Traditionally the next move after exchanging ‘I dos’ is a honeymoon. But for some newlyweds, going on a grand vacation after tying the knot isn’t in the cards. Not everyone can afford to splurge on a lavish two-week getaway after spending a fortune on their wedding. Not everyone has a flexible schedule and the luxury to fly off to some exotic destination anytime they fancy. And not everyone wants a honeymoon right away. Some couples prefer to wait for the right season, such as fall in Paris with its colorful foliage or spring in Tokyo with its spectacular cherry blossoms.
But just because you’re postponing your honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bit of post-wedding escape. Enter the minimoon. It’s a fabulous way to celebrate your nuptials, yet it’s not as expensive, time-consuming, or hard to pull off as a traditional honeymoon. Whether you’re saving for that luxurious once-in-a-lifetime couple getaway, waiting to take more time off from work, or looking for the best timing, a minimoon allows you to destress after the wedding without all the hassles of planning a big honeymoon.
Here, we will learn everything about a minimoon, what makes it different from a traditional honeymoon, and whether it’s the best option for you, plus our top romantic destinations.
The 14 Best Minimoon Destinations
If you want to retreat somewhere quiet and secluded after the hurly-burly of your wedding day, head to the paradise island of St. Lucia. This sun-soaked Caribbean nation boasts pristine beaches, world-class diving sites, 5-star resorts and natural wonders, including the 50-foot high Toraille waterfall and the iconic volcanic twin mountains, the Pitons. Glide over its lush rainforests on a zipline or go on an ATV tour through its countryside.
Nature lovers can enjoy reef diving in crystal-clear waters or watch sea turtles hatch on the shore at twilight. In Soufriere, you can soak in mud baths, sip some cocktails in a beach hut on the Rodney Bay strip or hunt for unique handicrafts in the Castries market.
Famous for its stunning beaches, lush landscape, warm weather, and reggae music, Jamaica is a favorite destination for couples looking for adventure and indulgence. But this island country is also full of intimate escapes for lovers. You can get on a sunset catamaran cruise at Negril, indulge in a spa treatment in Montego Bay, try a romantic bamboo raft tour on the Martha Brae River, or spend a Sunday afternoon at the Lovers Leap.
For something more adrenaline-fueled, zipline through a tropical rainforest at Mystic Mountain, climb Dunn’s River Falls, swim with dolphins at Dolphin’s Cove, and dip in the glassy waters of the Blue Lagoon. Do not forget to explore the country’s superb gastronomic offerings, including the world-famous Blue Mountain coffee and Jamaican rum.
New York City
If you only have a few days to indulge in post-nuptial bliss, consider a short getaway to the city that never sleeps. The Big Apple may be a concrete jungle, but it is never short of dreamy retreats for newlyweds, be it the quaint cafés in Soho, the rides on Coney Island, or picnics in Central Park. For an unforgettable date, have dinner at the Empire State Building, watch a show on Broadway, jam to great music in a jazz show, stroll on the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset, or grab a drink at a rooftop bar.
You can splurge on luxurious accommodations in one of the ritzy hotels on the Upper East Side or head off to Governor’s Island for a romantic glamping experience. No matter how short your stay, don’t miss the chance to spend a rejuvenating day at the spa.
Set on the southernmost tip of Florida, sunny Key West combines breezy beaches, surreal sunsets, and luxurious resorts to create a romantic setting for newlyweds seeking a special minimoon. Book an exclusive candlelit dinner and indulge in succulent seafood, creative cocktails and decadent desserts. Take a glimpse of the island’s past by strolling down the historic Old Town before heading to the Ernest Hemmingway House and Museum.
Or, step back in time at the Audubon House and Tropical Garden, with its antique furnishings and 1-acre grounds of fascinating flora and rare tropical foliage. Add a little adventure to your minimoon by soaking up the great outdoors in a biking excursion, a fishing trip, scuba diving, or a sunset kayaking tour.
Are you dreaming of a minimoon in the tropics? Ditch the long flight to some balmy island on the other side of the globe and head to Puerto Rico instead. From turquoise blue waters to verdant rainforests and colourful colonial buildings in the Old Town, this gorgeous Caribbean island exudes romance in every corner.
In the capital city of San Juan, you can admire unique pieces of art as you wander around Paseo de la Princesa, then channel the inner child in you and fly a kite together at the El Morro. In the evening, go on a culinary tour and learn how to salsa. For a bit of thrill, go on a waterfall hike at the El Yunque National Rainforest, look for nesting hawksbill turtles on the shores of Steps Beach, and watch the sunset from the top of the Punta Higuero Lighthouse. If you want to escape the crowd, make a beeline to Culebra and relish the peace and solitude of Flamenco Beach.
Los Cabos, Mexico
A memorable minimoon awaits newlyweds at this desert-beach paradise. Here, a palpable air of romance mixes with the pristine sea waters and golden sand beaches, resulting in an idyllic backdrop for your post-wedding holiday. Sail to the famous El Arco rock formation on a catamaran and go for an art walk around the charming cobblestone streets of San José del Cabo.
