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Honeymoon in the USA

03 Oct 2012

Honeymoon in the USA

Travel expert Julie Croucher of Travel with Jules gives her insider advice on honeymooning in the states...

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Feel the wind in your hair as you hit the highway in your Mustang convertible … camp under the stars in the dramatic Rocky Mountains or play cowboys and Indians in the ‘wild west’ … whatever you want to do for your honeymoon, North America has it all!

You can get married in America if you choose to flee the shores of Britain and the wedding capital of the States (if not the world!) is of course Las Vegas, with it’s crazy wedding chapels and never ending nightlife, you’ll be sure of a day to remember there. Or you may prefer to say your vows on a beach in Hawaii, on horseback in Wyoming or on top of a New York skyscraper.

Las Vegas is popular for honeymoons and makes an ideal base for a fly drive holiday. Sitting in the middle of the Nevada desert, this sparkling show town has incredible hotels, casinos and theatre. To take in the neon lights at their best, drive out into the desert, wait for sunset and with a drink in hand watch as the sandy surroundings light up with life.

Easily accessed from Vegas is the Grand Canyon – perfect for those adventurous honeymooners who like the outdoor life. Make sure you spend enough time here to experience the canyon from above and below. Nearby around the deserts of Arizona and Utah are some stunning national parks. I can arrange a self drive loop which includes the pink rock pinnacles of Bryce Canyon, the awesome towering cliffs of Zion, unbelievable balancing rocks of Arches and the world famous Navajo region of Monument Valley.

California is the land of sun, sand and surf. Perfect for honeymoons, from the glitz and glamor of the film sets of Hollywood, up the Santa Monica Boulevard to the Pacific Highway, head west in the States for the time of your life. San Francisco and San Diego are both sophisticated cities and there are some amazing five star hotels and locations around the region. Post Ranch Inn perched on the top of the Big Sur cliffs is one of the most spectacular spots in California. Travel inland to the world famous Napa Valley for fabulous food and wine, maybe take a hot air balloon flight and then carry on to Yosemite for some natural beauty. If you would like a twin centre honeymoon, California has some great combos with Hawaii. One of the most romantic places in the United States, head to Hawaii for palm fringed tropical beaches, rainforests and spectacular blue seas.

On the other side of the States, New York has some amazing hotels and you can spend a good four to five days sightseeing around here, hit the lights on Broadway or take a river cruise past the Statue of Liberty. Depending on the time of year of your honeymoon, head down the coast on a self drive. Cape Cod is a gorgeous ‘seaside’ destination with clapperboard houses and seafood restaurants. Heading inland around New England & Vermont you will be mesmerised by the ‘colours of the fall’ in autumn.

Florida is the place to head for gorgeous beaches and plenty of sunshine. Head to the Gulf Coast for stunning sunsets – the aptly named ‘Lovers Key’ is a state park of gorgeous beaches and secluded hideaways looking over the Gulf of Mexico. Clearwater Beach and Key West are just two of the amazing locations here to choose from. Drive down to Florida Keys and over the amazing seven mile bridge to the tip of the States into the Caribbean Sea. Honeymoons to Florida combine easily with the Caribbean for some tropical paradise.

If you are honeymooning in the winter and outdoor activities are your thing, North America has fabulous ski resorts, spend your days on the slopes and evenings cuddled up in front of a fire in a log cabin. Canada has stunning scenery too. If big skies, open plains and adventure are more your thing, then why not consider Canada as a honeymoon destination, whatever time of year? Kayak the Yukon, take a float plane into the wilderness, watch bears fishing for salmon or whale watch from Vancouver. Train travel across from east to west is a great way to experience the different states of this huge country. From Niagara Falls to Vancouver, this is a wonderful honeymoon option and you can include a cruise to Alaska too.

There are so many honeymoon options in America, it’s impossible to list them all – take a look at my website for more ideas and get in touch with your requirement. I will put together your perfect tailor made honeymoon, wherever you want to go in the world. Being based in Suffolk we can arrange to meet up and you will have your own personal honeymoon planner to do the work for you. I look forward to taking the stress out of your honeymoon plans.

North America – Julie’s top hotels

Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica – for celeb spotting.

Post Ranch Inn at Big Sur, California – adults only with stunning views and gourmet food.

Beverley Wiltshire, LA – where Pretty Woman was filmed.

The Venetian, Las Vegas – take a romantic gondola ride.

Amangiri, Utah – stunning luxury property with rain showers and plunge pools.

The Mondrian and The Shore Club, South Beach, Miami – popular with young and trendy honeymooners.

Little Palm Island, Florida Keys- a luxury small hotel with 26 suites and a chef’s observation table to watch the cooking.

Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas – for the bikers and rockers.

Travelling tips

1. Apply online for your ESTA (the electronic visa system) before you travel.

2. Ensure you have plenty of validity on your passport and that you have proof of medical insurance on arrival and a first night hotel booked for immigration authorities.

3. If your honeymoon is in peak travel periods book as far in advance as possible.

4. If you’re hiring a car, check the depot opening times as many are closed on weekends.

5. Remember that plane tickets and timetables in America use the 12 hour not 24 hour clock. It can be very confusing and you could miss your flight if you don’t read times correctly.

6. Tipping is common practice. Make sure you have plenty of $1 dollar bills for this.

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