Updated: Apr 13, 2019
Whether you are on a budget or looking for a luxe get away your Honeymoon can be an incredible start to your journey as a married couple. Take a walk with me as I guide you through some places near and far to help start your destination search.. I've got some great tips to find deals on places to stay and things to do!
Looking to stay in Virginia for your Honey fest? The Mountains are calling!
Goodstone Inn & Restaurant offers 18 elegant guest rooms and is set on 265 acres of farmland and rolling hills near Middleburg, VA only about an hour from D.C. They have luxury suites in the Manor house, Spring House, Carriage House, Dutch Cottage and French Farm Cottage. Each having their own distinct decor offerings, and some have romantic fireplaces too. The Goodstone Restaurant is known for French seasonal cuisine and seafood offerings. It has an emphasis on farm-to-table dining, with many of the menu offerings provided by the estate's own farm. Guests can buy picnics to go and spend some quality time alone outdoors. They even get to keep the picnic basket as a momento. For activities the Inn offers massage and spa treatments onsite. There are nature trails, and bicycle or canoe rental is available. Or you can take a dip in their outdoor pool in the warmer months. Getting a little thirsty after all that activity? There are many wineries nearby and a distillery in Middleburg area for tasting tours. Rates at the Goodstone start at $310 a night, and you can also have your entire wedding here if desired. Check out their video below to see a sneak peak at their offerings.
The Goodstone Inn & Restaurant
36205 Snake Hill Rd, Middleburg, VA 20117
Nobody puts Baby in the corner!
You may not know this but the movie Dirty Dancing was filmed in our own state! The famous Kellerman's in the movie is actually Mountain Lake Lodge and is settled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This resort offers hotel rooms in the main lodge and cabin rentals for the extra cozy feeling. You can even rent the cottage Baby and her family stayed in for the movie! Once you two come up for air take advantage of their many activity offerings. They have the typical swimming pool and hikes, but also offer archery, a treetop adventure course, an escape room cabin, horseshoes, yoga, and so much more! The food here is top notch with a focus on local sources for their feasts. Often on weekends they offer a buffet complete with the most delicious crab legs!
Make sure to check out their specials on their site!! You can get a free night of stay with 2 booked nights. Some packages offer meals, dining and resort activity credits. This resort wouldn't be complete with out Dirty Dancing weekends! A few times a year they pay homage to the movie and host weekend long events with movie themed itinerary, group dance lessons, and a dance party. Near by take advantage of stunning waterfall hikes at the Cascade Falls, explore rivers by boat, or go shopping in near by Blacksburg. Hokies fans can also take in a game in the fall. You don't just have to take my word for it! This great spot was even named hotel of the year in 2018 by the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging, and Travel association.
Mountain Lake Lodge
115 Hotel Circle, Pembroke, VA 24136
A Honeymoon with History
Williamsburg , VA oozes history and elevated tastes. Maybe its the brick and old world feel that is required even at shopping centers that give it such charm. History buffs will love walking down the Colonial streets frozen in time at Colonial Williamsburg. You might not think history is romantic, but there's something special about this area. Take in a horse drawn carriage ride while your there and take my word for it! The Jamestown Settlement and The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown are also in the area, and you can easily spend a whole day at each of them. For lodging check out Wedmore Place located at Williamsburg Winery. Their Tradition rooms start at $155 a night, but for a truly lavish experience book one of their suites with up to 1,100 square feet of living space. The Venetian suite, pictured at right, is their largest and has the bedroom in a loft space overlooking the elegant sitting area. For a carefree honeymoon check out their amazing packages! They feature lodging, exquisite meals, wine tasting, massages, outdoor picnics, tours of Colonial Williamsburg, and even a cycling option.
Williamsburg offers many options for activities other than just historical sites. With Busch Gardens near by thrill seekers can hop on and off rollercoasters all day! The park is also beautifully landscaped and fun to walk around even if you're not big on rides. Along with this park you can choose the park hopper option and spend a day at Water Country USA to soak by the wave pool. If you like a little scare visit in the fall and take in Howl-O-Scream, where the park is decked out with spooky decor and haunted houses. Or, if you'd like to see a real haunted house head back to Colonial Williamsburg where they do ghostly evening tours of historic haunts.
5810 Wessex Hundred, Williamsburg, VA 23185
East Coast find
Travel a little south to the laid back town of Corolla, NC and you'll be happily surprised with beautiful sunsets and many outdoor activities. The Inn at Corolla light is a treat for those who love sunsets over the water. The rooms have a simple coastal feel, but the views are why you'd wanna stay at this waterfront retreat. Many of the rooms backup to a shared porch to take in the sunset over the water. Some feature whirlpool tubs and kitchenettes as well. Booking here will also give you use of free bikes to explore the area and nearby Currituck Beach Lighthouse. Take a trek a little further south and you can see wild horses along the beach and even ride some more tame ones too! A little further north there's some great shopping in Duck. Make sure to find Duck Donuts for some of the most delicious warm cake-like treats! Maple bacon and chocolate peanut butter are my personal favorites. You could spend all day on the beach, shop till you drop or head up to Nags Head and explore Jockey's Ridge. Locally you will also find fishing charters, kayaking, and spas to get a massage. If lighthouses are your thing there are 5 to visit in the area. Here's a map of where to find them.
