TPG’s favorite honeymoon destinations in the US

Feb 14, 2022

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While throwing a wedding is certainly a milestone event, what happens after the nuptials is often just as important: the honeymoon.

But with COVID-19 travel restrictions still a reality in many international destinations, some couples may be eyeing a getaway that’s a bit closer to home. Plus, the U.S. is full of stunning, romantic locales from coast to coast. Here are our top picks for where to enjoy a honeymoon in the U.S.

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In This Post

New York City

New York City. (Photo by Grant Faint/Getty Images)

Although there may not be a beach in sight, New York City is packed with activities perfect for culture-loving couples. You could easily spend a week or more exploring the boroughs while dining out at romantic restaurants like One if by Land, Two if by Sea; taking in a Broadway show; and strolling through the magical Brooklyn Botanic Garden or stunning museums like The Frick Collection. And who can forget Central Park? A horse-drawn carriage ride through the park is one of the most classic romantic activities you can do in the Big Apple.

You’ll find plenty of options for amorous accommodations, too. Use Marriott Bonvoy points to stay at the Gramercy Park Hotel or The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park.

Related: Find your best New York City view: Comparing 5 iconic observation decks

Daufuskie Island, South Carolina

Daufuskie Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Penny Britt/Getty Images)

Daufuskie Island offers a private, romantic setting for a honeymoon right in the U.S. In fact, it’s so small it still feels like a best-kept secret. The idyllic island is less than 10 square miles, making the white sand beaches feel like your own private ocean. With fewer than 400 residents and no way of getting there other than by boat, Daufuskie Island — just off the coast of South Carolina — is the ultimate secluded oasis.

It’s primarily undeveloped conservancy land, meaning newlyweds will enjoy all kinds of nature and wildlife experiences every day of their visit. That includes bottlenose dolphins leaping out of the water close to shore, loggerhead turtles nesting each spring on the beach and the trotting sound of Carolina Marsh Tacky horses, which have called the area home for more than 500 years.

Couples can bed down at the 1873 Haig Point Lighthouse, play a round of golf on the 20-hole Rees Jones Signature championship golf course or take a private horseback ride along 3 miles of pristine white sand oceanfront with Daufuskie Trail Rides.

Related: 7 reasons why your next vacation should be on Hilton Head Island

Newport, Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island. (Photo by Shobeir Ansari/Getty Images)

Newport makes for a picture-perfect honeymoon, with 400 miles of beautiful beaches, quaint restaurants and wineries, intimate hotels and more. Couples can take a romantic stroll down the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk while touring the stunning century-old Gilded Age mansions along the way for a glimpse at how some of the wealthiest families in America once lived.

Then, enjoy a meal and tasting at the farm-to-table Newport Vineyards before venturing out on sunset sail on the Schooner Adirondack II. Couples can admire the setting sun over Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay while sipping Champagne together and toasting to their love. No honeymoon would be complete without popping by the church where former President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie, said, “I do.”

Use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to stay at some of the most luxurious hotels in the seaside town, including Castle Hill Inn (a favorite of Grace Kelly’s), Hotel Viking (in the heart of downtown), Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina and The Chanler at Cliff Walk.

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinac Island, Michigan. (Photo by Wiltser/Getty Images)

It may not be a tropical island, but Mackinac Island is a charming destination that will make you feel worlds away from reality. The island, which swaps cars for horse-drawn carriages, is perched in Lake Huron and filled with everything you could want in a honeymoon. There are beautiful hiking trails, water activities and historical sights like Fort Mackinac. Plus, you can sample the island’s famous fudge while browsing the shops lining charming Main Street.

As far as where to stay, the island offers several unique accommodations ranging from bed-and-breakfast establishments to family-owned resorts. A favorite is the Grand Hotel (commonly referred to as “America’s Summer Place”), a 388-room property that’s listed as a National Historic Landmark.

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia. (Photo by Walter Bibikow/Getty Images)

A charming honeymoon escape in the South, Savannah is an appealing option for both couples on the East Coast and duos who live farther away. While here, twosomes can take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the city to admire the historical architecture, enjoy a picnic in one of the manicured parks filled with Spanish moss-draped trees and dine at a restaurant overlooking a cobblestone square, such as The Olde Pink House or Husk Restaurant.

Serene Tybee Island, which is home to white-sand beaches and an 18th-century lighthouse, is also close by, so couples can plan a day trip to the shore. Accommodations are plentiful, so it’s easy to find a romantic property bookable with points. Reserve a room at the Perry Lane Hotel, situated in the historic city center, with Marriott Bonvoy points, or use World of Hyatt points to book a room at the Hyatt Regency Savannah, Andaz Savannah or Thompson Savannah.

Related: How a quick road trip to Savannah got me Globalist status and a pair of free-night certificates

Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Alexander Spatari/Getty Images)

Santa Barbara beckons to honeymooners with its Spanish-Mediterranean architecture, gorgeous beaches set against a backdrop of mountains and moderately warm climate year-round. Couples can stroll down the pier at Stearns Wharf to watch the sun set, spend a day snuggled up while sailing, peruse the shops on State Street and dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant like Sushi | Bar Montecito, among other activities.

After a relaxing day out and about, twosomes can retreat to one of Santa Barbara’s luxurious hotels. The newer Rosewood Miramar Beach offers exceptional service, elegantly appointed accommodations and relaxation-focused amenities like a spa and an adults-only pool with private cabanas. Additionally, there’s The Waterman, a downtown option with beach cruisers, an outdoor pool and more that you can reserve with Marriott Bonvoy points.

Related: TPG’s 16 favorite hotels in California for every type of traveler

Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah. (Photo by Sean Pavone/Getty Images)

Choose Park City if your ideal honeymoon involves spending time outdoors. In winter, you can enjoy a snow-covered wonderland while skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and bobsledding.

Come summer, it’s all about hiking and biking. There are also plenty of places to unwind after a day of adventure. Main Street is dotted with 19th-century buildings that house top-notch restaurants like Grappa and famed bars like High West Distillery. Don’t forget about the spas, too. Montage Deer Valley, where you can get great perks when you book through American Express’ Fine Hotels + Resorts, has a 35,000-square-foot spa that offers a variety of holistic treatments. If you have Marriott Bonvoy points to use, consider The St. Regis Deer Valley, which also boasts a spa, plus outdoor hot tubs and a fire pit that you can curl up beside while making s’mores.

Key West, Florida

Key West, Florida. (Photo by romrodinka/Getty Images)

If you want a taste of the Caribbean without packing a passport, Key West is the spot to go. Here, you’ll discover pastel-colored houses and coral reefs prime for snorkeling and diving. Of course, you could easily spend your days lounging by a pool or at Smathers Beach, the largest public beach in Key West. When your stomachs start to grumble, head to Duval Street to grab a bite to eat at one of its restaurants. Remember to save time for a visit to the Hemingway House & Museum, too, especially if you love history.

Once you’ve gotten your fill of activities for the day, unwind at one of the island’s cozy bed and breakfasts or hotels. Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, is a Hilton Honors points property overlooking the largest private beach in Key West. For those with IHG Rewards points to use, you’ll find a number of romantic Kimpton outposts, including Ridley House, Winslow’s Bungalows and Fitch Lodge.

Related: Florida’s top 10 vacation regions for different types of travelers

Featured photo by Erik Isakson/Getty Images.

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