Hop across the pond for a honeymoon to remember, says Natalie Marsh.
Married life really begins with the honeymoon – an adventure à deux to a destination that’s new to both of you, or a chance to kick back somewhere you know and love.
Spread across six time zones and even more climates, the US has more to offer newlyweds than most. Whether they fancy a relaxing break in the mountains or a lively stay in a bustling city, the country is sure to have a honeymoon to suit your customers’ needs. Here, we round up a handful of the best options.
Best for… Island getaways
Why go: When people think of a honeymoon, crystal-clear seas and white sandy beaches often jump to mind, and few places do idyllic escapes better than Hawaii. The islands have a distinctive heritage, which adds to the archipelago’s appeal. From sipping mai tais on Waikiki Beach to exploring its national parks, Hawaii is a honeymooners’ paradise. Snorkelling is a must, with hundreds of species of fish, coral and other sea life to spot, especially in the waters around the Big Island, where turtles can be seen just beneath the surface.
“Snorkelling is a must, with hundreds of species of fish, coral and other sea life to spot.”
Book it: Carrier offers 14 nights from £7,520 based on two sharing, including stays at three Four Seasons properties, flights and a helicopter tour, on September 1.
Or try: North Carolina’s coast is dotted with beautiful islands. Less than two hours from Wilmington lies Emerald Isle, home to top-notch restaurants, beaches and parks.
Best for… Mountain highs
Where: North Carolina
Why go: For outdoorsy couples, having a mountain range on the doorstep could be a honeymoon high. Located on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a stunning city with historical sites, quirky shops and a craft beer scene, and it’s been gaining in popularity as a honeymoon destination, according to Malcolm Davies, product destination manager for Funway Holidays. “The city has practically every type of venue a couple could dream of within it and its surrounding mountains, forests and farmland,” he says. “One of the most scenic roads in America, The Blue Ridge Parkway, is right on the doorstep, as is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offering miles of panoramic views.”
“Located on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a stunning city with historical sites, quirky shops and a craft beer scene.”
Book it: Funway Holidays offers a seven-night stay in Asheville, for two adults sharing, including flights, from £1,451 per person based on a May 11 departure.
Or try: Montana has some amazing scenery. Surrounded by national parks, Whitefish is an idyllic town for those seeking a secluded escape.
Best for… City breaks
Where: New York City
Why go: No city exudes as much magic as the Big Apple. It might be known for its fast-paced lifestyle, but it’s also home to many peaceful spots, provided you know where to find them. A horse-and-carriage ride through Central Park may sound a little clichéd, but pair it with a romantic picnic in the park at a picturesque spot like Bow Bridge or Belvedere Castle and you’ll be kicking off the honeymoon in style.
Next, head to Chelsea to walk along the famous High Line. Once a freight railway track, it’s now a public park, making for a fascinating stroll above street level. The Standard, High Line hotel nearby is a romantic spot for cocktails; follow it up with an on or off-Broadway show for the perfect night out.
“The Big Apple might be known for its fast-paced lifestyle, but it’s also home to many peaceful spots, provided you know where to find them.”
Book it: Kuoni offers a four‑night stay at The Standard in Manhattan’s East Village, from £1,449 per person, including flights on September 19.
Or try: San Diego offers the best of both city and beach. Explore downtown’s traditional Gaslamp Quarter, see the famous La Jolla seals, or hop on a ferry to Coronado Island and take a stroll on the beach.
Best for… Road‑tripping
Where: New England
Why go: With six states in close proximity, New England is a road‑trippers’ dream, with rolling hills, fishing ports and everything in between.
For a quintessential New England town, honeymooners can head to Kennebunkport in Maine to enjoy the laid-back vibe in Dock Square, or take a tour on a wooden lobster boat. Cape Cod in Massachusetts is a beautiful alternative for relaxing in quiet, coastal towns and dining out on delicious lobster rolls.
“New England is perfect for couples looking for stunning scenery and plenty of history,” says Tim Greathead, America product manager at Premier Holidays. “They’ll discover scenic landscapes at every turn, quaint towns and villages to explore, and historic Boston, one of the oldest cities in the US.”
“Cape Cod in Massachusetts is a beautiful alternative for relaxing in quiet, coastal towns and dining out on delicious lobster rolls.”
Book it: Premier Holidays’ 11-night Best of New England trip costs from £1,670, departing June 1, and visiting Boston, Kennebunkport and Cape Cod. The price includes flights, accommodation and car hire.
Or try: For couples who yearn for the open road, Grand Canyon National Park is ideal for a self-drive, giving visitors the freedom to stop where they wish. Hardy hikers can head north to take on Angels Landing in Zion National Park, in neighbouring Utah.
Best for… Southern hospitality
Where: Deep South
Why go: The great cities of the Deep South are a sound choice for visitors eager to hear the country music of Nashville, the blues of Memphis and plenty beyond. The cities, just three hours apart by road, make an ideal twin-centre.
In Nashville, take in the view from the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, before admiring the stars in the Music City Walk of Fame Park. Newlyweds can also tap into the country scene with a lesson in two-step at the Wildhorse Saloon, or try a night on Broadway for live sets by top-class acts.
“Take a romantic carriage ride through the city’s cobbled streets followed by a stroll through Forsyth Park.”
Music lovers won’t go wrong in Memphis, either, with intimate live music spots where they can listen to blues, and riverboats on the mighty Mississippi where they can dine on board.
Book it: Hayes & Jarvis has a nine-night Memphis and Nashville holiday departing September 4, including flights, car hire and accommodation, from £1,899.
Or try: For a true southern honeymoon, head to Savannah, Georgia. Take a romantic carriage ride through the city’s cobbled streets, stroll through Forsyth Park, or visit one of the quaint islands along Georgia’s coast.
Best for… Wine tours
Why go: Magnificent scenery, top-class resorts and spas, and world-class wine – what more could you want from a honeymoon?
Located west of its better-known neighbour Napa, Sonoma County is home to more than 425 wineries. But you don’t have to be a budding sommelier to enjoy Sonoma, according to Birgitt Vaughan, director of global media relations at Sonoma County Tourism. “The towering redwoods and Russian River Valley offer the chance to get active and experience the great outdoors,” she says.
“Renowned for its world-class pinot noir, the valley offers hotels, cottages and B&Bs in scenic surroundings.”
Book it: Gold Medal offers an eight-day trip to San Francisco, Sonoma and Napa, including flights and seven nights’ accommodation, and five days’ car hire, from £1,329, departing November 23.
Or try: Willamette Valley in Oregon. Lesser-known but no less inviting, it boasts more than 500 wineries. Renowned for its world-class pinot noir, the valley offers hotels, cottages and B&Bs in scenic surroundings.
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