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Author Topic: Nonstandard honeymoon ideas
FlyingCow
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So, my fiancee and I are looking into where we should go for our honeymoon - and we're looking for ideas.

We're getting married on October 4th, and are looking to go in the mid-October to mid-November timeframe.

The trick, of course, is that we are not at all hot weather people. We don't like laying out on beaches, nor do we like the idea of just sitting around a pool all day. We're also not looking to just laze about for the entire 1-2 weeks, but to have some things to do.

Does anyone have any ideas?

We're looking for somewhere with:
- beautiful views
- things to do (hiking, sightseeing, museums, etc)
- moderate temperatures (60-85 degrees)
- a reasonable flight time from New Jersey (we'd love to go to Australia, but it's like 25 hours in the air)

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T:man
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Oregon.
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rivka
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Come visit SoCal! We have Hollywood, Universal Studios, Disneyland, and of course -- Hatrackers!
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Luet13
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I always thought these things looked pretty awesome.

Tree spheres.

The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful area. Mountains, water, and forests. We've got it all. [Smile]

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Mucus
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You could hit Banff, Jasper, and Vancouver to fulfill the view, hiking, sightseeing requirements. The only problem would be decent museums (although frankly I think that you pretty much have to cross the Pacific or Atlantic oceans to get something interesting in that field anyways, which may conflict with your flight time requirement).

http://www.canadianrockies.net/

However, I may point out that with the recession, both international flight and housing can be surprisingly cheap these days.

Edit to add: Some friends have also had good luck with stuff from here http://www.gapadventures.com/
Although, for a honeymoon I guess you'd have to mix and match one of these with a week of more "relaxing" stuff.

[ June 21, 2009, 12:55 PM: Message edited by: Mucus ]

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Dr Strangelove
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What about the Blue Ridge Parkway? The temperatures might be getting a bit cool, but not unreasonable, and you'll probably see some amazing foliage. There are plenty of day trips either right on the Parkway or a few minutes off of it. For my honeymoon a month ago me and my wife spent a day and a half driving, pulling off into scenic overlooks for picnics, doing day hikes at places like Mt. Mitchell or Grandfather Mtn, or Linville Falls... It was really amazing. You can either camp, if you're into that, or find hotels or motels. Or make arrangements to stay at a cabin somewhere along the way for a few days to just relax. And when you stop off into the little towns you're sure to find interesting things, like quaint museums, or gem mining places, or antique shops (we saw a Ming dynasty doorway! It was pretty sweet) and whatnot.
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Lyrhawn
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A couple of spots along the Blue Ridge Parkway were the first things that came to mind given the criteria. It'd be uber-cheap, but though you're not hot weather people, given the time frame, it might be a little chillier than you'd like for a vacation, but everyone is different.
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Jamio
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The Dolly Sods Wilderness Area in the Monongahala National Forest (WV) is where my husband and I honeymooned, and we have still not gotten over the awesomeness. If you don't want anything that far from the beaten path, there are plenty of other options in Monongahala, all along the outdoorsy spectrum.
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Eaquae Legit
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Montreal or Quebec City.
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Dobbie
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Scranton.
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Blayne Bradley
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Vladivostok.
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Jhai
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My husband and I went camping on the Channel Islands off of Santa Barbara for our honeymoon in December. It was a little nippy at that time of year, but I imagine it would be better in October. Overall, a gorgeous place, as is Santa Barbara.
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Dobbie
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I don't think Vladivostok is a sincere suggestion.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Dobbie:
I don't think Vladivostok is a sincere suggestion.

I hear the vodka is excellent, and there are a lot of wilderness type trips you can take there. There's a beach, but I don't imagine you want to mess with the water off the Kamchatka peninsula in winter. I think there are also a number of museums, but really, if you're going to Russia you'd go to St. Petersburg before Vladivostok, or at least I know I would. The Winter Palace, the Kandinsky Museum, and lots of other cultural sightseeing, not to mention I've seen gorgeous pictures of the place in the spring. Not sure what it would be like in October. I think the exchange rate is halfway decent too, though I have to imagine the rising price of gas and oil have done wonderful things for the ruble.
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dabbler
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Take a look at cruises with lots of interesting ports. I think October is too late for Alaska which is where I went last month on my first cruise. Of your awake time, maybe 30% is at port on an Alaskan cruise. Very beautiful with tons of excursions to choose from. My week including air fare from Boston to Seattle and some reasonably priced excursions was about $1600 a person. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip.
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Traceria
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How about some place in the mountains, even on the East coast or just one time zone west?
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Teshi
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I did Vancouver in October and it was pretty rainy, but it's got hiking and beautiful views and it wasn't actually cold.
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ambyr
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American southwest, maybe? Phoenix has some good museums, and the mountains north of it have great hiking. By November the weather should be fine for you.
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Bob_Scopatz
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Scotland might fit your requirements.
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theCrowsWife
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamio:
The Dolly Sods Wilderness Area in the Monongahala National Forest (WV) is where my husband and I honeymooned, and we have still not gotten over the awesomeness. If you don't want anything that far from the beaten path, there are plenty of other options in Monongahala, all along the outdoorsy spectrum.

