Incredible Mini-Moon Destinations That Are Surprisingly Close to Home
After all, flying across the world isn't for everyone.
Whether you need a quick getaway before the craziness of the wedding weekend or you only have a few days to travel for the honeymoon, there are tons of options in and around the United States that cut down on travel time while still offering full-fledged romance. We've rounded up the most interesting—and surprising—domestic destinations, plus a few easy-to-get-to places in the Caribbean and Mexico, all just a short flight from major U.S. cities. The only thing you'll need is a carry-on and your significant other for an abbreviated—but no less memorable—mini-moon in any one of these easy escapes.
Looking for the perfect mini-moon spot on the East Coast? Head to Washington, Connecticut for an ultra-romantic stay at the Mayflower Inn & Spa, pictured here. Should the West Coast be calling your name, sample red wine in Oregon's Willamette Valley, one of the world's most respected regions for Pinot Noir. For couples looking for a little more adventure, consider Deer Valley, Utah, where you can ski by day and enjoy après drinks in downtown Park City.
We didn't forget the sun bums, either. Jamaica, the Bahamas, Mexico, and St. Kitts are all easy to travel to from nearly any major city, and, depending on where you call home, you might be able to get there in just two or three hours.
So, if you're looking to plan an incredible mini-moon (or even a post-engagement vacation!), check out some of our favorite destinations here.
This northeastern state may not sound like a mini-moon hotspot, but check into the Mayflower Inn & Spa, and you'll find your preconceptions misguided. This country estate-style retreat is set on 58 acres of woodland and beautifully landscaped gardens within the idyllic town of Washington, less than two hours from Manhattan by car. The Auberge Resorts Collection manages the property, so expect stellar service and five-star amenities including the must-visit spa, called The Well. Book a massage and then explore the recently redesigned property. New York-based designer Celerie Kemble draped the interiors in eclectic patterns and Instagram-worthy pastel hues for a whimsical-yet-elevated vibe. The property hosts a variety of daily activities—from hiking to wine tastings to yoga—and offers two delicious dining options with menus from acclaimed chef April Bloomfield.
Montauk, New York
New York-based couples don't need to travel far to feel like they're a world away from the city: just head to Montauk. Less scene-y than the Hamptons, Montauk is a sleepy, cool beach town where you can unplug and unwind, especially if you book a room at Marram, a new beachfront hotel that exudes relaxation with its desert-inspired color palette. Splurge for an oceanfront king room complete with its own balcony, Frette linens, and Le Labo bath products. Make sure to dine at the hotel's on-site restaurant Mostrador, which offers a rotating menu of locally sourced seafood and vegetables and utterly delicious homemade baked goods. After sunset, hang out by the fire pits and roast a few complimentary s'mores. In the mood to explore the town? The center of Montauk is just a five minute walk from the property.
St. Michaels, Maryland
At the Inn at Perry Cabin, experience the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay even before you check in (the property offers complimentary transfers from the mainland via a luxurious yacht). After you're settled, set sail on one of the residence's boats or simply sip a drink on the edge of the water in a cozy Adirondack chair. However you decide to make the most of this luxury property (and its golf course, on-site gardens, or proximity to the town in St. Michaels), there's a good chance you'll spend the majority of your time together on or near the water—and there's nothing more romantic than that.
Deer Valley, Utah
Winter weddings don't always have to be followed up by warm-weather honeymoons. Couples who marry during the cold months can enjoy a bit of the season with an escape to the Wasatch Mountains, near Park City, Utah. The luxurious St. Regis Deer Valley has everything you need for a honeymoon-worthy stay: All guest rooms feature mountain views; the 14,000-square-foot Remède Spa has two private spa suites, complete with a patio and a cascading waterfall; and après-style nightlife is just around the corner in downtown Park City—don't miss a flight of whiskey at High West Distillery.
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Pacific Northwesterners need not travel outside the region for an indulgent food and wine experience. A trip to one of the world's most respected regions for Pinot Noir production offers many of the same pleasures as Napa, without the added travel time. Make basecamp at the Allison Inn & Spa, where the 77 guest rooms and 8 suites overlook 35 acres of rolling hillside. From there, you have the perfect jumping-off point from which to explore Willamette's 500 wineries, which benefit from a unique maritime climate characterized by cool, misty winters and mild summers.
This West Indies isle largely flies under the radar, thanks to limited flight service and exclusively boutique-style accommodations. Now that Delta Airlines has rolled out nonstop flights to St. Kitts and Nevis, northeastern honeymooners will find it mini-moon-ready. The island's chicest stay is undoubtedly the Park Hyatt St. Kitts, a high-design resort on Christophe Harbor. The minimalist yet cozy rooms are the kind you want to immediately Instagram (especially the suites with private rooftop plunge pools); the three restaurants serve superb locally sourced cuisine (one is even adults-only); and the spa is the Caribbean's first Miraval-branded outpost (expect globally influenced treatments that will reset both mind and body).
Harbour Island, Bahamas
Committed mini-mooners will find a worthy escape on the most exclusive Bahamian isle, Harbour Island. Located just a short ferry from Eleuthera (which is accessible via puddle jumper from Nassau), Harbour Island is a beach-lover's dream. The wide, pink-sand stretch along the eastern Atlantic Ocean side is considered one of the prettiest swaths in all of the Caribbean. Post up on its shores at Coral Sands, a design-savvy resort with one of the island's best beach bars.
Between the blazing sun, the sultry Spanish music, and the mind-numbing margaritas, Mexico is a home-run as far as honeymoons are concerned. You don't need more than a long weekend for an incredible stay at NIZUC Resort & Spa, just a short drive from the airport in Cancún, but set away from the spring-breaker fray along Cancún's main beach. This upscale resort has numerous infinity-edge pools (and private plunge pools in select suites), two secluded white-sand beaches, a massive 30,000-square-foot ESPA-branded spa facility, and six restaurants serving everything from Italian to Peruvian and Japanese-fusion.
Just an hour-and-a-half from Miami (and less than four hours from New York City), Jamaica is one of the Caribbean's most accessible sun-and-sand paradises. Skip the big-box all-inclusives in Montego Bay (or "MoBay," as the locals call it) and check into Sunset at the Palms, a treehouse-style boutique hotel in Negril. The adults-only property still offers all-inclusive amenities, eliminating the stress of signing bills on your honeymoon. Have coffee on the secluded balcony of your treehouse in the morning, head to the private beach for an afternoon of sunbathing, and for dinner, take your pick among Caribbean-fusion dishes at the Lotus Leaf restaurant.
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