Incredible Mini-Moon Destinations That Are Surprisingly Close to Home
Whether you need a quick getaway before the craziness of the wedding weekend or you only have a few days to travel for the honeymoon, there are tons of options in and around the United States that cut down on travel time while still offering full-fledged romance. We've rounded up the most interesting—and surprising—domestic destinations, plus a few easy-to-get-to places in the Caribbean and Mexico, all just a short flight from major U.S. cities. The only thing you'll need is a carry-on and your significant other for an abbreviated—but no less memorable—mini-moon in any one of these easy escapes.
Looking for the perfect mini-moon spot on the East Coast? Baltimore, Maryland, is home to a new harbor-facing hotel with cushy amenities and even better views. If the charm of New England is more your vibe, head to Washington, Connecticut, for a stay an ultra-romantic country estate-turned-inn and spa, pictured here. Should the West Coast be calling your name, sample red wine in Oregon's Willamette Valley, one of the world's most respected regions for Pinot Noir. For couples looking for a little more adventure, consider Deer Valley, Utah, where you can ski by day and enjoy après drinks in downtown Park City.
We didn't forget the sun bums, either. Jamaica, the Bahamas, Mexico, and St. Kitts are all easy to travel to from nearly any major city, and, depending on where you call home, you might be able to get there in just two or three hours.
So, if you're looking to plan an incredible mini-moon (or even a post-engagement vacation!), check out some of our favorite destinations here.
St. Michaels, Maryland
At Inn at Perry Cabin, experience the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay even before you check in (the property offers complimentary transfers from the mainland via a luxurious yacht). After you're settled, set sail on one of the residence's boats or simply sip a drink on the edge of the water in a cozy Adirondack chair. However you decide to make the most of this luxury property (and its golf course, on-site gardens, or proximity to the town in St. Michaels), there's a good chance you'll spend the majority of your time together on or near the water—and there's nothing more romantic than that.
Baltimore has seen a major transformation over the past few years, and East Coast couples will be surprised to find a honeymoon-worthy stay along the Inner Harbor. Book a room at the newest hotel, the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore, an industrial-chic spot in the buzzy Fell's Point neighborhood. The hotel, set in the reconverted Recreation Pier, has a pool overlooking the harbor, 128 guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, and a restaurant from acclaimed chef Andrew Carmellini. After sunset by the pool, head to the intimate Cannon Room to sip Sagamore Rye, a new locally crafted whiskey from the spring house at Sagamore Farm.
This northeastern state may not sound like a mini-moon hotspot, but check into the ultra-romantic Grace Mayflower Inn & Spa, and you'll find your preconceptions misguided. This country estate-style retreat is set on 58 acres of woodland and beautifully landscaped gardens within the idyllic town of Washington, less than two hours from Manhattan by car. You'll have plenty of privacy since there are only 30 rooms and suites. And the inn is Relais & Châteaux-designated (translation: the food is top-notch); expect regionally sourced ingredients on menus at The Mayflower Dining Room, which serves everything from pan-seared Atlantic salmon to Berkshire Heritage Pork Chop and cavatelli bolognese. There's no better way to spend your post-wedding days than hiking thousands of nature trails within the nearby Steep Rock Reserve, followed by a body-melting spa treatment and a tandem nap beside the indoor pool.
California wine country is an obvious crowd-pleaser for out-of-towners—and also a shoe-in for in-state mini-moons. Tuck yourselves away on a remote piece of Northern California's Sonoma coast at Timber Cove, a boutique resort just two hours from San Francisco. This oceanside enclave has just 46 rooms, all perched on an isolated bluff high above the Pacific Ocean. The recently renovated hotel channels the clean lines of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, making it stand out among 25 acres of rugged coastline and dense redwood forest.
Deer Valley, Utah
Winter weddings don't always have to be followed up by warm-weather honeymoons. Couples who marry during the cold months can enjoy a bit of the season with an escape to the Wasatch Mountains, near Park City, Utah. The luxurious St. Regis Deer Valley has everything you need for a honeymoon-worthy stay: All guest rooms feature mountain views; the 14,000-square-foot Remède Spa has two private spa suites, complete with a patio and a cascading waterfall; and après-style nightlife is just around the corner in downtown Park City—don't miss a flight of whiskey at High West Distillery.
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Pacific Northwesterners need not travel outside the region for an indulgent food and wine experience. A trip to one of the world's most respected regions for Pinot Noir production offers many of the same pleasures as Napa, without the added travel time. Make basecamp at the Allison Inn & Spa, where the 77 guest rooms and 8 suites overlook 35 acres of rolling hillside. From there, you have the perfect jumping-off point from which to explore Willamette's 500 wineries, which benefit from a unique maritime climate characterized by cool, misty winters and mild summers.
This West Indies isle largely flies under the radar, thanks to limited flight service and exclusively boutique-style accommodations. Now that Delta Airlines has rolled out nonstop flights to St. Kitts and Nevis, northeastern honeymooners will find it mini-moon-ready. The island's chicest stay is undoubtedly the new Park Hyatt St. Kitts, a high-design resort on Christophe Harbor. The minimalist yet cozy rooms are the kind you want to immediately Instagram (especially the suites with private rooftop plunge pools); the three restaurants serve superb locally sourced cuisine (one is even adults-only); and the spa is the Caribbean's first Miraval-branded outpost (expect globally influenced treatments that will reset both mind and body).
Harbour Island, Bahamas
Committed mini-mooners will find a worthy escape on the most exclusive Bahamian isle, Harbour Island. Located just a short ferry from Eleuthera (which is accessible via puddle jumper from Nassau), Harbour Island is a beach-lover's dream. The wide, pink-sand stretch along the eastern Atlantic Ocean side is considered one of the prettiest swaths in all of the Caribbean. Post up on its shores at Coral Sands, a design-savvy resort with one of the island's best beach bars.
Between the blazing sun, the sultry Spanish music, and the mind-numbing margaritas, Mexico is a home-run as far as honeymoons are concerned. You don't need more than a long weekend for an incredible stay at NIZUC Resort & Spa, just a short drive from the airport in Cancún, but set away from the spring-breaker fray along Cancún's main beach. This upscale resort has numerous infinity-edge pools (and private plunge pools in select suites), two secluded white-sand beaches, a massive 30,000-square-foot ESPA-branded spa facility, and six restaurants serving everything from Italian to Peruvian and Japanese-fusion.
Just an hour-and-a-half from Miami (and less than four hours from New York City), Jamaica is one of the Caribbean's most accessible sun-and-sand paradises. Skip the big-box all-inclusives in Montego Bay (or "MoBay," as the locals call it) and check into Sunset at the Palms, a treehouse-style boutique hotel in Negril. The adults-only property still offers all-inclusive amenities, eliminating the stress of signing bills on your honeymoon. Have coffee on the secluded balcony of your treehouse in the morning, head to the private beach for an afternoon of sunbathing, and for dinner, take your pick among Caribbean-fusion dishes at the Lotus Leaf restaurant.