The Best Places to Honeymoon by Season

Whether it's the weather or the cost, we're breaking down the best destinations per season.
by Jen Murphy

We've got the perfect place for an unforgettable trip—and plenty of things to fill up your itinerary—whether you're planning a spring sojourn, summer getaway, fall minimoon or winter escape.

Spring

Eleuthera, The Bahamas

Why go: While the resort-lined beaches of Nassau and Paradise Island get an in ux of college spring break revelers, Eleuthera maintains a blissful, off-the-grid feel. It’s easy to unwind here— days revolve around long walks on pink-sand beaches, fish-fry lunches and sunset cocktails.
Great for: Eco-minded travelers, beach bums, glampers, surfers

Where to stay: The Other Side delivers the best of both worlds. You get to be based on the sleepy, low-key island of Eleuthera, but have the buzzy nightlife of Harbour Island, a seven-minute boat shuttle away. Entirely solar powered, the resort’s three glamping tents and three “shacks” are Instagram eye candy, as is the saltwater pool that appears to be suspended over the ocean.

What to do: Explore Eleuthera’s blushing beaches. Surfer’s Beach is popular with the hang-ten set while Preacher’s is a favorite picnic spot. The calm, protected waters of horseshoe-shaped Ben Bay Beach are perfect for swimming.

Don't miss: Tippy’s, a legendary beach bar with open-air gazebos and eclectic décor, has live music and dancing every Saturday night. Go early for dinner. The chalkboard menu changes daily, but the conch fritters are a delicious staple.

Alentejo, Portugal

Why go: Alentejo, Portugal’s hottest and driest region, is in its prime in spring, when the Mediterranean climate is just right and the elds are a vibrant green dotted with colorful wild owers. You’ll find glorious empty beaches, perfect waves for surfing, and mom-and-pop wineries and restaurants.

Great for: Wine geeks, design a cionados, deserted beach lovers, surfers

Where to stay: Sublime Comporta’s 34 rooms, suites and villas have a striking modern design. Minimalist, Scandinavian-inspired interiors feature natural touches like cork walls, exposed wood beams and pine stools. Set on 17 pine-shaded acres, guests have access to an adults-only pool and enormous spa, as well as beds and huts at the exclusive Praia do Pego beach—just book a day in advance. 

What to do: More than 60 miles off Alentejo’s coast is a natural park, which means wild, wide-open beaches. Soak up some sun then enjoy a long lunch at seafood-centric restaurant, Sal.

Don't miss: Get to know the region’s prized Antão Vaz grape varietal during a wine tasting at Quinta do Quetzal. This gorgeous vineyard, owned by art collectors, also has a gallery and a restaurant, which serves rustic Alentejo cuisine.

Islamorada, Florida

Why go: This island paradise is home to the largest living coral reef in America, and water activities, including boating, shing, diving and paddling, are a way of life here. Quirky and laid-back, this is a destination to soak in the sun, feast on fresh seafood and sip cocktails at funky beach bars.

Great for: Beach and water lovers, fishing fanatics, naturists

Where to stay: A private beach dotted with hammocks, beach loungers and thatched huts is one of many draws at Amara Cay Resort. Many of the 110 rooms have furnished balconies with ocean views, and an on-site dive shop can arrange any water activity.

What to do: Islamorada is known as the sport shing capital of the world. Go out angling for tarpon, sword fish and mahi-mahi with Bud n’ Mary’s Fishing Marina

Don't miss: Experience the natural beauty of Florida Bay on a two-hour trip through mangrove and hardwood hammock islands. Stop along the way to take in the wildlife. Or opt for a sunset catamaran cruise, complete with complimentary champagne. 

Summer

Banff and Lake Louise, Canada

Why go: The Canadian Rockies are even more majestic once the snow melts. Take to the trails of Ban National Park on horseback; kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard in turquoise-colored lakes; soak in hot springs; or catch a concert at Shaw Amphitheatre.

Great for: Adventurers, naturists, photography enthusiasts

Where to stay: The Post Hotel & Spa is an oasis of comfort set within the heart of Ban National Park. Pine furnishings, goose-down duvets and slate bathroom oors give rooms, suites and cabins an alpine-luxe feel. And after a day in the wild, guests can recuperate in the spa’s Romanesque saltwater pool or over a bottle of wine selected from one of Canada’s largest cellars.

What to do: Take in the park’s National Geographic–worthy scenery on horseback. Century-old Brewster Lake Louise Stables leads trail rides to noteworthy spots like the Plain of Six Glaciers and the Giant Steps. The half-day Lake Agnes Tea House ride climbs one of the most popular trails in the Rockies and delivers stunning views of Mirror Lake.  

