This is a continuation of our previous post (you may read it here). We recently compiled a list of our top 15 US destinations for the perfect mini moon to carry you over until the long awaited dream trip or until the international travel bans have been lifted. In our previous post we had discovered your top 5 honeymoon destinations on the East Coast.
This week we are discovering the West Coast. It is common knowledge that the East coast arguably has more options for not only tropical destinations but the most gorgeous warm beaches as well.
"Let's find some beautiful place to get lost together" Unknown
Don't be fooled, the Pacific Coast waters may be colder but the views are just picturesque if not more; especially along the 101 highway (in California).
I personally was extremely surprised to learn of all the beauty the Pacific Northwest had to offer, i've always just known that this part of the US is predominately rainy and foggy year round. (I'm from South Florida and when we travelled as a family we stuck with the most obvious tropical locations such as our home country Colombia, Florida destinations, Puerto Rico, USVI, etc.) The Pacific Northwest has such an array of islands that offer much similar to the tropics on a different coast that I personally am excited to plan and visit sometime in the future!
*Make sure to research beach openings prior to booking trips as they are varying per city and state.
*All photos are rightfully credited
1. Santa Catalina Islands, California
2. Big Sur, California
3. Whidbey and Camano Islands, Washington State
4. San Juan Islands, Washington State
5. Hawaiian Islands
SANTA catalina island, california
Just 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, lies this beautiful island named after St. Catherine of Alexandria by Spanish explorer Viscaino. Santa Catalina Island has two harbors that is not only filled with adventurous activities and exploration but also with lots of history. This island served as a training base for multiple American military branches such as the US maritime services, Army Signal Corps, and the Coast Guard during World War II.
- Seek adventure through zip lining, boat tours, scuba diving, amongst other water activities.
- Get some much needed R&R at one of the four spas on the island!
- Catalina Island Museum houses not only art and history but also memorabilia in remembrance of the Chicago Cubs spring training in Avalon from 1921 to 1951!
- Enjoy a scavenger hunt, an astronomy tour, or the islands own conservatory eco tour where you can encounter bison! There are more than enough activities to enjoy on the island.
- Click here to get information on places to stay and restaurants on the island.
Big Sur, california
A little oasis along the coast, Big Sur offers scenic views, hiking trails, and a retreat from the outside world. There aren't many economic options to actually staying in Big Sur but you will find more accommodations nearby in Carmel, Ca.
- Point Sur Lighthouse in the Point Sur State Historic Park has guided tours with tales of ship wrecks and spirits that linger around the tower and surrounding buildings.
- Enjoy jaw dropping worthy views at Pfeiffer Beach with the Rock Arch & Purple Sands. It is recommended to go early as parking fills up quickly by 11am.
- Bixby bridge is another stop with spectacular views to bask in.
- Enjoy hiking through the Red Forest or if you're feeling extra adventurous camp nearby at Pfeiffer beach or Pinnacles National Park.
- Take a day trip down to Hearst Castle, which is about an hour away. This stunning castle is a National Historic Landmark designed by architect Julia Morgan and was residence to newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.
- Food should not disappoint with views overlooking the ocean such as Sierra Mar and Deetjens Big Sur Inn. Top of many lists to lunch is the Nepenthe and desserts at Big Sur Bakery.
Travel doesn't become adventure until you leave yourself behindby Marty Rubin
Whidbey & camano islands
Tucked in the Pacific Northwest about 30 miles from Seattle, this island has been a locals gem. Filled with some of the Pacific Northwest's most beautiful scenery and predominately family run inns, restaurants, and shops!
- A few towns to explore each with their own quirks. Langley, Coupeville, Oak Harbor, Clinton, and Freeland.
- Mussels and more mussels, the island is known for its seafood. By the reviews on the restaurants in town, it seems like you can't go wrong with any of them. In an article published in May 2019 by CNN travel they name The Oystercatcher as one of the best mussels on the island.
- If you like chocolate you're in for a unique treat at the Chocolate Flower Farm. No you won't be eating chocolate (unfortunately), but you will be encounter all the sweetest smelling flowers from around the world and have your chance to purchase seeds to grow your own!
- You have multiple parks, marinas, and harbors to choose from for a bit of adventure and outdoor activities. You've got kayaking, kite boarding, sailing, boat charters, to name a few.
- Check out their wine tasting tours available for all your wine-o's and enjoy some local shops and museums!
Between the two islands you have plenty of activities to enjoy and land to explore!
- Add some adrenaline through zip-lining.
