Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations

The first step of honeymoon planning is choosing a perfect location, which is easier said than done if you’re already busy with Big Day prep work! If you don’t have time for research, get inspired by this quick list of the Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations: AKA the locations that our modern, well-traveled couples register for again and again!

Na Pali Coast on Kauai island in summer

1. Hawaii

Hawaii is the undisputed MVP for newlyweds everywhere, and for good reason – each island has its own distinct personality, with the sunshine and friendly island culture keeping couples coming back again and again for more paradise.

What to do:
Snorkel amongst 250 different species of fish in the secluded Molokini coral reef.
Explore a lava tube in Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
Savor the local food at the Old Lahaina Luau, voted one of the best luaus in Hawaii.

START YOUR REGISTRY >


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2. Italy

Italy seems to run both slow and fast. It’s just as natural to spend hours savoring a leisurely meal with the one you love as the infectious energy of Rome surrounds you, or racing through the quiet hills of the Tuscan countryside on bike.

What to do:
Learn how to make your own fresh, authentic Italian pasta.
Wind through the catacombs that twist under the surface of Rome.
Cycle through the beautiful hills of Tuscany!

 

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3. Thailand

In Thailand, you’re equally likely to experience a zen moment of peace in a jungle, a refreshing afternoon at a budget-friendly spa, or a crazy adventure in the streets downtown. Perfect for spontaneous couples who want it all!

What to do:
Train an elephant for an entire day (we’ve heard amazing things!).
Nosh on dinner as we enjoy the famous, fabulous ladyboy cabaret show.
Cruise along the beautiful coast of Phuket without a worry in the world.

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 4. Greece

Greece shocks upon first look. Its white and turquoise houses stand out against the beautiful Aegean Sea, exactly the sort of gorgeous view that will help you recharge after those long months, planning guest lists and venue details!

What to do:
Taste organic wine at the Mykonos Vioma Farm (along with cheese and meat, naturally).
Watch the sunset on your private cruise on open waters.
Catch big air in this private kitesurfing lesson right off the coast of Crete.

WHY WAIT? START YOUR REGISTRY >

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 5. New Zealand

New Zealand is the rare kind of destination that well-heeled hikers, wine lovers, adrenaline junkies, and culture buffs can all enjoy equally. No matter what you’re looking for, you’re likely to find it in this beautiful and unique country.

What to do:
Sample wine from your pick of 20 different wineries in the Martinborough region.
Tour the locations shot during the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Horseback ride amongst the mountainous Rees Valley.

 

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 6. Spain

Spain has long been the go-to for those looking to find a place that lives life with passion, whether that means serving the perfect tapas, dancing to the beat of its own song, or boasting some of the best architecture in the world.

What to do:
Enjoy tasty dishes of tapas and wine during this private tour around Seville.
Zip around Barcelona’s best architectural spots on Vespa (yes, Vespa!).
Dance during this private dance lesson to learn the Spanish way to Salsa or Flamenco.

 

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7. St. Lucia

St. Lucia just drips with tropical adventure. You never know what you’re going to find in the next beach you relax on or the next village you dine at. Perhaps it will be the most romantic moment of your life. After all, St. Lucia never disappoints.

What to do:
Soar on high-flying zip lines over the rainforest!
Cruise in a sleek catamaran in one of the best bays in the Caribbean, Marigot Bay.
Relax in a spa treatment set outdoors.

 

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8. France

France immediately conjures up images befitting a classic romantic film. Whether you end up strolling along the bustling cafés of Paris or biking on the countryside roads of Provence, you’ll see life through rose-tinted glasses.

What to do:
Savor the sweetest bites along the Saint Germain des Prés.
Skip the line to gain instant, VIP entry into the Louvre.
Visit all of Van Gogh’s famous paintings in Provence.

 

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 9. Australia

Australia offers more than just perfect weather and golden beaches. Most Australians live in one of the island country’s many hip cities, where you shouldn’t be surprised to find surfers and fashionistas sipping on a world-class cappuccino side by side.

