The Best Under-the-Radar Honeymoon Destinations in the U.S.

Posted by Adam Warner

underrated_honeymoons_cover.jpgWhen top U.S. honeymoon destinations first come to mind, popular choices typically include Hawaii, Las Vegas, and Florida.

While these locales are awesome and will most certainly lead to an amazing getaway, there are many other unique travel destinations in America that really fly under the radar as top honeymoon spots.

In addition to fewer crowds, these less popular destinations can offer tremendous value for honeymoon couples -- and still deliver on the promise of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Read on to discover our top picks for the most underrated honeymoon destinations in America. After setting up your registry, add your destination and then start getting ready for an epic honeymoon trip.



Hoping for a little adventure along with a wide range of spectacular scenery on your honeymoon? Look no further than the state of Oregon. The Beaver State is home to 363 miles of scenic coastline, more than 250 state parks, massive snow-capped mountains, hundreds of beautiful, award-winning wineries, and one of America's quirkiest, most vibrant cities.

After exploring the coast and sampling some of Oregon's finest wines in the Willamette Valley, head east to Bend, famous for its outdoor pursuits (Mt. Bachelor is just 30 minutes from downtown), incredible adventure options (think skiing, mountain biking, and wild river excursions), and fantastic beer trail (the city is considered to be the craft beer capital of the west).

Also, be sure to spend at least one weekend in Portland, Oregon's largest city, known for its amazing food scene and unique culture.

Where to Stay: Get away from it all with a stay at Tu Tu' Tun Lodge. Set right along the banks of the Rogue River, about 300 miles south of Portland, this rustic resort is the perfect retreat for newlyweds.


Northern Michigan

With spectacular destinations like Mackinac Island and Traverse City, Northern Michigan is a brilliant choice for an unforgettable midwest honeymoon.

Car-free Mackinac Island, a go-to summer resort destination for centuries, should be the first stop on your honeymoon to-do list. The island is packed with jaw-dropping scenery, boutique shopping, romantic carriage rides, and an abundance of outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and biking.

Meanwhile, Traverse City is a four-season playground thanks to nearby skiing, out-of-this-world sand dunes at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a lively downtown area, plus excellent wineries.

Where to Stay: Book your Michigan honeymoon at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. The property is a classic and regal American resort with the welcome comforts of a modern all-inclusive accommodation.


Georgia (Coastal Islands)

Georgia's stunning coast features 110 miles of beaches and 15 barrier islands. Four of those islands can be reached via car and are also terrific getaway spots, no matter if staying at a resort or local rental property.

Jekyll Island is our top pick for nature lovers. Head over to Tidelands Nature Center for kayak rentals to explore the region's salt marshes and tidal creeks. Meanwhile, St. Simons Island is a must for exploring the lovely downtown area of Pier Village, strolling the beaches, enjoying great southern food, and checking out notable historical sites.

Don't miss a detour to historic Savannah. With a lively riverside district, many romantic restaurants, and gorgeous public parks, Savannah is a must-visit destination for newlyweds to explore.

Where to Stay: Drop your bags at The Cloister at Sea Island, a legendary five-star resort. The oceanside property features 50 lush acres, five miles of private coastline, elegant accommodations, and an endless activities list.


Texas Hill Country

With charming small towns, boutique wineries, and a picturesque landscape featuring rolling hills and wildflowers, Texas Hill Country is a wonderful choice for honeymoon couples.

After checking out some of the vineyards and wineries along Highway 290 (also known as "Wine Road 290"), plan to spend at least several days in historic Fredericksburg. The delightful town was founded by German immigrants in 1846 and still maintains that authentic atmosphere today. In addition to well-preserved sites, the town's downtown area is packed with top-notch dining, shopping, and cultural activities.

The region is also an outdoor enthusiast's paradise thanks to awesome swimming holes (some even featuring waterfalls like Hamilton Pool Preserve), hiking, biking, boating, and even caving. At Colorado Bend State Park, an experienced guide will lead you on a speleo-adventure through its spectacular cave system.

When you're ready for a taste of big city sights and sounds, the region is within easy driving distance of the state capital Austin and the bustling city of San Antonio.

Where to Stay: Mix things up a bit with a luxury camping experience at Walden Retreats. The glamping property is set along 100 acres overlooking the Pedernales River. Accommodations feature luxurious safari-style camping tents complete with king beds, kitchens, outdoor showers, and private fire pits.


California (Central Coast)

Blessed with an amazing Mediterranean climate, beautiful scenery (from Pacific Ocean beaches to undulating mountains in the Coast Range), plus quaint small cities and towns, California's Central Coast should not be overlooked by honeymooners visiting the Golden State.

Known as one of the happiest places in America, the town of San Luis Obispo is a great choice for your home base. SLO boasts one of the most charming downtowns in America and couples can easily spend days visiting the many boutique stores, restaurants, galleries, farmers markets, and parks.

Be sure to explore the area's amazing surroundings through hiking, biking, kayaking, or surfing. Also, wine lovers won't want to miss the award-winning wineries spread throughout Edna Valley.

Where to Stay: Reserve a room at Hotel San Luis Obispo. This contemporary property in downtown SLO features cozy accommodations, two restaurants and bars, complimentary bikes, a swimming pool, and an excellent spa.

In case you missed it:

The Top 10 Reasons to Register for Your Honeymoon

10 Honeymoon Registry Ideas for the Foodie Couple