a more active honeymoon. Stay at the secluded McCaffrey House B&B with only cedar and pines for miles and enjoy a one-to-one service from the couple that own the property. From there it’s easy to discover the multitude of activities on your doorstop in Tuolumne spanning the Yosemite Valley floor, Gold Country and High Sierra. Take a hike round Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoia’s or the peaceful Hetch Hetchy reservoir. Step back in time and explore the sleepy towns of Jamestown, Sonora and Groveland or discover the beauty of Pinecrest Lake and Stanislaus National Forest before winding down with a cider at the Indigency Reserve. visittuolumne.com

Yosemite Mariposa County, California


Continue the adventure South and enjoy an unforgettable honeymoon in Yosemite Mariposa County. A source of inspiration for authors, artist and poets for decades, Yosemite is sure to inspire couples. One of the most romantic and naturally stunning spots on earth, Yosemite is the perfect place to sleep under the stars and explore some spectacular natural wonders, like the crystal-clear Mirror Lakes and the legendary granite Half Dome. If camping isn’t your style, enjoy the Romance Package at the iconic Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite’s only AAA four-diamond hotel, which includes dinner for two in the soaring Ahwahnee Dining Room, sparkling wine, a special keepsake and a surprise turn-down. yosemite.com

South Lake Tahoe, California

South Lake Tahoe is a nature-lover’s paradise and a great adventure destination from which to start married life. Located on the shores of South Lake Tahoe, The Lodge at Edgewood is home to 154 luxury rooms and suites – ideal for honeymooners as each boast their own fireplace and private deck or terrace. The year-round lakefront heated pool and hot tub are the perfect place to unwind with views of the mesmerising waters of Lake Tahoe – one of the clearest lakes in the world at 99.7% purity. tahoesouth.com

Huntington Beach, California

Sunsets are spectacular on the patio of Pacific Hideaway, Kimpton Shorebreak’s modern American beach tavern in Huntington Beach. Perfect for cool couples, all guest rooms at the hotel come with matching animal-print bathrobes, and many offer soaking tubs, private patios and breath-taking ocean views. Drink in the views preferably while sipping a handcrafted cocktail, local craft beer or a coastal California wine from the hotel bar. Adventurous couples will want to try sunrise yoga on the beach or a couples’ surfing lesson, while the evening brings opportunities for romantic s’mores on the sands and a multitude of beachside bars and restaurants to sample. www.surfcityusa.com

Cultural experiences

The Setouchi Region, Japan

Setouchi offers various unique places perfect for newlyweds first holiday as a couple, from guesthouse stays, soaking up true Japanese culture to luxury hotels with stunning sea views. For newlyweds who want to embrace Japanese art and culture Setouchi is the perfect destination. Home to the Setouchi Art Triennale, taking place every other year, there are plenty of art installations located on many on the islands; Naoshima is particularly famous for its contemporary art. An art-lovers dream, The Benesse Hotel has four separate wings with each room featuring a unique artwork. Book in early and get a room hosting stunning sea-view rooms. https://setouchitrip.com/

Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

Under the radar Miyagi should not go a miss. Miyagi is located just North of Tokyo and has a lot to offer. It is the perfect honeymoon destination for those looking to explore the unique Japanese culture. For couples who like the great outdoors, Matsushima Bay hosts 206 islands of pines and stunning cliff formations. Marvel over these on a cruise around the islands. For nature lovers, Mount Zao is a must, hike up the mountain range for breath-taking views of the emerald green Okama Crate Lake. For food lovers, Miyagi gets top marks, it holds a wide range of some of the best seafood restaurants. Miyagi Prefecture specialises in Gyutan (cow’s tongue), Kamaboko (grilled white fish cake) and Zunda (mashed edamame soy bean).

