Top 5 Spots for a Minimoon in the U.S.

5 Romantic U.S. destinations for a perfect minimoon Pin
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Right now, we’re seeing couples shifting their wedding dates around, scaling things down to “micro-weddings” to comply with COVID regulations, and postponing the big honeymoon until international travel feels safer and more sure. The perfect solution to all this uncertainty and change? Take a minimoon! Minimoons tend to be shorter, closer to home, and more affordable than a full-scale honeymoon, but they still give you something super exciting to look forward to after the wedding where you and your new spouse still get a chance to celebrate, relax and soak up the newlywed glow for a few days. When choosing a location, you want somewhere that speaks to who you are as a couple, full of romantic scenery, authentic charm, luxurious pampering and some great local cuisine. So where are the best minimoon destinations?

Here are our Top 5 U.S. spots:

Charleston, South Carolina

Hidden gardens, horse-drawn carriages, and romantic scenery everywhere you look! With genteel mansions and a dynamic food scene, Charleston oozes southern charm and hospitality. Cobblestone streets, oak-lined avenues, beautiful magnolias, and cute local boutiques greet your every turn in the historic downtown. You’ll feel the southern hospitality as you go on romantic walks along the waterfront and share incredible meals — all the while steeped in history.

[Photo Credit: Andrew Shelley via Unsplash]

Things to Do: Wander down the historic King Street, soak up the sun and the sea at Waterfront Park, and enjoy the colorful buildings of Rainbow Row. Take a daytrip to see Sullivan’s Island or the . Angel Oak. Pamper yourselves at the Belmond spa or take a romantic walk through the Cypress Gardens and soak in The Notebook vibes. 

[Photo Credit: Darlene via Unsplash]

Where to Stay
The Elliott House Inn– A small, intimate bed and breakfast style boutique hotel. Located on Queen Street, just steps away from the main downtown attractions, but it offers a lush private inner courtyard to relax away from it all. 
Hotel Bennett *– A big, modern and centrally located hotel. The Hotel Bennet features a rooftop bar with sweeping views of the city, a sleek champagne bar, and a perfect pool. 
Belmond Charleston Place * – The height of luxury, this hotel is famous for its enticing spa. It offers guests a rooftop pool, spacious suites, luxury dining, and top-range amenities. 

*Our clients receive special perks/amenities at these properties, including daily breakfast, resort credit, upgrades, and more

What to Eat: 
Charleston is a foodie’s paradise! Classic Lowcountry cuisine, amazing barbecue, fresh seafood, farm-fresh veggies, and innovative kitchens — Charleston has it all.

Romantic Dinner:  Charleston Grill, Circa 1886, or the intimate and historic Chez Nous.
Casual Dining:  Lewis BBQ or classic Lowcountry food from Bertha’s Kitchen. 

Bar Harbor, Maine

With fresh crisp air and jaw-dropping scenery, Bar Harbor is perfect for minimooners who enjoy the outdoors. With a rugged coastline and the Acadia National Park, this serene bayside town encourages you to connect with nature and with each other. Visiting Bar Harbor provides an outdoorsy escape without traveling too far off the beaten path.

[Photo Credit: Liz Picurro via @following_liz]

woman looking over the rocky bay and evergreen pine trees along the Ocean Path of Acadia National Park Maine

What to Do: Exploring nature is the primary activity in Bar Harbor. There are plenty of hiking trails for all abilities. Pump up the adrenaline with rock climbing in Acadia, kayaking in the harbor, or a tour in a biplane. Head out to sea with a sunset sail or a whale watching tour where you’re likely to see humpbacks, finbacks, or minke whales plus a few puffins! Take it slow with an oceanside drive or snuggle up on a blanket on top of Cadillac Mountain to watch the sunrise and the stunning views! 

[Photo Credit: Annie via Annie’s Escapes]

Where To Stay:
Harborside Hotel– Richly designed with an upscale feel, this luxury hotel is ready to pamper you.
Balance Rock Inn- With a quintessential Maine style, it’s a perfect blend of hotel and bed & breakfast. This boutique hotel offers you spacious rooms, a heated pool, and beautiful views.  
West Street Hotel- Modern and sleek, West Street features a clean-cut nautical theme. With crisp rooms, and a stunning view from their rooftop infinity pool. 

What to Eat: 
Bar Harbor is famous throughout the state for its lobster and seafood fresh off the boat. Overall, dining in Bar Harbor tends towards a more casual atmosphere. But don’t forget to make a reservation at the stunning Jordan Pond House for tea, popovers, and a beautiful lakeside view!

