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There are all kinds of ways to embark on the trip of a lifetime. Whether you want to take to the skies, ride the rails, or hit the road, we've got amazing honeymoon ideas to get you going.
Take a Flight
There's something undeniably exciting about the feeling you get before take-off, knowing that the world's most remote and exotic destinations are just a flight away. That said, it's not always practical to spend a full day or more in transit. Here we've got incredible destinations for just about any time frame, from a 20-plus-hour journey to a quick jaunt. Jet-setters, take your mark!
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Fly to: Sri Lanka
Flight Time: 21 hours, 15 minutes from Los Angeles to Dickwella (plus layovers in Hong Kong and Colombo, Sri Lanka)
With serene, palm-lined beaches, tea plantations, lush jungles, and elephant sanctuaries, this island nation southeast of India is as varied as it is beautiful. At the new Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort on the southern coast, chanting Raban ladies welcome guests upon arrival. For the ultimate in romance—and Indian Ocean views—book a villa, complete with a private plunge pool. Your next stop: Sri Lanka's tropical interior. The hotel Tri sits on a promontory overlooking a large natural lake and has 11 suites made of recycled jackwood, three kinds of granite, and other local materials.
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Fly To: Cambodia
Flight Time: 19 hours from Los Angeles to Siem Reap (plus a layover in Seoul)
Few destinations leave an impression quite like this Southeast Asian country does, thanks to its dramatic landscapes, its gracious people, and, of course, the feat of art and engineering that is the 12th-century temple complex of Angkor Wat. Make your base the year-old Phum Baitang, where stilted wooden villas are set on rice paddy fields just outside Siem Reap. The best way to experience Angkor Wat is on a private tour; try AboutAsia Travel, which strategically plans its itineraries to go against tourist traffic; you may even get a site all to yourself. For a romantic finale, book an overwater bungalow at Song Saa, a private island resort on the Gulf of Thailand where you can arrange a traditional Khmer monk blessing or light wishing lanterns and send them up into a starry night sky.
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Fly To: Tasmania
Flight Time: 17 hours from Los Angeles to Hobart (plus a layover in Sydney or Melbourne)
Australia's remote island state—more than a third of which is protected parkland—is known for its wild terrain, occasionally tamed by vineyards, organic farms, and charming villages. Drive inland to Pumphouse Point, where you can sleep in an industrial-chic room suspended over stunning Lake St. Clair. And just when you think it can't get any more stunning: Tasmania's crown jewel is Saffire Freycinet, located on a peninsula on the isle's east side. Walls of glass bring the outdoors into the 20 guest pavilions, and tailor-made itineraries include guided hikes, boating trips to secret beaches, and waterfront dinners of local oysters and farmhouse cheese.
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Fly To: Peru
Flight Time: 9 hours from New York City to Cusco (plus a layover in Lima)
It used to be that the colonial Sacred Valley was merely a jumping-off point to the 15th-century Inca site Machu Picchu. But with new hotel openings—not to mention a burgeoning culinary scene—you may be tempted to linger a bit longer. At Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, rooms and private casitas have original Andean textiles, and the restaurant uses corn, quinoa, potatoes, and other indigenous ingredients from the property's 10-acre farm. Honeymooners receive a complimentary massage at the 50-room Explora Valle Sagrado, which can also organize private excursions to little-known sacred sites and hikes up snowcapped Mount Veronica. And because you wouldn't fly all that way without seeing Machu Picchu, make sure to book tickets at least three months in advance—there's a daily limit on visitors.
The Details: Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, from $462 per night, inkaterra.com. Explora Valle Sagrado, three nights from $1,910 per person all-inclusive, explora.com. Machu Picchu, machupicchu.gob.pe.
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Fly To: Berlin
Flight Time: 7 hours, 50 minutes from New York to Berlin
There's a lot to love about exploring a big city as a couple. One great pick: Germany's buzzy capital metropolis, which has world-class restaurants, colorful street art, and live music that ranges from symphonies in stately halls to concerts in public green spaces. Get lost among the crowds as you duck into a beer hall or street-side café, or stroll hand in hand through Treptower Park to a pedestrian bridge that crosses over to Insel der Jugend, a tiny island in the River Spree. As for where to stay, there's the super-stylish Das Stue, housed in a former Danish embassy in the city center. For something more residential, the hip and bright Ackselhaus & Blue Home has individually decorated rooms in a historic building.
