Are you a nature lover looking for the perfect honeymoon spot? Maybe you want a honeymoon destination that's close to home? Or how about a honeymoon with just a side of quirkiness? Well we got you covered!
The pandemic has brought a lot of challenges our way this past year, but you can still safely hold your wedding and craft the perfect honeymoon plan.
All of these locations are right here in the US and are possibly within driving distance, so you don't have to worry about germs on a plane ride! The specialties of each region revolve around enjoying the great outdoors and many include activities that make social distancing easy.
So without further ado, let's check out some unique honeymoon destinations that are perfect for the nature-loving couple:
Honeymoon in the Finger Lakes Region
Traveling outside of my slice of New York you can end up in the stunning Finger Lakes. The lakes were originally dug out by slow-moving glaciers that carved their mark into the region many centuries ago. You have a good number of lakes to choose from, but some of the best choices would be Keuka and Seneca. Each have more of a small town vibe with an area that is reminiscent of the Rocky Mountains.
Many people in the area rent their lake homes so you can book a home right on the water where you can go swimming, boating, kayaking, fishing, have bonfires on the beach, or whatever else tickles your fancy!
Are you having your honeymoon during colder months? Well don't worry, the Finger Lakes still have plenty to offer in the Fall and Winder!
Many argue that the Finger Lakes are at their most gorgeous when dressed up in autumnal colors. Watkins Glen is a State Park directly below Seneca Lake that features a trail of breathtaking waterfalls, which is especially wondrous during the height of Fall. You can even camp there (if you're outdoorsy and adventurous like that).
Of course, the Finger Lakes are also famous for their fabulous wineries. With the pandemic going on you are still welcome to join them for socially distanced wine tastings.
Feeling a little nerdy (if you're like me the answer is yes)? Mark Twain actually lived in the Finger Lakes region so you can go visit his state park, his study, and even his gravesite (I don't know if visiting a graveyard is totally a honeymoon thing but hey, do you!).
Also, you can take a bit of a drive to visit the AMAZING Corning Museum of Glass! If you consider yourself to be a museum lover then I can promise this one will blow you away (get it? Like blown glass?). This museum showcases glass in art, history, and even technology. Ever wanted to see Tiffany stained glass? Or know how the ancient Egyptians used glass? Or ever wonder how we transmit information around the world using threads of glass as thin as a human hair? Then this is the museum for you! And don't forget to check out their live glass-blowing demonstrations!!
Honeymoon on Chincoteague and Assateague Islands
Both of these islands are off the shore of Virginia, but there is actually a bridge connecting each piece of land - meaning you can drive to an island! No boats or planes are required. You can only stay on Chincoteague since Assateague is a National Park and Wildlife Refuge, but they are only a short drive away from each other so it is easy to move between the two. What wildlife is on Assateague you might ask? Well, and I don't know any other way to say this so I'm just going to say it: Assateague is home to chubby wild ponies.
Nobody is 100% sure how the ponies arrived here but one of the leading theories is that a Spanish Galleon sunk just off the shore of Assateague. The crew did not survive but their ponies made it to land where they established their own wild colony. They fed on the grasses in the salty marshes, and that extra salt in their diet has led to their bloated and adorably chubby appearance. It is like a story book come to life when you witness these wild ponies frolicking up and down the beaches. The refuge includes a trail you can drive through to try and spot some of these wild ponies right in their own habitat. Just make sure you enjoy them from a distance!
Besides the ponies, Assateague is also known for their incredible sandy beaches. Swimming and searching for seashells are a must! There are also spots for biking, hiking, fishing, and horseback riding. Another favorite activity is crabbing. You can either do catch and release or keep the blue crabs to eat, just make sure you pay attention to regulations on which crabs you can keep. All you really need is some string with a hook that has a piece of bait attached to it. You know that one scene in Finding Nemo where the crab walks backwards off the dock while snapping its claws? Well no joke that is 100% exactly what it is like.
Honeymoon in Alaska
Now I know what some of you might be thinking - honeymoon in Alaska? Isn't it cold and dreary? Well, if you plan your visit for the Summer it is actually quite mild! It's comparable to a Fall in the northern United States and you get to experience why it's called "the land of the midnight sun". If you are truly feeling daring you can book a trip during the Fall or Winter months for a chance to glimpse the Northern Lights!
Alaska is home to monumental glaciers, gorgeous mountains, temperate rainforests, and an insane collection of wildlife. While cruises are a common way to experience Alaska it isn't exactly the safest option right now with the pandemic. So we are going to focus more on the land options for planning an Alaskan honeymoon.
