Babymoon boom! These are the top 10 spots for a US getaway before the baby comes
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With summer right around the corner, it’s time for vacations and a change of scenery. If you’re expecting a baby, it might also be time to start thinking about a grown-up getaway for rest and relaxation before your new arrival comes — also known as a “babymoon.”
If you’re expecting and looking for a last vacation before your new arrival, you are definitely not alone: A new survey at Next Vacay revealed that searches for “babymoon trips in USA” are up by a whopping 400% in the last 12 months.
If you’re not familiar with the term or concept, a babymoon is a vacation that gives parents a chance to relax before the arrival of a child. It’s similar to a honeymoon, since it’s just the two of you, but instead of spending time with your partner after getting married, you’re enjoying quality time together before a baby’s birth.
However, if you’re pregnant, there are limits to travel. For example, cruise lines won’t let you board after the second trimester, or 24 weeks. Although airlines will let you fly until 36 weeks, there are still a number of restrictions in place. Plus, COVID-19 testing requirements for entry into the U.S. can make international travel difficult to plan near the end of a pregnancy. That’s where an easy-to-reach domestic destination comes in.
Next Vacay’s survey looked at the top U.S. searches and came up with more than a dozen spots around the country that are trending among travelers. These spots are easy to reach and easy to relax in.
Whether you’re looking for poolside lounging, pampering spas, gourmet dining or city culture, we’ve got you covered. Here are the top babymoon trips in the U.S., according to Next Vacay.
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Virginia Beach, Virginia
A vibrant coastal city known for its mix of perfect beaches and culinary scene, Virginia Beach takes the number one spot on the NextVacay list, with a staggering 400% increase in interest for babymoons in the last year. This coastal destination is located where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, and it offers 35 miles of sandy beaches for you to stretch out on and enjoy the sun. The area is also known for its flourishing culinary scene, rich history, and a variety of arts and entertainment venues. While you’re here, be sure to explore Cape Henry Lighthouse, stroll the boardwalk and try the region’s famous blue crabs. Check into the historic Cavalier Resort & Beach Club, an Autograph Collection property that’s been hosting beachgoers for a century from its premier perch right on the golden sand; summer rates start from 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.
Close to Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, but much more laid back and secluded, Ojai — which means “nest” in the native Chumash language — is the perfect spot for parents to “nest” before their little one arrives. With a 200% search increase among babymooners, peaceful Ojai sits 15 miles from the coast and offers a retreat from urban hustle-and-bustle. It’s a natural enclave encircled by rippling mountains that reflect sunsets to create a “pink moment” at the end of the day. Preferred Hotels & Resorts members can check into the mission-style Ojai Valley Inn, where the 30,000-square-foot Spa Ojai offers relaxing couples’ massage treatments, including an Expectant Mother’s Massage for the mom-to-be. Other activities include Picnic & Pedal packages in the California countryside, beekeeping, paddle boarding, pool lounging and even bluegrass brunches.
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
A quick 80-mile hop from Chicago, Lake Geneva is draw for water lovers. The area offers everything from beaches and boat cruises to hot air balloon rides that allow you to enjoy the lake-side scenery from above. This easygoing hamlet saw a 200% increase in searches for babymoon vacations. The area was once known as the “Newport of the West” for its Gilded Age mansions and wealthy summer-residents. You can view the historic mansions on a Lake Geneva cruise. To fully immerse into the area, consider splurging at Lake Geneva Resort & Spa, an elegant and iconic property (once a Playboy Club) that features extensive grounds, pools, restaurants and a destination spa that offers a “Blissful Baby Moon” couples prenatal massage for two.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach’s accessible location makes it easy to visit from the East Coast, South or Midwest. The Grand Strand (or what locals simply call “The Beach”) offers a myriad of options for a sun and sand vacation. You can enjoy the boardwalks and nightlife or opt for some quiet beach walks and toes-in-the-sand dining venues. The destination is made up of 14 unique communities that stretch 60 miles along the northeast coast of South Carolina. For a waterfront stay, Marriott’s OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes will make you feel like you’ve checked into a majestic southern home. Towering oaks line the walkways and create a canopied entrance of green leaves leading to the bright blue of the Atlantic. The charm-filled property doesn’t have reward-availability for prime summer stays, but you’ll be able to accumulate Marriott Bonvoy points for future stays.
