10 Luxury Destinations for a Passport-Free Honeymoon
Every couple should know that planning the honeymoon is one of most crucial parts of the wedding planning process. The honeymoon is your chance, after the craziness of the wedding day, to take a moment and soak in the rays of your new marriage—just the two of you. While some couples look for private islands in the Indian Ocean or all-inclusives in the Caribbean, many newlyweds are now looking closer to home. There are a ton of incredible resorts in the United States that don’t include updating your passport. Instead of using a full day of your honeymoon on a flight, add these nearby, luxury resorts to your honeymoon (or mini-moon!) option list.
1. For the Caribbean in Your Backyard
Location: Dorado, Puerto Rico
For couples who want a Caribbean experience, Puerto Rico, America’s Caribbean territory, has the teal waters and relaxed culture of the Caribbean without the customs line. Extravagant resorts are scattered across the island, but Dorado Beach, A Ritz Carlton Reserve is a favorite among honeymooners. The remote jungle experience is just the beginning. Many rooms are beach or oceanfront and come with private plunge pools—and the rooms and resort are meant to be integrated into their environment. You can also look forward to appreciating nature in a whole new way. This secluded paradise comes with all the fixings: Great food, elaborate pools and an excessive amount of care for each guest. For those who want to splurge, ask for "Su Casa," the property's private, oceanfront estate. It even comes with a maid’s quarters.
2. For the Lowcountry Lifestyle
Location: Hilton Head Island, SC
Hilton Head Island is already a popular wedding destination, but it’s so much more than that. The island, though under an hour from the city of Savannah, feels as if you're miles and miles away from bustling city streets. It’s an easy flight, and with resorts like the The Westin Hilton Head Resort & Spa, you won’t need to go any further. The beachfront resort sits directly on shimmering sand surrounded by Hilton Head’s famous palmetto trees. The landscape is lush and encroaches on the three tropical pools that overlook the ocean. Enjoy a top-notch spa, world-class golf and Southern charm—or just fade away into your happily ever after.
3. For Wine Lovers
Location: Sedona, AZ
The iconic Red Rocks and wine tastings of Sedona are romantic without any luxury add-ons, but those details sure don't hurt. Enjoy expansive views of the Red Rocks from your personal cottage at L'Auberge de Sedona and take in nature’s natural wonders. Sedona allows visitors to take part in peaceful or adventure retreats, and at you can have both. Take the day to explore the rich wine culture of Sedona through the Verde Valley Wine Trail. Then, come back to a romantic, candlelit dinner over Oak Creek.
4. For the Western Adventurers
Location: Saratoga, WY
For couples looking to branch out from the beach honeymoon jaunt on the hunt for exploration, America’s Western Front is the perfect place. Luxury ranches like The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch give guests the adrenaline-pumping adventure coupled with unmatched relaxation, dining and romance. Try horseback riding, fly-fishing or hitting the trail on the lodge’s 30,000-acre property. Once you’ve had your fill, make your way to the Trailhead Spa lodge for a luxury massage underneath the Sierra Madre Mountains. The ranch has all the trappings for an unbelievable trip that will keep the magic alive for years to come.
5. For the Classic Hawaiian Honeymoon
Location: Kauai, HI
Hawaii will always be one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the US. Its rich tropical backdrop and isolated islands are unlike anything in the lower 48 states. (To be fair, the islands are closer to Tokyo than New York City.) The classic Hawaiian honeymoon wouldn't be complete without an opulent, beachfront resort counterpart. Enter the St. Regis Princeville Resort where all of your Hawaiian island dreams can come true. Straight out of your Pinterest board, this is a North Shore dream on Kauai's elegant landscape. Horseback ride on the beach, hike preserves, find secret waterfalls, dine with your toes in the sand—it’s all here. This is the type of resort you’ll be coming back to on every anniversary, so let the the tradition start now.
6. For Those Southern California Vibes
Location: Big Sur, CA
Like many of California's coastlines, cliffs overlooking crashing waves are a staple, but unlike the rest of California, Big Sur is an undeveloped wonderland where the lines between land and water blur into the distance. It's the perfect location to leave the stress of planning your wedding behind and start your life together. There’s no better resort where this will happen than the Post Ranch Inn. Choose from suites that focus on natural elements like cliffs, coasts and oceans. Each individual structure will give you a new perspective on the Pacific Ocean beside you. When you’re not staring at the ocean current from your outdoor shower, let Redwood trees surround you in privacy. The Post Ranch Inn brings together the natural beauty of Big Sur, the expected richness of a honeymoon and that chill California attitude.
7. For the Northern Explorers
Location: Kenai Peninsula, AK
Don't overlook Alaska as one of the ultimate honeymoon destinations. This is by the far one of the most extreme locations you can go to get away from it all. It's not for the faint of heart, but the majesty of the North will floor you. For nature lovers, traveling into the depths of the wilderness is a must, but with a clearing of all the incredible scenery. Tutka Bay Lodge in the Kenai Peninsula is the perfect solution—and it’s also a haven for foodies. The lodge is even part of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World program. Discover Alaskan species, fjords and glaciers. Top explorers all over the world come here to breathe in the fresh Alaskan air, and you can follow in their footsteps. Make sure to close each night with the sea-to-table spreads and take part in the foraging tradition of the area—you'll be able to create and eat concoctions from food you fished and foraged on the property. Nothing about this honeymoon is generic, but everything about the Tutka Bay Lodge oozes luxury.
8. For the Disconnected Paradise
Location: Little Torch Key, FL
Newlyweds tend to shy away from Florida because they want to avoid the crowds at amusement parks and crowded beaches. Take a second look and check out the Florida Keys, a string of islands off Florida’s coast between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The crowds will feel oceans away when you arrive by seaplane or boat to the Little Palm Island Resort & Spa. This property is located on its own private island and there are no TVs, no electronics, no alarm clocks and no distractions. Rest easy in your bungalow and relax in your private hot tub. When you’re ready, walk on crushed shells toward the beach. It’s all about relaxation and disconnecting—you’ll never feel so at peace.
9. For Southern City Slickers
Location: New Orleans, LA
10. For the Historic New Englanders
Location: Newport, RI
For those who wish to revel in the elegance that New England offers, Newport should be your number one pick. Its seaside scene makes it an ideal option for a light excursion through the harbor to see towering yachts or a tour of elaborate mansions that contour Newport’s coastline. When you’re through eyeing the gorgeous architecture, enter your own slice of New England charm with a stay at The Chanler at Cliff Walk. This hotel encapsulates the pristine sophistication that is Newport. For the history buffs out there, The Chanler at Cliff Walk is also part of the Historic Hotels of America. Reflect on ocean views while enjoying a sparkling fire. Enjoy three-course meals and immaculate service as only the wealthy of the past could. Stroll the manicured gardens and inhale the Newport summer. This honeymoon is steeped in history, but made for new beginnings.