What to do:
Discover the wildlife at Phillip Island, one of the few places in the world with little penguins!
Kayak right under the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Sample your way through all the best coffee spots in Melbourne.

 

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 10. Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic almost buzzes with good energy. If you want miles of powdery beaches, thundering waterfalls, lush rainforests, and warm village life all in one place, look no further!

What to do:
Find your zen center with a private yoga session right on the beach.
Paddleboard right at sunrise or sunset, a workout and relaxing excursion in one.
Catch waves during this private surf lesson for two.

 

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Want to find more travel inspiration? Browse popular destinations by month, view other couples’ registries, or check out our other amazing experiences!

#WanderOn

Featured Hawaiian Island: Maui

The feedback from our couples here at Wanderable, as well as other sources, show that Hawaii is the number one choice for a honeymoon destination. We’re not surprised, given all the beauty the islands possess.  Each island certainly has its own unique staples that it is known for.

Here is the first featured island and the top five things not to miss while you’re there:

First Stop: Maui, otherwise known as the Valley Isle

Taking the Road to Hana:  Spend an entire day taking one of the most famous and picturesque drives that exists, the road to Hana. A scenic drive might be an understatement to describe this stretch of highway. From seascapes, to botanical gardens, to waterfall pools and everything in between, it is an essential experience in capturing the beauty that Maui encompasses. If you decide to do the drive it in one day get an early start, as the road can be busy during certain hours. Leave at sunrise and take your sweet time, returning after sunset.  If you have multiple days it is certainly worth it to stay overnight at one of the hotels or cottages in the area. There is plenty to see and do. If you do have the time, don’t miss Kaihalulu (Red Sand Beach) and/or eat at Mama’s Fish House.

Hawaii

Haleakala Volcano Sunrise:  Known as one of the most memorable experiences to have in Maui, watch the sun rise or even set from the Haleakala Volcano. This volcano sits almost 10,000 feet above sea level and the views are breathtaking! Adding this to your agenda will certainly take a little extra planning but it is definitely worth the effort. In order to catch the sunrise it will be a very early morning start; you can look up info as to when the sun will be rising and plan accordingly. Try to arrive at the Haleakala Visitor Center no later than a half hour before the sun rises or even earlier for a good spot. Dress warm and bring layers, to ensure for comfort. It’s also wise to bring snacks or a bite to eat with you. Make the mood extra romantic with a breakfast picnic and mimosas. Stay a while after the sun rises because the view isn’t over yet; watch the colors fill up the sky and linger a bit. See GoHawaii’s full write-up for more detailed information.

Haleakala Volcano

IAO Needle:  Want to do some exploring of your own? Some of the best hikes in the area can be found in the IAO valley, which is considered sacred land. Here you can see the iconic 1,200-foot Iao Needle. A beautiful outcropping that overlooks Iao stream and is an ideal attraction for easy hiking and sightseeing. There are plenty of trails to choose from, all in varying degrees of difficulty.  We’ve found Hawaii State Parks to be a great resource.

IAO Needle

Helicopter Tour:  There is no better way to take in the vast beauty that Maui contains, than from the sky. Treat yourselves to a helicopter tour and see landscapes that you would otherwise never get to experience. Because Maui is full of rugged, uninhabited stretches of terrain there is much that would be inaccessible were it not for these tours. One area, for example, is the north coast of Molokai which features the tallest sea cliffs in the world. It will be an experience that you will surely never forget. TripAdvisor has great reviews for AirMaui.

Maui

Wailea Beach:  No trip to Maui would be complete without at least one day at the beach. There are many to choose from but one that comes very highly recommended is Wailea Beach, which is great for swimming and playing in the water/sand. The waves and the water here are pretty predictable, unlike many other beaches in Maui. The water is crystal clear and the views from the beach are gorgeous. A great place to relax and let all of your cares just melt away.

Wailea Beach

Don’t forget:  Sunscreen!! Sports sandals like Keens or Chacos, they might not be so cute, but they’re great for any adventure sports you might choose to do.

