Wedding Ideas

5 Honeymoons Under $2,500

  1. Best City Honeymoon: Dublin, Ireland

    Dublin, Ireland's  Ha'penny Bridge

    Photo by Thinkstock

    Where to Stay Start out at Butlers Town House hotel, close to restaurants, bars and the rugby stadium (rooms start at around $150 a night). Then go to Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, an eighteenth-century—you guessed it—castle 20 minutes from the Dublin City Center. While it’s a little pricey (rooms start at around $200 per night), it’s well worth it when you walk through the doors and step into old-world luxury.

    Where to Eat Treat yourselves to fresh seafood at The Lobster Pot, an upscale restaurant with an extensive wine list and out-of-this-world crab claws. Two entrees will land you somewhere around $100—a splurge you definitely won’t regret. Also check out Gallagher’s Boxty House for pub fare. And if you’re still not full, head over to Queen of Tarts on Dame Street for scones, cakes and cookies.

    What to Do Get historical with the 1916 Rebellion Walking Tour ($17 per person). If shopping’s your thing, check out Henry Street for typical Irish swag. Then stroll over Ha’penny Bridge. It’s romantic—and free.

    What to Pack Even if you’re visiting Dublin in July, you’ll want to bring an umbrella…and a sweater. The weather is sporadic, and the summer months can get soggy or chilly. But fear not: You’ll likely need sunscreen too!

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  2. Best Beach Honeymoon: Aruba

    Aruba beach on Caribbean Sea

    Photo by Shutterstock

    Where to Stay Relax at the European-style Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts, complete with a beach, spa and outdoor dining (garden rooms start at around $263 per night). If you want to mix things up, check into the centrally located Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino (rooms start at around $245). The hotel provides a small boat to take you to its private island 10 minutes away. Or stake out a spot by the 8,000-square-foot pool at the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Casino & Spa on the island’s more popular Palm Beach (rooms start at $335).

    Where to Eat Enjoy seafood straight off the grill at Pinchos Grill & Bar, a restaurant on a pier. Try the Aruban wahoo fillet (expect to pay $20 to $30 per entree) and leave room for dessert. Or sit at a table on the sand at The Old Man and the Sea, where there’s lots of room between you and your neighbors, or reserve a private Pampered in Paradise prix-fixe dinner so you get a front-row seat for the sunset ($96 per person at Hyatt Regency).

    What to Do See the island on a De Palm Land Rover Tour ($99 per person for four and a half hours), which takes you on an adrenaline-pumping ride along Aruba’s rockier beaches and past sights such as the Gold Mill Ruins, Alto Vista Chapel and the California Lighthouse. Don’t miss Aruba’s Natural Pool, one of the most romantic, unique spots, where you can swim and snorkel in a secluded lagoon. Looking to explore by sea? Check out the underwater view on the Atlantis Submarines Tour ($105 per person). Into golf? Spend a day at the scenic Tierra del Sol course. Snorkeling, horseback riding and just lying low on the beach are options too.

    What to Pack The weather is consistently warm in Aruba, but there’s usually a strong breeze. Bring a windbreaker for walking on the beach at night—and plenty of hair ties.

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  3. Best Adventure Honeymoon: Belize

    Tikal Mayan ruins in Belize

    Photo by Thinkstock

    Where to Stay Fly into Belize City and spend a few nights in the jungle. Gaia Riverlodge offers centrally located private cabanas overlooking the Five Sisters waterfalls, with traditional Belizean accents of thatched roofs and mahogany interiors (villas start at $165). Visit Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker islands to get closer to the famous barrier reef—the second longest in the world! On Ambergris Caye, stay in San Pedro at the Belizean Shores Resort for immediate beach access (rooms start at $169). Or opt for for ample privacy and relaxation on Caye Caulker, where a cozy cabana at Colinda Cabanas starts at $59.

