The 15 Best Winter Honeymoon Destinations in the US
To-be-weds often consider summer the ideal time to honeymoon. The pace at work may slow down and many renowned honeymoon destinations might attract newlyweds. However, romantic getaways in the winter shouldn't be underestimated. If you're getting married in the colder months (a most wonderful time of year), there are plenty of reasons to plan a winter honeymoon in the USA.
Travel may be cheaper and crowds are oftentimes thinner. Some cold-weather destinations even transform into complete winter wonderlands, where couples can take sleigh rides, sip hot chocolate in cozy mugs, and give snowmobiling a try. Honeymooners craving milder temperatures also have plenty of options. The US Virgin Islands, Florida and Hawaii are all sunny, domestic options. Whether it's a road trip excursion in the snow or a relaxing oceanfront stay, read on for our list of the top winter honeymoon destinations in the USA.
High-end ski resorts have made Aspen a popular getaway for Hollywood stars, including Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson and Mariah Carey. Aspen is also considered a romantic place for a honeymoon with its various resorts and restaurants. Snow-adoring couples know skiing or snowboarding are musts in this town. Beginners can enjoy themselves at Buttermilk Mountain, which has easier terrain, while Aspen Mountain (Ajax) is for the more experienced lovebirds. If you're looking to cap the day with a luxurious stay, The Little Nell and St. Regis Aspen offer warm beds and hot tubs.
Austin is known for its hip and quirky culture, vibrant nightlife, world-class barbecue. Couples will easily eat their way through the city as Johnny Cash tunes play in the background at the Mean Eyed Cat. The city's 2nd Street District is full of more popular eateries and unique shops. If you're the type of couple who wants a retreat-style honeymoon, head to Miraval Austin Resort & Spa. Set on 220 acres of protected forest, the guest rooms have meditation equipment, and an extensive spa menu.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Oregon's winter temperatures hover at around 50 degrees, making it mild and enjoyable. A trip to Cannon Beach during the cooler months will give honeymooners a chance to see the famous and charming coastal city when it's less crowded. Wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate the gray whales that come out to play during the winter, which you can easily spot on tours. Willamette Valley, located about two hours away, makes for a buzz-worthy day trip for wine-adoring couples. The pinot is considered among the best in the USA, and many vineyards offer wine tastings.
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston's mild temperatures and picturesque Spanish moss are a welcome respite from the harsh and gray winters up north. Since winter is oyster season in South Carolina, couples can over-indulge at a local seafood restaurant or The Lowcountry Oyster Festival, which typically takes place in January. During the holiday season, The Festival of Lights at James Island illuminates the area, and horse-drawn carriage rides add extra romance to the southern city.
Holiday lights dim in comparison to the Northern Lights. Also known as the aurora borealis, the colorful display of solar activity is enchanting, romantic and a bucket list item for couples around the world. Winter is one of the best times to catch the phenomenon, as the days are shorter and the skies are darker. Plus, there's plenty to see and do. Locals go snowmobiling or dog sledding during the winter months, and honeymooners can book one of those experiences. Chena Hot Springs is one of the most sought-after places to stay too.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Wyoming's Jackson Hole is one of the best honeymoon destinations for snow bunnies. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort averages 459 inches of snowfall each year, making it a celebrated place to ski. (Pro tip: It does get crowded in the winter months, so book a lesson and skip the lift lines.) Couples who stay at the slopeside hotel Continuum will enjoy a five-minute walk to the mountain resort and access their hot tubs after a long day of activity. Grand Teton National Park is just 30 minutes from the mountain resort, and Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park is a two-hour road trip for its frosty, ethereal landscape. There's plenty to do in Jackson alone, making it a worthy winter honeymoon spot.
Hawaii is home to temperatures in the mid-70s throughout the winter, making it an especially alluring option to those who want to escape the chill of January. Unlike its fancier sister Maui, Kauai is an idyllic paradise for adventurers who want a more organic, nature-driven getaway. Rafting and ATV waterfall tours are two ways to turn your island getaway into the adventure of a lifetime. Kalalau Lookout boasts breathtaking panoramic vistas of the Napali Coast. If you're there in February, consider putting the Waimea Town Celebration on your list. The island's oldest and largest celebration lasts nine days and celebrates Hawaiian culture with cocktails, music, cuisine and more.
Key West, Florida
Couples who think the birds have the right idea when they fly south for winter will love the warmer weather and beaches in Florida's Key West. The temperatures oscillate between the 60s and 70s throughout the winter. Plus, it's the least rainy time of year. Take in sea breezes and explore the local marine life on kayaking and snorkeling adventures. Couples have plenty of resort options in the area, including The Marker Key West Harbor Resort or the sophisticated Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. If you're in the area during the holiday season, hop aboard the Old Town Trolley for a tour of the area's most festive light displays. For a scenic experience, start your winter honeymoon in Miami (stay for a night at The Surf Club or The Faena), then enjoy the three-hour drive along the Florida coast.