Local Specialty: Try a classic full lobster from The Chart Room or a delicious lobster roll from Thurston’s Lobster Pound.
Seaside Views: Bistro on Eden or The Reading Room
Casual Dining: McKay’s Public House or The Atlantic Brewing Company for upscale pub fare. 

Nantucket, Massachusetts

This tiny island, a one-hour ferry ride from Cape Cod, features pristine beaches, a sparkling harbor, and timeless coastal charm. Walking around the picturesque waterfront, you can enjoy the unique combination of fascinating colonial history plus high-end shops, boutiques and galleries. If you want to slow down and enjoy a classic New England experience, Nantucket is the place for you!

[Photo Credit: Rusty Watson via Unsplash]

What to Do:  Enjoy fine-sand beaches with small waves, steal a kiss from the top of the historic lighthouse, raise a glass at Cisco Brewers, and visit several small nautical museums. Get some fresh air biking the scenic route to Siasconset. Head out onto the ocean with a sunset paddleboard tour, whale watching tour, or fishing charter! Finally, enjoy some vintage or antique shopping at any of the small country stores.

[Photo Credit: Benjamin Rascoe via Unsplash]

Where to Stay:
White Elephant Hotel- with a large variety of accommodation from suites to cozy cottages, this luxury landmark hotel doesn’t disappoint.
76 Main- With a modern bright and bold décor, this smaller boutique hotel has an air of sophisticated luxury.
Carlisle House Inn– Historic and charming, this renovated whaling mansion is located in the old historic district. With authentic decor and spacious rooms, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. 
Wauwinet- Luxury and escape is the focus of this waterfront property. With old-world charm and private beaches, the Wauwinet is perfect for romantic seclusion away from the center of town. 

What to Eat: 
Famous for its fresh seafood, Nantucket focuses on local seasonal foods, classic upscale dining, and traditional treats! So don’t forget to stop by Aunt Leah’s Fudge for 31 flavors of a delicious dessert!

Elegant & Romantic Dinner: award-winning Toppers or American Seasons’ creative menu.
Fresh seafood: Right on the waterfront try the glamorous CRU Oyster Bar or the traditional Straight Wharf.

Key West, Florida

A free-spirited town with crystalline warm water- this is for the classic beach minimooners. Great restaurants, boutique shops, and funky bars combine with sandy beaches and stunning sunsets to create the perfect tropical getaway. Removed from the mainland, you can enjoy the relaxed beachy vibes. Warm water, nightlife, and the best key lime pie in the world? This is a minimoon you’ll never want to leave.

[Photo Credit: Brian Urso via Unsplash]

What to Do: The focus is definitely on the water in Key West. Take a champagne sunset cruise, snorkel in the shallow waters, catch a birds-eye view of the epic horizon while parasailing, or jump on a jet ski tour around the island! For those who like to stay dry, consider a beach picnic in the state park, wandering the botanical gardens, or the grounds of the Truman Little White House. Relaxation is key so be sure to take some time to chill by the pool or book a couples massage on the beach! 

[Photo Credit: Julien Borean via Unsplash]

Where to Stay: 
Sunset Key Cottages– Splurge for a private island experience. Pastel buildings, lush gardens, and a beachy décor greet you on this luxury property.  
Southernmost Beach Resort– Colonial and Victorian buildings accent the lush grounds. Located right on the water with beautiful ocean views, you’ll enjoy the serenity and spacious resort feel. 
Eden House- A quirky and cute boutique hotel located in a traditional Key West house fringed by palm trees.
H20 Suites– An intimate hotel, each room is a spacious suite available with private plunge pools. With luxurious and sophisticated décor, they even have a rooftop pool for the best views. 

What to Eat: 
With heavy Cuban and Caribbean influence you’ll find good-sized portions full of flavor and fresh seafood. But Key West’s real specialty is their decadent desserts! Be sure to try a slice of the local specialty: Key Lime Pie! 

Elegant Romance: Café Marquesa with a seasonal menu, Tempt with their modern craft cocktail bar, or Latitudes on the private island Sunset Key.
Upscale Caribbean-American: Try Louie’s Backyard or Hot Tin Roof which also boasts amazing sunset views. 
Something Sweet: Grab a sweet brunch on a tranquil garden patio at Croissants de France or enjoy an after-dinner treat at Better Than Sex Desserts

Scottsdale, Arizona

With over 300 days of sunshine, 51 golf courses, 50 resort-spas and a pedestrian downtown full of trendy restaurants, Scottsdale is the perfect desert oasis. Escape the winter blues to enjoy exploring the dramatic desert landscape, or simply being pampered by the pool with a cocktail in hand. Arizona has a focus on wellness, healing, and relaxation making it a great place to destress after the wedding and focus on each other.