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Fly To: Lanai
Flight Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes from Los Angeles to Lanai (plus a layover
This may be Hawaii's smallest publicly accessible island, but what it lacks in size (and inhabitants) it is now making up for in luxury, with the recent opening of the Four Seasons Resort Lanai. The 217 rooms are decked out with Nepalese Lokta wallpaper, Honduran mahogany floors, and lanais with garden or ocean views. But beyond the property, the isle—which used to produce 75 percent of the world's pineapples—is still wild and rugged, with rocky red cliffs and dense rainforests. To get a taste, ask the hotel to plan a picnic at Halepalaoa Beach (keep an eye out for humpback whales!) and horseback rides along bluffs that reveal Maui and the Big Island in the distance.
The Details: Four Seasons Resort Lanai, from $1,075 per night, fourseasons.com/lanai.
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Fly To: Costa Rica
Flight Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes from Houston to San José
Although this small, biodiverse country is flanked by the Pacific and Caribbean, some of its dreamiest hotels are found in the interior cloud forests and agricultural regions. Case in point: the adults-only Nayara Springs. A two-and-a-half-hour drive northwest of San José, the luxurious tropical resort just debuted 19 additional villas, an open-air yoga pavilion, and a rainforest walking trail. You'll wake up in canopied beds to toucans and other birds outside sliding glass doors that lead to hot-spring-fed plunge pools. Or you could hop a short flight southeast of San José to San Isidro airport in Pérez Zeledón, known for its sweeping coffee plantations. Here, Hacienda AltaGracia has casitas with Jacuzzi tubs, Talamanca Mountain vistas, and an equestrian center offering rides through scenic grasslands filled with grazing colts and horses.
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Fly To: Dominican Republic
Flight Time: 2 hours from Miami to Puerto Plata
With the opening of Amanera, the northern Costa Verde—home to white-sand beaches and rural towns backed by the Cordillera Septentrional mountain range—is officially on the traveler's map. True to the Aman resort group's philosophy, the property's 25 earth-toned casitas are designed with local materials (including stone from island quarries and indigenous Aguayo tiles) that complement the island's natural habitat. For a perfect end to a relaxing day, the hotel can arrange a candlelit, toes-in-the-sand dinner under the stars. Farther west, learn to windsurf at Playa Grande Beach Club, where nine cheerful, light-filled bungalows are surrounded by verdant gardens.
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Fly To: Cabo San Lucas
Flight Time: 2 hours from San Diego to San José del Cabo
This popular West Coast getaway—where activities range from whale watching and ATV tours to just soaking up the sun on Lovers Beach—has bounced back in a major way from 2014's Hurricane Odile. And it's got the top-notch resorts to prove it. The Cape, a Thompson Hotel has spacious rooms with balconies (some with hanging daybeds overlooking the Sea of Cortez), and a restaurant by star Mexico City chef Enrique Olvera. (Don't miss the sea bass ceviche with coconut, avocado, and sweet corn.) Fresh from a $32 million renovation, the Resort at Pedregal is looking better than ever; it recently added the first of seven villas and a cliffside Champagne terrace for sipping bubbly while Pacific waves crash below. And finally, in December, the adults-only Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort is opening the 47-room-and-suite Towers at Pacifica, a resort-within-a-resort with perks like 24-hour butler service, custom mini bars, and a sundeck.
The Details: Thompson Hotel, from $579 per night, thompsonhotels.com. Resort at Pedregal, from $650 per night, theresortatpedregal.com. Towers at Pacifica, from $800 per night all-inclusive, pueblobonito.com.