When to go:  Frommer’s has a great guide to find the cheapest times to travel to Maui. Weather doesn’t change too much so is not as important of a variable.

Where to stay on a budget:

AirBnB has some great budget accommodations.

A Private Studio in Sunny Kihei

A Kozy Kihei Studio (If you don’t mind outdated Hawaiian prints): 

Or Maui with a view on a budget:

Where to stay when you can splurge:
Four Seasons Maui: http://www.fourseasons.com/maui/

Fairmont Hotel : http://www.fairmont.com/kea-lani-maui/

Westin Hotel: http://www.westinkaanapali.com/

Where to eat:
Always listed as a go-to place along the Road to Hana, Mama’s Fish House. For wonderful seafood and great views, eat here.

Flatbread Company – For great pizza and beer make sure to check out the Flatbread Company.

For a fancier dinner that’s  actually worth the price, go to Lahaina Grill.

Common souvenirs: Chocolate covered macadamia nuts, coffee, jewelry, and clothing.

Have you been to Maui? What are your tips for other Wanderers?

Peek Perfect Day: The Big Island

This week’s post comes from our friends at Peek, who offer a carefully curated  selection of high-quality activities, which are easily bookable online via computer, tablet or mobile phone. We’ve been a fan of their Peek Perfect Days and  asked them to create a special one for Wanderers honeymooning on the Big Island. 

For couples looking to celebrate their “I Do’s” on Hawaii’s Big Island, planning each day’s activities is essential in order to take advantage of the seemingly limitless opportunities for fun, adventure and romance. Here’s our Peek Perfect Day from morning to evening of some of the top activities to do in the Big Island. With plenty of options for the courageous risk-takers to the romantic laid-back couples, all honeymooners are sure to find something to make their special celebration a time they’ll always remember.

Morning

  • If your mornings usually consist of a caffeine fix, take a visit to the Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation for a free coffee tasting and tour of the biggest organic coffee farm in the nation. Become “Roast Master for a Day,” to roast your own batch of Kona Coffee.
  • At Akaka Falls State Park, which has free admission and takes around 30 minutes to circulate, couples can go on an easy, low-intensity hike while enjoying the spectacular views of Kahuna Falls and Akaka Falls.

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  • Experience the awe-inspiring Kona Coast on a kayak tour. Skim crystalline turquoise waters and come face-to-face with local wildlife, like dolphins, sea turtles and manta rays.

Afternoon

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  • Indulge your inner daredevils with a zip through Hawaii’s diverse natural landscape with this Kohala zip line canopy tour through the lush canopies.

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  • Whether the volcano tour is by foot, boat, or helicopter, the awe-inducing volcanoes at the island’s Volcanoes National Park should be part of every couple’s honeymoon experience.

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  • Looking for a unique way to capture your honeymoon? A professional photography session will allow you to relax about the photos you’ll have for years to come.

Evening

SunsetSailCap off the end to a perfect Hawaiian day with a romantic dinner for two, on a gorgeous sunset sail as you admire your stunning surroundings.

  • As the sun sets its last rays, head back to shore, preferably to the soft sandy beaches of the popular Spencer Beach Park and Hapuna Beach, for some serious stargazing. Away from big city lights, constellations illuminate Hawaii’s sky like no other.
  • Or if you’re feeling adventurous, swim under the moonlight on a night snorkel with Manta Rays. Top the evening off with a couple of Mai Tais!

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Accommodations 

Revel in the sweetness of newlywed life by lying in the lap of luxury at Hawaii’s most extravagant hotels: The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu and Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, both of which are lavish and highly-rated across the board. If the thought of staying at expensive accommodations after spending a substantial amount of money on a wedding appears terrifying, opt for the affordable route by choosing the Manago Hotel or My Island Bed & Breakfast Inn, which are budget-friendly and high quality.