Ride in a horse-drawn carriage along a secluded beach and take a day trip to the traditional fishing village of Todos Santos. For a romantic dinner, reserve a table for two at the famous Flora Farms, where you can enjoy an authentic farm-to-table and fresh-from-the-sea experience.
New Orleans, Louisiana
From diverse architecture and phenomenal cuisine to live jazz music and all things macabre, New Orleans is the perfect destination for couples looking to extend the festive atmosphere of their wedding day. Ramble around the historic French Quarter, with its old townhouses, art galleries, gorgeous gardens and the vibrant Bourbon Street.
For water sports, canoe, paddleboard or kayak at Bayou Saint John. Immerse yourself in the historic city’s rich culture by visiting Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World and the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park, or join a haunted tour of the city past haunted houses, old cemeteries, and spooky historical landmarks. While you’re in NOLA, sample the famous beignets at Café du Monde, one of the oldest coffee shops in the romantic city.
Imagine an outdoor candlelit bath for two, a private hot air balloon ride over the countryside, luxurious spa treatments, and lots and lots of excellent wine. Napa Valley is the perfect escape for couples seeking equal parts thrill and frills on their minimoon. Explore the region’s celebrated wineries, tucked in redwood forests, vast vineyards and charming little towns.
Plunge into the local art scene on a self-guided Napa art walk, commune with nature on a trek at the Skyline Wilderness Park, cruise the Bodega Bay on a love boat and explore the valley on a kayak down the Napa River.
Bursting with natural and laid-back charm, Edinburgh provides newlyweds with unforgettable experiences on their minimoon. We are not talking about its historical landmarks, medieval castles and centuries-old cobbled streets, though these are indeed a pleasure to explore. We mean its thriving food (and cocktail) scene, somewhat quirky nightspots, and unconventional adventures.
For a genuinely unusual date, join a romantic outdoor treasure hunt. This unique activity allows you and your significant other to work together to solve puzzles, follow cryptic clues and fight off invading Vikings and sword-brandishing pirates while discovering iconic landmarks, secret back streets and lively pubs.
For something fancier, have an afternoon tea for two at the Balmoral Hotel or aboard the Fingal, a luxury floating hotel. If you want to sample something more potent than tea, book a whiskey date, a craft beer tour, or a gin excursion. After all, you’re in Scotland and the Scottish love their spirits. When you’re feeling a little bit sober, meander through the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens, sit down for a picnic at the Meadows, drop by the Chocolatarium, or hike up to Arthur’s Seat for incredible views.
No matter what time of the year, Spain sizzles with romance, and the grand city of Granada is undoubtedly one of the dreamiest places in the country. Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada offers easy access to winter skiing but is also conveniently close to the Mediterranean coast for those seeking a beach retreat.
The city radiates a magical and mystical allure with its Moorish and medieval architecture, exceptional restaurants, abundant entertainment, lively plazas, and gorgeous gardens. Its most famous attraction is the magnificent Alhambra Palace, a must-see on every visitor’s itinerary.
Then, there are the Carmen de los Martires Gardens, the Caves Museum of Sacromonte, Torre dela Vela, and the historical walkway, Paseo delos Tristes. Don’t miss a walk around the Albaicín, the old Arab quarter, with its winding cobbled streets, ancient baths, hookah tea houses and popular hilltop lookout Mirador de San Nicolas.
Miami Beach, Florida
Endless hours of traveling can take away from those 3 to 5 days of relaxation (which is already a very short period of time). So for those living on the East Coast of America, Miami is a great destination. You can get there relatively fast and enjoy amazing beaches, and a tropical climate, and get a Latin vibe without having to go to Mexico. The place has plenty of bars, clubs, restaurants, and activities for all ages.
You don’t have to lay on the beach all day long if that’s not your thing, because Miami also includes beautiful parks, zoos, aquariums, day cruises & water tours, museums, malls, and much more.
If you’re looking for exotic beaches and turquoise water, Bermuda is where you need to go. This is also a great option for those living on the East Coast, as the flight is quite short. Besides the splendid views, beaches, and sun, this is one of the top diving destinations in the world. The buildings here are very colorful and have white roofs specially designed to catch rainwater.
This place may remind you of rural England with a much better climate. But you will find a wide diversity of nationalities here, and we’re not talking about the tourists. So the bars, clubs, and restaurants are very diverse and can offer you a taste of various parts of the world. Even though its surface is quite small, Bermuda also includes museums and art galleries for those times when you get tired of laying in the burning sun.
If you’re honeymoon and mini moon budget allows it, you can spend a few days at this one-of-a-kind luxury-eco destination. This was once a private estate that was transformed into a luxurious tourist destination. It is located on the splendid Pacific Coast of Mexico, and it’s surrounded by jungles, exotic animals and a large eco-reserve recognized by UNESCO.