Maui is a favorite spot for honeymooners for a multitude of reasons, including its gentle beaches, incredible landscape and developed resort areas, like the iconic Wailea Beach and beloved Ka'anapali Beach. At the latter location, a stay at the Westin Maui offers prime oceanfront views, a newly renovated, club-access tower, and close proximity to delicious local restaurants like Merriman's. For couples who want a nature-driven experience, The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is a short distance away from bustling Ka'anapali. A beautiful drive north from Kapalua will showcase rugged coastlines, secluded beaches, snorkeling alcoves and pristine golf courses—in fact, among the best in the world. A winter honeymoon on the island wouldn't be complete without a stop along Wailea, home to one of the most iconic infinity pools in the world at the Four Seasons. While there, honeymooners will want to book an oceanfront, outdoor couple's massage.
New York, New York
The city that never sleeps doesn't go into hibernation come winter. Throughout December, Rockefeller Center is home to a gigantic holiday tree. Tourists can snap a photo of the towering evergreen, sign up for a romantic ice skating experience in the nearby rink, or people-watch from one of the many restaurants with views. Other must-visits for first-timers include Central Park, famous art galleries like MoMA and a Broadway play. New York is often known for its bold attitude and fast pace, but boutique hotels offer a more charming experience. For couples who truly want to splurge, the Park Hyatt New York offers direct views of Central Park and The Carlyle Hotel is a favorite among celebrities, including Meghan Markle and other royals.
New England gets its share of snow and cold weather come winter. But the region's large supply of hot chocolate makes it a charming and romantic honeymoon spot. Couples will want to enjoy ice skating at Thompson's Point or book a cross-country skiing outing at Pineland Farms. Watching waves crash against the snowy, pebble-covered shores at East End Beach is another romantic activity (bundle up). To take in the small-town feel, honeymooners may want to book a day trip to Yarmouth. Situated 15 minutes from Portland, its Main Street is home to charming cafes, shops and historic homes.
Saint John, US Virgin Islands
Escape the cold weather and get to a place where it's seemingly always sunny and warm during the winter months: St. John in the US Virgin Islands. Honeymooners can ditch snow boots for flip flops and spend the day lounging on white-sand beaches, taking in views of the pristine Caribbean waters, and enjoying a mouthwatering cocktail. Couples will want to visit the postcard-perfect Trunk Bay, take a walk along Honeymoon Beach, hike Ram Head Trail, and board a yacht for a snorkeling cruise. An added plus is booking a winter honeymoon stay at The Westin St. John Resort Villas for pristine oceanfront views and convenience.
San Francisco, California
San Fransisco's arts and foodie scenes make it a prime spot to go year-round. Winter is an off-peak season for travel, lightening the area's notorious traffic a touch. The sprawling Golden Gate Park offers plenty of gardens, green space and opportunities to snap a photo of the famous bridge. On a chillier evening, watch a play at the historic Orpheum Theater. If time allows, take the three-hour road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway to Big Sur. The rugged stretch offers misty views of California's central coastline and it feels like you've traveled to another realm. We recommend lodging at the Ventana Big Sur, which provides a luxurious and soothing escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Winter honeymooners will love the outdoor tubs and spa treatments too.
Rumor has it, Starbucks coffee has an extra kick in Seattle, where the famous chain was founded. You can visit the original Starbucks at 102 Pike Street. After getting your jolt of caffeine, honeymooners will want to venture through Pike Place Market. There, they'll find specialty foods like fresh fish and produce, perfect for those staying in an Airbnb. Chihuly Garden and Glass, situated near the Space Needle, has cool sculptures and exhibits and is ideal for a colder day. Couples will want to bundle up for Woodland Park Zoo's annual sparkling light festival. Then, they can head to Ivar's, where the clam chowder warms the body and soul.
Like Florida, Arizona is a favorite location for couples who prefer the heat during a winter honeymoon getaway. Sedona's unique landscape and proximity to the Grand Canyon make it a perfect honeymoon destination. The town is home to dramatic red rocks; plus, it's nestled between hundreds of acres of natural forests. Visit Red Rock State Park, take a hot air balloon ride over the Grand Canyon, or drive the two hours to tour it from ground level. There are also plenty of luxe accommodations with on-site spas, including Enchantment Resort and Amara Resort and Spa. For honeymooners with extra time, a road trip to nearby Scottsdale is another wellness-oriented option.