Honeymoon Resorts for Nature-Loving Couples

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Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California

Think strolling down the aisle is a thrill? Wait till you step onto the flower-edged pathway that connects the rooms and cottages at the Post Ranch Inn. Perched atop one of Big Sur's jaw-dropping cliffs and attended by prehistoric redwoods on one side and the endless Pacific on the other, the Post Ranch's main road leads toward sheer bliss. The inn's Mickey Muennig&-designed architecture blends redwood and stone with steel, curves, and plenty of floor-to-ceiling glass—making it the perfect place to catch poppy-colored sunsets dropping over frothy wavecaps. The best displays are from the sod-roofed Ocean Houses, positioned 1,000 feet above the water. But all rooms have fireplaces, private decks, organic linens, and extra-deep spa tubs.

You could stay ensconced in your boudoir for an entire week, though that would mean missing the complimentary yoga classes held every day at the Mongolian-style yurt, the forest-and-field hikes around the property, the basking pool at the ridge's end, and spa treatments like Big Sur Jade Stone Therapy. And, of course, Post Ranch, one of the few luxe accommodations in Big Sur proper, provides a perfect home base for renowned attractions like the painstakingly restored Point Sur Lighthouse and the Point Lobos State Reserve, a playground for seals, sea otters, and sea lions—not to mention whales in season. After a day in the wild, savor dinner at Sierra Mar, where local artisans have crafted the table settings, and the seasonal specialities—like California red abalone with tomato-basil brown butter—compete with the Pacific panorama. Doubles from $495, June through October; 800-527-2200, postranchinn.com.

Winterlake Lodge, Anchorage, Alaska

If you want to get away from the craziness of postmillennial life, it's hard to find a place more gloriously remote than Winterlake Lodge. Like all provisions that aren't fished, hunted, or grown on the premises, guests arrive on a plane that—depending on the season—either splashes down or skids to an icy landing on the lake that gives the hotel its name. Owner Carl Dixon, a jovial veteran of the Alaskan backcountry, will be waiting to transport you to the A-frame log lodge he built himself. There, you'll meet his better half, Kirsten—cookbook author, culinary award winner, and all-around gracious hostess—ready to hand over a cocktail and a taste of whatever's just popped out of her stainless-steel kitchen. (Think homemade elk sausage and still-warm cherry-chocolate-chip cookies.)

If you're visiting during winter, you can try dogsledding on the Iditarod trail—which bisects the property—as well as snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and scoping out the Northern Lights. Summertime visitors head out with Carl for fishing, hiking, and wildlife-watching expeditions in his massive backyard—the ponds, woods, and wildlands of the Alaska Range. This being Alaska, though, even summer has its wintry side. With a quick satellite call to Anchorage, Carl can summon a chopper and whisk adrenaline junkies to the Tordrillo Mountains, where surviving your first descents on skis will make you appreciate the miracles of Kirsten's kitchen even more. All-inclusive doubles from $1,220, June through October; 907-274-2710, withinthewild.com.

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