“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with” - Wayne Dyer, Motivational speaker and Author
A smile on the face, a twinkle in the eyes, and a spring in the steps – this is how one can cherish and enjoy the pandemic wedding, and honeymoon too. With just a little planning and the right people to lean on, a dream honeymoon (or a post-holiday romantic getaway) is not far off.
So, let’s replace the jitters of COVID-19 with the cheerful chatter of which destination honeymoons would be best for the newly married couple (or someone just looking to plan a romantic getaway), and that too within the US. Stateside honeymoons may come as a surprise to you, but they can really be a fun, romantic and luxurious adventure if you find the right destination. Take a look at these celebrities who decided to romance in the United States:
Shooting Star Golf Resort - Where Cameron Diaz stayed for her rustic honeymoon
Even if your previous bookings to a far-off island were cancelled or rescheduled, you can take a fun mini moon and forget everything around you except for your significant other. Move over micro-weddings, make way for the mini moon honeymoon in the US.
The Desi Bride has put together a list of the top 10 honeymoon destinations (or romantic getaways) in 2021.
A name synonymous with the famed wine industry of California, Napa Valley has more than 600 wineries and vineyards to titillate your senses. A tour of the vineyards that produce one of the world’s finest wines coupled with wine tastings (there are more than 400 to swirl and choose from) will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. While in Napa Valley, don’t miss the Napa Valley Wine Train that chugs through vineyards. Get ready to be swept off your feet with thrilling experiences on demand such as “murder mystery” and “romance on the rails”. Relish gourmet fare in Pullman railroad sleeping cars that will take you back to time.
Located about 50 miles north of San Francisco, Napa Valley promises a fascinating experience. Take a look at https://www.winetrain.com/
Wine is the main but not the only reason to have a mini moon in Napa Valley. Hiking tours, the world’s largest redwood trees, Muir Woods, and the Old Faithful Geyser also vie for attention. Not to mention, that there is something in store for the art and culture enthusiasts.
The connoisseurs of decadent food and wine can treat their taste buds to three Michelin stars restaurants such as Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry and Meadowood. Bearing testimony to the delicious food, it is no wonder that eight of the restaurants have been awarded one star.
The picturesque vineyards that beckon wine aficionados also entice outdoor enthusiasts. The leisurely greens serve as a great backdrop for cyclists and peddlers alike along with hikers. Mountain biking, hot air balloon rides and horseback riding trails are also common owing to the fascinating terrain of the Mayacama mountains to the west and north and the Vaca mountains to the south.
This picture-postcard Californian mini-moon spot is also the muse of many artists. The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is a must-visit for the creatively inclined. Take a peek here: https://www.dirosaart.org/
Teleported already to the Mediterranean charms of Napa Valley? There’s lots more to tease you with award-winning spas where you can indulge leisurely evenings getting wine-inspired treatments and mud body masque bars.
Indian fine dining: Dig into mouth-watering Indian dishes at Yak & Yeti (for Nepalese and Indian), Aroma Indian Cuisine (for the love of Garlic Naan and coconut chicken curry), Laso (for Asian fusion and Himalayan) and Chaats Cuisine (for Punjabi food).
Coronavirus updates: Visitors are required to wear masks indoors, irrespective of vaccine status. For complete information on COVID-19 protocols, please visit https://www.visitnapavalley.com/coronavirus/
Best time to visit: March to May and August to October
There’s a quaint charm to cobblestone streets and romantic horse-drawn carriages tapping on them as pastel antebellum houses make an old-world backdrop. If this appeals to you then you’ll love one of the top travel destinations in the world, Charleston, South Carolina.
The shimmering sand and sun of the beatific beaches is complemented by award-winning restaurants with their delectable culinary fare. Botany Bay is another majestic stretch of the shoreline dotted with seashells for some together-time away from the crowd favorites Sullivan’s Island and Folly Beach. If you’re lucky, the dolphins might visit you at sunrise and sunset, especially at the Station 12 beach access on Sullivan’s Island. Blissful Chucktown with its friendly denizens.
A poetic encounter awaits visitors watching a quiet sunset at the Bridge to Nowhere. They say around downtown that if you walk to nowhere you’ll reach somewhere. We couldn’t agree more!
Get a whiff of the local life at Charleston with a trolley ride on the CARTA. You could make a stopover at Tattooed Moose for munching on burgers or indulge in steak at Halls Chophouse. Seafood is on another level at Coast Bar and Grill, and if dining on water is your vibe then Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant is not to be missed. Talking of, don’t miss HOBA – an app that’s basically on water as Uber is on the road. If you drop by on the first Friday of any month, you shall be treated to ‘Art Walk Downtown’ for art and complimentary wine and cocktails rendezvous from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Broad Street. Every Saturday, from April through November you can enjoy coffees and more at the Farmers Market. Take note of other major attractions here https://www.charleston-sc.gov/1021/Visitors
Indian fine dining: Fusion International Cuisine (for Asian fusion), Taste of India (for Indian and buffets), Coterie (for Indian and cocktail bars), Bombay Bazaar & Indian Restaurant and Jack of Cups Saloon (for Indian, soups and comfort food) are a treat for foodies.
