6 Magical Places in the U.S. for a 4-Day Mini Moon (and No, None of Them Are Napa)
Congratulations, you’re getting married! But whether work is super busy or you’re already draining your savings on an open bar, you’re not doing the whole two-week-long honeymoon jaunt. Have no fear, mini moons are here. What? You heard us, mini moons: short getaways that don’t eat up as much time or money as traditional post-wedding trips. Intrigued? Consider these six spots in the U.S. that are perfect for this sort of thing.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Pueblo architecture, southwestern food and incredible art (did someone say “turquoise”?) are all hallmarks of this historic (and stunning) city. If art’s your thing, check out the low-key Railyard District or, on a grander scale, Canyon Road, a half-mile-long stretch of more than 100 galleries, studios and boutiques. To refuel, stop by the Santa Fe Farmers Market (the largest in the state) or The Shed (where you have to get the pollo adobo). Once your lungs have adjusted to the elevation, which is about 7,000 feet above sea level, venture 40 miles south to Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, a group of white, cone-like cliffs that have to be seen in person to be believed.
Where to stay: The Inn of the Five Graces
Lovers of the great outdoors will go bananas for this supremely gorgeous slice of the northeast. In Woodstock, grab coffee at Mon Vert Café and hit up Sugarbush Farm, where you can sample cheeses and watch how maple syrup is made (and, duh, take some home). Then, drive to nearby Quechee (pronounced “kwee-chee”). It’s about ten minutes from Woodstock and features Simon Pearce, a glass-blowing shop that doubles as a ridiculously delicious restaurant, and the Quechee Gorge (pictured above), a massively impressive feat of nature that’s the largest of its kind in the state and will make you a little dizzy to stare at.
Where to stay: The Woodstock Inn
A laid-back hipster paradise. Between an inventive food scene, tons of breweries, amazing coffee and a terrific shopping scene, Portland is the spot. Start your morning with an espresso from the original Stumptown Coffee, then munch away on a Blue Star doughnut (or Voodoo, depending on your allegiances) while browsing Powell’s City of Books—the self-proclaimed largest independent bookstore in the world (it’s basically a mecca of previously-loved paperbacks). At night, head to BridgePort Brewpub, which really started the city’s craft brewing boom. When it’s time for something more substantial, head to Pok Pok, the original location of Andy Ricker’s now-famous Thai spot. If you’d rather not wait in what are sure to be massive lines, head to its less-packed sister spot, Whiskey Soda Lounge, and consider moving to Oregon, like, immediately.
Where to stay: Hotel Monaco
New Orleans, Louisiana
Relaxing trips are great, but if you’re in the mood for something a bit livelier, New Orleans is your place. Since you’re going to be partying all night long, we suggest keeping your days calm. Start with beignets and café au laits at Café du Monde (we swear they’re worth the wait) and spend some time strolling through the flower district or shopping on Magazine Street (be sure to duck into Pied Nu). Once night falls, let loose. Start with dinner at one of the city’s iconic spots, like Galatoire’s, Commander’s Palace or Antoine’s. Once you’re sufficiently stuffed, head to Bourbon Street if you're brave, or one of New Orleans' incredible jazz clubs (we’re partial to Preservation Hall) to end the night on a bang—perhaps literally.
Where to stay: Hotel Monteleone
Traverse City, Michigan
Those looking for the California wine country experience without going all the way to Napa should look no further than Michigan. With tons of small farms, wineries and craft breweries, Traverse City has become a foodie hot spot, with restaurants like the James Beard-nominated Trattoria Stella, as well as Black Star Farms and The Cooks’ House. Think: the best farm-to-table fare you’ve ever had. By day, go on a little self-guided tasting tour of Old Mission Peninsula, a spot just north of the city where you’ll find wineries and breweries galore. (Don’t leave without trying Chateau Chantal’s Riesling.) The way we see it is, if it’s good enough for Mario Batali (who spends his summers here), it’s good enough for us.
Where to stay: Inn at Bay Harbor
The Adirondacks, New York
Just a five-and-a-half-hour drive from NYC, the Adirondacks—specifically, the area around Saranac Lake—couldn’t be further from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. What you do depends on when you visit, but in general, expect hiking and water sports when it’s warm and snowshoeing and cross-country skiing when it’s cold. Regardless of the time of year, have a meal and a margarita at Casa del Sol and take a day trip to Lake Placid. It’s less than an hour by car, and feels weirdly (but enjoyably) stuck in the 1980s, when it hosted the winter Olympics for a second time.
Where to stay: The Point