Each of these destinations makes for a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience as newlyweds.
Photography: Divya Pande1 of 24
You might consider yourselves adventure-seekers. Or beach bums. Or art aficionados. Maybe you're willing to travel far and wide—or perhaps you prefer to stay closer to home. There's no wrong way to honeymoon. (It's your honeymoon, after all, so i's guaranteed to be amazing!) More often than not, the place you choose is determined by your budget, your preferences, and how much time you have to travel. Perhaps you've always dreamed of exploring the Amalfi Coast or want to finally go on safari in Kenya. The perennial honeymoon hotspots are popular with good reason—no matter the variables, they always deliver once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
From Bora Bora to Big Sur, St. Barts to Santorini, these classic destinations have everything that honeymooners crave: overwhelming beauty, adventurous activities, local culture, and generally romantic vibes. The beauty of honeymooning today is that the world is literally at your fingertips. Do your research and consider the type of honeymoon you're looking for (beach, adventure, city, safari, etc.); think about whether you can go far and wide or should really stick closer to home; and decide if you prefer a classic or undiscovered destination. No matter where you land, these 23 places guarantee a honeymoon-worthy experience.
Ready to get inspired? Click through here to see the very best destinations to visit as honeymooners.
Photography: Courtesy of St. Regis Bora Bora2 of 24
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
When you touch down at the airport, set foot on a tiny motu (islet), and catch sight of that aqua blue water, stretching all the way across the lagoon to the base of towering Mount Otemanu, you'll understand why it's worth flying halfway around the world for your honeymoon.
Photography: Courtesy of Calistoga Ranch3 of 24
Napa Valley, California
This destination offers more than just delicious wine. And the gorgeous, rolling hillsides. And the warm, California sunshine. No, the real appeal of a Napa Valley honeymoon is the overwhelming sense of calm that washes over you as sit on a quiet patio and sip a full-bodied Cabernet to the tune of only birdsong.
Photography: Courtesy of Cheval Blanc St.-Barth Isle de France4 of 24
Though this Caribbean island suffered extensive damage last year during Hurricane Maria, hotels, restaurants, shops, and local residents have been quick to rebuild and return St. Barts to its former glory. Couples who crave secluded beaches, glitzy resorts, and high-end shops will find all that, and then some. Safe to say nothing can stop St. Barts from being the same glamorous slice of the South of France it always has been.
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You could argue that Hawaii's best hotels line the wide, crescent beaches of Maui. Between Wailea, Kapalua Bay, and Kaanapali, you've got just about every luxury hotel chain represented. But it's not just amenity addicts who will find a honeymoon haven on Maui—head inland to explore organic farms, small towns, secluded coves, and bamboo forests to get to know the island's authentic local culture.
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Photography: Courtesy of Le Sireneuse6 of 24
Amalfi Coast, Italy
When it comes to this majestic southern stretch of Italy's Sorrentine Peninsula, you could say its reputation precedes it. But trust us when we say that Amalfi lives up to the hype. You'll fall in love with the small, rocky beaches, pastel-colored fishing villages, and wholesome coastal cuisine within minutes (and promptly want to return year after year).
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The southern tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula is filled with glitzy resorts that make honeymooning a sport, continually one-upping each other's amenities. Between the private butlers (who will literally spritz you with Evian as you lounge by the pool), the wellness-centric spas, the top-chef-led restaurants, and the endless cocktail service, it's no surprise Los Cabos is a perennial honeymoon fave among couples who put relaxation first.
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True, there's something in the air in Paris that makes everywhere you go magical, but couples who like to get to know the soul of the places they visit should steer clear of tourist-heavy areas like the Champs-Élysées and the Eiffel Tower. Head into the heart of the Marais or the bohemian 11th arrondissement, where artists, chefs, students, and musicians live, and you'll experience the city's youthful heart.
Photography: Courtesy of Four Seasons Resorts9 of 24
Look beyond the island's gorgeous beaches—cliffside Uluwatu, party-centric Seminyak, resort-filled Nusa Dua (and the hard-bodied surfers who frequent them)—and you'll find Bali's spiritual center, Ubud. In and among its lush jungles, untouched temples, and tranquil rivers is an exotic honeymoon paradise perfect for couples looking to escape all sense of normalcy.
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You already know that there are no roads in the capital of northern Italy's Veneto region, which was built in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea on more than 100 small islands. What you don't know is how you'll come to cherish the slow pace of life. Spend your days walking the quiet streets, weaving in and out of piazzas, past Renaissance- and Gothic-era palaces, until you hear the chime of the Campanile bell tower, signaling that it's time for your alfresco pasta dinner.
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Photography: Courtesy of Coral Sands11 of 24
Harbour Island, Bahamas
Tiny Harbour Island has all the best kinds of Caribbean charms: gorgeous pink-sand beaches, relaxed shoe-optional bars, stunning boutique hotels, and minimal crowds (in fact, there are more golf carts than cars on the island). Couples who prefer boutique, secluded island vibes to large-scale resorts will love it here.