Five-Star stays

Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa – The Islands of Tahiti

The Islands of Tahiti scream serenity, perfect for newlyweds to relax, unwind and just enjoy each other’s company surrounded by crystal blue waters. Private island Le Taha’a is the ultimate hideaway destination in Tahiti. The private islet overlooks the shores of Taha’a on one side and Bora Bora island on the other. It is home to 58 suites and villas each constructed using traditional Polynesian architecture and décor built out over the blue lagoon. The resorts spa is nestled in a beautiful exotic garden featuring bamboo trees with massages, facials, body scrubs and wraps all on offer. This resort is also perfect for thrill-seeking newlyweds. Mark the occasion with a deep-sea dive exploring all that the tropical underwater world has to offer. You can swim with manta rays, sharks, hike around exploring the island or head out for a romantic canoe with no one else around. https://tahititourisme.uk/en-gb 

Dana Point, California

Situated between Los Angeles and California, Dana Point is California’s coolest, coastal gem. Home to beautiful beaches, fine dining and whale watching opportunities aplenty, Dana Point is the number one choice for a relaxing honeymoon where peace and tranquillity is virtually guaranteed. There are four premium hotels to choose from, one of which is the AAA five-diamond Monarch Beach Resort,offering sophisticated luxury at its finest. Honeymooners can make it an experience to remember by staying in one of the penthouse suites, indulging in a spa treatment or sipping on champagne in front of ocean views. visitdanapoint.com

Santa Barbara, California

Romance is at the heart of what makes Santa Barbara tick. The quintessential American Riviera’s signature red-tile roofs, white-washed buildings and lush gardens—nestled between a dramatic mountain range and the sparkling sea – ensure newlyweds will easily settle into the groove of coastal California. The recently-reopened San Ysidro Ranch is the perfect honeymoon hideaway fit for an A-lister. Nestled in the Montecito foothills of Southern California’s wine country, celebrities have been flocking to the ranch for over a century for its blend of natural beauty, romantic heritage and classic luxury. Fill the days with fine wines, leisurely dinners and plenty of relaxation.

www.santabarbaraca.com

Newport Beach, California

Newport Beach is the perfect honeymoon destination for couples that ooze sophistication.  Consider an evening gondola ride on the channel, an early morning walk on the beach, a picnic lunch overlooking the Pacific Ocean or a couple’s spa treatment at any of the top-rated hotel spas. Head to the quant and romantic Balboa Island for some relaxing shopping and strolling. This charming residential island offers a main street of lovely shops, eateries and a spectacular boardwalk the loops around the islands with magnificent views of the channel. Indulge in the Romance Package at The Resort Pelican Hill for sparkling Prosecco, chocolate-dipped strawberries and a rose petal turndown. visitnewportbeach.com

San Diego, California

Home to world-class attractions, outdoor recreation and delicious, Mexican-influenced cuisine, San Diego is a city that has it all. The Lodge at Torrey Pines is a beautiful five-star property located within San Diego’s Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Honeymooners that stay at The Lodge get the best of both worlds – a secluded property surrounded by a wealth of nature but a short drive away from San Diego city centre and its many restaurants, bars, theatres and shops. Guests can head on a guided hike through the natural reserve, enjoy a decadent lunch at the hotel’s signature restaurant, A.R. Valentien or unwind with a spa treatment. Newlyweds can try the Couples Massage, which takes place in a romantic candlelit room and finishes with a taste of the hotel’s signature Hawaiian sea salt dark chocolate. www.sandiego.org

Wine Lovers

Sonoma County, California

In Sonoma County, abundant sunshine, more than 425 wineries, romantic vineyards, breath-taking Pacific Ocean beaches, award-winning restaurants and majestic redwood forests, make it one of California’s best honeymoon destinations. Located just 45 minutes’ drive north of San Francisco and with more than 60,000 acres planted with world-class grapes of nearly every varietal imaginable, Sonoma County is the wine lover’s dream. From Albariño, to Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Zinfandel, there’s something to suit every palate. Accommodation ranges from luxury resorts such as the recently renovated Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, historic boutiques such as the Hotel Petaluma, and coastal retreats such as Timber Cove Resort. For the ultimate romantic experience, take a hot air balloon over the vineyards with Up & Away. www.sonomacounty.com

 

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