    Where to Eat If you’re going to the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve in the Cayo district, stop in for lunch at Francis Ford Coppola’s Blancaneaux Lodge. The poolside Guatemaltecqua restaurant specializes in authentic Guatemalan cuisine. On Ambergris Caye explore downtown San Pedro for local, cheap eats. My Secret Deli offers some mainland staples like conch soup and stewed meats with coconut rice for less than $10 a plate. Head to Elvis Kitchen for an authentic Mayan buffet on Fridays or Aji Tapa Bar for paella and tapas any day of the week. Discover the gems of Caye Caulker: Habaneros for local seafood curry Au French Corner for dessert, a creperie run by expats.

    What to Do Belize offers the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation. Start on the mainland in Belize City, and arrange a day trip to explore the must-see Mayan ruins at Altun Ha in northern Belize or Xunantunich to the west for 360-views of Belize and even Guatemala. Schedule an excursion with Pacz Tours to the archaeological treasure that is the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave, or go horseback riding or zip-lining through the forest. The Cayes have some of the world’s best snorkeling and scuba diving. Don’t miss the famous Great Blue Hole, a 400-foot-deep underwater sinkhole first discovered by Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Or simply go to the beach for quiet relaxation on the nearly untouched Caribbean beaches.

    What to Pack Beach essentials and hiking gear. A backpack is key since many of the sights involve full-day tours. Make sure you have comfortable sneakers or hiking shoes and sun-protective clothing for longer walks. Bring snorkel or scuba gear and water shoes if you plan to spend time on the Cayes.

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  4. Best Rustic Honeymoon: Jackson Hole, Wyoming

    Jackson Hole, Wyoming's Grand Teton mountains

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    Where to Stay Cozy up at Snake River Lodge & Spa, an AAA four-diamond resort known for its views— and honeymoon specials. Rooms start at around $128 per night in the summer (winter rates spike to $255). If you’re looking for a mod place to stay, check out Hotel Terra, an eco-friendly hotel that starts at about $200 a night. The flat-screen TVs, romantic fireplaces and sleek decor add to the luxe vibe.

    Where to Eat Head to Snake River Grill (not to be confused with the lodge above). Chef Jeff Drew has been nominated by the James Beard Awards as “Best Chef: Northwest” three years in a row. Entrées are a bit costly ($22-49), but worth it if you plan to splurge for a night. Choose from a selection of steak or fish dishes or simply indulge in the branding iron of sweet battered onion rings during a ski break. For a down-home meal, check out Bubba’s BBQ for pulled pork and baked beans. Main courses cost about $20.

    What to Do Ski season runs from December to April, with full-day lift tickets costing $61. In warmer months, try a Mad River whitewater-rafting trip (from $58 each). Then tour the Snake River Brewery and down a pint of its namesake ale. Another idea: Take a trip up the mountains on the Bridger Gondola ($16 each).

    What to Pack In the summer, bring hiking boots, a baseball cap and sporty sunglasses (read: leave your Chanels at home). For winter, you’ll need your usual cold-weather swag — hat, gloves, ski pants and hand and foot warmers.

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  5. Best Exotic Honeymoon: Marrakech, Morocco

    Medina of Marrakech, Morocco

    Photo by Thinkstock

    Where to Stay Check into the Riad Azzar (about $182 per night), just steps from the city’s marketplace. If you want to lounge in the sun, the Riyad El Cadi (around $195 per night) has a large roof terrace.

    Where to Eat Chow down with the locals at the marketplace food stalls for a cheap lunch with local flavor. Another option: Sit under a citrus tree at Cafe Arabe, where main courses are $10 to $16.

    What to Do Party under the stars at Djemaa el Fna, the city’s open marketplace, where people go to eat and dance. For relaxation, head to the Mille et une Nuits spa and hammam, which offers a one-hour steam massage for $77. There are also three popular golf courses in the city as well as an opportunity to take the local flavor home with you: Moroccan cooking classes at La Maison Arabe are about $110 per person.

    What to Pack Wear walking shoes in the city, since roads tend to be dusty. Also bring typical over-the-counter meds, and wet wipes to wash your hands.

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