13 Unconventional Honeymoon Ideas You Probably Haven’t Thought Of

The usual suspects—Paris, Hawaii, the Amalfi Coast—are the usual suspects for a reason: They’re gorgeous and romantic and guess what? They’re also probably flooded with tourists and other honeymooners. There are, however, plenty of off-the-beaten-path destinations that are equally—if not more—romantic, exotic and memorable for a post-wedding getaway. Here are 13 unconventional honeymoon ideas to consider if you want something a little bit different.

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1. The San Juan Islands

The slow-paced, hippie vibes on this archipelago off the coast of Washington state will have you relaxed in no time. It's home to artists, fishermen and wildlife, so chances are you’ll probably see more bikes than cars. And if you’re into eating local, the farmers’ markets selling goat’s-milk cheeses and fresh oysters will having you swooning. Whale watching in Friday Harbor, wine tasting at Lopez Island Vineyards, hiking hidden beaches and eating at popular gastropub Cask and Schooner for razor clam chowder and baked Judd Cove oysters. Aim for a late spring or early fall visit to avoid the rainy season, over-crowded ferries and peak summer hotel rates.

Rental to check out:

Waterfront Home with Beach Access

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2. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Velvety, green mountains? Check. Bustling cities? Check. Azure waters and silky shores? You bet. Vietnam is adventurous and luxurious all at once. Start in Ho Chi Minh City, a vivacious metropolis on the banks of the Saigon River where you’ll find French colonial architecture, decadent pagodas and some of the world’s best street food. Ha Long Bay’s limestone karsts and colorful floating fishing villages; Phu Quoc island’s beaches; and Sa Pa, a mountain town in the Northwest province overlooking miles of spiraling, emerald rice fields.

Rental to check out:

Millennium Apartment Near Saigon

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3. Algarve, Portugal

On Portugal’s southern coast, the Algarve is known for its stunning beaches, glorious Mediterranean weather and laid-back fishing villages. While the towns of Lagos, Faros and Albufeira are more developed, Sagres is the more rustic and less traveled path. All along the coast, you’ll find golden sand beaches, jutting red cliffs, whitewashed villas and wildflowers. Keep an eye out for seaside shacks serving just-caught bounty and hidden coves where surfers can catch rolling waves. A May or September visit guarantees sunny and warm weather and infinitely smaller crowds.

Rental to check out:

Villa with Private Pool

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4. Buenos Aires, Argentina

The capital city of Argentina is a hub of South American culture with a European flair. It's full of art museums, fabulous architecture, nightlife and incredible food (beef, yes, but there's so much more). Historic sites like Recoleta Cemetery, the vibrant flea markets of San Telmo and the colorful, street-art-filled neighborhood of La Boca. At night, feast on some of the most tender, melt-in-your-mouth steak you’ve ever tried. And of course, catch a live tango show.

Rental to check out:

Bonito Studio With Views

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5. Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe has a distinctly French flair that’s most apparent in the Creole cuisine (think dishes like creamy ravioli filled with langoustine and ceviche in coconut milk). The island is split in half: On one side, Grande-Terre has endless sun-kissed sand and crystal beaches. On the other, Basse-Terre is made up of lush rainforests and sprawling mountains. The best time to go is during the dry season, December through May, when you can spend everyday basking in the 80-degree sun.

Rental to check out:

Tipayoune Bungalow

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6. British Columbia, Canada

Between the jaw-dropping Pacific coastline and snow-capped Canadian Rocky Mountains, British Columbia is one of the most rugged and incredible natural landscapes in the world. It’s also home to Vancouver, which has famously been described as Manhattan with mountains. Skiers will love the fresh-powdered slopes in Whistler, while beach bums will find a totally new type of coastal getaway in the laid-back surf town of Tofino.