Don't miss: A helicopter can drop you and a guide in remote patches of wilderness. 

Big Sur, California

Why go: Set along California’s iconic Highway 1, Big Sur encapsulates everything dreamy about Northern California. Savor a leisurely breakfast at Big Sur Bakery while waiting for the morning fog to burn off, then hit the beach or take to the trails. In summer, you’re likely to spot blue whales, humpbacks and orcas in their natural habitat.

Great for: Road trippers, naturists, foodies, photography nerds

Where to stay: Just off a multimillion dollar renovation by Alila Hotels & Resorts, Ventana Big Sur sits on 160 forested acres on the rugged Paci coast. Guests can opt to stay in rustic-luxe rooms, suites or cabins, or “rough it” for a night or two in a safari-style tent at the resort’s new Redwood and Canyon glamping sites.

What to do:  Hike the Gorge Trail at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park—it leads to crystal-clear swimming holes. After sunset, stargaze from the clothing-optional Mountain Pool or the Japanese hot baths at Spa Alila.

Don't miss: Literary nerds and photography lovers should book Ventana’s Jack Kerouac experience. You’ll self-drive, following your guide along the Old Coast Road, and stop to picnic along the Little Sur River. 

Natucket, Massachusetts

Why go: Nothing compares to summer in New England, and Nantucket embodies the best of the season with its wide beaches, killer seafood restaurants, old-school ice cream shops, cruiser bikes and Vineyard Vines crowd.

Great for: Shoppers, beach bums, sailors

Where to stay: Located right on Nantucket Harbor, a short walk to the cobblestone streets of downtown, White Elephant is the quintessential beach stay. The 67 rooms, suites and cottages have decks or patios, as well as replaces for cool nights. Brant Point Grill is a local favorite, especially around sunset. 

What to do: Rent bikes and ride the bike path along Hummock Pond Road to Cisco Brewers. The craft brewery holds public tours and tastings, and in summer regularly features live music and food trucks. 

Don't miss: Guests of the hotel have exclusive access to the White Elephant’s 36-foot Hinckley yacht through yachting service Barton & Gray. Reserve it for a romantic, private cruise.

Fall

St. Lucia

Why go: St. Lucia is the Caribbean escape of choice for couples who prefer waterfalls to pools and hiking to lounging with a piña colada on the beach. During the fall, the weather is still breezy and beautiful on St. Lucia, but the crowds are thinner and rates for both hotels and airfare are lower.

Great for: Adventurers, active travelers, sun seekers

Where to stay: Located at the highest point on St. Lucia, Jade Mountain feels like a little slice of heaven oating high in the clouds (think: white-sand beaches, pristine coral reefs and an on-site organic farm). The 29 suites are more like mini resorts within a resort, with 15-foot ceilings, panoramic views of the Piton Mountains, and a private in nity pool or Jacuzzi. 

What to do:  Waterfalls rival beaches as the main attraction on St. Lucia. Sault Falls on the island’s east coast takes a bit more effort to reach, but you’re likely to have the 55-foot falls all to yourself. If hiking is your thing, tackle the 2,619-foot climb up Gros Piton for incredible peak views. 

Don't miss: The 110-minute Alchemy for Two spa ritual at Kai en Ciel Spa was designed speci cally for couples and incorporates massage, poetry, chocolates and tantra vibrational oil. 

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Why go: An easy, nonstop flight from the West Coast, Cabo has transformed in recent years into a sophisticated destination with star chef restaurants and wow-factor luxury resorts. Days are still warm in fall and nights are cool enough to cuddle near a fire, plus families haven’t arrived yet for the holidays.

Great for: Hotel snobs, pool people, foodies, surfers, adventurers

Where to stay: Dramatic best describes The Resort at Pedregal—with its 900-foot torch-lit tunnel entrance and lunar-inspired spa treatments. Considered one of Cabo’s most romantic places to stay, guests get their own personal concierge to handle every detail, such as restaurant reservations and off-site excursions.

What to do: Discover Cabo’s other “wild side” on The Resort at Pedregal’s Secrets of Baja’s Sierras Luxploration tour. You’ll take a 4x4 to a desert oasis where you’ll hike past towering cacti to cascading waterfalls and swimming holes, and meet local legend Doña Luz for a tortilla-making class followed by lunch. 

Don't miss: The cliffside setting of El Farallon restaurant makes it one of Cabo’s most coveted reservations. Arrive early to experience a flight of bubbly (choose from 15 varietals) at the Champagne Terrace.

