With COVID-19 still impacting international travel, you may be wondering what domestic alternatives there are for international honeymoon locations.
Maybe you have had your heart set on drinking red wine on the Italian Coast or savoring Mediterranean food surrounded by blue oceans in Greece. You have a couple of choices:
Option 1— you can rebook that dream spot now for next year (and with incredibly lenient cancellation policies and hotel deals available, that is a great option); or
Option 2— you can proceed with a honeymoon in the United States.
Or better yet, you can have a stateside mini-moon this year and your dream honeymoon next year. So the question is, where can you go in the United States for a honeymoon? We have teed up a few alternatives for your favorite international destinations.
(1) If you like the Amalfi Coast, Italy try Big Sur, California— Ever since that breathtaking view of centuries-old seaside villages built into the Italian coastline crossed your computer screen, your heart was set on the Amalfi Coast. You want to drink red wine, relax by the ocean, savor Italian cuisine, and flop onto a luxury hotel bed with that private patio, all the while basking in your new marriage. Heck, if we weren’t all about those social distancing measures, we would want to join you. You might think there is nothing quite like the Amalfi Coast in the U.S. and while that may be true, there are some destinations that are very similar and offer all the same things you love.
Similarities: If you dreamed of the Amalfi Coast rugged coastlines, wine, and beautiful blue waters, we recommend Big Sur, California for an alternative honeymoon. You’ll see some spectacular shorelines, blue waters, natural sea arches, quaint art shops, and savor some amazing red wine in Carmel Valley. Spend the morning exploring the cliffside views and the afternoon indulging in delicious wine at Boekenoogen Vineyards. Might we suggest a savory Italian dinner at Casanova, and for your hotel accommodations, we recommend the breathtaking Post Ranch Inn. With unparalleled ocean views, and five-star service, this is the ultimate lovers’ escape.
Big Sur, California
Differences: One difference of note is temperature. During peak season, the Amalfi Coast sees low temperatures around 68 degrees fahrenheit and highs around 89 degrees Fahrenheit. In Big Sur, during the peak months, you can expect an average temperature of around 77 degrees Fahrenheit with lows dipping into the high 50s at night.
Steuber Travel Group Experience Type: Food + Beverage
(2) If you like Greece try Carmel Beach, California— Greece seems to be on everyone’s dream honeymoon list. With the amazing food, the relaxing way of life, and the turquoise waters, it’s no wonder it's a fan favorite. Looking for a domestic alternative? We recommend Carmel Beach, California or ‘Carmel by the Sea'.
Similarities: While you might not find the same picturesque white houses dotting the coastline, trade those houses for a quaint European style village and Carmel Beach has everything else you are looking for: stunning blue waters, nearby vineyards, and some of the best Medditerraean food in the country— four Michelin-rated mediterranean restaurants within 10 miles of each other. Choose from La Bicyclette, Yafa, Paprika Café, Dametra Café. Or, you know what, choose them all. This is your honeymoon afterall. For accommodations, we recommend staying at the beautiful Bernardus Lodge and Spa. Opa!
Carmel Beach, California
Differences: The biggest difference with this alternative is the style. While you are giving up pristine cobblestone walkways and ocean waves that crash right against the patio, we promise Carmel by the Sea offers its own unique architecture with white European buildings and sloping roofs. What you give up in Greecian style you get back in European charm.
Steuber Travel Group Experience Type: Tropical + Beach
(3) If you like Marseille, France, try Catalina Island, California
If you want blue costal waters, sailboats and refreshing wine on the beach, swap your South of France trip for a honeymoon weekend on Catalina Island.
Relax at Descanso Beach Club which sits on a secluded cove and comes with three elite cabanas stocked with amenities such as a flat-screen television, Wi-Fi, chaise lounges and bottled water. A personal concierge delivers fresh fruit and smoothies throughout the day, and guests can also order from the club’s restaurant menu.
Catalina Island, California by Amber Dawn Photography
Similarities: When we think of the French coast, we think coastal luxury, history and art, shopping, and delicious food and wine. Catalina has all of that and more. Crescent Avenue, Catalina Avenue, Summer Avenue, and Metropole Avenue are each worth a visit. Be sure to stop at the Catalina Casino, but don't let the name fool you— it is not a gambling hall. Instead, this is a casino in the Italian sense of the word—a house of entertainment and gathering. It is the home to the Casino Ballroom, Avalon Theatre, Catalina Island Museum and Catalina Island Art Association Art Gallery. Take a behind-the-scenes tour to learn all about the ballroom and the theater’s glamorous past! We recommend staying at Hotel Atwater or Hotel Metropole.
Steuber Travel Group Experience Type: Tropical + Beach, Food + Wine, Culture + History
If you want an African Safari, try Jackson Hole, Wyoming— While most couples opt for a tropical honeymoon or one that focuses on delicious food, there are always a few couples that love adventure and the outdoors. Another popular honeymoon destination is Capetown, South Africa. Couples often love the dynamic of the downtown mixed with the outdoors and wildlife. What is a domestic comparison? We love Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Similarities: With access to a local downtown, Teton Village, safaris that explore the wildlife in Grand Teton National Park, and some amazing stargazing at night, Jackson Hole is perfect for couples who love luxury and the outdoors. Similar to South Africa, Wyoming offers some of the best properties in the United States. First up, the Amangani Resort. Perched nearly 7,000 feet above sea level, the resort overlooks meadows and grazing land. Across the valley is Teton Pass, which divides the Snake River Range from the Tetons. With just 40-suites, you can expect physical distancing, top-level service, and premier views of the mountains. Next up? Meet the Caldera House— with just 8 rooms, you will find Caldera House offers rooms generous in size with an uncompromising aesthetic. There are four 4-bedroom suites and four 2-bedroom suites designed by award-winning studios Commune Design and Carney Logan Burke. All suites boast their own fully equipped chef’s kitchen, dining area, living room, and outdoor space with mountain views. And last, but certainly not least, the Four Seasons Jackson Hole sits high in the Rockies, on the doorstep of Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, welcoming you with romantic style and lodge-like cosiness that offer expansive views to Sleeping Indian and Rendezvous mountains. Relax on the heated outdoor terrace, complete with its own wood-burning fireplace or take in panoramic mountain vistas in the fully heated, 75-foot outdoor pool.
Differences: We’ll note the obvious: you won’t see the same type of wildlife nor the same type of terrain, but the experience, level of service, and exposure to some of nature’s wonders will be the same. During the day, a private guide will provide a wildlife tour you won't forget. Then at night, an astronomer will take you on an exclusive after-dinner excursion back into the National Park to witness some breathtaking stargazing. Cap the night off with your favorite bottle of wine and a decadent cheese board.
Steuber Travel Group Experience: Cozy + Restorative meets Nature + Adventure
So no matter the type of couple, or location (domestic or abroad), the United States has some incredible honeymoon destinations that you might not think of. When you're ready, schedule your intial consultation today and we'll begin planning the trip of your dreams.