For most couples, a honeymoon is a chance to visit a far-off destination and create memories that will last a lifetime. But doing that isn’t always inexpensive. And if you’ve been planning a wedding on a budget, having funds left over to find the best honeymoon destinations can feel like a tall order.
It’s estimated that the average couple spends approximately $5,000 on their honeymoon. And if you choose your destination wisely, you can stretch that budget into a no-compromises trip neither of you will ever forget. To help you do it, here are the best affordable honeymoon destinations in the US and beyond.
The United States
The United States offers a kind of destination diversity you won’t find in many other parts of the world. From big city glitz and glamor to southern hospitality and country charm, there’s something for everyone within its borders. Here are the best budget honeymoon destinations in the U.S.
1. Las Vegas
If there’s a single city in the U.S. that’s almost synonymous with honeymoons, it’s Las Vegas, Nevada. It features entertainment options to suit every taste. Honeymoon couples can take in a show, sample cuisine from around the world, or even go to see a circus if they wish. As the world’s entertainment capital, Las Vegas has it all – and then some.
2. New Orleans
Well known as one of the most romantic cities in the U.S., New Orleans, Louisiana, is a premier destination for an affordable honeymoon. Couples can enjoy the city’s vibrant music scene while sampling world-famous Cajun cuisine. Plus, you can take in the sights of Bourbon street without the crowds that come with Mardi Gras. Raise a glass of champagne to your new union in a boutique hotel: a perfect way to experience the city’s French Quarter.
3. New York
New York City, New York, is unlike any other city in the world. It’s a global cultural capital with nearly limitless options for honeymooners. Honeymooners can start their day with a romantic carriage ride through Central Park, followed by a ferry ride to see the Statue of Liberty. Then, they can dress up to attend a Broadway show and cap off their evening by dining in the top-notch restaurant of their choice. In New York, a couple’s biggest worry is figuring out how to fit in all the amazing things they want to do!
4. Los Angeles
Like New York City, Los Angeles, California, is a big city with a big personality. As the global film and television capital, it offers endless things for honeymooners to do. They can take in a fantastic view of the city from the instantly recognizable Griffith Observatory or take a hike into the hills to see the Hollywood sign up close. There are world-famous beaches within easy reach and multiple amusement parks to suit every couple’s taste.
Over the past few decades, Austin, Texas, has built a reputation as a center of music and the arts that rivals anything you’ll find elsewhere in the U.S. It’s the home of the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) arts festival and is a lively destination all year round. Honeymooners can stay in their private bungalow and use it as a base to go and explore nearby Mount Bonnell and Lake Travis. At night, they can see a live music show or go on a shopping spree at the boutiques in South Congress.
Located near the beautiful Rocky Mountains, Denver, Colorado, is another excellent destination for a cheap honeymoon. It’s a major city that retains a laid-back atmosphere and is packed with romantic activities for couples. For example, they can wander through the beautiful Denver Botanic Garden or watch the sunset over the mountains from a 27th-floor vantage point atop the Denver Convention Center’s Hyatt Regency hotel. It’s the perfect place for a nature-loving couple to choose as their honeymoon destination.
There’s no place better than Miami, Florida, for miles of pristine beaches, pulse-pounding nightlife, and plenty of entertainment destinations. It has a reputation for being a party destination, and with good reason. Couples can enjoy long days on the sand, followed by long nights dancing in the clubs of South Beach. And then, they can take a sailboat cruise through the natural wonders of Biscayne national park. It’s the ideal cheap honeymoon escape.
There’s no better destination than Savannah, Georgia, for couples seeking a honeymoon refuge from their busy and stressful daily lives. It’s a quiet and historic city that’s the epitome of southern charm. Couples can enjoy carriage rides through the city and long romantic strolls that will leave them feeling like they’ve returned in time.
Known as the Holy City, Charleston, South Carolina, isn’t a well-known destination for honeymooners – but it should be. Honeymooners can enjoy long walks through the beautiful tree-lined streets and see the timeless antebellum mansions throughout the city. But you shouldn’t let the sense of history fool you. Charleston is also home to cutting-edge cuisine, high-end boutiques, and even bountiful farmers’ markets that aren’t to be missed.
Wine-loving couples can escape to Sonoma, California, for its world-class wineries and lush rolling scenic hills. There are so many vineyard destinations and wineries to choose from that you can even take a trolley through the area that makes stops at each one. But that’s not all. Sonoma is also home to the farm-to-table movement, so fresh culinary delights are around every corner. You can also explore some scenic hiking trails in Napa Valley.
11. The Florida Keys
There aren’t many places in the United States that make you feel like you’ve left the country, but Florida Keys, Florida, is one of them. It’s a 120-mile-long island chain off the southern coast of the Florida peninsula, and it’s an excellent place for a honeymoon on a budget. Couples can start by taking a scenic cruise on the stunning over-sea stretch of U.S. 1 leading into the island. Then they can enjoy fishing, scuba diving, and even a yacht cruise. And if you visit, make sure to ask the locals in Key West to make you and your spouse honorary citizens of the Conch Republic (don’t worry, they’ll get it).