Rental to check out:

Whistler Luxury Vacation Home

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7. Zanzibar, Tanzania

While this archipelago off the coast of Tanzania has gotten some traction in recent years, it’s still not a first stop for many travelers, which makes it the perfect place for a quiet honeymoon. You can sprawl out on one its vast beaches and take in the unbearably blue waters that are sure to help you unwind and relax. If you’re feeling adventurous, the island doesn’t lack activities. Get lost in Stone Town—an ancient, maze-like town that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000. You can also take a private dolphin tour, take a sunset cruise or visit some majestic jungle cats.

Rental to check out:

Mina Beachhouse Bungalow

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8. Anchorage, Alaska

For the couples who are looking to cuddle up under the Northern Lights without journeying all the way to Iceland, a honeymoon in Alaska is the next best thing. Though they occur during all four seasons of the year, if you really want a good view, plan your visit anywhere between August and April, when less daylight leads to darker night skies. Outside of seeing the wonderous lights you can of course, partake in tons winter activities—skiing, sledding, snowboarding—but there are also once-in-a-lifetime adventures to embark on such as whale watching, visiting the Hubbard glacier and bear viewing.

Rental to check out:

Rustic Dog-Friendly Chalet

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9. Meghalaya, India

So you and your S.O. have just recently become one and now you want to become one with nature, head over to Meghalaya. Located in northeastern India, this city is famed for its unforgettable landscapes. Towns such as Sohra—aka Cherrapunjee—are revered for their living root bridges (pictured above), made from rubber trees, as well as their brimming waterfalls, streams and forest trails. But it’s not all nature walks and fauna in Meghalaya, the state capital of Shillong is a cultural hub full of bustling cafes and restaurants so you can indulge in some local eats.

Rental to check out:

Troya Home Stay

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10. Cinque Terre, Italy

We will never deny that Rome, Venice and Florence are gorgeous, but when you’re considering Italy as your honeymooning destination, keep this collection of five towns located along the country’s Ligurian Coast in mind for chill beach vibes, sublime views and copious amounts of wine and seafood. Cinque Terre is made up of five formerly remote fishing villages— Monterosso, Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia and Riomaggiore—each with their own distinct personality. Visit all five cities by traversing the breathtaking coastal trail between each town. (You can also train it.)

Rental to check out:

Charming House with Peaceful Garden

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11. Zermatt, Switzerland

If the two of you are all about being active, Zermatt will fuel your inner athletes during the day, and your après come night. This resort town nestled under the famed Matterhorn peak has an abundance of skiing, climbing and hiking adventures and is most notable for its car-free policy, old-fashioned brown chalets and winding alleys. No cars doesn’t mean you walk everywhere, however, there are electric vehicles and horse-drawn carriages to take you from one snowy destination to the other.

Rental to check out:

Lovely Apartment for Two

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12. Charleston, South Carolina

History buffs would love this city. For one, the Charleston Historic District gives you tons of opportunities to learn about African-American heritage, Charleston’s role in the Civil War and significant architecture like all the old churches that pepper the city. History aside, Charleston is a straight up fun place to vacation. Stroll the cobblestone streets bordered by colorful building facades, visit popular sites such as the Pineapple Fountain or Middleton Place that make for stunning Insta photos, and wine and dine at some of the best bistros and bars in the country.

Rental to check out:

Historic Center Cookhouse Condo

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13. Nairobi, Kenya

They say, “Two’s company, three’s a crowd,” but certainly, if that third (or fourth) guest is a gorgeous giraffe, then it’s not so bad right? That’s the company you can expect to keep should you choose to take your love to Nairobi, more specifically to the Giraffe Manor, located in the Langata suburb of the city. But it’s not all tea and scones with giraffes, you can also explore nearby shops, visit National Nairobi Park and interact with other wild animals or head to the Nairobi National Museum for some insight on Kenyan history.

Rental to check out:

Kilimambogo View Villa

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Resident Hufflepuff, Beyonce historian, self-proclaimed tea sommelier

Steph is a native of Zimbabwe who is both enamored and genuinely baffled by the concept of silent letters. From 2020 to 2022, she served as Associate Editor at PureWow covering...

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Freelance PureWow Editor

From 2015-2017 Hannah Loewentheil held the role of Editor covering entertainment, food, travel and all things nyc.