I agree that Dolly Sods is awesome (we go every August for blueberry picking), but I think it would be very, very cold in November. The elevation is high enough that it is tundra up there.

My husband and I had a hiking honeymoon at Lake Chelan in Washington (Holden Village, specifically) and it was really great. The scenery is gorgeous in the Cascade Mountains.

--Mel

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dem
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Don't know about price range, but we did Italy last year and loved it (right now you can get some pretty good deals). It isn't very big and we drove all over from coast to alps. Food was great! Museums, Vatican, Skiing, Snorkeling, etc.

If you go, I would suggest getting a villa outside a major city and driving to visit other cities (we did a week outside of Florence (Pisa, Venice, Milan, Lake District, Alps, Cinque Terra!!!) and a week below Rome (Rome needs at least 2 days, Amalfi Coast!!!, Pompeii).

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FlyingCow
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A lot of these ideas are really interesting, and some aren't really what we're looking for.

- We're also trying to go to a place that neither of us has been to before - so it will be "new" to both of us. This rules out quite a bit, actually: Florida, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Vancouver, Banff/Jasper, Nova Scotia, Ireland, Scotland/England, Belgium, Greece, Spain, and Turkey

- While we're not hot weather people, we'd like somewhere that the average temperature is at least above 50 during October/November. This rules out: Dolly Sods, Russia, Blue Ridge Mountains.

We'll definitely take a look at SoCal and Italy. We've also been looking at France and Mexico.

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Jhai
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My husband went to Italy (primarily Rome)during Thanksgiving week last year. It was rainy, but not too cold, and things were quite inexpensive since it's not tourist season. Also, he said there were no lines anywhere.
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Raia
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Jerusalem.

I know, I have a bias, but seriously. Listen.

October is the perfect time to go. It's nice, and will still be warm, but not super hot (also, while the rest of Israel gets pretty steamy, Jerusalem is higher up and will be a lot cooler).

The amount of history in Jerusalem is overwhelming. It is an important location for the three monotheistic religions, is full of museums, has stunning views, and is generally a great spot for tourism (though october won't be nearly as packed as the summer, so you won't have to wait around too much).

Oh, and good food.

Just sayin'.

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Wendybird
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Sedona AZ is absolutely gorgeous and has lots of outdoors stuff nearby. There are some great cabins - google Don Hoels cabins, we stayed there and loved them. You wouldn't be too far from the Grand Canyon and could get to Phoenix in a reasonable amount of time also.
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rivka
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Raia, I think it violates condition #4. [Wink]
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FlyingCow
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Hadn't really considered Jeruselem, though it would be very interesting for both of us. It is, however, a 14-15 hour nonstop flight, and more with a transfer to another flight, that would cost $2200+ for two tickets. Like Australia, we'll eventually get over there, but I don't think this is the trip for it.

So far it looks as though the list (including our outside thoughts) consists of: Mexico, France, Italy, Arizona, and SoCal.

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The Rabbit
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I'll second Jerusalem. It has excellent Museums. If you are in to archeology, there are excellent archeological sites. There is some terrific hiking. You can even snorkel in the red sea, although that may be a bit cold in October.

My husband and I spent 2 weeks canoeing on the Green river through Labyrinth Canyon and Canyonlands National Park for our honeymoon. Terrific scenery, great hiking and very isolated. The weather is general perfect there in October, but you might get a cold snap. There are no museums and but there are some excellent petroglyphs and indian ruins.

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imogen
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Given you're not coming to Australia (hmmph - though I do understand the reasons [Smile] ) I would second Italy or France.

Partly because I have been to both, and they are fantastic.

Partly because if you have the means to have a special honeymoon - I say go for it! Chances are you may make it to SoCal or Arizona - or even Mexico - more readily. Cheap airfares, special deals, etc. Going to Europe is a bigger deal, and something you may not get to do again.

Paris is fantastic. Lots of awesome museums and art galleries. There are the big ones like the Louvre, but lots of little ones. (I highly recommend the Salvadore Dali Museum in Montmatre.) The metro is pretty easy to understand, and makes it very easy to get around. If you take the trouble to learn a couple of phrases of French (I'm sorry, I don't speak French, do you speak English? usually helps) most people are very helpful. The food is AMAZING. (Well, duh. Paris.) And for a honeymoon - well, it's Paris. [Smile]

If you do end up going overseas, I'd recommend getting the Lonely Planet guide for the city. I've found it invaluable in many places.