Nicaragua

Why go: Fine sand beaches, world-class surf breaks, exotic islands and dramatic volcanoes make for the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation.

Great for: Adventurers, naturists, surfers, culturally curious travelers

Where to stay: Nekupe Sporting Resort and Retreat, Nicaragua’s first upscale countryside retreat, is ideal for couples looking for an intimate stay that offers both romance and adventure. Set on an 1,800-acre nature reserve, the property has just eight rooms and a renovated spa. Get your adrenaline x clay shooting and racing ATVs, or Zen out with yoga and painting classes. 

What to do: The charming colonial city of Granada is 30 minutes away. Wander its cobblestone streets, enjoy a boat ride on Lake Nicaragua or have the resort arrange visits with local artists and potters.

Don't miss: Guests with a taste for life’s ner things will appreciate Nekupe’s collection of hand-rolled cigars and aged rums. A resident rum expert and a cigar sommelier lead tastings on request.

Winter

Quebec
Ian Roberge

Quebec

Why go: Winter is the perfect season to sample Quebec’s hearty signature dish, poutine (fries, gravy and cheese curds), and visit its famed sugar shacks.

Great for: Foodies, Francophiles, snow enthusiasts

Where to stay: Located in the picturesque village of North Hatley, just 80 minutes from Montréal, Manoir Hovey is a 30-acre lakeside retreat with a renowned restaurant. Each of the 37 rooms and suites is uniquely designed. The Treetops Suite, with its lake-view porch, cathedral ceiling, replace and Jacuzzi bathtub, is ideal for a romantic winter stay. Explore the grounds on snowshoes or take a spin on the lake’s private ice rink.

What to do: Spend a day ice fishing on Lake Massawippi with local expert Florent Hébert, then take in the surrounding winter wonderland on a horse-drawn sleigh. Warm up back at the inn with a hot chocolate tasting.

Don't miss: With more than 900 wines and a selection of some of Quebec’s top cheeses, Le Hatley restaurant is a must. Four- or eight-course tasting menus showcase the region’s seasonal ingredients. Chef Wolf’s culinary philosophy is inspired by flavor profiles that celebrate Quebec’s rivers, lakes, forests and elds.

Woodstock, Vermont

Why go: Considered one of the prettiest small towns in America, Woodstock oozes Norman Rockwell–worthy charm in New England. An old general store and town crier give the village a trapped-in-time feel, and some of the East Coast’s top ski resorts, such as Killington, are 30 minutes away.

Great for: Skiers, outdoorsy types, antique lovers, beer snobs

Where to stay: The Woodstock Inn & Resort sits across from the Village Green, walking distance to the iconic FH Gillingham & Sons general store and locally loved restaurants, like The Prince and the Pauper. Fresh o a renovation, the 142 rooms are decorated with Federalist-era antiques and artisan-crafted furnishings—and some even come with wood-burning replaces. Breakfast at The Red Rooster, the resort’s locavore restaurant, is worth waking up for.

What to do: Bundle up and explore the 30 kilometers of trails by ski, snowshoe or fat bike at the resort’s on-site Nordic Adventure Center. Or head to the slopes. The Suicide Six, one of the country’s oldest ski areas, is just 10 minutes away.

Don't miss: The Woodstock Inn & Resort boasts one of New England’s top spas. Request the couple’s treatment room and choose from therapies like a Himalayan salt stone massage.

Belize

Why go: Waterfalls, white-sand beaches, Mayan ruins, tropical rain forests and the world’s second largest barrier reef are some of the many reasons Belize is a top honeymoon destination. It’s also incredibly accessible. English is the main language and most major airlines in the US fly nonstop, landing you in balmy weather in two to five hours.

Great for: Divers, beach bums, archaeology geeks, naturists

Where to stay: Live out your castaway fantasies at Matachica Resort & Spa, a secluded beachfront hotel with 31 boho-chic thatched-roof casitas. Reachable by a 10-minute boat from San Pedro, the adults-only property was designed for R & R. Kayaks, paddleboards and snorkel gear are complimentary, and Jade spa uses local ingredients in treatments like the Mayan coffee scrub. 

What to do:  Pull yourself away from the beach and allow the concierge at Matachica to arrange a half-day adventure to Lamanai. You’ll feel like Indiana Jones as you journey to an archaeological site by boat and tour the crumbling Mayan ruins with a local guide. 

Don't miss: Experience Belize’s famed reef and diverse marine life (stingrays, nurse sharks, turtles and more) on a snorkel or scuba tour with Belize Pro Dive Center

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