US News & World Report’s Ranking of the Best Honeymoon Destinations for 2020
The US News & World Report just released their expert rankings of the Top Honeymoon Destinations for 2020 and it is giving me ALL the wanderlust. From fantasy-worthy overwater bungalows and luxurious private islands, to bustling European cities and quiet, secluded beach towns, this list of The Best Honeymoon Destinations in the World has you covered with a ton of honeymoon ideas (or romantic vacation ideas) to start planning for the new year.
1. St. Lucia
With the exotic, iconic Piton mountains, crystal-clear caribbean waters, and romance around every corner, it’s no wonder St. Lucia tops the Best Honeymoon Destinations for 2020 list. White sand beaches? Check. Luxe resorts? Check. Gorgeous mountains? Check. This one has it all. I’m not surprised it ranks highly on the list, but pretty shocked it beat out some of the other top 20 contenders!!!
French Polynesia is made up of 116 islands (of which 67 are inhabited), located about 2,600 miles south of Hawaii. Bora Bora is one of the many islands and is well-known as being the most luxurious island to stay on for a honeymoon. In Bora Bora, more adventurous couples will love scuba diving and snorkeling in world-renowned spots like Coral Gardens and the Bora Bora Lagoonarium, a natural aquarium where you have the chance to swim with native blacktip reef sharks and stingrays in their natural habitats.
Fiji is on the top of my list of places to go in 2020 (so if anyone has any tips – put them in the comments below!!), and I can easily see why it’s a top 3 honeymoon destination. Luxe private island hideaways combine with coral reefs, silky sandy beaches, coconut palms, luscious green landscape, and even some waterfalls. Getting to Fiji is also surprisingly convenient from the US, especially the from the West Coast, where there’s a nonstop flight on Fiji Airways from LA to Nadi (the island’s main airport).
If I were ranking my top honeymoon destinations, the Amalfi Coast would easily be in the top three in the world. Romantic Italian villages, five-star boutique hotels, Italian wines and world-class dining (not to mention home-made pasta!!!). When it comes to dreaming up the perfect Italy honeymoon, this is exactly it. From Capri, to Positano, to Amalfi, there is so much to explore, but there’s also so much time to just enjoy far niente (the art of doing nothing).
The perfect Hawaii honeymoon destination – Stay at the Four Seasons on Maui’s Wailea side if you want to experience one of the absolute best resorts in the world, and spend your days soaking up the sun, taking sunset strolls on the beach, or going out and exploring the island. Maui is a perfect honeymoon choice for resort-loving couples looking for R&R&R (rest, romance, and relaxation).
BTW – in need of the best mai tai recipe ever to have a Maui vacation at home? Check out my Drinking Around the World: 20 Incredible Cocktail Recipes from Around the World post!
French Polynesia is mentioned not once but TWICE in US News’ Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations, and it’s easy to see why. Warm waters, idyllic coral reefs, and luxurious resorts make Tahiti, the largest island in French Polynesia, a great choice for a honeymoon.
Another dreamy Hawaii honeymoon destination, Kauai may just be my favorite island in North America. If you haven’t been, it should absolutely be on your bucket list – and makes for a GREAT honeymoon destination. For the ultimate Kauai honeymoon experience, stay at The Princeville Resort – one of my favorite hotels in the world – on Kauai’s north coast for easy access to stunning hikes, amazing fresh seafood, and Hanalei Bay.
Oh Santorini. Is there anywhere more perfect on this earth for a honeymoon than the Greek Isles? Gorgeous white buildings carved into the cliffs, enveloped by sparkling blue water. Crisp white wines and fresh mediterranean seafood overlooking the Aegean sea. Blue-domed churches and beautiful bells that seem straight out of a fairytale. Luxury hotels with infinity pools and sun lounges that make you feel like you’re swimming in heaven. It’s perfect.
Bali!!! I’m honestly surprised it isn’t higher on the list (it’s probably my #1 destination for a honeymoon). With the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation, coupled with some of the most budget-friendly travel, food, and transportation expenses of anywhere in the world, Bali is an ideal choice for honeymooners. In Bali, you can have the relaxing, beachy vacation of your dreams in Uluwatu, or you can wake up in a bamboo villa high above the lush jungle in zen Ubud. Or maybe you’re looking to blow of some wedding planning steam in world-renowned party spots like the Gili Islands, Seminyak, and Canggu. Or maybe you guys want to be adventurous and snorkel with manta rays in Nusa Lembongan or hike the gorgeous coast of Nusa Penida.
10. Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre, a romantic, hilly set of five Italian villages on Italy’s Northwestern coast, is on pretty much everybody’s bucket list, and makes for a great Italian honeymoon destination. Spend your days keeping active and hiking the coast, or cuddling into a mom-and-pop pasta shop and chowing down on some fresh-made pasta and burrata.
Another Italian getaway that made the list of top honeymoon destinations is the romantic Italian city of Florence.
Stay in the world-famous St. Regis in Florence, a grand palace located along Florence’s Arno River in a 15th-century, Renaissance-era palace that will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time as one of Italy’s royals.
St. Barts, with its idyllic beaches and crystal-clear Caribbean-blue water, is the island honeymoon dreams are made of. It’s also a well-known hangout for the world’s jetsetting rich & famous, and the most well-known hotel is the Eden Roc – which features the exlusive honeymoon Greta Garbot Suite with private terraces, mosaic floors and old-Hollywood glam. For another ultra-luxury option, check out the all-villa Le Toiny hotel and wake up to breakfast on your terrace, right next to your chic private pool. Le Toiny is also home to one of the island’s best restaurants (Le Gaïac).
Is there anywhere in the world as romantic as Paris? Paris is a perfect honeymoon destination for couples. While it can be tempting to want to over-plan your honeymoon, Paris is a place where no itinerary is sometimes the best itinerary. It’s the kind of place you want to get lost in the cobblestoned streets, and explore each and every arrondissement (Parisian neighborhood).
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Rome and Milan lies a storybook-like Italian region of romance, chianti wine, olives, aromatic cooking and, of course, sunshine. Tuscany. If your ideal Italy honeymoon is sipping vino and snacking on homemade gnocchi, this is the honeymoon destination for you.
Mauritius, a small island off the coast of Africa, is to the Europeans what Bora Bora is to the USA. Mark Twain once wrote, “You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first and then heaven was copied after Mauritius.” Luxury hotels on white sand beaches with volcanic mountains in the background make for a great home base on the island known for exploring Indian temples, colonial houses, botanical gardens, walking with lions or swimming with dolphins. It’s the vacation of a lifetime, and there are spectacular hotels for every budget.
16. British Virgin Isles
Is it just me or is the BVI heaven on earth!?!?!!! I sailed around the BVI’s with my family (which you can read more about here) and it was one of my favorite trips of all time. Go sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, or just cozy up in a hammock and sip cocktails on the beach together. #HoneymoonGoals.
Only 1.5 hours to 2 hours flight away from Bangkok or Chiang Mai, this rainforest-ridden, mountainous exotic island is home to a beautiful historical old town, sparkling-turquoise beaches, and luxury resorts. If a Southeast Asia honeymoon is on your and your fiance’s bucket list, this is the romantic Thailand destination for you.
The Maldives would be much higher on my list (considering it’s where I chose for my own honeymoon!), but it doesn’t surprise me that it’s all the way at 18 for the US News & World Report – the thing about the Maldives is it is VERY hard to get to, it’s expensive, and it’s just not possible for most couples – unless you have two full weeks off work and don’t mind a trip halfway across the world. But, if you do have the ability to get there, it’s, in my opinion, the most romantic, luxurious destination in the entire world – and a Maldives honeymoon is an absolute dream.
19. Turks & Caicos
Nearly abandoned beaches with silky sand fringed by shimmering aqua-blue water, colorful coral reefs, crispy conch fritters and a serene, lighthearted atmosphere throughout the island make Turks & Caicos an ideal destination for a honeymoon.
20. Corfu, Greece
If a Greece honeymoon has your eye, but you want to island hop a little bit rather than sticking to Santorini, Corfu is a great island to look into. It’s a more budget-friendly option in Greece compared to Santorini, and its breathtaking blue water, fragrant olive and citrus trees, and picturesque beaches make it a beautiful choice for a honeymoon.
Check out these related blog posts:
How to plan a honeymoon – Jetset Christina