Coronavirus updates: The Charleston City Council resolution requires all those above the age of 12 to wear a mask and follow the CDC guidance. More details can be seen here https://www.charleston-sc.gov/2408/City-of-Charleston-Coronavirus-Updates
Best time to visit: March to May and September to November
Credit: Andell Inn on Kiawah Island
When the canvas is of romantic adventure and nature, Grand Canyon makes for an unmatched romantic getaway with those awe-inspiring gorges and rock formations. One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Canyon makes a formidable impression at 227 miles long and over ten miles wide.
This awesome spot offers hiking tours with vantage points from where the view is breath-taking. One of the best trails is the Bright Angel or Rim trails on the South Rim. Stretched over a distance of about 13 miles, the Rim Trail is perfect for hikers for all ability levels. Starting from South Kaibab, the entire trail would take a couple of days. The trail ends at Hermits Rest. For more secluded trails, one can opt for the North Rim which has a more rugged terrain.
From April to October, one can enjoy the sprawling 160-acres of pinon and juniper forests at Under Canvas Grand Canyon, just about half an hour from the South Rim entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. Recognized amongst ‘Top 25 resorts in the US – Midwest & West’ by Conde Nast Traveler, this glamping hotspot takes grandeur a notch higher. Take a sneak peek here https://www.undercanvas.com/camps/grand-canyon/
The adventure doesn’t stop at hiking though. Couples can enjoy helicopter and balloon tours as well as a day trip to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, which is equally exciting. Although Havasu Falls is closed due to the pandemic, the thrill of rafting the Colorado river can be enjoyed by couples.
The 70-feet daunting skywalk, IMAX theatre and historic railway are just a few more attractions at this iconic honeymoon hotspot.
Look up more here https://www.mygrandcanyonpark.com/
Indian fine dining: Sumptuous fare awaits you at Tikka Shack Indian Grub, Udupi, New India Bazaar, Khyber Halal (for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indian cuisine) and Indian Sweets and Snacks.
Coronavirus updates: Visitors are required to wear masks even on park shuttle buses. For any alerts and other conditions please see the official NPS site before visiting: https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/conditions.htm
Best time to visit: March to May and September to November
Amangiri Resort in Utah
Snow-clad splendor. This is the first thought when you think of Aspen. Although this tiny mountain town lives up to its expectation, the pristine glory of Aspen goes beyond skiing. The association runs deep as it is nestled amidst four ski areas, namely, Aspen mountain, Aspen highlands, Buttermilk and the popular Snowmass Ski Resort. When the white blanket slides off, another side to the Rockies is revealed. Hiking at Maroon Bell peaks and crater lake, natural hot springs at Glenwood Springs, cruise through one of the highest roads in North America at the 20-mile-long Independence Pass, and Wheeler Opera House at the Roaring Fork Valley. Even if you are not a fan of snowboarding or skiing, you can try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, paragliding, casting a line for fly-fishing in Roaring Fork River, kayaking, rafting, and more.
Speaking of, did you know that the Kardashians stay at The Little Nell, the only ski-in ski-out hotel on Aspen mountain? While in Aspen, drop by the indulgent air of Viceroy Snowmass and The Westin Snowmass Resort, The St. Regis Aspen, Hotel Jerome and The Sky Hotel, for a brush with the celebrities’ favorite. Interestingly, the award-winning Remede Spa at the St. Regis Aspen Resort is famed for its signature Champagne-based massage and facial.
Remember the John Denver song “Aspenglow” -
Aspen is a life to live, see how much there is to give,
See how strongly you believe, see how much you may receive.
See the sunlight through the pine, taste the warm of winter wine,
Dream of softly falling snow, winter skol, aspenglow.
For more, browse https://www.cityofaspen.com/
Indian fine dining: Annapurna Nepali and Indian cuisine, Sherpa Cafe (for Indian and Nepalese cuisine), Himalayan Cuisine and Chick-a-pea are some of the top restaurants serving delicious Indian cuisine.
Coronavirus updates: For any information on the latest updates please visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment site here https://covid19.colorado.gov/
Best time to visit: December to February
The Little Nell in Aspen
Source: Five Star Alliance
Comprising three main islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John, the turquoise wonderland of USVI is paradisiacal.
