Did you know that part of your wedding-planning months should also include planning your honeymoon? Although the wedding takes more coordinating, if you plan on going on your honeymoon vacation soon after, it is important to have an idea of what you’ll be doing, where you’ll be going and book any flights or accommodation. Most couples don’t know right away where they want to go… There is no such thing as the ‘right’ place to go because every couple picks the right honeymoon destination for them. For some that may mean an all-inclusive resort in Mexico while for others, it may be trekking through canyons and mountains. If you and your fiancé want an exciting adventure that takes you through all sorts of cool places, a honeymoon road trip could be great for you! The following are honeymoon road trip ideas for couples looking to explore adventurously.
Photo Credit: My Fotographa
West Coast—California, Vegas, Grand Canyon
Start in San Francisco, California and spend several days exploring the art and culture in Haight and Ashbury, biking along the Golden Gate Bridge and seeing the classic Victorian homes. After San Francisco, head inland to Yosemite National Park to explore the gorgeous views of mountains and lakes. After enjoying the park, make your way back to the coast to drive along the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway toward Carmel, Big Sur and Santa Barbara. Pass through San Louis Obispo toward Los Angeles. Spend a few days seeing the world of LA before heading inland toward Las Vegas, Nevada. Once you’ve experienced the crazy nightlife and great shows of Vegas, head further inland to the Grand Canyon. How far up north you start your trip will depend on how much time you two have to enjoy your honeymoon and how long you want to stay at each stop along the way. Although we have started this trip in California, you can start as far up north as Seattle, Washington. In a trip like this, even if you don’t have a specific daily itinerary, it is essential to plan destinations and your spending ahead of time so that you don’t find yourself going over your budget with lots left to see.
Oregon Coast—Astoria to Brookings
Oregon is a state full of amazing nature and views to see. You could take a trip along the Cascade Lakes visiting the Bend, La Pine, Three Rivers and Deschutes, or you could choose the Oregon Coast which brings you along from Astroria to Brookings, passing through Seaside, Tillamook, and Depeo Bay with beautiful coastal views, tide-pooling and hiking. You can also make a few historical trips to see Fort Clatsop National Memorial where Lewis and Clark spent their winter in 1805 and Fort Stevens State Park, which was used as defense grounds during World War II to protect the Columbia River.
Photo Credit: Victoria Phipps Photography
East Coast—Route 1
Route 1 is a 2,450-mile road that runs from Florida all the way up to Maine. Just the stretch in Maine runs along the coast, providing beautiful views and great whale watching. The highway also runs through Portland Head Light, Maine’s oldest lighthouse. If you have time, follow Route 1 all the way through Connecticut, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, South Carolina and down to Key West, Florida. Depending on which stops you choose, you can see anything from cities, forests and ocean views. If you are limited in time but are interested in exploring Route 1, consider sticking to just one region (ex: Maine, or Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas).
Hawaii—Paia to Hana in Maui
Though not the cheapest state in the United Sates, Hawaii is a great honeymoon destination because of its incredible beaches, sunsets and culture. The vibes in Hawaii are generally of vacation, making it a relaxing and surreal place to be. Rent a car and start your trip at Paia, Maui. Enjoy rainforests, sandy beaches and waterfalls as you make your way to Hana, Maui. You can stop along the way for all sorts of activities including swimming, snorkeling and hiking. Stop along the way at Waianapanapa State Park for some great nature. Since Hawaii is a popular vacation destination, you will definitely want to book your accommodation ahead of time for this trip.
Photo Credit: Right Frame Photography
National Parks—Yosemite, King Canyon, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon
If you and your fiancé are huge fans of the outdoors, make your honeymoon a National Park adventure! Start at Yosemite National Park, making your way down to King Canyon, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon and end at Bryce Canyon. You may need to shorten the list of parks in this multi-state itinerary if you are short on time, since there are several driving hours between each park and each one is worth visiting for several days. Overall, this trip is great for rock climbing, hiking, biking and seeing many cacti, waterfalls, mountain and valleys.
If you don’t have the time to take a long honeymoon but want to explore beautiful nature and small towns, consider Route 100 through Vermont. This trip can be as short as three days if necessary and will expose you to colorful leaves, beautiful bridges and a lovely drive along Green Mountains. Route 100 is considered one of the most scenic drives in New England and gives the opportunity for stopping for recreational activities and nature exploring.
Photo Credit: Nashville Photographers
Four Corners—New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Arizona
Take on the Four Corners of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. Explore Old Town in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and visit Carlsbad Cavers and Mesa Verde National Park. Don’t miss Pikes Peak in Colorado and for historical and cultural explorations, check out Santa Fe. You can visit Phoenix and Sedona in Arizona and of course, the Four Corners monument. There are also great Navajo National Parks not far from the monument if you’re in the mood for hiking. The four states may be physically close to one another but each offers it’s own unique experience and scenery.
Photo Credit: Jason & Gina Photography
If you’re looking to get out of the United States, check out one of these amazing international road trip ideas.
Italy—The Amalfi Coast
Start at the amazing village of Positano and make your way to Ravello. Along the way, you will see beautiful beaches and cliffs as you experience the Mediterranean landscape. Stop along the way at cute towns and incredible forests. There are many grandeur accommodation options at cliff tops on route including Sorrento and Ravello. You can also take an excursion out of Ravello to visit the historic Pompeii.
Photo Credit: The Paris Photographer
New Zealand—South Island
For a trip of unbelievable landscapes and nature, check out the South Island in New Zealand. You can hit the main destinations in a week or take your time and explore in the land in a month. Start at Christchurch and make your way to Lake Tekapo. Head to the beautiful town of Queenstown for a day or two before continuing on to the incredible Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound. If you are limited in time, you can choose between Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound—both stunning lakes surrounded by mountains and filled with wildlife. Check out Fox Glacier and/or Franz Josef Glacier then make your way through Arthur’s Pass to Abel Tasman National Park. The South Island of New Zealand has incredible scenery to offer including national parks, rolling hills covered with sheep, lakes, rivers and mountains.
Australia—the East Coast
Though not far from New Zealand, a trip to the land down under is much different… while you will get to explore beautiful nature, the landscape is generally less filled with hills and forests than the former. Start your trip in Melbourne, where you can experience lots of art and great coffee. Make your way to Sydney for some infamous views and nice beaches Once you’ve left Sydney, drive along the coast toward the Gold Coast. Don’t miss the unique fake beach and botanical garden at Brisbane before heading north to the Sunshine Coast. Keep heading north to Airlie Beach, where you can stroll through the cute town before taking a guided tour to the stunning Whitsunday Islands. After a day or two exploring the beaches, head to Cairns. While the town itself does not have much to offer, it is the port to the Great Barrier Reef. If you have time left in your honeymoon trip, make your way to Darwin to see crocodiles and head inland toward Alice Springs and Uluru for some outback adventures. While you’re in Australia, be sure to stop at an animal conservation to have the opportunity to hold a koala and feed a kangaroo. If you go during the summer, be sure you pack all of the essentials for your trip, including sunscreen, a hat and lots of water.
Photo Credit: Eclipse Photography
When you’re planning your honeymoon, be sure you cover all of your bases, especially if you plan to leave the country. Discuss with your partner the kind of vacation the two of you are looking for and plan accordingly!