Where You Should Honeymoon in September

Once Labor Day Weekend is over, September can be one of the best months for travel, namely because many families stop traveling after their kids go back to school which makes the prices go down a bit.  So what are the best September honeymoon destinations?  Although you’ll probably want to avoid the Caribbean due to hurricane season, there are lots of other great places to visit in Europe, the Americas, and Oceania.

Here’s a run-down of Lonely Planet’s four destination recommendations for September with, of course, plenty of additional commentary from yours truly.

Barcelona

Barcelona is one of those cities that truly has it all: tons of culture, great nightlife, amazing food, and, oh yeah, a beach!  Barcelona is still plenty warm in September, so you can spend your honeymoon sightseeing in the mornings, taking a daily siesta on the playa in the afternoons, and then eating paella and drinking sangria all night long.  I also recommend signing up for a bike tour to get a good feel for the city.  However, as wonderful as Barcelona is, the city does have a reputation for petty crime, so just remember to be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded touristy areas like Las Ramblas.

Barcelona Playa

The beach in Barcelona

parc guell

Park Güell in Barcelona

To make your September honeymoon even better, consider combining Barcelona with another cool city in Spain, such as the beach town of San Sebastian (5.5 hour train ride from Barcelona) or the gorgeous Balearic Islands (one hour flight from Barcelona).

Croatia

Once the busy summer tourist season dies down, Croatia is a wonderful honeymoon destination for early fall.  While the water may cool off a bit, you can still enjoy warm weather in the seaside towns of Dubrovnik and Rovinj, and finding accommodations on the islands of Hvar and Dugi otok will be much easier.

If you do decide to honeymoon in Croatia, don’t forget to spend a day visiting one of my favorite places in the entire world: Plitvice Lakes National Park.  The beautiful scenery will just blow you away.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Croatia

Hvar, Croatia

California

Of course I am biased towards my home state, but even Lonely Planet thinks it’s a great September destination!  Because we tend to get a late Indian Summer each year, September/October are definitely the best months for visiting San Francisco, and it’s also a great time for relaxing in Wine Country or driving down the coast to Big Sur, San Luis Obispo, or Santa Barbara.  The beach towns in Southern California (e.g. Malibu, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, etc.) are fantastic honeymoon destinations, too.  If you want any specific recommendations of where to go/what to do in California, feel free to message me directly.

McWay Falls in Big Sur

McWay Falls in Big Sur

The views of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco never get old

The views of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco never get old

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Where Should You Go on a July Honeymoon?

Last week Condé Nast Traveler’s resident travel expert Wendy Perrin wrote a blog post answering the question, “What are the best travel destinations for July?”  While her article wasn’t necessarily honeymoon-specific, she mentioned many popular honeymoon destinations that would be wonderful in July, and a bunch of others that should be avoided.  Check out her recommendations below:

The Good:

Tahiti (As if you need another reason to choose Tahiti for a honeymoon, in July you can also celebrate Polynesian culture at the Heiva Festival.)

– Seychelles (A great tropical-yet-cool-and-dry destination that isn’t too crowded in July.  August, however, is another story.)

– Barbados (Big off-season deals are easy to come by in July, and you can check out the Crop Over Festival.)

– Anywhere up north: Canada, Scandinavia, The U.K. (Warmer weather and extended daylight hours – what’s not to like?)

Tahiti

Tahiti in July? Yes, please!

The Bad:

Belize (Humidity + mosquitos?  No thanks!)

– The west coast of Mexico (It can be so hot that the sand will burn your feet.  Yikes.)

– Eastern Turkey (Also suuuper hot.)

– The French Riviera (Lots and lots of tourists.)

– Croatia (Too many cruise-goers in Dubrovnik, but other seaside towns should be alright.)

– Rome/Venice, Italy (Really overly crowded with tourists; the prices skyrocket.)

– Southern Spain (Yep, just too hot.)

Belize

Belize is totally gorgeous, but probably not the best destination in July

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My two cents?  I think that Greece is also an excellent destination for July even though it will be high season.  The Aegean Sea doesn’t get super warm, so if you go too early in the year you might find the water to be on the chilly side.  But if you go in August, the islands get extremely crowded with Italian tourists.

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Real Honeymoon: Germany, Croatia & Hungary

One of the best parts about starting this blog is hearing about my friends’ friends’ honeymoons.  Although I haven’t met Jamie before, I’m so glad she shared the details of her amazing European honeymoon with one of our mutual friends.  Thanks for contributing, Jamie!

When and where did you honeymoon?

Sept 2011 – Oct 2011 (3 weeks)

Munich, Germany (Oktoberfest) 3 nights

– Croatia 12 nights total:

  • Dubrovnik 4 nights
  •  Hvar 4 nights + Plitvice Lakes/National Park (Day Trip)
  • Rovinj 4 nights

Budapest, Hungary 3 nights

Oktoberfest

How long was your trip?

3 weeks

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

We knew we wanted to go to Europe for our honeymoon. We quickly discovered that our honeymoon would fall during Oktoberfest. We decided to take a direct flight to Munich from SF International airport and start our honeymoon with a party.

Next we decided to travel to Croatia for a little R&R. We stayed in three different cities and rented a car between cities to get from one place to the next.

Finally we decided to end in Budapest; we had heard great things about the city.  It ended up being one of our favorite cities on the trip.

Budapest

The best part about our honeymoon was…

Experiencing so many new things with my new husband as both he and I had never been to those locations before.  We have some great pictures of the two of us in our Oktoberfest costumes, that was pretty unforgettable. Other great memories: Buza 1 and 2 in Dubrovnik, Plivice Lakes/National Park, beach of Hvar, Truffle hunting in Rovinj, Beef Goulash in Budapest, European history of Budapest.

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

Spending one or two less days in Dubrovnik, the city was amazing, but the people were not that warm and the food was our least favorite out of all our destinations.  Make sure you get to Rovinj before the tourist day ferry to Venice stops (we missed it by one day). Go wine tasting just outside Budapest, we ran out of time for that trip.

Croatia

How much planning did you do in advance?

We had our flights and our hotels booked before we left. We studied our Lonely Planet guides on our way to the next destination. We rented cars with the help of our hotels once we arrived.  It was difficult to plan a wedding and really plan a honeymoon.

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