The aptly named Honeymoon Beach at St. John is a romantic rendezvous whereas the enchanting trio of Trunk Bay, Virgin Islands National Park and Reef Bay Trail holds magnificent secrets in their midst. Trunk Bay’s azure waters complemented by sandy-white beaches and emerald greenery is a sight to behold. A perfect honeymoon getaway indeed. At the national park, you can hike or snorkel or even travel back to the ages of rock carvings or petroglyphs or muse about the marine life around coral reefs. The Reef Bay’s freshwater pools and 40-feet waterfall beckons the adventurer in couples.
The effervescence of Cruz Bay, St. John rubs off on you with its shopping and dining options galore along with spectacular diving adventures.
Catch a glimpse of the Victorian times in the largest town of St. Croix, Christiansted whilst the pastel gingerbread architecture of Frederiksted vies for your attention.
The popular tropical paradise, St. Thomas is home to the largest city in USVI, Charlotte Amalie or Town (as referred to by the locals), that treats you to snorkeling, underwater safaris, and ecotours. Charlotte Amalie houses Blackbeard’s Castle, the notorious pirate’s home that is now a historic landmark. The mystique of Magens Bay is such that it is dubbed as one of the most beautiful beaches of the Caribbean.
Honeymoon in this piece of paradise seems out worldly indeed!
Indian fine dining: Dig into mouth-watering Indian dishes at Singhs Fast Food (for a blend of Indian and Caribbean fare), Ruki’s Roti and Ace Roti Shop.
Coronavirus updates: For travel recommendations for the vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers, please visit https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/covid-4/coronavirus-usvirgin-islands
Best time to visit: December through April
Ritz Carlton St Thomas Luxury Hotel
After the frenzy of the wedding, San Juan Islands offer a warm welcome to the honeymooners. This magical archipelago is just a ferry ride away from Seattle. Stroll through the lazy days visiting Alpaca farms or wine tasting. One of the country’s largest lavender farms at the Pelindaba Lavender Farm bedazzles your senses. The buzz of Friday Harbour will have you enjoying a delectable fare and wine at the local restaurants and shopping too. Then, take a detour and go sea kayaking or even whale-watching at the orca pods at Lime Kiln Point State Park. Go off the beaten track and visit Lummi Island and Spieden for spending quality time bike-riding or bird-watching in tranquillity.
Indian fine dining: Tandoori Flavour Bistro, Taj - Taste of India, Royal Aroma, Varsha Indian Kitchen (for Gluten-free, Asian fusion, and Indian fare) and Fishhook (for seafood, Indian and French cuisine) are delicious options for Indian food lovers.
Coronavirus updates: The islands have reopened since June. More details can be accessed here at https://www.visitsanjuans.com/travel-advisory
Best time to visit: April to October
Snug Harbor Resort, San Juan Island
Source: Trips to Discover
Nothing brings romance to the surface more than beaches and resorts. Together with swimming with the dolphins. And that’s the fascinating Florida Keys for you. One of the most beautiful beaches in Florida, Bahia Honda State Park has not one, but two beach areas – a large stretch and a smaller beach area. The mystery of the 19th century Fort Jefferson appeals to the adventurous couple when they spot shipwrecks and dive amidst coral. Scuba divers and snorkelers will be awe-struck at the marvels of marine life off Key Largo at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. You can swim with the dolphins at Island Dolphin Care and go jet skiing, paddleboarding at Marathon. The celebration of life transcends to vibrant evenings at Florida Keys. Mallory Square in Old Town Key West hosts enthralling performances such as fire juggling, tightrope walking cats, and sword swallowing whereas Duval Street houses museums, galleries, and cafes.
Indian fine dining: Dive into your favorite Indian foods at Bombay Darbar, Urban Rasoi - Cutler Bay, Saffron Indian Cuisine, Ashoka Indian Restaurant, Miami, Namaste Miami and Urban Rasoi - Kendall.
Coronavirus updates: Look up the latest updates at https://fla-keys.com/news/article/10775/
Best time to visit: March to May
Courtesy Baker's Cay Resort Key Largo, Curio Collection by Hilton
A rugged spectacle, Big Sur is peppered with hot springs, sanctuaries, diverse flora and fauna and hiking trails amidst redwood forests and flower-sprinkled valleys. The secluded beaches add to the charm of a perfect honeymoon in Big Sur.
World-class golf courses in Pebble Beach, cypress forests through 17-mile Drive, playful seals and a picnic at Spanish Bay – Big Sur is a dreamy domestic honeymoon. Hiking trails at the Andrew Molera State Park, the candid charm of the California Sea Otter Game Refuge, elegant calla lilies along the Garrapata Park, and the beaches for sunbathing and nude swimming. Each day you’ll wake up to something refreshing at Big Sur.
