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Planning a mini moon? Our top destinations and where to stay

September 6, 2023

Wondering what the mini moon trend is all about? Today we’re taking a closer look at this new wedding trend, and whether it’s worth the hype. 

As you might’ve guessed, a mini moon is a lot like a honeymoon, but planned and executed on a smaller scale. It still has the best parts of a honeymoon: it’s a romantic trip taken in honor of your recent nuptials, usually with beautiful views, and full of relaxing or adventurous activities (depending on your style). But instead of crossing oceans or taking three weeks off work, a mini moon is a bit shorter and more manageable. And couples are opting for it more than ever.

Castle Hot Springs in Morristown, AZ
Castle Hot Springs in Morristown, AZ

Why take a mini moon?

There are many reasons couples are choosing to book a mini moon after their wedding, the most obvious being that it can be much more affordable than a traditional honeymoon. Weddings are a serious expense, and you may want to let the bank account breathe for a bit before jet setting to a faraway isle – especially if you have other important newlywed investments like a down payment on a home to consider.

It’s also a good option if you have other personal commitments getting in the way of taking a longer vacation right after the wedding. With a mini moon, you still get a little time to celebrate as you plan for something larger later (or perhaps something more modest is your ideal honeymoon, that’s great too!). The wedding planning process can be overwhelming; you may want a little downtime as newly marrieds before you jump into another big adventure!

And remember, taking a mini moon now doesn’t mean you can’t take a honeymoon later. It’s totally up to you, and how you want to spend your time and resources post I do. The wedding is about you, why wouldn’t the honeymoon be too?

Windjammer Landing - Honeymoon in St Lucia
Windjammer Landing in St. Lucia

Okay, so you’ve decided to take a mini moon. But where to go?

How to choose a mini moon destination

Your mini moon duration and destination will depend on your location, your budget, and how much time you have to spend away. Obviously all of those factors are unique to you as a couple! The best mini moon destinations are typically a short flight away, or a destination you could drive to in a day. Below, we share a few favorite locations that couples from various regions around the US may choose for a long weekend or quick trip.

Planning a mini moon to California

We’re based in SoCal, so we’ll start with our favorite mini moon destinations in the Golden state! These will be perfect if you live on the west coast, southwest, or even the midwest. Opt for a spot you don’t normally travel to. If you’re in LA, head up the coast or to wine country; if you live in the Bay area, plan a desert getaway. Find our full list of California destinations here.

Napa Valley Wine Country

Napa is a world-renowned destination for wine lovers and sun seekers alike. Below, a peek at our favorite places to stay in Napa…

Carneros Resort Napa Valley mini moon destinations Carneros Resort is charming yet luxe, offering private cottages, three full-service restaurants, a luxury spa, two pools, and daily resort events. Find all of our favorite places to stay in Napa Valley here!

Palm Springs

A vibrant oasis in the desert, Palm Springs is the ultimate mini moon destination for those who love to do a bit of everything, from relaxing poolside and enjoying spa treatments to unique hikes and views to getting lost amongst incredible mid-century architecture, style, and shopping.

Palm Springs mini moon at L’Horizon

Palm Springs boutique hotel L’Horizon truly is the “pinnacle of desert luxury ” with bungalows inspired by Hollywood glamour set that offer a modern and peaceful respite. Find more of our favorite places to mini moon in Palm Springs here!

Los Angeles

If LA is your top spot for a post-wedding getaway, consider staying at (or at the very least, stopping by!) the LA Proper Hotel, impeccably designed by the genius Kelly Wearstler.

Downtown Los Angeles Proper Hotel for mini moon Downtown Los Angeles Proper Hotel for mini moon

As if reveling in the dreamy design and award-winning restaurants weren’t enough for a successful mini moon, the pool and rooftop deck is an oasis overlooking all of DTLA + beyond.

Planning a mini moon to Mexico

Mexico (especially Baja California) is just a short flight for couples in the Southwest, and we have a few spots we love for a mini moon in particular.

Valle de Guadalupe

Valle de Guadalupe is Mexico’s wine country, responsible for 90% of the wine produced in the country.

Encuentro Guadalupe (above) and Oeno Wine Lodge are two luxury Guadalupe resorts offering stunning views and unique experiences in Mexico wine country.

Paradero in Todos Santos honeymoon hotel

Todos Santos

In Todos Santos, Paradero is one of the most sought-after hotels in Baja, offering curated experiences from adventures to spa treatments in an idyllic setting. For a beachy option, choose the the stylish ocean-front hotel San Cristóbal.