The sky is honestly the limit when planning your trip to Alaska. Many people choose to spend a week or two moving between each of the major cities by either car, train, or bus. The trains are especially great for getting the best views as you move through the Alaskan wilderness. When you arrive at your choice destinations you can go hiking through the many outstanding trails, visit calving glaciers, catch a glimpse of a family of moose, watch the grizzlies fish for salmon, watch whales leaping out of the water, go panning for gold, meet some sled dogs, or even take a dip in a hot spring! The landscape of Alaska is unbelievably beautiful and pristine, making it the perfect spot to just get away from it all and soak in the beauty and power of nature.
Want to get your geek on? Well Alaska is home to over 160 museums! Many of the museums deliver the rich history and culture of the Alaskan Natives, showcase the use and history of aviation in the state, and there's even a sea life center where you can meet 11-foot long, 2,500 pound stellar sea lions! Don't forget to say hi to the puffins, they're pleasantly cheeky.
Honeymoon On Sanibel Island
Another spot famous for its beaches is Sanibel Island, which is just off the coast of Florida and is easily accessible via land bridge. It is perfect if you want all of the warmth and sun of a Florida honeymoon with the wholesome feel of a small town. It's a getaway from the fast-paced life of the city and allows you a spot on the beach and in nature to relax and recharge. In addition to the beaches, make sure you check out all of the mom-and-pop style restaurants and shops!
You can take full advantage of the beaches by renting a home right on the water. Besides strolling along the beaches and going for a swim, you can also rent bikes and boats, climb up their famous lighthouse, and if you're feeling a little more adventurous you can go wind surfing or parasailing. BUT if you are going to visit Sanibel you absolutely must go hunting for seashells. The area is famous for their incredibly gorgeous varieties of shells. Just make sure no one is still inside before you take them home!
If you are an animal lover then you are sure to get a kick out of the The J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, which is right on the island. The refuge is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States (over 6,400 acres!) and is known for their migratory bird populations. Despite having about 250 different bird species, their most famous birds are "the big 5": the White Pelican, Mangrove Cuckoo, Reddish Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, and Yellow-Crowned Night Heron. In addition to all of our winged friends you can also stumble across animals such as Loggerhead Sea Turtles, Manatees, Bobcats, Otters, or Crocodiles.
If you are feeling a little adventurous and in the mood for a drive then you can check out the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp about an hour away. I know you might be thinking: why the heck would I want to spend my honeymoon in a swamp!? Well this sanctuary features a 2.5 mile boardwalk winding through pine flatwoods, wet prairie, around a marsh, and finally into the largest old growth Bald Cypress forest in North America. It is a part of the Everglades so you can see an even more diverse crowd of animals than you can find at the J.N. "Ding" Darling Refuge. From a safe distance you can have the chance to spot Bears, Panthers, Alligators, Armadillos, Rattlesnakes, Soft-Shelled Turtles, and a gorgeous collection of butterflies. Cute fact: they actually conduct a butterfly census here every single year!
Honeymoon at Ithaca's Firelight Camps
Another New York spot on this list! The Firelight Camps offer camping with all the amenities of home, otherwise known as "glamping." You rent a fully furnished tent with running water that comes with a free continental breakfast and cocktails. So you get to enjoy the wonders of nature and sleeping beneath the stars without having to worry about peeing in the woods or figuring out how to cook a hotdog over a fire.
Local musicians, farm-fresh produce and nearby brewery's alcoholic beverages all make an appearance. The campsite also has plenty of hiking trails to peruse and outdoor yoga if you are looking to relax. We stayed here with our kids and we all had a blast!
If you want to go on an adventure and catch some local scenery then you can check out Buttermilk Falls State Park, which is accessible right from Firelight. It got its name from the foaming cascade formed by Buttermilk Creek as it flows down the steep valley side toward Cayuga Lake. The upper park has a small lake, hiking trails through woodlands and along the gorge and rim, picnic areas, and playing fields. Below the lower park is Larch Meadows, which is a wetland area with a nature trail that winds through it.
Firelight is also close to the Finger Lakes, so you can take a visit to the area and visit some local wineries.
Be warned: if you are in this area of New York it is basically a requirement to visit Wegmans. The closest grocery store to Firelight is a Weggies so feel free to head out to the store and peruse through their gorgeous selection of fresh produce and ready-to-eat options. There is a 99% chance you will walk out of the store having been converted to a Wegmaniac!
So which honeymoon destination is your favorite? What's your dream honeymoon spot? Send us a message, we'd love to hear your recommendations to add to our list!