For shopping, dining and the arts, Dallas is a city that offers a great variety to keep urban-minded couples busy. It also uniquely has fantastic resort vacation spots just a short drive outside its metropolitan center, making it easy to find a babymoon staycation option. The Westin Stonebriar Golf Resort & Spa (from just 20,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night for a standard room) offers 400 acres of pools, championship golf and spa options that will make you feel like you jetted off to a destination resort instead of having deplaned from Dallas Love Field just 16 miles away.
Key West, Florida
For a no-passport-required getaway with a Caribbean feel, the Florida Keys make for a perfect tropical babymoon getaway. While Key West isn’t known for its beaches, Casa Marina Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton (which costs 123,000 Hilton Honors points per night for a standard room), boasts the largest private beach on the island. Moms-to-be can enjoy outdoor massages — including prenatal massages, therapeutic couples massages and more — in private beachfront cabanas. The property is also a short walk from Duval Street which is filled with local art galleries, boutique shops, restaurants and live music.
Niagara Falls, New York
There’s something timeless and romantic about watching the roaring waters crash over Niagara Falls — which is why it was a honeymoon favorite in the last century and a popular babymoon pick today. Although you can visit Niagara Falls from both New York and Ontario, staying in the U.S. means avoiding border-crossing hassles. Plus, the American side of the falls is home to the Cave of the Winds which will bring you up-close to the rushing waters of the Niagara Gorge and within feet of the crashing Bridal Veil Falls by wooden walkway.
If you’re looking to save money for baby-related expenses, you can find a number of properties with award availability on the New York side of the falls. Stay at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Niagara Falls for 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points or at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Niagara Falls for 50,000 Hilton Honors points.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
With 14 museums and more than 200 art galleries within a two-square mile area, Santa Fe is an unparalleled art paradise in the Southwest. Parents-to-be can combine art excursions with wellness opportunities, since the city is also home to 40 spas; many of the spas take advantage of the area’s dry climate and natural hot springs to create only-here restorative treatments. Santa Fe also a great place to learn more about Native American culture. Stay at the Hotel Santa Fe, the only Native American-owned hotel property in Santa Fe, which spotlights its connections and ties to the native culture. Don’t miss Amaya, the onsite restaurant that serves native dishes (including bison and other Pueblo cuisine) and offers guests a private seasonal dining experience.
New York City
A stay in “the city that never sleeps” will be good practice for parents-to-be who may not be getting a great deal of shut eye in the near future. At least on your babymoon you won’t need to hire a babysitter while you take in the Broadway shows, explore museums, indulge in fine dining and enjoy towering views of the city. Want to catch up on some zzz’s while you’re here, too? There are plenty of pampering, points-friendly properties to choose from in the Big Apple, including the Park Hyatt (a Category 7 World of Hyatt property), which puts you just steps from Central Park South and even has a pool with a view of the city.
Asheville, North Carolina
Surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is the perfect southern perch for parents-to-be looking for a getaway that’s close to the outdoors. There are plenty of hiking and biking opportunities as well as just scenic drives to explore. Even if you don’t want to walk in the woods, Asheville may be your ideal getaway if you love eating great food, shopping and exploring grand houses. The latter refers to the Biltmore, a sprawling estate built by George Vanderbilt at the turn of the 19th century. You could spend days exploring the grounds and underground wine cellars (you can buy some wine to sample after the baby comes if you’d like) and touring the stately home. You can even use points to stay in Biltmore Village at the Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville, a cozy lodge-style hideaway. Summer high season rates from 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.
Remote and relaxed, the New England beaches of Nantucket are where seafood dreams and sandy days come together for a grown up beach babymoon. Parents-to-be can book the two-night babymoon package at Nantucket’s White Elephant, where mom-to-be can get a prenatal massage and dad can get a cigar wrapped in pink or blue ribbon. They can stay in a room overlooking the picturesque harbor, just a short walk away from local favorites such as Brant Point Lighthouse, the Whaling Museum, seafood shacks and ice cream shops.
Featured photo by Anthony Tran/Unsplash.
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