Hometown Honeymooning

Fiji? Aruba? The Maldives? Not quite -- but Siesta Key, Florida has an ambience that will transport you to the tropics.

Picture a “dream” honeymoon, and images of the Paris skyline or trendy over-water huts in the South Pacific probably spring to mind.

But, whether due to time or money constraints or the simple desire to stay closer to home, a lot of my friends planned their honeymoons right here in the USA. No, they didn’t snorkel in Bora Bora or dine on a Seine riverboat — but they still came home with stories about their wonderful trips.

So, if you’re planning an in-country honeymoon, browse through this list of seven inspirational ideas.

Siesta Key – Florida
A couple I’m friends with honeymooned here, and another lives just minutes away. This little tropical community on the Gulf Coast side of the state was just named the second best beach in the country, so you know you’ll have a great time swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving, shell collecting, or just sunbathing. While in town, check out nearby St. Armand’s Circle for fun shopping and dining, and stop by the breathtaking Ca d’Zan Mansion for a glimpse into America’s Gilded Age.

San Antionio's bustling River Walk features fine dining, great shopping, and lots of people watching. Photo: wttc.com.

San Antonio – Texas
The Alamo is hardly all this bustling city has to offer. Hip River Walk offers great shopping, dining, relaxation and people watching; Six Flags and Sea World slate your thirst for theme park adventure while the San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium gives you a chance to live on the wild side. Then, of course, there is The Alamo.

The Eastern Shore – Maryland/Virginia/Delaware
Looking for an opportunity to just escape from it all? Seclude yourself in a charming town like Easton, Maryland or little Chincoteague Island, Virginia. Hunt for the wild ponies on Assateague Island, take a lazy sailboat cruise along the Chesapeake Bay, or venture down to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown or Yorktown for a bit of living American history.

Jackson Hole – Wyoming
Wild West hot spot = tons of fun. Stay at a guest ranch, spend time with real cowboys and learn the ropes. In the summer, there’s white water rafting, fishing, and even an orchestral music festival. In the winter, you’ve got lots of skiing, snowmobiling, outdoor ice skating and dog sledding. And no matter when you go, you’ve always got two of the nation’s most magnificent National Parks, Yellowstone and Grand Teton,

Cape Cod – Massachusetts
Who doesn’t dream of spending a summer at the Cape? Start your day with a whale watching tour, then bicycle along the famous beaches and finish up with a massage at a sumptuous spa…or browse antique stores and art galleries, tour the historic district and play a round of golf. Ten return to your charming New England bed and breakfast or inn for a cozy dinner, and get ready to enjoy it all over again the next day!

Take a romantic hike along the Appalachian Trail for a close-to-home honeymoon to remember.

The Appalachian Trail – Georgia to Maine
This slice of Americana offers scenic lookouts and plenty of hiking — almost no matter what part of the interior East Coast you want to visit. Cozy cabins, rustic resorts and even ski lodges pepper the Trail, so choose your state, choose your setting and enjoy the scenic views.

San Francisco – California
There’s no shortage of things to do in this bustling metropolis. Visit the infamous Alcatraz island prison; wander through the largest Chinatown in the United States; cross the famed Golden Gate Bridge; explore the city’s vast museums; and of course you’ll want to check out the city’s nightlife. When you’re ready for a break from the commotion, take a scenic four-hour drive to Yosemite, the country’s first national park, and rough it for a night of camping.

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