The splendid building is a mix of Mexican, Indian and Moroccan influences, and it features colorful interiors, hand-crafter items and furniture, as well as beautiful textiles. You can go on hikes or horseback rides on the nearby trails and watch zebras, antelopes or exotic birds. The place even has its own organic farm and ranch, so you can try some super-healthy and super-delicious meals.
Montauk, New York
If you are tired of the crowded streets of New York and want to escape to a beautiful and peaceful place, then Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina can make a great choice. Here you can relax at the Pool Club while enjoying delicious foods and drinks, lay on the private beach, ride a boat or even take surfing lessons.
The place is located on the beautiful Lake Montauk and is a great destination for summer getaways, private events or your romantic mini moon. It includes 107 luxury hotel rooms, suites or villas, plenty of bars and restaurants, and all the other amenities you might need in order to have a great time.
How is a Minimoon Different From a Traditional Honeymoon?
One of the most defining characteristics of a minimoon is its simplicity. It does not require as much planning or budget as a full-blown honeymoon. Honeymoons are often chockful of adventurous activities and bucket list trips, while a minimoon can be the opposite. Yes, you can still go on an adventure if you prefer, but you don’t have to cramp as many events in your itinerary. It means you and your partner can focus more on bonding and relaxing.
Minimoons are generally shorter than honeymoons. The minimoon is a romantic getaway that is typically a long weekend.
Honeymoons usually last two weeks, whereas minimoons can be anything from an overnight stay to a long weekend getaway to a week-long holiday. Most honeymooners go on an all-out romantic trip across the globe, often traveling somewhere exotic, secluded, or new. Couples on their minimoon head somewhere closer to home. Many of their destinations are a driving distance or a short flight from their wedding venue.
While a honeymoon is generally a fairytale-like dream vacation that lets you escape from reality, a minimoon is a staycation-like retreat that helps ease the transition to married life. Unlike honeymoons that almost always happen after you tie the knot, minimoons can occur before your marriage ceremony. Consider it a way of recharging your batteries after the chaos of wedding planning.
The best thing about a minimoon is there are no hard and fast rules on how many times you can have one. Most honeymoons occur only once in a lifetime, but not minimoons. With a minimoon, you can have two newlywed getaways – one smaller and shorter but more affordable and another that’s grander and more indulgent set down the road. You can even have a series of minimoons that eventually culminate in a big, luxurious honeymoon in the future.
How Long Should a Minimoon Last?
While most honeymoons last at least two weeks, there is no standard length for a minimoon. However, a typical minimoon is between three to five days, sometimes longer, but never over a week long.
Because minimoons are shorter than a traditional honeymoon, they are cheaper and more manageable and convenient. For instance, if your wedding takes place out-of-town, you can stay a few extra days to explore the new location. A minimoon is more relaxing because you don’t have to travel far, so there are no long waits at the airport, tiring flights, or jet lag.
What is a minimoon?
As the name suggests, a minimoon is a short version of the more customary honeymoon. Couples on a minimoon typically skip long-haul flights to far-flung destinations and spend time in a location closer to home. Because a minimoon is less expensive, more laid-back and easier to plan, it is perfect for couples who want to relax and recharge after their hectic wedding preparation. Often, newlyweds who go on a minimoon plan a more luxurious vacation in the future.
But there is more to a minimoon than being a precursor to an expensive romantic escapade. It can be a preview of your actual honeymoon, wherein you test out a particular destination and sample activities without fully committing. You can then decide whether the place or somewhere similar is worth re-visiting for your real honeymoon.
And do you know that a minimoon can happen before the wedding? Consider it a much-needed break in the midst of planning your special day. A minimoon doesn’t have to be luxurious or fancy. It’s a time to decompress, unplug, chill out, and detach from the world without worrying about going over your budget or missing too many days off of work.
How many days is a minimoon?
A minimoon can be an overnight stay, a weekend trip, or a week-long getaway. There is no specific rule on the number of days it should last, but it is seldom longer than seven days. It is perfect for couples with limited vacation leave options and those with prior commitments. Because a minimoon is shorter than a regular honeymoon, couples on a tight budget can enjoy a relaxing post-wedding vacation without breaking the bank.
You can take a trip to a spa or a remote cabin in the countryside for some fresh air. You can keep it local and explore a nearby attraction you’ve never seen before. You can even make a beeline for the big city to bask in the vibrant nightlife and urban luxuries.
What is the purpose of a minimoon?
Like honeymoons, a minimoon is for newlyweds to relax and recharge after the exhausting wedding preparations. It allows them to strengthen their bond and adjust to each other as a married couple. A minimoon offers almost the same dreamy and romantic experience as a honeymoon but with less planning and at a significantly lower cost.
Unlike honeymoons, a minimoon is shorter, less fancy, and not as extravagant. It is the best option for couples who cannot go on a traditional honeymoon immediately after their wedding. With a minimoon, busy and budget-conscious couples can celebrate their nuptials without skipping several days off work or worrying about overspending.