Indian fine dining: Big Sur has some amazing Indian cuisine at Aabha Indian Cuisine, Taste of India, Namaste India Bistro, Ambrosia India Bistro, Avatar Indian Grill and Mumbai Delights.
Coronavirus updates: See the CDC website here https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
Best time to visit: September to November
Courtesy of Post Ranch Inn
Hush away the harsh city lights for the Hamptons. By no means are these hamlets simply rural but the indulgent air is as classic as can be. Alec Baldwin is a regular there and Jimmy Fallon even filmed “The Tonight’s Show” from his Hampton home during the pandemic. Need more reasons to pack your bags? Cooper’s beach, Montauk Salt Cave, Shinnecock Golf Club, and the historic Hampton Classic Horse Show are a must on every couple’s itinerary. The wineries trail and gourmet dining are a connoisseur’s delight. Check out Sushi, Mexican cuisine, lobster rolls and much more at this sumptuous list of restaurants at Hamptons as covered by Goop here.
Indian fine dining: Dig into mouth-watering Indian dishes at Saaz Indian Cuisine, Hampton Chutney, SaGhar, Himalaya Cafe, Coromandel Cuisine of India and Mint Leaf.
Best time to visit: All year round
Courtesy of The Roundtree, Amagansett
The hub of legendary country music, Nashville is the city to be for couples who want to soak in music and art vibes. Broadway and Grand Ole Opry which has hosted Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban are food for the soul. Revisit the times back then at the Belle Meade Plantation, drop by the many museums or take a tour Nashville-style on a double decker bus or tractor with a dance floor. Here, every nook and corner tells a story.
Indian fine dining: Dig into mouth watering fare at Chauhan Ale & Masala House, Taj Indian Restaurant, Chaatable, Surati Indian Street Food, Sindoore - Indian By Nature and Sitaar Indian Restaurant.
Coronavirus updates: Check the COVID-19 response at https://www.asafenashville.org/
Best time to visit: April to October
Photo courtesy of Thompson Nashville.
Source: Fathom Away
Also known as “Garden Island”, Kauai is the greenest of all Hawaiian islands. From romantic cruises to adventurous balloon and helicopter tours in the backdrop of scenic beauty of parks and water sports galore, Kauai is the complete package for honeymoon couples. An A-list approved hotspot, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson chose Kauai as his no-paparazzi honeymoon. A fun fact is that several moves like Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, Avatar, The Descendants, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides had scenes filmed in Kauai.
While at Kauai, don’t miss the Grand Canyon of the Pacific - Waimea Canyon for a hiking trail amongst picturesque scenery, sunset tour at Allerton Garden and the iconic, 15-mile stretch of Na Pali Coast. Hanalei Bay, the largest bay on the island, is perfect for surfers and day trippers alike.
Did you know that The Kahala Hotel & Resort has hosted famous personalities like Bill Clinton, Michael Jackson, Shia LeBeouf and Snoop Dogg? Whilst Oprah Winfrey, Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears chose Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. For eating out, don’t miss Anake’s Juice Bar for its Funky Monkey (Acai, strawberries, bananas, almond milk and chocolate chips bowl).
Indian fine dining: Dig into fingerlicking fare at Shivalik Indian Cuisine, Namaste Indian Food (for Food Trucks), Cafe Turmeric (for Gluten free food), Potions (for Indian, Kombucha and Vegan fare) and Cafe Nirvana.
Coronavirus updates: Check the COVID-19 response at https://www.gohawaii.com/travel-requirements
Best time to visit: September to November and April to June
Photo Courtesy of Koa Kea Hotel & Resort
Source: Hotel Sidekick
Amongst Arizona’s most beautiful destinations, Sedona is a designated Dark Sky Community. Check out the most photographed location in Sedona, the Cathedral Rock and the hiking trails at the Red Rock Scenic Byway. Upstream from Sedona lies Oak Creek Canyon, a dramatic site for a drive with sharp corners and steep hills. Mountain biking and jeep tours are reserved for adventure-inclined couples.
Some of the top resorts for a honeymoon include the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock, Red Agave Resort, Hyatt Residence Club Sedona, Pinon Pointe, Junipine Resort and Amara Resort and Spa. In fact, ever since the pandemic, Sedona has attracted celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Halsey, and Arie Luyendyk.
Indian fine dining: Dig into Indian food delights at Mradaa, Delhi Palace, Himalayan Grill, Fojol Bros, Taj Mahal Restaurant and Hunger Square.
Coronavirus updates: Check the COVID-19 response at https://visitsedona.com/
Best time to visit: March to May
Photo Courtesy of Enchantment Resort (pet-friendly)
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