The Inn at Corolla Light
1066 Ocean Trl, Corolla, NC 27927
West Coast hideaway
Monterey Bay Inn offers oceanfront and harbor view rooms as well as some with fireplaces. They have a rooftop hot tub and an outdoor terrace with fire pits to really enjoy the view. Here there are plenty of sightseeing opportunities alongside historic Cannery Row, and two miles away you'll find the famous Montery Bay Aquarium. For something a little different take in a whale watching tour, and watch as majestic giants leap from the sea. This central location would be a great jumping off point to other well known California destinations like Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, Big Sur, and San Francisco. A 3 hours trek south would take your to wine country and Napa Valley.
Monterey Bay Inn
242 Cannery Row, Monterey Bay, CA 93940
Group adventure or help planning your solo tour
Does the sound of hiking and traveling around the western U.S. sound great, but the idea of having to plan it sound daunting while planning a wedding? How about traveling with a group and Southwest Adventure Tours. Or let them help your plan a self driving tour of your own with just your sweetie. They have many destinations to choose from Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, The big 5 in Utah, and even Alaskan adventures. The guides are very knowledgeable about the area, and it's great to kick your feet up and not have to worry about details. Rates for group trips include guides, hikes, lodging, and most meals. Check out their video below for some gorgeous travel inspiration!
As some of you may know we went to Costa Rica for our honeymoon and LOVED every minute of our secluded retreat! We stayed in Mal Pais a surf town on the coast. The resort was called Casa Chameleon and was the perfect intimate setting a honeymoon should be. Our favorite activity was renting ATV's and driving around the country and backroads. We got to explore, eat native food, and meet the amazing people of Costa Rica. We can't wait to visit again!! Costa Rica has all the elements of an exotic honeymoon, and wraps it into one jam packed location! It has volcanoes, rainforest, exotic wildlife, adventure thrills like zip lining and waterfall hunting, wellness resorts and hot springs, and of course BEACHES GALORE!
Casa Chameleon Hotel at Mal Pais
If you're looking for more of an all-inclusive honeymoon check out this article I found from www.islands.com that has a great compilation list of retreat packages all for under $2,000 per couple.
Travel tricks to save you BIG
We've talked about some great places to visit already, but if you wanted to find your own destination AirBnB is a great way to go. With their app you can find a place in just about any town around the U.S. and world for that matter. Most of the time you will end up spending the same or less than a typical hotel room for an entire house. This gives you a great taste of the local area, and often helps you save by having a full kitchen to use if desired. Most places I've stayed leave you little snacks, coffee, and offer advice about the local area restaurants and excursions. It's a great way to get a very unique spacious spot to rest your head!
Here's some quick tips to help you have a great AirBnB experience:
Where exactly is it located? Look at the map feature to get a better idea since the physical address is not released for privacy until booked.
Check out the reviews!!! How are they rated by travelers? What feedback was given by previous guests? How many reviews do they have? I usually don't stay at a place unless it's been vouched for by fellow travelers.
What are the sleeping arrangements? Some will say sleep 4 people, but actually have a queen size bed and just a pull out couch. I do like that you get to see the size of the bed you'll be getting.
Make sure to check the TOTAL price. The listing will show nightly price but when you confirm you see that because you are traveling on the weekend the rate is different. The confirmation price will also show any additional fees like cleaning and with the AirBnB fees included. Now you can see almost all of these on the listing page under additional prices. When you select your dates and hit "book" you also get to see the total before you actually purchase, so no need to stress.
If you somehow haven't heard of it already, Groupon is an e-commerce marketplace that connects you with deals on activities, travel, and goods. They have deals available all across the U.S. and service 15 countries total. When you're scoping out your desired honey spot check out this site for great deals on excursions and restaurants. I've used it before for dance classes, boat tours, and great meals at 50% off. To be listed on Groupon most businesses have to offer a certain percentage off to be included. It might seem crazy to book travel on such a discounted site, but you can really score some fantastic places! I'd recommend checking out the destination or tour group main website as well and search to make sure things look good outside of Groupon too. They have some amazing looking European vacations with airfare and lodging included. On a recent hunt I found a 7 day trip to Italy starting at $549, and included airfare! Say What?!?
Here are some things to consider when booking travel through Groupon:
Cost - Are there any hidden fees or items excluded that you would have to pay for? What is actually included? Number of vouchers needed? (Usually will need to buy one for each person)
Travel dates - are there any blackout dates or expiration dates?
Real Pictures - What does it really look like on their website?
Reviews - Scour the web to see if you can find reviews from others. and get some first hand opinions
Itenary - If it is a travel tour make sure you look at the itinerary in detail. This show where you are going and sample places for lodging. It will also let you know if you need to arrive ahead of time or schedule a day post trip for airport transfers.
Thanks for taking a voyage with me while we window shopped for your honeymoon! This time together is truly magical as man and wife.