by Michael Kabel
Wintertime weddings are one of the fastest growing cultural trends of the current decade - every year, more couples set their dates on the colder months between November and March. Of course, that means plenty of couples are planning a winter honeymoon to celebrate their perfect new marriage. The good news? There are plenty of choices out there, from the cozily romantic to the fantastically adventurous. Finding a great spot for a winter honeymoon isn't a matter of finding someplace worthwhile - it's about making a choice from dozens of awesome destinations.
The trick to making a successful holiday trip is planning. Remember, the highways and airways fill up around the holidays, so you might not always get the best deal if you don't book early enough in advance. Winter is the "snowbird season," too, so some tropical or warm weather destinations may be more crowded than you'd imagine.
The following five locales represent only some general, "big brushstroke" ideas for anyone thinking of making a winter escape.
New England: For snowy romance and wintry intimacy, nothing beats the winding, snow blanketed country roads of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The region is world famous for its quaint bed and breakfasts, charming colonial history and culture, and the disarming warmth of its hospitality.
If you're looking for something a little faster paced, the cities of Boston and of course New York offer endless opportunities for shopping and nightlife. Hotels in the city can be somewhat expensive, however, so book ahead and consult a travel agent for bargains.
Paris, France: The lights of Paris are a truly unforgettable sight to behold, and the ancient city only grows in romance and ambience during the winter season. Like many European cities, tourism slows down somewhat during the winter months (except around Christmas), so hotels and bed and breakfasts are somewhat easier to come by. For pure romance, probably nothing beats a picnic under the Eiffel Tower, or a moonlight stroll along the River Seine.
The Pacific Northwest: The choice destination for the more rugged-thinking newlywed couple, the states of Oregon, Washington and Montana offer any number of destinations with beauty to spare, despite the harsh weather and often-unforgiving landscape. For scenic landscapes and breathtaking vistas of snow-capped mountains, a cruise along the Alaska coast also offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
The American Southwest: The high desert and countryside of New Mexico, Arizona, and California offer secluded adventure, immense starry skies, and warm hospitality. Browse the art shops of Santa Fe or go enjoy the exclusive spa resorts of Arizona and Southern California for a honeymoon that’s both outdoorsy and luxurious.
Southwest Florida: Miami may get the glamour and Orlando might get the kids, but the calmer, more serene cities and towns on the "other side" of the peninsula offer all the beauty and climate with much less bustle and expense. Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg are thoroughly modern cities on the warm Gulf of Mexico waters, while farther south the cities of Sarasota and Fort Myers offer some of the world best fishing and boating excursions. The casinos of the everglades and of course the Florida Keys are just a day's car ride away, too.