In today's world, Maharanis are busier than ever. In fact, sometimes, she has so much on her plate that planning her dream wedding is all she can handle, and postponing her and her Raja's honeymoon is not uncommon. In cases like these, many opt for a trendy mini-moon. In case you haven't heard, newlyweds actually take smaller and shorter trips as a (for lack of better term) "place holder" for their epic honeymoon plans. These trips are every bit as memorable and exciting, but require less travel time and calendar days — which is a huge score for many busy couples. If that's the boat you and your Raja are on, check out some of the most romantic and captivating destinations in the United States that offer up the ultimate mini-moon experience and will keep you and your beau talking until it's time to journey to a farther and more exotic locale. Here a nine places we know will start your happily ever after off in true Maharani style!
California Wine Country
It's no surprise that California's Wine Country is a sure pick for a mini-moon. Pack an overnighter and head to Napa or Sonoma for a glamorous getaway that will invite an abundance of opportunity for romantic moments you'll remember forever. When you're surrounded by sweeping views of vineyards, first-class dining options and unimaginable amounts of adult-friendly grape juice, you know you're in for the time of your life! This is a great choice for couples who may be dreaming of a romp to Provence or Tuscany, and will only fuel your wine knowledge for those trips further!
Carmel-by-the Sea, California
Just a few hours south of California's Wine Country, is the Golden State's stunning central coast, and our pick for the ultimate mini-moon in this enchanting region is Carmel. Not gonna lie, this seaside city came to mind because my own parents had their mini-moon there! Yup, the mini-moon has been around since my very own pre-existence. I've heard from them just how majestic and romantic their experience was and had to include it! There's plenty of opportunities to splurge on accommodations with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, and see and be seen at the numerous fine dining establishments — all while being surrounded by some of the most unspoiled nature in the state. Rent a car and take a day tip to Big Sur, or head into San Francisco for some urban vibes!
If a breathtaking desert landscape and luxurious spas are more your thing, then Sedona, Arizona, is sure to make for one unforgettable mini-moon destination! You and your Raja can pamper yourselves even prettier at the L'Auberge de Sedona, be one with nature while climbing the famous Cathedral Rock and visit a slice of Tibetan culture at the Amitabha Stupa! The region's iconic red rocks and big blue skies are enough to beckon us to this place, and we can't imagine it being any more amazing of an experience than going with the Maharani or Raja of your dreams just after tying the knot!
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Neighboring Arizona is New Mexico, and its capital, Santa Fe, is a guaranteed magical mini-moon experience. The area is filled with charm from the Pueblo-style architecture to the people, and is a region rich with art and culture. There are several museums to wander, amazing Mexican food, missions to take stunning photos in for your Instagram and plenty of trails to explore. The one thing you can not skip out on is a visit to The Santa Fe Opera, which includes the stunning Crosby Theater — an operatic experience that marries the iconic New Mexico landscape with its performances.
We couldn't possibly put together a destination-type list without at least one tropical getaway, right? If you and your Raja are putting off a honeymoon to Bora Bora or the Maldives, there's no better alternative than the Hawaiian Islands, and our pick for a mini-moon to remember is Maui! There's no shortage of island inspiration when you're in Hawaii, and we love that Maui offers up a diverse geography that allows you and your Raja to take in a plethora of activities that range from trekking the mountains to swimming the crystal blue waters! Drive the Road to Hana for a romantic and picturesque adventure, catch the sun rising over Haleakalā and fill up on tropical drinks while soaking up the sun.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Whether you're planning a warm or cold season mini-moon, if you and the Raja of your dreams are the outdoorsy type, then a jaunt to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has all the offerings to fulfill your nature-lovin' hearts! Treat yourselves to luxurious accommodations from 4-star hotels to glamping in stylish cabins, or rough it with a good old camping expedition under the stars — just you and your honey and the campfire. Activities like eco tours, hiking, climbing, fishing and shopping and dining in the charming town are in no shortage, and the ultimate adventure to check off of your bucket list, if you already haven't, is a white water rafting excursion along the famed Snake River — not to be missed!
Key West, Florida
This charming island city in the Florida Keys has all the enchantment to inspire the most magical of mini-moons out of all the destinations on our list. Ernest Hemingway penned some of his greatest works while living on the island, and if it can be a muse to so many of the beloved writer's masterpieces, it can definitely be one to you too! You don't have to come home with your life's most inspired piece of work or greatest artistic accomplishment, but you can certainly buy one! Rent a car and drive along the surreal 113-mile Overseas Highway, which puts you smack dab in the middle of the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You and your Raja can shack up at a romantic beachfront bungalow and breathe in the ocean air while soaking up the rich, local culture. Key West is an ideal mini-moon destination if you're looking to splurge on a honeymoon later down the line at a place like Turks and Caicos!
Fall In New England
For the perfect autumnal mini-moon experience, we suggest you and your Raja hit the east coast for a changing of the leaves road trip! There's no better way to cozy up to the love of your life than doing it surrounded by the vibrant fall foliage! The northern states (Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire) will typically see fall colors coming in late September. If you're planning something more towards the end of October or later, then Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are your best bet. Explore the region by driving across a few state lines — or all of them! — and take in the numerous styles of classic architecture — from Gothic to Colonial and Medieval to Georgian. Visit Acadia National Park if you're in Maine, and stop for stunning photo ops along the coast of Rhode Island with one of their many gorgeous lighthouses! Feast on lobster and chowder and revel in a region rich with history from the days of our Founding Fathers!
Cape Cod, MA
Yes, we just shined a spotlight on New England, but we felt a town as captivating as Cape Cod, Massachusetts, needed it's own mention! You don't have to be planning a trip in autumn to take in this spectacular destination, so its an ideal spot to experience that New England charm all year round! Sneak away for just a couple of nights to this iconic arm in the Atlantic and immerse yourselves in the seaside sensation by bicycling along the seashores with your Raja (uber romantic, right?!), people watching on the busy streets of Provincetown, day tripping to Martha's Vineyard and/or Nantucket (via ferry) and fill up on some of the best shellfish our country has to offer!
Well, Maharanis, my bags are packed. Do I have to wait for my Raja to take a mini-moon?