[Photo Credit:Lisa Campbell via Unsplash]

What to Do: Enjoy the unique desert landscape by taking one of the many hiking trails in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, or soak in breath-taking views of the valley from the top of Pinnacle Peak. Soar even higher with a birds-eye view from a hot air Balloon! And don’t forget the main pastime: Golf. Whether you’re an old pro or new to the game you’ll have to try out at least one of the world-renowned courses which have rugged mountains and unspoiled desert as their backdrop.

[Photo Credit: Sheri Hooley via Unsplash]

Where to Stay: 
Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North- At the base of Pinnacle Peak, the Four Seasons is a stylish resort, spa, and golf club.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess *- Built in a Spanish colonial style, with lovely private casitas. With fine dining, private patios, and six beautiful pools to choose from you may never want to venture out of the resort! 
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort *- Built into the side of Camelback Mountain this was originally a tennis resort. They still have plenty of sporting activities but the focus here has become luxury, spa, and pampering with stunning views to match. 
Royal Palms Resort and Spa *- The Royal Palms focuses on the romantic. They have a signature “romantication” experience for couples’ getaways and hidden “lovers corners” dotted around the property.

*Our clients receive special perks/amenities at these properties, including daily breakfast, resort credit, upgrades, and more

What to Eat: 
You’ll find a huge variety of creative menus, local wines, and coffee culture in Scottsdale. Latin and Mexican inspired southwest cuisine features seasonal ingredients, bold flavors, and the all-important grill. 

Luxury Romance & Wine: Try Lons or Café Monarch for an intimate candlelit dinner.
Casual Southwest: Arcadia Farms Café and the Citizen Public House focus on country-style settings, and home-cooked meals. 
Latin Flavors: The Mission and Deseo will give you the best in modern, bold Latin flavors. 

Planning a wedding can be stressful, and taking time after the wedding to relax and enjoy each other before real life sets in is important. If you’re inspired to treat yourselves to a state-side minimoon let us know! We can’t wait to help you find the perfect experience to start your new life together!

Don’t Overlook Your Own Back Yard

three u.s. destinations to add to your bucketlist pin
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When creating a bucket list, far-flung destinations often spring to mind first, but we should all remember that there are some incredible U.S destinations worthy of making that list. This year in particular, when international travel is likely to remain disrupted for a while, it just might be the time to turn your focus a little bit closer to home. We’ve got three great suggestions:

#1 Alaska

Mountains, lakes, glaciers, waterfalls, and extraordinary wildlife. If you’re looking for adventure in the great outdoors, Alaska is the perfect escape to start planning now — especially after spending so much time indoors these past few months! With so many gorgeous national parks and adventurous excursions to choose from, this trip will take some advance planning — another reason it belongs on a bucket list.

two people looking at the snow capped mountains in Alaska from boat
Annie and her mom enjoying the stunning views in Alaska

There’s no shortage of natural beauty in Alaska. Denali National Park has the highest peak in the U.S., breathtaking hiking trails and amazing wildlife viewing opportunities. If you’ve always wanted to see a grizzly bear, then Katmai National Park is the place to go. Famous for their “Fat Bear Week“, you can fly into the park and stay at a local lodge while keeping an eye out for grizzlies catching salmon. To see more bald eagles than you can count, check out the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve outside Haines, Alaska. And to get the most out of any of these parks, experience them with a knowledgeable guide booked through an outdoor adventure tour operator.

glaciers in alaska

The majestic Glacier National Park lets you see a calving glacier create a tidal wave. Stand in awe of these icy giants, explore the ice caves, or see it all from above with a helicopter tour.

The best hiking, fishing, and wildlife sightings are in summer and early autumn. But don’t discount late-winter and early-spring visits. Snow-filled activities like dog-sledding, seeing the start of the Iditarod Race, and chasing the Northern Lights are in store for a February-March trip.

For a truly unique experience search the skies for the Aurora from a relaxing hot spring at Chena Hot Springs Resort.

