Wedding Planning

Three Stunning Honeymoon Spots to Explore in New England and Beyond

From Australia’s Whitsunday Islands all the way to the other Portland, these buzzy destinations make for perfect postwedding getaways.


Qualia

Courtesy of Qualia

Fly South
Hamilton Island

Kick back like the rich and famous on Hamilton Island. Part of the Whitsundays, a chain of 74 islands off the Great Barrier Reef, the car-free Hamilton Island draws everyone from Taylor Swift to Oprah to its shores. When it comes to adventure, visitors have a plethora of options: It’s just a hop, skip, and jump to snorkeling and diving spots, as well as to beaches on and off the island. Whatever your idea of paradise, you and your sweetie can find it here.

EAT: Overlooking Catseye Beach, Coca Chu serves flavorful Southeast Asian dishes inside its airy, eye-catching space. Birdcage-shaped lights hang from dramatic high ceilings, illuminating chef Jack Mason’s bold, street-food-inspired plates: betel leaves with prawn and roasted coconut; pork ribs with sweet soy sauce; spicy curry with locally caught fish. Plus, Coca Chu’s outdoor bar area makes a great place to grab a drink and watch the crashing waves.

STAY: No one does service quite like Qualia. Upon your arrival on the island, Qualia sends a VIP transport to pick you up, then provides you with an electric golf buggy for use during your stay. The secluded resort takes up the northern tip of the island, giving guests access to Pebble Beach and a host of ocean activities. All 60 of Qualia’s luxury suites face the water, ensuring stunning Coral Sea vistas—and, if you book a Windward Pavilion, you can enjoy them from the sweet confines of a private infinity pool.

PLAY: The chance to explore the inimitable Whitsunday chain can’t be missed. Several companies offer exclusive, full- and half-day boat charters to destinations such as the world-famous Whitehaven Beach, on Whitsunday Island, or Dent Island, Hamilton’s neighbor. You can jet around the islands at your own pace, dropping anchor to snorkel, swim, or head ashore, or simply sightsee from afar with an arm around your honey.

Head West
Portland, Oregon

The dream of the ’90s is indeed alive in Portland, where bookstores, flannels, and food carts complement a thriving craft-beer scene. With comprehensive public transportation (bikes; buses; street trolleys) and proximity to gems like the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood, Portland welcomes escapades both indoors and out. For a likely much-needed change of pace after a whirlwind wedding weekend, swap one coast for another and see what the City of Roses has to offer.

EAT: Named the 2018 Restaurant of the Year by Portland Monthly, Canard combines nostalgic vibes with James Beard–level fare. Chef Gabriel Rucker takes wild liberties with Gallic classics, serving up such innovative dishes as a stack of pancakes topped with duck gravy and an egg, and foie-gras-stuffed dumplings with bacon and black truffles. And, nothing pairs quite as well with a local pilsner or rosé as Rucker’s clam-ceviche nachos.

STAY: Cool kids the world over call Ace Hotel their home away from home. And it’s easy to see why: At the PDX location, the rooms are dog-friendly, the décor (think: muraled walls and exposed brick) practically begs to be Instagrammed, and the lobby—which contains a photo booth—leads straight into a Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Not to mention there’s no better place to relive wedding memories than a Superior Deluxe room: Cozy up in a clawfoot tub while your first-dance song plays on an in-room vinyl player.

PLAY: Just down the street from the Ace Hotel stands Portland’s bibliophile heaven, Powell’s City of Books. Occupying one square block of retail space, the Pearl District Powell’s holds stacks upon stacks of knickknacks and new and used books. Spend an afternoon browsing the inventory, alternating between perusing the sections and posting up at the store’s coffee shop with your finds. Afterward, head across town to Ruse Brewing for a wheat ale or West Coast IPA and toast to a day well spent.

Killington Grand Resort Hotel. Photograph by Barb Wood

Keep it Local
Killington, Vermont

Right in the heart of the Green Mountains lies Killington, New England’s very own Saint Moritz. Offering access to two popular ski areas—Killington and Pico mountains—this alpine town should be the first stop for couples in search of a ski-bum honeymoon. But even if snow sports aren’t on your vacay to-do list, Killington’s still got plenty of charms: Thanks to bucolic scenery and scores of hiking trails, it’s worth a visit no matter the season.

EAT: Drive about 20 minutes east to Woodstock, where a sumptuous prix-fixe menu awaits at the Lincoln Inn & Restaurant at the Covered Bridge, named one of Forbes’s 10 best restaurants in 2016. Chef Jevgenija Saromova’s time at Michelin-starred hot spots shines through in her four-course dinners: Here, wild mushroom–and-rabbit fricassee could follow salmon gravlax or a bloody mary sorbet, while brined-and-seared pork loin could lead to Angus beef in a red wine shallot jus or tiger prawns in a beurre blanc sauce. Whatever’s on the plate, it’s guaranteed to be good.

STAY: You can’t beat the convenience factor of the Killington Grand Resort Hotel. Located at the base of Killington mountain, the resort—currently in the midst of a renovation—claims a ski bridge that leads directly to the slopes. Not here to shred powder? Hit the green instead at the resort’s 18-hole golf course, or take a dip in the heated outdoor pool. No matter your itinerary, wind down by enjoying the rest of the hotel’s amenities, which include a fire pit, two hot tubs, and a sleek bar.

PLAY: Take advantage of the local scenery, and try some on-foot exploring. Hike options range from scenic jaunts such as Thundering Brook Falls, a short meander that leads to a waterfall (perfect for honeymoon photo ops), all the way to challenging treks like Deer Leap’s Appalachian Trail Loop, which takes you through Gifford Woods State Park. Middle-of-the-pack hikers can hit the Bear Mountain Loop, which delivers seasonal wildflowers and mountain views.

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