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Fly To: Cayman Islands
Flight Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes from Miami to Grand Cayman or Cayman Brac
It's been a decade since Grand Cayman has welcomed a new hotel—and the 266-room Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, on Seven Mile Beach, is worth the wait. Couples will want to hole up in one of the bungalows, each with its own sundeck and spa soaking tub. The resort also features three restaurants, complimentary beach activities like yoga and paddleboarding, and an adults-only pool. We're also fans of the intimate, eight-room Le Soleil d'Or, on small Cayman Brac—especially the Beach Cottage, set right on the shore. The food-centric property offers cooking classes and grows its own produce on a 20-acre organic farm.
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Catch a Train
The dining cars! The unbeatable vistas! The hatboxes! These six trips around the world conjure the best of old-school rolling romance. – Kathryn O'Shea-Evans
Catch a Train To: Rocky Mountaineer, Canada
Trip Details: First Passage to the West, from $1,762 per person for 4 days/3 nights, includes breakfast and lunch; rockymountaineer.com.
You'll pass Kicking Horse River, the Continental Divide, and umpteen waterfalls on your way from Vancouver, British Columbia, to turquoise Lake Louise, high in the snow-dusted Canadian Rockies. But there's plenty to love on board, including a world-class menu; try the steelhead salmon with dill cream sauce and the Alberta beef short ribs braised in Okanagan Valley Merlot. The train lacks a sleeping car—which means nights are spent in gorgeous hotels like the fairy-tale-worthy Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, a former playground of Marilyn Monroe.
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Catch a Train To: Maharajas' Express, India
Trip Details: Gems of India, from $3,850 per person for 4 days/3 nights, all-inclusive; the-maharajas.com.
The Darjeeling Limited this isn't: the Maharajas' Express train is fit for royalty, with attentive butlers, a dining car awash in gold and mahogany, and en-suite bathrooms and showers in all cabins. You'll start and end in Delhi, with visits to jaw-dropping sites like the Taj Mahal and the ancient red-sandstone Agra Fort in between. Travel adviser Pallavi Shah, founder of Our Personal Guest, recommends forgoing the included group tours and springing for private guides and drivers for an even more memorable experience.
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Catch a Train to: Belmond Grand Hibernian, Ireland
Trip Details: Legends and Loughs, from $6,101 per person for 5 days/4 nights, all-inclusive; belmond.com.
You could be forgiven for thinking your opulent cabin on this newly launched train is actually a suite in an Irish boutique hotel. Each one is named for a local county, and the beds have traditional tartans to match. During the round-trip journey from Dublin, you'll get VIP access to the Jameson whiskey factory and medieval Blarney Castle, and hike through Connemara National Park (keep an eye out for wild ponies).
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Catch a Train to: Golden Eagle, Russia & Norway
Trip Details: Golden Eagle Arctic Explorer, from $11,995 per person for 12 days/11 nights, all-inclusive; goldeneagleluxurytrains.com.
There's a good chance you'll see the Northern Lights as you ride from St. Petersburg to Moscow—hence the dedicated astronomer on call. Also on the agenda: visiting the ancient city of Suzdal and a two-night stay in Norway that includes fishing through ice for Arctic king crab (which is then prepared for a fireside dinner in a nearby lodge). On board, no ornate luxury is spared; that means Champagne upon arrival and a caviar-themed gala dinner, where you'll try local specialties like black sturgeon roe.
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Catch a Train to: The Blue Train, South Africa
Trip Details: from $1,050 per person, departs at 8:30 a.m. and arrives at 3 p.m. the following day; www.bluetrain.co.za.
The postcard-perfect Cape Winelands and wetlands filled with flamingos roll past your windows while you're on this historic locomotive, which travels 994 miles overnight between Cape Town and Pretoria. The suites come with personal butlers and marble bathtubs—but the real highlight is the food. Jackets and ties are required for the five-course dinner, which might include crispy duck breast with flambéed peaches and black-currant mousse. And the well-stocked wine list showcases South African bottles such as rosé from Stellenbosch and buttery Pinot Gris.
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Catch a Train to: Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Europe
Trip Details: London to Berlin, from $3,176 per person for 2 days/1 night; belmond.com.
