Beach Honeymoons Top Destinations | Islands

Beach Honeymoons: The Top Destinations

Celebrate your wedded bliss with a beach honeymoon in one of these romantic locations

Sure, unwinding on the sand is nice, but some couples want their beach vacation with a little something extra. We found 10 sexy honeymoon destinations where the beach + an added draw = the perfect honeymoon.


Sandals Montego Bay

Courtesy Sandals Montego Bay

Beach + Music Scene: Jamaica

To begin your musical pilgrimage, fly into Kingston, the capital, and hit the Bob Marley Museum at his former home and recording studio. White-sand strands here include Blue Lagoon, Frenchman's Cove and Long Bay, all prime for swimming and snorkeling. Time your beach honeymoon to catch a major live-music event like Montego Bay’s Reggae Sumfest in July — a party-till-sunrise weekend of reggae, dance hall and hip-hop. — Peter Zaremba


The Islands of Tahiti


Beach + Underwater Adventure: The Islands of Tahiti

Coral reefs teeming with galaxies of tropical fish and exotic sea life encircle Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea and the destination’s other 115 islands and atolls. These warm, gin-clear waters are perfect for snorkeling and diving, and even beginners can get in on the fun: Several PADI schools offer first-time divers intro and five-day certification courses. Swim with graceful sea turtles, baby moray eels, shy octopuses, candy-colored fish and even harmless sharks. You can snorkel right offshore at many resorts, or hop on a charter boat for guided dives to the best scuba spots, like Tahiti’s Catalina seaplane wreck and Bora Bora’s Manta Ballroom site. — Janice Mucalov


Bali, Indonesia


Beach + Wellness: Bali, Indonesia

Start your spiritual odyssey in the artistic hub of Ubud, where you can greet the morning with guided meditation, then visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, which houses three major temples, plus scores of cheeky primates. End the day with a hike to the holy spring of Tampaksiring, where Hindu priests and healers perform sacred rituals. All Zenned out from your beach honeymoon, you’ll be ready to hit the coast. Skip the crowds at Kuta and Seminyak, and head south to the serene Bukit Peninsula. Pay your respects at the sacred temple of Uluwatu, carved out of black coral on a cliff top overlooking the Indian Ocean. Then dine beachside in Jimbaran Bay, where you can experience everything from ayuverdic-inspired raw food to freshly caught fish. — Emma Sloley


Costa del Sol, Spain


Beach + History: Costa del Sol, Spain

Continuous sunshine meets captivating history along this scenic Mediterranean coastline in southern Spain. The most popular beaches are in Marbella, where luxury resorts, restaurants, beach bars and golf courses coexist with ancient castles and cathedrals adjoining Plaza de los Naranjos. Take a day trip inland to experience Andalusia’s ancient cities: The most famous is Granada, where the ninth-century Alhambra Palace rests high above the city, flanked by fragrant gardens. Also photo-worthy are the “white villages”: hilltop towns such as Ronda — the birthplace of bullfighting and home to the 18th-century Puente Nuevo — and Casares, whose sugar-cube-shaped buildings are stacked precariously beneath the ramparts of Arab Castle. — Donna Heiderstadt


New Zealand


Beach + Mountains: New Zealand

An escape to the country where Lord of the Rings was filmed is especially ideal in the spring and fall when weather is great and crowds are low. Start at the South Island’s Southern Alps with skiing and trekking through an inspired alpine scene of glacier-carved fjords. Then head to Nelson, on the other end of the South Island, to get your beach on. This perpetually sunny city features palm trees and long stretches of white sand, plus outdoor cafes, wineries and galleries, perfect for any beach honeymoon. Over on the North Island, Coromandel Peninsula is a two-hour drive from Auckland and packs a one-two punch of rainforested mountains and gorgeous beaches. Or head to Hot Water Beach: Dig in the sand at low tide, and you can create your own personal hot tub from the geothermal springs below. — Pam Grout


Santa Barbara, California


Beach + Cuisine: Santa Barbara, California

Dubbed the American Riviera, Santa Barbara is quintessential California coast. But surrounded by vineyards, orchards and family farms, this pretty village is equally famous for food and wine. Rent a beach cruiser along the waterfront and cycle to the eclectic Funk Zone, home of diverse tasting rooms from modern Municipal Winemakers (iPads loaded with tasting notes are on hand) to traditional Carr, with barrels stacked along the wall. Rent a car to tour the Santa Ynez and Santa Rita appellations, aka Sideways country. Before calling it a day, pick up a local vintage and Cali-made cheeses and head back to town for a beachside picnic. — Maryann Hammers




Beach + Safari: Tanzania

In Serengeti National Park, open-air Land Cruisers motor you within steps of exotic creatures, including hippos, baboons and all of the Big Five — lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffaloes. These plains are also the locus of the Great Migration, an endless cycle in which vast herds of zebras and wildebeests chase the rain (January through March, calving season in the south, is a great time to visit). Don’t miss a trip to Ngorongoro Crater, a virtual Eden whose natural spring provides unlimited nourishment for nearly 25,000 animals. Conclude your sojourn relaxing on the tropical isle of Zanzibar, a quick 30-minute flight from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s capital. Boasting an exotic blend of African, Persian, Arabic and Indian cultures, as well turquoise seas and more than 25 beaches, it’s an ideal spot for some R&R before the long flight home. — Erika Hueneke


Guanacaste, Costa Rica


Beach + Rainforest: Guanacaste, Costa Rica

The playas in this area offer top-notch surfing conditions, while the inland rainforests, just a short day trip away, are known for Avatar-worthy flora, ample wildlife and active volcanoes. Book a room in a lively beach town like Playas del Coco or Tamarindo, both bustling with vibey restaurants, quaint shops and happening nightclubs. The former is prime for swimming and snorkeling, while surf mecca Tamarindo is the place to hang 10. After you’ve had your fill of sand and sun, adventure awaits in Rincon de la Vieja National Park, with its jungle-shrouded volcano, misty waterfalls and thermal mud pools, plus activities like white-water rafting, horseback riding and hiking. — Rebecca Kinnear


Los Cabos, Mexico


Beach + Desert: Los Cabos, Mexico

Situated on the point of coast where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez, Los Cabos offers golden beach coves backed by rugged rocks. The terrain also offers up hard-core land adventures, such as ATV tours through sand dunes or treks through the Sierra de la Laguna canyons. A zip-lining excursion provides soaring vistas, or keep your feet on the ground with a hike among rock formations and ancient fossils. You can also explore Baja with a beachfront camel ride finished off with handmade Mexican tortillas and a tequila tasting. — Tara Bradley


Miami, Florida


Beach + City Life: Miami, Florida

Miami consistently rates among the sexiest cities in the country, so show some skin on the sands of South Beach — Government Cut, where you can spy on surfers and cruise ships, is a good pick. But things really heat up when the sun goes down. Head to Delano Hotel’s Florida Room, where you’ll likely rub elbows with celebs including Lenny Kravitz, whose firm designed the intimate lounge. Design fans should peruse the Wynwood Art District, home to more than 70 galleries, collections and museums. And no beach honeymoon to Miami is complete without a meal at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, where chef Michael Schwartz creates his farm-to-table dishes for gourmands near and far. — Jennifer Leslie Kramer


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