Whatever your outdoor adventure goals, head to Alaska for the stunning landscapes and variety of adventures.

woman holding a small husky puppy

Top Bucket List Experiences

  • See grizzly bears in their natural habitat
  • Glaciers & ice caves
  • Go dog sledding and cuddle a husky pup
  • Whale watching
  • See the Iditarod Race
  • Northern Lights
  • Ultimate fishing experience

#2 Sedona, Arizona

A calming and centering experience awaits you in the unique red rocks of Sedona, where you can combine relaxation with the great outdoors. You can hike, horseback ride and golf, or lounge pool-side, dine al fresco, and indulge in a decadent spa treatment at a luxurious resort like L’Auberge de Sedona or Enchantment.

sedona night sky next to a pool
Sedona’s Dark Skies are perfect for star-gazing [Photo Credit: Mark via Unsplash]

This small Arizonan town offers a huge number of beautiful hiking trails, and even a naturally-formed ‘waterslide’ in Slide Rock State Park.  You can enjoy the jaw-dropping scenery from your balcony, or during a morning meditation session, before going out to explore.

red rock formations at sunset in sedona arizona
Sedona’s majestic red rocks at sunset

If hiking isn’t for you, off-road Jeep tours venture out into the canyons to bring you close to ancient petroglyphs and Puebloan architecture such as Montezuma’s Castle (one of the best-preserved cliff dwelling in North America). Or you can take a guided kayak river trip down to the vineyards for some afternoon wine tasting.

two women at tlaquepaque craft villiage in Sedona Arizona

Finally, don’t miss out on the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. Modeled after a traditional Mexican village, you’ll find serenity within its walls. Browse shops and galleries where more often than not you can meet the creators. See beautiful hand-made jewelry, metal works, paintings, and other crafts before enjoying a delectable lunch.

A bucket list two-for-one, Sedona is situated only a two-hour drive from the Grand Canyon! Explore one of the seven natural wonders of the world on a day trip from your meditative and rejuvenating home base.

a woman looking up at the saguaro cacti in arizona

Top Bucket List Experiences

  • Off-roading adventure
  • Spiritual experiences among the red rocks
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Slide down a natural water-slide
  • Get up-close-and-personal with saguaros
  • Visit the Grand Canyon

#3 Florida Keys

Perhaps after all this craziness you just want to relax by the beach with a cool drink in hand. Look no further than the collection of islands at the southern-most point of the continental U.S. — The Florida Keys. ‘The Keys’ offer some of the best sunsets, seafood, snorkeling, and SCUBA around. Warm water, breath-taking parks, and the best key lime pie in the world? Definitely a location to add to the bucket list.

sunset with palm trees and infinity pool overlooking ocean Florida Keys
The Bungalows waterfront pool in Key Largo [Photo Credit: The Bungalows Resort]

Start at the northernmost island, Key Largo, with the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Explore coral reefs, seagrass swamps, and mangrove forests. Take a ride on a glass-bottom boat, kayak through the mangroves, or visit the nation’s first underwater park!

white bird against green grass in florida

Continue your journey along the Overseas Highway to mingle with the wildlife. Stop at the Wild Bird Sanctuary, the Dolphin Research Center and the Turtle Hospital.

Finally, cross the Seven-Mile Bridge and finish your journey in Key West. You can visit Ernest Hemingway’s house ( with its 50+ cats) and take a selfie at the southernmost point of the continental U.S.

The road trip from Key Largo to Key West is only two hours, leaving you plenty of time to sit back and relax. The Keys are their own paradise, of course, but you can also take it up a notch with a stay in a luxurious beachfront bungalow.

The Bungalows Resort soak with a view

In Key Largo, you’ll find the all-inclusive The Bungalows Resort — a beautifully peaceful location with luxurious adults-only private villas. Their stand-alone bungalows come with a waterfront view and a soaking tub on each outdoor veranda, and you can relax in the spa, pools, or with a morning yoga session. You can also venture a little further south for the luxury of a private island resort and spa at Little Palm Island. Here, guests arrive by boat or seaplane, and enjoy adults-only luxury with an optional all-inclusive plan that makes the experience complete.

Top Bucket List Experiences

  • Jetpack water flight
  • Snorkeling coral reefs
  • Dolphin Research Center
  • Turtle hospital
  • Hemmingway’s House
  • The southernmost point of the continental U.S
  • Key lime pie and conch fritters
  • Airboat through the everglades

Whether you are building your bucket list around adventure, relaxation or luxury, there are some fantastic options close to home. It’s not about how far away you travel, but the unique experiences you have, the breathtaking things you see, and the lasting memories you create. If you’d like to start planning a bucket list-worthy trip to any of these destinations send us an email!

You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

Carli (Italy and Spain)