Why take a standard rail from London to Berlin when you can climb aboard a handsomely appointed oak-paneled train? On this itinerary—which launched in June—you'll be tempted to spend (almost) all your time in the new Champagne bar, sipping Taittinger from Lalique crystal glassware. And when hunger strikes, there are menus created by Guy Martin, who earned three Michelin stars at Le Grand Véfour in Paris.
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Romance the Road
These honeymoon-worthy drives showcase the beauty of the U.S., whether you're California dreamin' or mad for Montana's wide-open spaces. So turn the radio up
and roll down the windows—it's time to take the wheel. – Gina Hamadey
Drive To: Southern California
Distance Covered: 385 miles
Why go: Only in this region is it possible to hit the beach, a city, and the desert in one fell swoop. Orange County has a fresh sheen of sophistication, thanks in part to the recently renovated, shoreline-chic Ranch at Laguna Beach (doubles from $350 per night; theranchlb.com), about 56 miles of (mostly) highway from LAX. You'll be in full relaxation mode after a few days on the pristine beach and nights by the on-site fire pit—not to mention an afternoon at the nearby Monarch Beach Resort's Miraval Life in Balance Spa. A gorgeous stretch of coastal highway leads you farther south, to San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. Here, the Pendry San Diego—the brand's first outpost—has made quite a splash. For a casual date night, sip craft pints at Half Door Brewing Co. before sharing the white anchovy pizza at Herb & Wood from Top Chef finalist Brian Malar-key. Your next stop: Palm Springs, about 140 miles away. Take a scenic route that includes the Pines to Palms Highway, and wind through desert backcountry and the charming towns of Temecula, Julian, and Idyllwild. Upon arrival, it's clear that stylish accommodations and restaurants have been breathing new life into the classic SoCal getaway. At SO.PA, in the buzzy L'Horizon Hotel and Spa, an alum of Chicago's Alinea serves artful, globally inspired dishes. Need a nightcap? Make it a Little Owl (rye, walnut liqueur, and IPA syrup) from Seymour's, a cozy bar tucked inside the year-old Mr. Lyons Steakhouse. For a peaceful oasis just outside of town, try the intimate Chateau at Lake La Quinta; its 24 rooms have waterfront patios or terraces.
The Details: Ranch at Laguna Beach, doubles from $350 per night, theranchlb.com. Pendry San Diego, doubles from $325 per night, pendryhotels.com. Chateau at Lake La Quinta, doubles from $140 per night; thechateaulakelaquinta.com.
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Drive To: Montana
Distance Covered: 410 miles
Why go: The American West is as Instagram-worthy as it gets in the States, and it's home to some top-notch distilleries and luxe lodges, to boot. They don't call it Big Sky Country for nothing—and the vast beauty of the landscape is always on full display in Flathead Valley. Only seven miles from Glacier Park International Airport, North Forty Resort just launched a tricked-out glamping tent (complete with a mini fridge and coffeemaker), and you'll be close to hikes and zip lines in Glacier National Park. Stock up on sundries at the Columbia Falls Farmers' Market and, if your fireplace isn't enough to keep you warm, a bottle of Orange Clove Rum from Whitefish Handcrafted Spirits. Leave early for the long drive south; lined with ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and larch, it runs through the rolling Seeley-Swan Valley (keep your eyes peeled for deer and other animals). After about four hours, you'll reach the Ranch at Rock Creek, a splurge-worthy resort that offers horseback riding, archery, mountain biking, and Saturday night barn dances. Ease your way back into civilization about 150 miles east, in Bozeman, the state's center of cool. It's got a booming beer scene (don't miss MAP Brewing Company), farm-to-table restaurants (the husband-and-wife-owned Bisl is our pick), and hip hotels like the Lark. At this revamped 1960s motor lodge, check-in includes a travel journal packed with personalized recommendations, and the 38 rooms are individually decorated with local artwork. Fuel up for the drive to Bozeman airport at Victory Taco, which peddles bacon-jalapeño breakfast burritos out of a silver trailer in the property's parking lot.