Photography: Courtesy of Matakauri Lodge12 of 24
South Island, New Zealand
Mountains, lakes, glaciers, cliffsides—some of the world's most rugged, untouched landscapes are found on the southern of New Zealand's twin islands. Adventure-seekers will want to take in Fiordland National Park, with steep-sided Milford Sound; go ocean kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park; or hang with the locals in Queenstown, who live for sports like bungee jumping and skiing.
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All whitewashed walls and blue shutters, Santorini really is a beauty. Whether you choose to post up in a quaint Airbnb in Oia or at a luxury hotel with an infinity pool overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, this island is where you go when you want overwhelming romantic vibes. Expect to be eternally mesmerized by the image of endless blue waters as far as the eye can see.
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What Charleston lacks in pizzaz, it more than makes up for in Lowcountry charms. You don't come here to see-and-be-seen, you come for the small town feel, home-cooked meals, and leisurely strolls on treelined streets. Start your morning on Rainbow Row, then snack on local treats as you peruse the historic Charleston City Market, before drinks at romantic Zero George Street.
Photography: Courtesy of Faena Hotel15 of 24
Miami Beach, Florida
You may associate Miami Beach with crowded pool parties and thumping nightclubs—but that's just South Beach. Miami is home to so much more, like the up-and-coming neighborhood of Brickell, art hubs like Wynwood and the Design District, and low-key but no less glitzy oceanfront areas like Mid-Beach. If you can't picture your honeymoon without a little bit of action, the heat is always on in Miami.
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Photography: Courtesy of Four Seasons Resorts16 of 24
Hawaii Island, Hawaii
Nowhere else on the planet can you experience so many different microclimates in one place as on Hawaii Island (a.k.a The Big Island). Between the molten lava fields, tropical beaches, waterfall-filled jungles, snowcapped mountains, and even a desert, this island checks all the quintessential Hawaiian honeymoon boxes—and then some.
Photography: Courtesy of Ventana Big Sur17 of 24
Big Sur, California
If you're a fan of Big Little Lies, you probably already dream of honeymooning in the dramatic landscapes of Monterey County, where the HBO show was filmed. The crown jewel of this coastal area is Big Sur, where thousand-foot cliffsides meet crashing waves with theatrical beauty. Expect to fall in love all over again as you sip California wines while the sun sinks into the Pacific Ocean.
Photography: Courtesy of Angama Mara18 of 24
Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
There is arguably no more life-changing experience than seeing wild animals in their natural habitats. Drive the endless landscapes of the remote Maasai Mara National Reserve in search of the Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, cape buffalo, and rhino) and you'll feel privileged to experience nature as it should be. The gorgeous savannah grasses, yellow-gold sunlight, wide-open landscapes (not to mention the spirit of the friendly Maasai people) will stay with you for a lifetime.
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Rainforests and white-sand beaches cover this mountainous island in the Andaman Sea. As one of Thailand's most popular beach destinations, Phuket is the place for couples who want exotic Asian vibes within the comfort of a luxury hotel. Pick one and make it your base camp for memorable scuba-diving excursions, island-hops by speedboat, traditional Thai massages, and visits to elephant sanctuaries.
Photography: Courtesy of One & Only Resorts20 of 24
Whitsunday Islands, Australia
Just off the coast of Queensland, Australia, the 74 Whitsunday Islands look like a watercolor painted by the gods. If you like to be overwhelmed by the beauty of nature, you'll get just that—what with the aqua blue waters, swirling white-sandy beaches, and lush tropical rainforests. But that's just above sea level; dive beneath the glistening ocean into the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, and you'll see what this island haven is really about.
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Photography: Courtesy of Four Seasons Resorts21 of 24
Papagayo Peninsula, Costa Rica
In recent years, Papagayo has evolved into an ecotourism hotspot, frequented by couples who want a beach honeymoon that's not just about sitting around on a beach. There are luxury resorts for when you need honeymoon-style pampering, plus scores of outdoor adventures (zip-lining, waterfall-rappelling) for when you crave some heart-pumping action.
Photography: Courtesy Preferred Hotels & Resorts ©2011 Mark Boisclair22 of 24
The American Southwest is ideal for couples who want otherworldly landscapes without having to travel hundreds of thousands of miles to another country. This town is a winner not only for its overwhelming natural beauty (take one look at Red Rock State Park—all auburn-hued mountains, buttes, and canyons—and you'll understand), but also for its vibrant culture. Take a walk into town to explore mom-and-pop restaurants, art galleries, and New Age shops. But there's also plenty for outdoor adventurers—just pick a trailhead and you'll find plenty of hiking and picnicking potential.
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If you're not a fan of cold weather, expect to be converted after honeymooning on this trendy Nordic island nation. You'll encounter nothing if not striking scenery—especially if you come during peak Northern Lights viewing season, November through March. Spend a few days in the buzzing capital city of Reykjavík before visiting the famed Blue Lagoon and the otherworldly Kirkjufell (a.k.a. Church mountain).
Photography: Courtesy of Habitas Tulum/Adrian Gaut24 of 24
Hippie-chic vibes abound in this tiny town on the Riviera Maya. Yogis, wellness types, and general escapists will love posting up at one of Tulum's boutique hotels—some in the treetops, some glamping-style, but all fronting gorgeous Caribbean sea waters and with laid-back vibes that will immediately get you in a relaxed, honeymoon state of mind.