How do you make a top-ten list of something subjective like honeymoon locations? Systematically, that’s how.
Highly Scientific Ranking
To create this list, I started with general Internet searches for top honeymoon spots in the U.S. I tried to weed out the advertisers and focused instead on the news and information websites, such as About.com, MSNBC and USA Today.
Next, I began putting the various lists into a spreadsheet, and then cross-referenced the data to find the ten locations that occurred most often on the most lists. When that proved to be way too complicated, I just picked the ten locations I liked the most! Voila … a top-ten romantic getaway list (in no particular order).
Top 10 Romantic Getaways in the United States
1. Mountain Cabin – Part One
If you’re the kind of person that equates “romantic getaway” with “mountain seclusion,” then a cabin in the Rockies might be just the thing. The popular ski towns of Aspen and Vail, Colorado are popular for another reason – cabin retreats. Imagine the snow falling around your warm and cozy cabin. Imagine the smell of hot chocolate and the bubbling sound of a hot tub. And just imagine being there with the one you love!
2. Mountain Cabin – Part Two
The Smokey Mountains come up on a lot of romantic getaway lists. For instance, each year approximately 10,000 people get married in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, a popular vacation spot in the Smokey Mountains. Because of this, the mountain town has become known as the unofficial wedding and honeymoon capital of the South. With its wooded seclusion, small-town charm, and breathtaking mountain views, it’s no wonder so many people equate “Gatlinburg” with “romantic retreat.”
3. Bed & Breakfast in Vermont
Manchester, Vermont offers all the ingredients of a classic New England getaway — white-steepled churches, bed and breakfast accommodations, romantic dining and great skiing.
In more recent times, shopping has also taken root in Manchester. The city’s website, ManchesterVermont.com, says: “Today, visitors to our community come to enjoy Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren and J. Crew, as well as the more traditional recreational activities.”
4. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
There’s a reason the Kennedy family owned vacation homes in Cape Cod. This New England seascape is the essence of “small beach town” tranquility. Don’t expect an action-packed beach-resort experience – Cape Cod is not that kind of vacation spot. But if your idea of relaxation is a seaside stroll along historic harbors, biking and boating, and visiting an antique shop or two, then this is your place.
5. San Francisco, California
San Francisco is a picturesque city with a diverse mix of cultures and populations. It’s also a popular destination for couples in search of a romantic getaway. Between the Golden Gate Bridge and their world-famous trolleys, San Francisco offers something for everyone.
As an alternative, you might also consider adjacent Sausalito, California, a Mediterranean-style village that marks the gateway to California Wine Country. And speaking of California wine…
6. California Wine Country
If your idea of romance involves good wine and good scenery, you can’t go wrong with California Wine Country as your destination. Napa Valley and Sonoma County are about an hour’s drive north of San Francisco, and they have long been an attraction for honeymooners, wine lovers, and wine-loving honeymooners. Add in the scenery and the availability of bed-and-breakfast-style lodging, and you have all the makings of a great romantic getaway.
7. Big Island, Hawaii
Sure, some parts of Hawaii are quite touristy. (Waikiki comes to mind.) But there are plenty of locations on the volcano-formed island that offer beauty, seclusion and a nature-rich experience you can’t find anywhere else.
On the Big Island of Hawaii, the Kona Village Resort is famous for providing comfort and luxury in an otherwise remote tropical region. The resort is also a popular spot for honeymooners, and it comes up on quite a few “top ten” lists like this one.
8. Charleston, South Carolina
I grew up in Virginia and have traveled all throughout the Carolinas. But when I think of “Southern hospitality,” one place comes to mind above all others. Charleston, South Carolina. Marjabelle Young Stewart, one of America’s well-known etiquette experts, once called Charleston the “most mannerly” city in the U.S., and I think she was right.
Founded in 1670, Charleston held significance during both the American Revolution and the Civil War. To this day, it retains much of its old-world charm and gentility. Conde Nast Traveler has named it a top-ten domestic destination for nine consecutive years.
There’s one other thing I love about Charleston. I’m a southerner by birth, and I vote for Charleston as having the most delightful of all the southern dialects.
9. Niagara Falls
Okay, so this one’s a bit cliche. But the reason Niagara Falls has been in so many movies, songs and water-cooler conversations is because so many people flock to it with romantic notions in mind. Straddling the border between the U.S. (New York) and Canada, Niagara Falls has attracted honeymooners and getaway-ers for 200 years.
In fact, if you played word-association and said “Niagara Falls,” most people would probably say one of two things – waterfall or honeymoon. For that reason alone, Niagara Falls has earned its place on this list.
10. Home Sweet Home
If you consider your home a cozy refuge from the world, it is in a sense a getaway. After all, home is a place to get away from lots of things — work, school, crowds, relatives, noise, traffic and hassle. It’s also a place where you’re the most comfortable. So there’s certainly nothing unromantic about a crackling fire, a bottle of champagne, and a table for two in home sweet home.