The Best Minimoon Destinations in the USA : Where to go on a ‘mini-honeymoon’ after your wedding
For newlyweds, a honeymoon is a chance to relax in some much-needed R&R after their wedding. But, these days, a honeymoon is much more than that, too… it’s a trip-of-a-lifetime, usually to somewhere exotic a couple has never been before (like the Maldives, or the Amalfi Coast), and, since this trip of a lifetime usually requires even more time off than you’re already taking for a wedding week, many couples are choosing to postpone their honeymoons to later in the year, and go on a romantic “Mini-moon” getaway instead. The mini-moon has all the perks of a traditional honeymoon, to relax after the wedding, and soak up your newlywed glow, but popped into a more manageable few days. Not only does it leave you more time and energy to devote to the wedding, but a minimoon leaves you something super-exciting to look forward to after your wedding.
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The rapid rise of this mini-moon trend has brought to light some of the most beautiful places in America for a honeymoon and some R&R&R (rest, relax, and romance) that you may not have thought of for your traditional honeymoon. These minimoon destinations don’t require a passport, or a ton of prior planning (you have enough of that to do with the wedding!). These are some of my favorite destinations in the US, and all would make fabulous post-wedding romantic getaways.
Here are my top 6 unique domestic destinations, and the best resorts to stay in, for a dreamy minimoon:
Ok you guys know me. Napa (and Sonoma) may just be my favorite place not just stateside but in the world. And, in my opinion, it is the perfect mini-moon. There is nothing more relaxing or romantic than cuddling up in NAPA with vineyards surrounding you in a luxe resort and nothing to do but soak in the hot tub, head to the spa, or go out wine tasting.
Auberge Du Soleil (my absolute favorite), Villagio (dreamy! located in the best area of Napa), Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn (in Sonoma – great spa and pool), Alcobas Napa Valley (luxe, great ambiance, surrounded by vineyards)
The Florida Keys is the perfect couples getaway, especially if you’re getting married somewhere in the Southeast US. They feel a million miles away from “the mainland” and really are more Caribbean than American. But, they’re just a short rental-car drive away from Miami, or a direct flight to Key West. You’ll spend your days soaking up the sun, fishing, snorkeling or exploring the lively keys.
Where to stay in the Florida Keys:
Highly recommend this adorable new resort just opened in 2019 and is a hidden gem in the Florida keys for a minimoon or USA honeymoon. The hotel sprawls across 24 acres on Knights Key in Marathon, Florida, and has five oceanfront pools, a 4,000-square-foot spa and a beautiful beach. Travelers can also enjoy beach yoga, kayaks, live music, a fitness center, two eateries and an on-site cafe! The architecture is gorgeous and Greek-islands-inspired, with beautiful blue and white interiors and a sophisticated vibe.
Or if you want a splurge, check out Little Palm Island – one of the US’s only all-inclusives!
Charleston is the perfect romantic getaway whether it’s a minimoon, a birthday or anniversary celebration, or just an excuse to get out of town. With (I’m gonna go ahead and put this out there) the best food scene in the US, the gorgeous architecture, and of course, the quintessential Southern hospitality, there’s nowhere quite like this beautiful Southern gem.
Half Moon Bay, California
Spreading out with jagged cliffs and rolling green hills along picturesque highway 1, about 40 miles North of Santa Cruz and just 28 miles South of San Francisco, Half Moon Bay feels like a million miles away. This beautiful town may boast big-time draws like coastal hikes, stunning golf courses, long stretches of majestic NorCal beaches, and a 5-star Ritz Carlton, but, make no mistake, this is still very much a small town. With a population of only 11,000, and an 1800’s-built Main Street of only a few blocks, Half Moon Bay feels undeniably quaint.If you’re getting married in California, or specifically around San Francisco, or you’re just looking for a great romantic resort on California’s Highway One, Half Moon Bay is your spot.
Where to stay in Half Moon Bay:
The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay – a stunning property nestled between 2 coastal golf courses.
Big Sur is on most people’s bucket list, and it makes for the perfect mini-moon for a couple looking for a great mix of activity and relaxation. Surrounded by breathtaking redwoods and swerving cliffsides of the Pacific Coast Highway, Big Sur is an absolute dream. You’ll instantly feel relaxed, and can choose to make your minimoon as active (or not) as you want it to be. If you’re staying at the Ventana, you can wake up in a glampsite among the redwoods, and spend your days in the resort’s breathtaking infinity pool, eating at their incredible restaurant, or getting out and exploring all of the to-die-for hikes and secluded beaches that Big Sur has to offer.
Ventana Resort (you can also glamp through the resort! So fun)
If you’re having a winter wedding, or you’re a couple who loves to ski and snowboard (or just après, no judement, I’m right there with you), there’s no place like the mountains for a luxurious winter getaway. Spend your days on the slopes, and your nights cozying by the fire. Is there anything more romantic?
SEE MORE: JETSET’S ULTIMATE GUIDE TO ASPEN
Where to stay:
Hotel Jerome, an Auberge Resort
This goes along with Big Sur, but California’s highway one would be the PERFECT honeymoon! You can start in LA, grab lunch in Malibu, stay overnight in wine country in Paso Robles, explore Santa Barbara, make your way through Big Sur (highly recommend the Ventana Big Sur). For my full road trip guide to California’s highway one, click here.
Wherever you choose to go on your mini-moon, it’s going to be amazing!
And, if you’re debating where to jetset on your HONEYMOON, check out my Top 10 Honeymoon Resorts in the World post here!
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