(All images via Peek)

Properties We Love: Lumeria Maui

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We are ecstatic to present the second installment of our “Properties We Love” series.  This time we are featuring Lumeria Maui, a unique alternative to traditional hotels and resorts. Located on six acres in northern Maui, this 24 room boutique retreat is comprised of historic lodge-style buildings connected by a continuous, covered lanai. The beautifully designed environment promotes relaxation and tranquility and is a perfect location for peaceful intimate honeymoon.

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Each of the 24 rooms has been individually designed, featuring unique furnishings and artwork that balance vintage, Asian and modern influences. Rooms feature high ceilings, ocean, mountain or garden views and modern amenities, such as ipod docks and wifi.  The Japanese designed bathrooms feature rain shower heads, river rock floors, and products from Aveda.

If you ever leave your room you’ll find yourself surrounded by a tropical paradise of gardens, courtyards, stunning views and a gorgeous pool. At night you can lounge by one of the outside fires, or stargaze while soaking in the jacuzzi. When you get hungry, the onsite restaurant features farm-to-table cuisine that will excite the most selective foodie.

One of Lumeria’s unique features is their wellness services led by world-renowned professionals and practitioners. Included in your stay is an extensive menu of daily yoga classes, meditation, horticulture and aromatherapy classes. Lumeria also offers traditional Hawaiian massage and other well being services.

If you are looking for something more active, head to the ocean for a variety of water sports. Lumeria is located just minutes from the crystal clear waters and white sand beach, of Ho’oikipa Beach park, famous for both wind surfing and kite surfing.

With all of this, Lumeria is the perfect option for a couple looking for a quiet and relaxing honeymoon in paradise.

Discover more about Lumeria here: http://www.lumeriamaui.com/

Properties We Love: Ko’a Kea Hotel and Resort

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Today Wanderable is launching the first installment of our “Properties We Love” series, highlighting some of the best honeymoon resorts around the globe–properties that have built romance into every detail of their guests’ stay and that are staged in unforgettable settings. To kick things off, we present the beloved Ko’a Kea Hotel and Resort, nestled on the sun-drenched south shore of the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. Ko’a Kea Resort and Spa has all the amenities of a large resort with an oceanfront pool, four star restaurant and dedicated concierge team, but with only 121 rooms, it also offers the intimacy and privacy that comes with a boutique hotel. On your honeymoon at Ko’a Kea you won’t find your beachfront stay marred by grandiose destination weddings or corporate luaus, just solitude, white sand and sea breezes for miles.

The resort’s recently renovated rooms feature Egyptian cotton linens, espresso machines, Italian marbled bathrooms, postcard perfect views, and, best of all, private lanais so you can soak the sunlight and moonlight in together al fresco during your stay. The rooms are so plush you won’t want to leave, but simultaneously won’t want to miss the oceanside pool, gleaming stretches of Poipu beach, or countless water activities that you can finds steps from your door.

When it comes time for pampering, the intimate Spa at Ko’a Kea features five treatment rooms with a focus on local, natural products such as seaweed, Awapuhi root, and red clay. The spa has several romantic treatments perfect for couples, including an oceanside massage for two, in suite baths, or their signature Honeymoon Ritual, which includes side-by-side massages, scrubs and scalp treatments.

For memorable dining on their honeymoon, couples need look no further than the resort’s critically acclaimed Red Salt Restaurant, which offers a romantic oceanfront setting and fresh Hawaiian cuisine. Sushi lovers can enjoy sushi and sake for two at the Red Salt Lounge, and there are plenty of mai tais to be had at the poolside bar.

Ko’a Kea has earned numerous accolades since its opening in 2011, including receiving the 2013 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for Romance (#2 in the U.S. and #12 in the world), the 2012 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award as one of the Top 25 Hotels in Hawaii and the 2012 Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Award (#2 in Hawaii & #87 in the world).

With its plush rooms, intimate setting and dedicated staff that will go out of their way to make every moment of your once in a lifetime trip everything you have dreamed of, we are delighted to present Ko’a Kea Hotel and Resort!

Have you ever been to Ko’a Kea or Kauai before? We would love to hear about your stay in the comments section below!