Rancho Pescadero honeymoon in Baja

And you can’t beat the views OR insta-worthy design moments at the eco-luxe 5 star Rancho Pescadero.

Mini moon in Acre baja

Los Cabos is full of amazing places to stay, but 100LC couples love the beachy-boho Acre, whether it’s for a wedding (see here and here) or a honeymoon.

Depending where you’re located, you might also want to consider Mexico City and Oaxaca City as mini moon destinations – many Southwest cities offer direct flights to both of these Mexico destinations.


Speaking of the Southwest, there are plenty of magical mini moon options in this region, too, most of which mix rugged natural landscapes with modern luxury – a favorite combo of ours.

Mini moon at Mii Amo Spa in Sedona Mini moon at Mii Amo Spa in Sedona

In Sedona, the all-inclusive Mii Amo Spa (above) and the Enchantment Resort offer unparalleled honeymoon experiences with incredible desert backdrops.

Castle Hot Springs in Morristown, AZ

Less than an hour’s drive from the Phoenix airport, the recently restored Castle Hot Springs in Morristown, AZ is a world-famous oasis in the Sonoran desert.

mini moon at under canvas - photo by @lindsey_musser

For nature lovers and adventure seeking couples, you may want to consider which national parks would make the perfect getaway from your specific location.

If you haven’t tried Under Canvas, they offer the perfect mini moon experiences for couples who love the outdoors but want to make the trip extra special. Antelope Canyon, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Lake Powell (shown above) each have their own incredible scenery and activities to offer. (Photo by @lindsey_musser)

Not close enough for a mini moon in Utah or Arizona? They have a handful of other locations sprinkled in National Parks across the US. 

Amangiri honeymoon destinations
Amangiri in Scottsdale, AZ

If you prefer a higher end experience, the iconic Amangiri resort is the ultimate splurge.

Austin proper hotel bar Austin proper hotel

Looking for a getaway in the SW that combines the luxury of a spa with the life of the city? The Austin Proper Hotel is the perfect spot.

Planning a mini moon in Portland, OR

With the incredible backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, unique activities, and tons of food and breweries, Portland is quickly becoming one of America’s fave cities. One of these chic boutique hotels will elevate your Portland trip, or you could opt for a luxe Airbnb for your stay.

Abigail Hall at Woodlark Portland

In a walkable downtown location, Woodlark is a fusion of two historic Portland properties to create one unique hotel. The hotel also offers multiple dining options, including Abigail Hall (above) – a charming, moody cocktail bar inspired by the building’s former lounge.

Ace Hotel Portland - mini moon ideas
Ace Hotel Portland

Other stylish Portland hotels include Hotel Grand Stark, The Ace (don’t forget to grab a Stumptown coffee), and Kimpton Riverplace

Planning a Mini Moon in New York City

If you’re within a 2-3 hour flight to NYC and love exploring new neighborhoods in search of amazing food and drink, then the big apple might be the perfect mini moon destination for you. Accommodations here will run the gamut, but here are a few favorites to begin your search:

Beekman Hotel - where to mini moon in New York City The Beekman in Midtown is rated well by couples in particular. Such cool interiors!

made hotel NYC made hotel NYC MADE Hotel is a chic minimalist urban escape with city views and an 18th floor rooftop lounge.

A Mini Moon in the South

Nashville getaways

Doesn’t it seem like everyone is visiting Nashville lately? If your state is close enough for a mini honeymoon, consider booking a stay at a chic hotel to take in all Music City has to offer.

Noelle Nashville- mini moon hotels

Name a top hotel in Nashville by Travel + Leisure, Noelle is a boutique hotel in the heart of downtown. The property boasts ultra modern rooms, a cafe, rooftop bar, retail space featuring local goods, and even a speakeasy… All in a historic 1930s building.

Mini moon in Charleston

Lovers of seaside towns and historic charm will enjoy a quick trip to Charleston. Spend a romantic long weekend discovering why Charleston is so often voted a favorite US city.

The Ryder Charleston The Ryder is a boutique-meets-experience hotel inspired by Charleston’s coastal charm, featuring a gorgeous beachy suites and a darling poolside bar. Grab a cocktail and get to mini mooning!

St Lucia

Live in the South and want to escape the mainland for your mini moon? St. Lucia is just a three hour flight away, but will feel like another world.

Windjammer Landing - Honeymoon in St Lucia Windjammer Landing in St. Lucia is a beach resort featuring airy suites overlooking the Caribbean and beautiful gardens. Did we mention there are six pools on site?

Are you planning a mini moon in place of a honeymoon? Find more travel ideas here!