Four Best Honeymoon Destinations for Couples

The honeymoon is one of those high-stakes trips that requires careful, thoughtful planning—and a well-padded budget. After all, the idea is that you’ll only do it once, so there is inevitably a bit of—okay, a lot of—pressure to make this extremely special. And just as weddings have become ever more extravagant over the years, so too have honeymoons—why take one week when you can take off three? And why not multiple stops? Tanzania and Tuscany? Patagonia and Fiji?

Here, we break down romantic honeymoon destinations, plus where you should stay in each. Have a thirst for adventure? Consider a 10-day trek across the Serengeti, on foot. Prefer to just sprawl out on pristine sand for a week? We’ve got the perfect little private island in Australia. Want to stay close to home? Honeymoon a la JFK and Jackie Kennedy in a delightful celebrity’s refuge in Santa Barbara.

Whatever you choose, do keep in mind that we are still living in a pandemic, and some of these destinations may be open for the immediate future, while others aren’t yet. But it never hurts to plan in advance—and cue up the wanderlust—especially for such a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

  1. Santa Barbara, California

With its charming clay-roofed Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and its balmy Mediterranean climate, Santa Barbara ranks high on the list for romantics who want a city-meets-beach escape that is also convenient to access (fly into Santa Barbara airport or make the easy 2-hour drive up from Los Angeles). Plus, for oenophiles, there is picturesque, winery-strewn Santa Ynez Valley, less than an hour away. As for where to stay, there is nothing more romantic than San Ysidro Ranch, the gorgeously landscaped idyllic hideaway where JFK and Jackie spent their honeymoon, and where countless celebrities, from Winston Churchill to John Huston, have sought refuge.

  1. Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii

Hawaii and honeymoon are rather synonymous, but venture off the beaten path a little bit and head to Big Island, arguably the state’s least commercialized—and most authentic—island. Adventures include helicopter tours, nighttime snorkeling to see manta rays, and, of course, the geological marvels of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Stay at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, a mid-century, open floor plan masterpiece from Laurance S. Rockefeller that features cantilevered staircase, a museum-worthy collection of Asian Pacific Art, and a pretty slice of beach with sand as smooth as silk.

  1. Punta Mita, Mexico

This 1,500-acre coastal peninsula in the Riviera Nayarit region is an oasis of wellness and indulgence. Located on the west coast of Mexico, there are surf villages, plenty of whale watching opportunities, and tons of biodiversity, all topped off with a wild and untamed feel—it’s barefoot luxury at its finest. The Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita has unique spiritual activities like a chakra balancing ritual, meditation, and yoga on top of a rock, along with other honeymoon-worthy things like private sunset yacht tours and secluded dinners on a cliffside facing the setting sun.

  1. Lake Como, Italy

Riva cruises, delicious pasta, ambling strolls through postcard perfect villages, lounging by a fresh saltwater pool that floats in the lake… Isn’t this what a honeymoon is supposed to be? Set against the dramatic scenery of the Alps, Lake Como and its picturesque towns (Cernobbio, Bellagio, Varenna among them) have long been a chic, polished refuge for Milanese elite (and George Clooney). For the most quintessential dolce vita experience, head to the grandest dam here: the majestic, historic, and exquisitely manicured Villa d’Este.