Can't decide between a big-city adventure or a newylwed vacation spent lounging on the beach? You don't have to.
If the key to marriage is nailing the art of compromise, then consider choosing a destination for your honeymoon your first big test. He wants to unwind on a beautiful stretch of beach, whereas you've always imagined a honeymoon spent exploring a new city. What to do? Meet in the middle with a city-meets-beach honeymoon hotel, where you're just steps from the ocean but also right in the center of a happening town. Whether you're on the East Coast and want to stick to Miami Beach or the Caribbean, or you're West Coast-based and prefer to stay close to home in California or Mexico, there are plenty of warm-weather destinations where sun and sand meet trendy streets.
Don't believe us? Get ready to be surprised. Call a beach retreat in Santa Monica home during your honeymoon and you've got easy access to the Pacific and Los Angeles. Spend your days by the ocean, then take a quick trip to the city for a downtown dinner. Looking for something a little more far-flung? Choose San Juan, Puerto Rico, as your locale and you'll sleep in a room overlooking the Atlantic, but have a chance to dine and party in one of the buzziest cities in the Caribbean.
And there's more where these spots came from. Read on for our favorite honeymoon destinations—and the chicest hotels in each spot—that offer a seamless blend of city and beach in one destination. Newlywed compromise just got a whole lot easier.
Photography: Courtesy of Hotel Casa del Mar2 of 10
Hotel Casa del Mar, Santa Monica, California
If beach access is what you're after, you'll get that and more at Hotel Casa del Mar. After all, it served as an exclusive beach club in the 1920s, and now offers guests an opportunity to see the Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel right from their well-appointed ocean view suite. And should you want to visit the city, you have options, too. Malibu and Los Angeles are both just short rides away.
Photography: Courtesy of Hotel Amapa3 of 10
Hotel Amapa, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Oft-considered spring break central, Puerto Vallarta is a resort town on Mexico's Pacific coast, in the sate of Jalisco, known for its beaches and nightlife. But the area in the midst of a pseudo-renaissance, thanks to the opening of upscale retreats like Hotel Amapa. This boutique hotel in the Colonia Amapas neighborhood has high-design rooms and a rooftop pool and bar with panoramic views of the ocean and the Sierra Madre Mountains. After a day on the beach, go for a nightly stroll along El Malecón, the city's beachside promenade lined with restaurants, bars, and lounges.
Photography: Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Bal Harbour4 of 10
The Ritz-Carlton, Bal Harbour, Florida
A luxurious honeymoon is a given when you check into the Ritz-Carlton, Bal Harbour. Located on the oceanfront of North Miami Beach, you'll get the best of both worlds during your stay: the spacious, recently refreshed rooms at the property have stunning views of the water, but you'll also be in close proximity to the city. After a day on the beach, take a stroll down the streets to South Beach, located just 15 minutes away, or visit the nearby Bal Harbour Shops. With so many convenient options to choose from, you'll never run out of things to do.
Photography: Courtesy of westdrift5 of 10
westdrift Manhattan Beach, an Autograph Collection Hotel, California
East Coast classic meets Southern California cool at westdrift Manhattan Beach, a charming yet sophisticated beach town located in the southwestern corner of Los Angeles. The hotel faces a nine-hole golf course, so you can get a quick round in before hanging on the beach or shopping at the city's surf-inspired stores. Just be sure to cap the night with cocktails at the 360-degree bar or outdoor terrace of Jute, the signature restaurant, which features fresh, communal-focused plates developed by Executive Chef Octavio Sabado.
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Photography: Courtesy of Serafina Beach Hotel6 of 10
Serafina Beach Hotel, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Despite being hard-hit by Hurricane Maria in 2017, Puerto Rico remains one of the Caribbean's buzziest islands. In places like the hip Condado district of San Juan, golden-sand beaches meet towering hotels like the new Serafina Beach Hotel (and OL:V Fifty Five later this year). This swanky stay was masterminded by the founders of Serafina restaurant in New York City, a local go-to for authentic Italian, so you can expect food that's not only delicious but also just pretty as the beach-facing views. Expect Latin-European fusion at aMare, handcrafted cocktails at PiñaCo, and light-and-bright bites at By the Pool.
Photography: Courtesy of Faena Hotel Miami Beach7 of 10
Faena Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida
At Faena Hotel Miami Beach, you'll experience more than just the convergence of city and beach. The modern property is also an entryway into the area's noteworthy art scene through both its location and décor. Situated in the Faena District, known for its distinctive modern architecture and bright white buildings, the hotel is home to two large sculptures by English artist Damien Hirst—the most recognizable piece, a gilded woolly mammoth skeleton titled "Gone but not Forgotten," is currently on display on the resort's grounds. Just as noteworthy? The symmetrical, red umbrella-lined pool, private beach access, and award-winning restaurants.
Photography: Courtesy of Shutters on the Beach8 of 10
Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica, California
This popular city, just west of Los Angeles, is the perfect hybrid of coastal cool and city sleek. On the beaches you'll find downtown dwellers escaping the concrete jungle, as well as local surfer bros spending their lunch break out on the surf break. In the heart of it all is Shutters on the Beach, a sexy-sleek luxury hotel that's has all the right SoCal vibes: spacious, residential-style accommodations, market-fresh menus at the on-site restaurants, plus a new alfresco bar dedicated exclusively to rosé.
Photography: Courtesy of Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara9 of 10
Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara, California
Just steps from the beach in downtown Santa Barbara, this newcomer made waves with its clever high-design take on a Spanish Colonial Revival building. Celebrity designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard infused all the rooms with Moorish-style accents (tiled walls, patterned wallpaper, etc.), giving this classic beachfront locale a sophisticated spin. It's the perfect hybrid of city and beach—and hopefully, the perfect place to start your marriage.
Photography: Courtesy of 1 Hotel South Beach10 of 10
1 Hotel South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida
If there were a city-meets-beach capital of the U.S., Miami Beach would be it. This sizzling town has exploded in recent years, extending its reputation from party pad to design and food capital. Smack-dab in the heart of South Beach is the 1 Hotel, a towering behemoth that somehow manages to exude coastal charm. Whether you're relaxing by the lobby's living wall, sunbathing by the adults-only rooftop pool, or lounging on the sandy shores of Miami, your city stay will have a bit of beachy zen no matter where you go.
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