Honeymoon. One of the most asked questions you’ll get when planning your wedding “Where are you guys going on your honeymoon!?” “Do you have your honeymoon booked yet?!” Wait, wait, wait, I’m supposed to plan an entire vacation alongside planning an entire wedding?
Thinking about planning a honeymoon can be daunting to some couples, I know it sure was for me! About half of my clients wait to go on a honeymoon at a later date, and about half of them decide to go a few days after their wedding celebration. While there is no right or wrong way to have a honeymoon, this post is for those who are deciding to put off the honeymoon planning until your bank accounts have replenished, and when you have more time to focus on planning the honeymoon you want, but who still want to have alone time after the wedding…enter – the mini-moon!
These are often so much easier to plan, just a few days away in a little oasis. Here are my top recommendations for mini-mooning in California.
1. Big Sur at Treebones Resort
This is my favorite spot in the Big Sur area — you can rent a campsite spot, sleep in a yurt, a treehouse, or a NEST! Glamping at its finest. They have an amazing restaurant and sushi bar onsite and there are so many excursions and day trips to take from here. We went down Highway 1 to Hearst Castle one day, and the other day into Big Sur to explore and visit the beach. Big Sur Bakery is a must visit for breakfast or lunch one day in town.
2. Yosemite National Park
I’m a little biased here since this is where we got married, and continued our mini-moon. There is an endless amount of exploring to do – one of my favorite activities was renting bikes and cruising all around Yosemite Valley; you’ll head through meadows, over to lakes, all the while enjoying world class views that can’t be beat. Opt for a pizza break at Half Dome Village or make a reservation at the Majestic Hotel for a more upscale experience. If you want to go somewhere less crowded, drive to the incredible Tuolumne Meadows, the crowds are fewer, and sites are just as amazing as in the Valley!
3. Joshua Tree National Park
It’s one of those places that just blows you away and makes you realize how beautiful a desert is and how much life can live here. Our favorite recommendation — the awesome dome house found on Airbnb for an easy $120/night. Looking for things to do? Horseback riding is such a fun way to explore the park, or cruise around in your vehicle to hike out and watch the sunset. It’s truly a surreal park to visit, paired with colorful sunsets and all the star gazing its a perfect spot for a little romance on your minimoon.
Getting married near or in wine country? Why not stay up there for your mini-moon? With tons of amazing restaurants, Napa is the perfect mini-moon for the couple who appreciates good food and wine. One of my favorite wineries is Sequoia Grove because it doesn’t feel as overdone as some of the other wineries, and I also love Stags Leap for its beautiful but laid back vibes and amazing view. V. Sattui is a super fun casual picnic option for you and your spouse to enjoy as well. You can plan lots of couple’s activities like hot air ballooning, enjoying a pampered spa day and couple’s massages, or heading to the hotel pool and just soaking up some sun with a glass of wine in hand.
5. Manhattan Beach
With the beach, boutique shops, plenty of restaurants, and a slower pace of the LA life – we love Manhattan Beach! Get a beach cruiser and head up or down the beach promenade to Redondo and Hermosa beach, or head up to Venice Beach for the day! Manhattan Beach is the perfect hub to do some coastal exploring of the Los Angeles area. You can even take a day trip down to Disneyland if that’s your thing, or head into LA proper and enjoy the arts district. There’s endless opportunities to hike, explore, shop, or just beach bum around.