Another little-known destination for a honeymoon on a budget, Asheville, North Carolina, is a hidden gem that’s sure to please. Maybe you’ll save money by planning a micro wedding in a lodge and extending your time with your guests before they depart so you can enjoy more quality time before the honeymoon officially begins. An Asheville honeymoon could be complete with a rustic cabin hideaway and a visit to the world-famous Biltmore Estate – better known as America’s Castle. Or, check out the city’s art galleries, breweries, and antique shops. Any way you go, you’re sure to have a memorable stay.
There aren’t many places where you can plan a honeymoon that includes a stay at a five-star resort without breaking the bank. But the islands of the Caribbean make that possible. Even better, there’s more than one destination to pick from, so there’s sure to be something for every couple.
13. The Virgin Islands
The Virgin Islands have long been a destination for honeymooners looking for deluxe accommodations in a breathtaking tropical paradise. And now’s an excellent time for you to choose it for your honeymoon. Many of the island’s incomparable resorts have completed renovations and offer brand-new rooms and amenities you won’t find anywhere else. Take your pick from the islands of St. John, St. Thomas, or St. Croix. You can’t go wrong!
14. The Dominican Republic
Another tropical paradise that makes for a great cheap honeymoon, the Dominican Republic is filled with luxury resorts you’ll never forget. A favorite of honeymooners is Punta Cana, where you’ll find numerous all-inclusive resorts featuring pristine beaches and all the amenities you need. It’s a place where (depending on the time of year) you can do everything from whale watching to exploring the island’s sub-tropical forests. You can even go on a hike through secluded empty beaches – which are perfect for romantic honeymoon nights.
As Caribbean islands go, there aren’t many that compare to the beauty and luxury you’ll find in Jamaica. It’s filled with all-inclusive resorts in every configuration imaginable. If you wish, you can even stay in a room with a swim-up entrance for added convenience. The best part about Jamaica is that there’s plenty to do – but you don’t have to do anything but relax if you wish. It’s the perfect couples’ getaway.
16. Puerto Rico
If you choose to take a budget honeymoon in Puerto Rico, it won’t take long for you to figure out why it’s known as “the shining star.” It’s another Caribbean island that’s gone through a rebirth in recent years, with multimillion-dollar renovations to many of its all-inclusive resorts. The island is home to 300,000 flora species and resorts equipped with private bird sanctuaries. In other words, you won’t find a more idyllic place for a honeymoon.
If you’re looking for a place that’s remained among the best honeymoon destinations in the world across multiple generations, Mexico is it. It features miles of Caribbean-facing and Pacific-facing coastline and is home to some of the world’s most stunning natural landscapes and beautiful beaches.
The largest island in Mexico, Cozumel has long been a favored destination for honeymooners and cruise operators alike. And if you go there, you can spend your days scuba diving amongst coral reefs in some of the most beautiful turquoise water you’ll ever see, or rent kayaks or jet ski for the day for some adventure. Don’t miss out on exploring the rich Mayan culture of the island’s only town, San Miguel. And you can even visit the San Gervasio Ruins to offer a prayer to Ixchel, goddess of love and fertility.
18. Playa Del Carmen
Another picturesque honeymoon destination, Playa Del Carmen, offers budget-conscious honeymooners plenty. Sports lovers can enjoy volleyball, golf, and tennis at the local resorts’ world-class facilities. Or you and your spouse can visit Xcaret Eco Park to take a once-in-a-lifetime swim with dolphins as well as other high-adrenaline adventures like skydiving.
You can even take a romantic dinner cruise and experience some of the region’s best cuisines. Within a short drive, you can find opportunities to snorkel with turtles or lie on white-sand beaches. What’s not to love?
19. Los Cabos
Far away from the well-known spring break destinations in the area, you’ll find Los Cabos – and another excellent destination for a cheap honeymoon. Its resorts offer the kind of luxury newlyweds wouldn’t expect to find at a budget-friendly destination. So if you want hand and foot massages poolside or a trip to the spa, you’ve got them. A dinner for two on the beach? You can have that too. And if you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can even go for a swim with whale sharks (who are friendlier than they sound).
If you and your new spouse love the ultimate in relaxation mixed with a dash of historical flair, you’ll both love a honeymoon in Tulum. It’s a popular destination for ecotourists, especially those wishing to go for a swim in the cenotes of Gran Cenote, Dos Ojos, and Sac Actun. But that’s not all you’ll find there. It’s also quite close to some of the most well-known and well-preserved Mayan ruins and temples on the Yucatan Peninsula. Go deeper with your soulmate with some sunrise yoga or other spiritual retreats, or enjoy the natural beauty of scenic waterfalls in the area. Enjoy the romance of this boho destination which is also a popular choice for destination weddings!
Your Perfect Honeymoon Destination Awaits!
Any of these locations is sure to delight you and your new spouse, with tons of free activity options in each destination. Of course, if you’re feeling spendy, you could always opt for an overwater bungalow someplace like Bora Bora or the Maldives or private villas in Turks & Caicos or Bali, but options might not work with your budget. If you’d like to reach for something a bit more luxe, you might want to consider utilizing credit card travel rewards to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses!
We hope this list helps narrow down some ideas for the perfect honeymoon for you and your new spouse, no matter your destination.
This post originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.