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Teshi
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quote:
Scotland might fit your requirements.
I've heard Southern Eastern Europe has gorgeous scenery and isn't expensive and obviously has lovely old things. However, probably approximately the same length of flight as Jerusalem.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
It is, however, a 14-15 hour nonstop flight

Are you sure? It's 13-14 hours nonstop from L.A.; NJ should be shorter, not longer.
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FlyingCow
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Sorry.. didn't sort by flight time, and 14 hours was the shortest listed sorting by price. Whoops! There are flights for 11 hours, though that's still quite a hike (plus, costs for nonstop flights put the price closer to $2800+tax/fees for two of us).

I'll definitely discuss Israel with her, but Italy might be the farthest we're looking to go.

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Lyrhawn
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I don't know if it's too far or not, and it's not as obvious as say Italy or France, but I'll throw it out there.

A friend of mine was in Croatia last year for an internship and said it was amazing. There's hiking, museums, sightseeing (and from the pictures he brought back, the sightseeing is a lot more amazing than I would have thought) and being Croatia and not more obvious hot spots, everything is a lot cheaper than you'll find in Paris or Rome.

The only word of warning he gave me was the watch out for the beaches, if you go. Croatia is apparently Europe's nudist hot spot. Italy is right across the water, so I wonder if they have like day trips or something that you could take, or even down to Greece, which is also somewhat nearby. Just a thought.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
There are flights for 11 hours

That sounds more like what I'd expect.

quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
though that's still quite a hike

Yup.

quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
(plus, costs for nonstop flights put the price closer to $2800+tax/fees for two of us).

Who told you to go during Succos? [Wink] Also, did you check ElAl's site?
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T:man
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quote:
Originally posted by T:man:
quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
- We're also trying to go to a place that neither of us has been to before - so it will be "new" to both of us. This rules out quite a bit, actually: Florida, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Vancouver, Banff/Jasper, Nova Scotia, Ireland, Scotland/England, Belgium, Greece, Spain, and Turkey


DAMN!
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Tatiana
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Just fill your apartment up with playpen balls a la XKCD, and save a trip!
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Dobbie
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
There are flights for 11 hours

That sounds more like what I'd expect.

quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
though that's still quite a hike

Yup.

quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
(plus, costs for nonstop flights put the price closer to $2800+tax/fees for two of us).

Who told you to go during Succos? [Wink] Also, did you check ElAl's site?

In Israel it's pronounced "Sukkot".
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rivka
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That depends where. Not in Bnei Brak or Meah Shearim. Or Geulah, or Beitar, or . . .
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Philosofickle
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If you're not set on going foreign and you like history I would recommend Williamsburg Virginia, nice hotels, hiking camping, tons of history and within a few hours of D.C. for museums and all the guided tours you can stomach. Plus it's beautiful that time of year.
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dabbler
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I suppose I can support the Williamsburg idea. I was actually thinking of it when I looked through your list again, Cow.

Colonial Williamsburg is obviously touristy but with a nice charm. Lots of higher end stores in the area. Yorktown is a good military history spot, and Jamestown has been showing off newly unearthed evidence of the original Jamestown settlement. Jamestown is a very small exhibit in comparison to Williamsburg. In addition there is Busch Gardens for an excellent amusement park.

You could probably connect it to some trips into the Chesapeake Bay by ferry. I'd stay away from Norfolk/Virginia Beach/Newport News/Hampton though. They are not particularly interesting towns.


The weather in October should be fairly nice, actually. I recall September still being hot and humid.

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FlyingCow
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I think I may be a little Williamsburg-ed out, though I do love Busch Gardens. I've been there five times at this point - twice as a student, once as a teacher, and twice just to visit (once with my fiancee).

Most things on the east coast we've covered. I think between the two of us we've spent time in every state that borders the Atlantic.

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Eaquae Legit
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I gotta go back to plug Montreal or Quebec City a little. They are very old cities, some of the oldest on the continent, and both have beautiful "old quarters" to explore. They also have fantastic night life and shopping and many interesting things to see within a day-trip radius. Montreal is very anglo-friendly if you're nervous about the French. There's even sports in Montreal if you're into that.
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dabbler
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Trying to find unusual honeymoon ideas got me these two odd dwellings:

Kokopelli Cave B&B in New Mexico and Cedar Creek Tree House in Mt. Ranier.

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Raia
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quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
Hadn't really considered Jeruselem, though it would be very interesting for both of us. It is, however, a 14-15 hour nonstop flight, and more with a transfer to another flight, that would cost $2200+ for two tickets. Like Australia, we'll eventually get over there, but I don't think this is the trip for it.

So far it looks as though the list (including our outside thoughts) consists of: Mexico, France, Italy, Arizona, and SoCal.

Actually, the flight from Newark (which, as I recall, is in New Jersey, haha) is only about 11 hours total. If that.

(edited because someone's already mentioned that.)

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