Part of the fun (read: nightmare) of being a #coronabride is practicing the art of letting go. Letting go of your original wedding date. Letting go of 99.9% of your guest list. Letting go of your plan to individually place cake into each of your guest’s mouths. Normal wedding stuff. But one thing you don’t have to let go of is your honeymoon. Sure, your plan to rack up as many stamps on your passport as is legally allowed may be on hold, but did you know there are plenty of places jaw droppingly beautiful places for a private couples vacation right here in the good old U S of A? Rather than putting yourself through the heartbreak of scheduling an international trip, why not plan a relaxing, socially distant domestic honeymoon and make a mental note to ball out once there’s a vaccine?
It’s impossible to predict what the state of international travel will be over the next year, and no one wants to put money down on expensive flights when you can’t even be sure you’ll be allowed into the country. As a more reliable option, check out some of these gorgeous locations across the U.S. (while also understanding the word “reliable” means next to nothing in this year of our Lord 2020). All of these are great options for 2021, when we can (hopefully, please) leave our homes again. If you do decide to go like, now, be sure to research each state’s travel guidelines before attending, as well as your own state’s mandates on quarantine (if applicable). If you are wondering which are the safest ways to travel domestically, we’ve got you covered here.
Gasparilla Island, Florida
Okay so definitely don’t go to Florida *right now*, but for those with weddings planned for the spring or summer of 2021, Gasparilla Island might be for you. Literally named “the preppiest place on earth”, this historic little town might as well be called Honeymoon Island. Gasparilla features a vintage train depot for couples Instagramming, and there are plenty of nature-based outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking, and shelling, which you can enjoy even if bars and restaurants are still not a thing yet.
Big Sur, California
For a romantic, private, luxury vacation marked by incredible views and fresh air, look no further than Big Sur. While hotels in California are not operational at the moment, Big Sur has plenty of incredible resorts for 2021 honeymooners to (hopefully) enjoy, many of which also offer glamping options so the new Mr. and Mrs. can spend a night under the stars (while also still having a fully functioning toilet.)
This famous ski destination works as a honeymoon spot for winter, spring, and summer weddings alike. Take in the romantic alpine views, ski (or don’t), and breathe the fresh mountain air. If you’ve never experienced the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, a Telluride honeymoon is the perfect way to cross that off your bucket list. Save running with the bulls for 2022.
If you want to feel like you’re in another world without leaving the United States, look no further than Denali National Park in Alaska. Sheldon Chalet, located on Denali’s Ruth Glacier, allows guests to stay—say it louder for the people in the back—on a literal glacier and explore the rugged wilderness of Alaska without going full Into the Wild (i.e. there is food). It’s a honeymoon spot worth checking out, even in a non-COVID year.
You need more southern charm in your life, and we’re not talking about the reality show. Savannah is the perfect low-key destination for couples that want to do a little something after their wedding without making it a whole thing. Boutique hotels, incredible fine dining, and horse-drawn carriage rides are all readily available in this historic southern town (local coronavirus regulations apply).
The Ozarks, Missouri
You heard it here first: Ozark is not just a sad blue TV show your fiancé won’t shut the f*ck up about. The Ozark mountains are a gorgeous, affordable midwestern honeymoon destination, with plenty of rustic cabins and lakeside cottages to help you forget all about that Italian villa you’d had your heart set on in February.
Napa Valley, California
I mean…it’s wine country. You go there to drink wine. The Parent Trap happened there. What else needs to be said?
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Art lovers and foodies will not be disappointed honeymooning in Santa Fe. Located in the Southern Rockies, Santa Fe is actually the highest capital city in the U.S., so you can get mountain and desert vibes at the same time. Many hotels offer the opportunity to stay in private casitas, so you can take in all the southwestern beauty while staying well over six feet from anyone else.
Joshua Tree, California
If you’re not quite ready to make like your grandparents and just say, “f*ck it, we’re going to Palm Springs,” Joshua Tree National Park is the place for you. Located in the Mojave Desert, Joshua Tree is considered one of the most beautiful places in the United States. Joshua Tree offers tons of super private options so you can live off the grid without actually being off the grid.
Hawaii. Just Hawaii.
If all else fails, get your tropical kicks in Hawaii, a place that makes most people’s top five honeymoon destinations regardless of global crises. With five main islands to choose from, you can craft any honeymoon you want from relaxed, to romantic, to luxe as f*ck. The tiniest island, Lana’i, is the best option for couples looking for privacy, aka just about everyone right now. There is still a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all travelers coming from out of state, so again, maybe add this one to the 2021 column.
Images: Totem ENT; SunflowerMomma, Maks Ershov, Danica Chang, Uwe Bergwitz, Sean Pavone, Jon Manjeot, Turneround Designs, Jimack, NatalieJean, Maridav / Shutterstock