Honeymoon Destination Recommendations For… Serious Beach Bums

You know how the surfers in the Endless Summer movies spent their days searching for the perfect wave?  Well, I wish I had more time to travel the globe in search of the perfect beach.

Fortunately, I’ve already visited some pretty spectacular beaches over the past 28 years, so I am going to share with you a list of some of my favorites*.  Hopefully the list will help the beach bums out there decide where to go on your honeymoon:

1) Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Australia

Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach via Damien Dempsey

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Whitehaven Beach.  Located in the Whitsunday Islands (which is FULL of incredible beaches), Whitehaven is quite aptly named because it has the softest, whitest sand that I’ve ever seen in the world.  My friends and I were told that brushing our teeth with the sand acts as a whitener, but in retrospect that probably wasn’t the best idea for us to do.  That aside, it is the most spectacular beach I’ve ever seen.

2) Cap Juluca, Anguilla

Cap Juluca

Cap Juluca via Tiarescott

Popular with celebrities like Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston, the pristine beach at the Cap Juluca resort makes it a quintessential honeymoon destination.  It’s also just a short boat ride away from nearby St. Maarten, so you can just check it out for a day if you don’t want to stay at the resort.  Okay, okay, I know we all WANT to stay there, but it’s just really expensive, that’s all.

3) Playa Cristal, Colombia

I was blown away by Playa Cristal because of the clearness of the water and the beautiful backdrop of the lush jungle.  You can hire a boat in Taganga to take you to the beach.  Unfortunately I couldn’t bring a camera with me to the beach because our next stop was Playa Brava where we actually swam to shore, slept on the beach overnight, then hiked out of Parque Tayrona the next day and hitched a ride back to Santa Marta, so bringing electronics along was a no-no.  You’ll just have to trust me that the beach was so wonderful that it made my list of top 3 beaches in the world.

4) Playa Blanca, Colombia

Playa Blanca

Playa Blanca, land of magical beagle puppies

Yes, yes, another Colombian beach.  I don’t know if I’ve expressed how much my husband and I love Colombia yet on the blog, but we highly recommend going there if you love beaches, friendly people, and good food.  You can reach Playa Blanca from Cartagena in one of two ways: hire a private boat down by the fish market (just hold your nose while you’re there – it really stinks), or sign up for an “organized” day tour.  It seems like the organized day tour is less than ideal though because it only brings you to the crowded part of the beach, so go with the private boat for a more relaxing experience.

For honeymooners who want to rough it, you can spend the night in hammocks at Hugo’s.  My husband and I thought it was the greatest place ever because 1) it was BEAUTIFUL, 2) it was the first time we slept in hammocks during that trip so the novelty made it fun and not back-breaking yet, and 3) we woke up in the morning to a litter of beagle puppies that were born overnight.  Beagle.  Puppies.  In.  Paradise.  Probably one of the best days of my life.

5) Lake Mckenzie, Fraser Island, Australia

Lake Mckenzie Beach via Sensenmann

The colors of Lake Mckenzie look totally fake, but I assure you, this is really, really what the lake looks like.

6) Lanikai, Oahu, Hawaii


Lanikai Beach via Cristo Vlahos

A friend of mine who was living in Honolulu at the time took my husband and me to Lanikai, a beautiful beach that isn’t terribly overcrowded with tourists.  Do yourself a favor and pick up some Leonard’s malasadas to eat when you get to the beach.  A perfect combination.

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Honeymoon Destination Recommendations For… Adrenaline Junkies!

It’s pretty obvious that just because a honeymoon destination is really popular, it doesn’t mean that it’s right for everyone.  One of the reasons why I started this blog in the first place is because the internet is full of websites that can tell you where to stay and what to do once you choose your honeymoon destination, but there aren’t enough sites that will help you decide where to go based on your personalities, time allowance, and budget.

Hopefully this ongoing “Where To Go?” series of blog posts will help you and your fiancé make your own destination decision with plenty of confidence and excitement.  So without further ado, where do I suggest that adrenaline junkies go on their honeymoons?  See my top 3 recommendations (on 3 different continents) below for extremely extreme couples:

1) Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown is the city to visit if you like all things extreme.  Not only is the city itself absolutely beautiful, full of good restaurants, nice hotels, and some of the friendliest people in the world, the adrenaline-pumping activities that the city has to offer are endless.  You can spend your days skydiving, bungy jumping (do the Nevis – it’s the highest in NZ!), mountain biking, white water rafting, and parasailing, or you can take it easy with scenic hikes, cruising on Lake Wakatipu, and wine tasting.  During the winter, you can also ski and snowboard on the Remarkables mountain range.

I also highly recommend going on a Shotover Jet boat ride and then getting some cocktails at the Minus 5° Icebar.  Is the icebar overpriced and crowded?  Sure is.  Do you get to wear borrowed jackets and gloves?  Yep. Do the photos make it all worth it?  Absolutely.

Other fun things to consider doing are the street luge course and the ledge swing, but just a heads up about that ledge swing harness: it hurrrrts.

2) Interlaken, Switzerland

Hey Derek!

If Queenstown is the #1 adventure destination in the world, then I’d say that Interlaken comes in a close second.  Just replace the Remarkables with the Swiss Alps, and Lake Wakatipu with Lakes Brienzsee and Thun, and you’ll find that the two cities are very similar.

Again, the backdrop of the city alone would be enough to make Interlaken a popular tourist destination.  However, it also offers world-class skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and tons of fun summer activities like skydiving, hang gliding, bungy jumping, white water rafting, and rock climbing.

Since I had already done most of those extreme activities in Queenstown before I visited Interlaken, I decided I should do something a bit more unique when I was in Switzerland.  I chose to go canyoning.

So, what is canyoning anyway?  Well, first you start out wearing a sweet wetsuit, jacket, lifevest, and helmet.  Then you basically just end up following your guide down a series of waterfalls with a combination of hiking, jumping, swimming, and rappelling skills.  It’s all a bit blurry to me now, but I remember that everyone had a great time.

Although I was just a backpacker when I visited Interlaken, my husband was lucky enough that his firm flew him out there a few years ago for a weekend hike.  Yes, we live in San Francisco, and his law firm flew everyone out to Switzerland to go for a weekend hike.  I was just a little jealous, to say the least.  Anyway, they stayed at a very beautiful hotel called The Victoria-Jungfrau, and it sounds like it would be perfect for honeymooners.  He said that the cleaning staff were like ninjas because he’d leave the room for a few minutes, and by the time he came back it would be spotless.

One drawback to both of our Switzerland experiences, neither my husband nor I remember anything remarkably positive about the food.  However, he did mention that there was a Hooters next to his hotel.  Just where you always imagined eating during your honeymoon, right?  The legend told is that the people who purchased the land adjacent to the hotel wanted to build a gift shop, but the hotel shut them down because there was already a shop in the resort.  To get their revenge, the neighbors built the most spiteful (yet profitable) thing they could think of… a Hooters restaurant.

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