If you have always imagined a dream honeymoon overseas but your budget can’t support one, look no further than the slices of paradise in your own backyard. Here are AAA’s top US honeymoon destinations to serve as a guide as you plan your perfect romantic getaway in the states.
It’s no surprise that Hawaii is top of mind for many newlyweds searching for their dream honeymoon destination. The climate is beautiful and embodies paradise, with the average yearly temperature sitting at roughly 77 degrees.
From romantic sunset sailings and sightseeing around the islands to attending your first luau, there are plenty of things for couples of all backgrounds to enjoy. If you are feeling adventurous, there are out-of-this-world hiking trails to explore, or—if the ocean is calling your name—water sports to try, including surfing lessons! Foodie couples will enjoy indulging in cultural delicacies, and beach loungers will take full advantage of Hawaii’s picturesque beaches.
As for travel concerns, no passports are required to visit Hawaii if you are a US resident. Lodging options are plentiful, and you’ll find it easy to hop between islands with flights leaving regularly and lasting only an hour or less.
Hilton Head Island, SC
Hilton Head Island lands in AAA’s top ten driving destinations for Ohio residents. It is only a day’s drive away—perfect for couples on a time crunch or who prefer not to fly. It is an island ripe with Southern hospitality and beach views that promise to enrich your honeymoon experience.
Explore the island by bike or walk the many boardwalks that border the shoreline. Enjoy a romantic picnic on a secluded beach, savoring each other’s company with the sound of the ocean waves as your background music. And, if you want a little taste of that Southern hospitality, you will find that Hilton Head has a stellar reputation for southern-inspired dining.
Hilton Head is also within driving distance of popular cities Charleston and Savannah. Add them to your itinerary and you will find rich historical roots, edgy culinary scenes and trendy farmer’s markets that will impress even the most seasoned traveler.
Florida is more than just a theme park capital—although we understand the romantic appeal of catching thrills with the person you love most. But Florida has made a name for itself as a honeymoon destination mainly because of its beaches. Here are a few of the Sunshine State’s beachfront highlights you should consider:
- Sanibel and Captiva Islands: These islands are perfect if you and your partner want a quiet, romantic escape that preaches endless relaxation with beautiful weather year-round and luxurious spa access. As an added bonus, Sanibel Island is home to one of the best shelling beaches in North America.
- Santa Rosa Beach: Here you will find white sand, clear waters and one of the best-chartered fishing beaches in the state.
- Vero Beach: Fall in love with this area’s small-town charm with lovely scenery and outdoor activities to enjoy, including the McKee Botanical Garden, dolphin wildlife tours and horseback riding.
- Marco Island: This area is perfect for adventure seekers who want to kayak in the wetlands or visit the Everglades. During low tide, a large sandbar known as Sand Dollar Island will reveal itself and offer you both a fun little souvenir to take home with you.
- Honeymoon Island: This island’s name says it all! This lover’s paradise is a part of the Florida State Park system and is perfect for nature lovers of all kinds.
San Francisco, CA
Scenic landscapes, wonderful dining and a full itinerary of experiences await in the City by the Bay. As a walkable city, you will find plenty of sights and sounds just by taking a stroll. Discover the romantic gardens at Golden Gate Park or sample some fresh seafood at Fisherman’s Warf. Pass through San Francisco’s Chinatown neighborhood, the oldest Chinatown in the US. And don’t forget to marvel at the famous Golden Gate Bridge or visit the seal lions on Pier 39!
Afraid of getting burnt out by the hustle and bustle of the city? Day trips from San Francisco are a breeze. Take a drive on the famous Pacific Coast Highway and make fun pit stops along the way. Visit the awe-inducing giant redwoods in Muir Woods. You will also be only an hour or so away from California’s Wine Country—another popular honeymoon destination we will talk more about below.
Napa Valley, CA
Napa Valley is not only a part of California’s prized Wine Country; it is considered one of the world’s premier wine regions. If fine dining and wine-tasting tours are on your honeymoon checklist, so should Napa Valley. But there is more to this area than its vineyards and cherished Cabernet Sauvignon.
Discover charming and rugged hiking trails in the countryside, with spectacular mountain ranges and lakefront views on the horizon. Enjoy a hot air balloon ride for two to appreciate the valley’s rolling hills and beautiful coastline from above. If you are hunting for the perfect honeymoon souvenir, you will find an eclectic collection of fine art, fashion, home decor and gift shops to explore across the valley.
Need more help deciding your honeymoon destination?
Book a free appointment with a AAA Travel advisor to plan your perfect honeymoon in the US today! We have honeymoon specialists on standby ready to help make your first memories as a married couple last a lifetime. Visit our Honeymoon Planning page for more travel inspiration and insights.