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Unexpected honeymoon travel destinations

You’re getting married. Congrats! Once the party and stress of the wedding are over, you’ll be ready for a little fun. While you could take the traditional route—the five-star hotel, the all-inclusive resort, the sun and surf—you could also be a bit more adventurous. What is marriage, after all, but a lifelong adventure with your beloved? There's no better time to start than the honeymoon.

Taking a honeymoon to an unexpected destination doesn't have to be difficult, but it does take a bit more planning. Don't worry, though—that's why we're here. We scoured the globe for six of our favorite off-beat honeymoon locations. Pick one and go. They'll have champagne there, we promise.


Let's start with a real pivot from the beach. The southernmost continent on the planet is about as far as you can get from surf and sun (and your new in-laws). Well, technically, there will be plenty of surf—the Weddell Sea can get plenty choppy—and the sun will come out, it just won't be all that warm. You get the point. But in terms of a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime travel experience, it's hard to do better than the South Pole. Find a cruise and meet some penguins. (If you're looking for a beach experience to warm up on the way home, consider the coast near Montevideo, Uruguay, or Buenos Aires, Argentina, both of which are an easy way station on your trek back from Antarctica.)

Dracula's Castle

Sitting roughly 120 miles from Bucharest, Romania, (about two and a half hours of driving through the stunning, mountainous, and forested terrain of the countryside) is Bran Castle, the consensus location where Bram Stoker based his legendary vampire. Check out the restaurant, drink some red wine (pretend it's blood?), and enjoy. A trip to nearby Brașov is also in order to experience the charms of the medieval city.

Carate, Costa Rica

For a trip with a bit of a tropical flair, consider Carate, Costa Rica. This small town on the western coast of the Central American country boasts beaches for days and easy access to rain forests and other natural wonders. The scuba diving is exceptional while Corcovado National Park is an easy drive away and the biological reserves at Caño Island are a short boat trip.

Budapest, Hungary

This city on the Danube remains one of Europe's underrated gems. Hungary's capital is imminently affordable, with a favorable exchange rate and good but cheap eating. That said, there are five-star hotels and gourmet restaurants aplenty so you can mix and match your price points to your heart's content. Don't miss the baths and spas, the opera, or the elegant river cruises.

Montreal, Quebec

With its strong French influence and old-world architecture, Quebec is as close as you can get to Europe while staying in North America. Enjoy the exceptional food scene, vibrant music and nightlife scene, and the picturesque streets. If you're a fan of skiing, Mont-Tremblant is a roughly 90-minute day trip northwest of the city and features some of the best trails in North America.

Carefree, Arizona

Finally, you can experience the unexpected honeymoon in the United States as well. Carefree (what a name!) is roughly 40 minutes from Phoenix but feels a world away. You can enjoy a five-star resort if you want while also experiencing the depths of the desert and taking a stroll through the Wild West at Frontier Town. An outdoor adventure and a relaxing vacay mixed into one place. Carefree indeed.

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