5 Affordable Coastal Honeymoon Spots in the U.S. You Probably Haven’t Thought Of
Beaufort, North Carolina
Any setting that’s inspired the stories of America’s ultimate romantic, Nicholas Sparks, is bound to inspire love in virtually everyone. Beaufort, which plays home to Sparks’ novels A Walk to Remember and The Choice, is a quaint, walkable port town with tree-lined streets and a picturesque historic district. According to Livability, a travel research site which recently ranked America's most budget-friendly honeymoon options, couples should head here if they’re looking for the feel of a quiet European river cruise, as North Carolina’s 85 miles of southern coastline gives travelers a range of distinct towns and beaches to explore. (And unlike a pricier European cruise, average nightly hotel rates here are a mere $150.)
San Luis Obispo, California
While Los Angeles might be a draw for celeb seekers and San Francisco for sightseers, this lesser known city tucked between the two is ideal for those looking to kick back California-style without the extra crowds and cost (average hotel prices here are $139 per night). San Luis Obispo—appropriately dubbed SLO by the locals—is a laid-back lovers’ paradise, with gorgeous beaches, romantic restaurants, and boutique vineyards you can explore by horseback. Other honeymoon-appropriate activities? A walk along nearby Cambria’s breathtaking Moonstone Beach, a sampling of the region’s famous Morro Bay oysters (an aphrodisiac!), and a dip in the local mineral hot springs.
Lake Forest, Illinois
If you’re searching for a city-meets-small-town honeymoon, consider a combo of Chicago and nearby Lake Forest, a quaint, historic community on the shores of Lake Michigan. Long an escape for Chicago’s elite, the beachfront town is known for its date-worthy restaurants and natural beauty, thanks to its rolling terrain and picturesque beachfront.
Providence, Rhode Island
Can’t swing a vacation to Italy’s City of Love? Rhode Island’s capital boasts a seductive blend of both culture and scenery that might be on par with Venice while being a fraction of the distance (and price). (There’s even an authentic gondola ride for newlyweds looking for the true Venetian experience.) Art galleries, museums, a stellar food scene, and a diverse mix of ‘Gram-worthy neighborhoods make this the ultimate couples’ getaway.
If gorgeous beaches are your love language, book your ticket to this sandy escape on Florida’s Gulf Coast. With Caribbean-quality water and spectacular sunsets, Sarasota holds its own among international honeymoon favorites (at a much lower cost—hotel prices here average $162 per night). Aside from the stunning beaches, the Sunshine State escape lures lovebirds with its lively waterfront downtown district and neighboring barrier islands known worldwide for their cool, white sand made almost entirely of quartz crystals.