The Details: North Forty Resort, $195 per night, northfortyresort.com. Ranch at Rock Creek, from $1,800 per night all-inclusive, theranchatrockcreek.com. Lark, doubles from $149 per night, larkbozeman.com.
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Drive To: Southern Maine
Distance Covered: 115 miles
Why go: With amazing farm-to-table restaurants and refreshed hotels, this quintessential summer escape is about more than just lobster rolls and blueberry pie (though we love those, too!). While this drive doesn't cover the same kind of ground as the others, southern Maine is too romantic and beautiful to pass over—and less time in the car means more time to linger at each stop. Upon landing in Portland, head straight for Ogunquit, a dreamy little coastal town that'll instantly put you in a vacation state of mind. The landmark Cliff House Maine on nearby Cape Neddick recently completed the first phase of a major face-lift, and its 132 tranquil rooms come with terraces and water views. While there are plenty of great lobster shacks in town (don't miss Barnacle Billy's), it's worth the short drive into the woods to the bucolic restaurant the Velveteen Habit, housed in a farmhouse. You can meander through the kitchen garden, glass of wine in hand, before settling in to taste its bounty in dishes like gnocchi with sweet corn and pecorino. About 20 miles north, Kennebunkport's Hidden Pond ups the romantic ante with 36 charming one- and two-bedroom cottages set in a birch forest, plus two pools, a treetop spa, nightly campfires (with s'mores!), and world-class food. And as hard as it may be to leave, we recommend an evening jaunt to Kennebunk. After slurping down some briny bivalves at the just-opened Spat Oyster Cellar, take in a show at the Vinegar Hill Music Theatre, set in a historic barn in nearby Arundel. A trip to Maine is not complete without at least one lighthouse photo op, a whole lobster, and that blueberry pie. Luckily, the Lobster Shack at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth delivers all three in spades. Complete the loop back in Portland for an epic culinary adventure on Washington Avenue: a deviled-egg salad for lunch at Terlingua, organic Loire Valley wines from Drifters Wife, and dishes like swordfish with eggplant, citrus farro, and salsa verde at market-driven Italian-American spot Roustabout. Fall into a food coma at the newsroom-themed Press Hotel, in the former Portland Press Herald building.
The Details: Cliff House Maine, doubles from $299 per night, destinationhotels.com/cliff-house. Kennebunkport's Hidden Pond, bungalows from $329 per night, hiddenpondmaine.com. Press Hotel, doubles from $259 per night, thepresshotel.com.
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Drive To: Florida Keys
Distance Covered: 163 miles
Why go: The Keys are classic Florida, and gorgeous new properties are attracting a new generation of travelers. U.S. 1 South, which you'll pick up near the Miami airport, is one of the country's most beautiful roads—and you have no choice but to savor the journey, since the speed limit tops out at 55. Pull off at Mile Marker 97.5 for a stay at Playa Largo Resort & Spa, the first new-build resort in the Upper Keys in more than two decades. Its beachfront Sand Bar will be a welcome sight after a long hike in the 2,421-acre Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park. Islamorada (Mile Marker 91) is known for sport fishing and diving, and Amara Cay Resort has an ace staff that can arrange your water activity of choice. But it's equally acceptable to just read a book in one of the hammocks on the private beach. At this point, you may be craving a livelier locale—in other words, Key West is calling, 80 miles away (Mile Marker 0). Make your base a pool-view room at the palm-tree-dotted Marker Waterfront Resort, one of the newest games in town. Four blocks away, you'll find the (very literally named) Key West First Legal Rum Distillery, set in an old Coca-Cola bottling plant; tours and samples (with the purchase of a Coke) are available. More refined but no less boozy is the Eco Bar at the Stoned Crab, which serves organic and sustainable wines and cheekily named cocktails made with herbs from the on-site garden and fruits from local farms. And for the grand finale? Book an evening cruise with Danger Charters, and sail off into the sunset.
The Details: Playa Largo Resort & Spa, doubles from $199 per night, playalargoresort.com. Amara Cay Resort, doubles from $249 per night, amaracayresort.com. Marker Waterfront Resort, doubles from $299 per night, themarkerkeywest.com.
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