- Enjoy the Pacific coast waters at Iverson Spit Waterfront or English Boom Trail County Park. Here you will also spot a few varieties or birds as well.
- Enjoy the Matzke Art Gallery and Sculpture Park where you will find sculptures amongst the serenity in the woods.
Check out this travel guide that goes more in depth on what to do and where to visit during your time on Whidbey & Camino Islands.
san Juan islands
This post will not do justice to all the beauty, history, and activities these Pacific Northwest islands provide. The San Juan Islands consist of San Juan, Orcas and Lopez Island! Each with their own history, beautiful lush terrains, adventures to be had, and towns to explore. Arriving to the island is exciting in itself has you can only arrive by ferry or sea plane.
- Whale watching! For most they immediately think of Free Willy, I certainly did! I have not only heard but also read it is a beautiful experience to encounter in their natural habitat. Catch a few tours from San Juan or Orcas Island.
- Visit the oldest Pottery in the Pacific Northwest at Orcas Island Pottery!
- Plethora of outdoor activities to fulfill your adventure bug such as kayaking, biking, air tours, boating, sailing, and mo-ped rentals to name a few.
- Local wineries, breweries, and farms to visit and enjoy.
- For you spa lovers, there are a few options of spas to enjoy on both San Juan & Orcas Island.
- If you're a golf enthusiast there is the San Juan Golf & Tennis club that is open year round and features 9 challenging holes. It has been rated the best 9 hole course on the Pacific Northwest coast!
- You will not go hungry on either of these islands as there is a huge list of amazing restaurants that offer delicious finger licking food. I found a top restaurant list first posted by Seattle Refined in 2017 and then one posted by Eater recently in 2019. Find 2017 list here and 2019 list here and enjoy what the islands have to offer.
The Hawaiian islands are always in the top honeymoon destination lists and rightfully so. There are EIGHT islands that makes up the Hawaiian Islands, each with different terrains, vibes, personalities, tourist attractions and history. Of the eight islands, Niihau is a private island and Kahoolawe is uninhabited and is prohibited to visit.
The Hawaiian islands have SO much to offer I will literally create a different blog post to address each island in more depth. For now here is a quick synopsis of the 6 most visited islands in the United States. Be prepared to gain some weight with so many delicious spots to eat at that have been featured in tv or the media!
- Big Island- Largest of the six and the largest island in the US, this island is nature lovers heaven. On the island you have a mix of everything from the only active volcano of the islands, waterfalls, coastal scenery, to snow atop of the mountains (yes I was just as surprised to read that as well!). Dream resorts, delicious fresh seafood, 5 star spas, and stunning beaches fill the island.
- Maui- Dubbed the famous island and marketed more for the honeymooners, this island has much to offer between relaxation and adventure, a nice balance for many couples. Here you will find world famous beaches that include red, black and white sands, the famous road to Hana, the creme of the crop resorts and spas, as well as golf courses and water activities.
- Oahu- It is considered the "heart of Hawaii" and family friendly. This island is not only one of the most popular and busiest, but also where you will find the states capital of Honolulu, the most popular beaches Waikiki, Pearl Harbor, and the North Shore.
- Kauai- The most rainy of the islands and also the oldest of the main Hawaiian islands. Nicknamed the "garden isle" for its array of plants and flowers you most likely have never seen. On this island there are plenty of adventures to explore amongst the beaches, canyons, and parks the island has to offer! If you're a huge dinosaur buff then you'll be excited to visit this island as the majority of the first Jurassic Park movie of 1993 was shot here!
- Molokai- not as popular and least populated, what you will get with this island is the most authentic Hawaiian culture experience and much needed r&r. The residents pride themselves in keeping up with their traditions and staying rooted in their culture. It is said if you like to travel off the beaten path, travel to Molokai and enjoy Hawaii's culture, history, and traditions first hand without the large groups of tourists.
- Lanai- Smallest of the islands, considered more romantic and intimate, Lanai is more of a day trip than an extended stay if you're a busy body. It may be small but it does offer stunning beaches to explore, famous golf courses that have breath taking views, and you can always try your luck at the archery & shooting range.
I hope you've enjoyed this read as much as I have researching and writing it! Please share with your loved ones and let me know of any other great beach destinations in the Central US you feel should have made this list!
***This is not a paid sponsorship post, the locations I chose was based off my research.
Queen Bee of Honeybee Bride and Head Honeymoon Wardrobe Stylist. Melissa is based in New Orleans, LA and lives with her husband and two fur babies, Grover & Bailey, who you will sometimes see living the good life on instagram.