Engaged or not, you’ve no doubt encountered the term micro wedding on more than one occasion. But before this intimate ceremony surged in pandemic-induced popularity, its similarly small cousin—the minimoon—was already a beloved tradition.
What Is a Minimoon?
A minimoon is an abbreviated version of the traditional far-flung honeymoon—not quite as long, perhaps closer to home, a bit less expensive but equally relaxing and enjoyable.
Whether you can’t take more time off from work, you want to wait a few months before going on the main honeymoon, or something in between, a minimoon is the perfect way to slow down after the wedding day comes to a close without committing to a week-long (or more) adventure. While the traditional honeymoon typically lasts anywhere from eight days to several weeks, a minimoon is usually an overnight stay or long-weekend trip. The shorter timespan makes it an ideal option for those with limited PTO days, tighter budgets, or couples leaving children and pets behind. Plus, it's a great way to test out a new location without committing to a long stay.
Lindsay Schwimer, a consumer travel expert at Hopper offers a few helpful hacks for those in the planning stages of a minimoon. "Sunday and Monday night stays are the cheapest check-in days," she says. "Checking in on these days could save you around $30 per night on your minimoon."
Meet the Expert
Lindsay Schwimer is a consumer travel expert at Hopper.
A few popular minimoon destinations she’s seeing at the moment include mainstays like Miami, San Francisco, San Juan, and San Jose del Cabo. "You can also consider an outdoorsy minimoon in an under-the-radar destination or at a nearby national park," Schwimer says. "Go hiking with your significant other and relax in nature after the wedding." Popular destinations she suggests for doing so include Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Bozeman, Montana, and Jackson, Wyoming. While the world is your oyster when it comes to locations, it's best to stick to destinations that are within a couple hours drive or flight from your wedding venue or home to maximize your abbreviated stay and itinerary.
Ahead, 15 of the best minimoon destinations to keep the celebration going.
The current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. As the situation remains fluid, we’ll be sharing tips and stories from industry experts to give you of-the-moment advice and help you navigate wedding planning today. For the most up-to-date guidelines and latest on travel restrictions and requirements, check the CDC and U.S. Department of State websites.
Todos Santos, Mexico
Todos Santos is a sleepy coastal town on the Pacific coast side of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. It is a nature lover’s paradise with its ocean breezes, cactus-dotted desert landscape, and ample opportunities for activities like surfing, horseback riding, and hiking. Book a stay at Paradero Todos Santos, an adults-only luxury property that magically blends in with its oasis-like surroundings. Might we suggest the garden suite with a soak tub?
Water Mill, New York
Nestled within the Long Island town of Southhampton, Water Mill is a verdant hamlet. A minimoon itinerary in this tranquil region should include a visit to the Parrish Art Museum, a tasting at Duck Walk Vineyard, and a stroll to their functioning watermill and windmill. Shou Sugi Ban House is a 13-room retreat and luxury spa that’s ideal for minimooners who want a calm, meditative environment while not missing out on amenities like an in-room soaking tub, hydrotherapy, and culinary demonstrations.
This remote island off the coast of Massachusetts needs little introduction thanks to its reputation for being among the more picturesque escapes. Book a flight on Tradewind and stay at one of the many beautifully designed properties like Life House, Faraway, or Greydon House. The latter has 20 rooms designed by Roman and Williams as well as an English garden and a Venetian-inspired restaurant.
New Orleans, Louisiana
NOLA has it all—historic architecture, world-class jazz, and an unparalleled food and beverage scene. If you and your partner want to spend a few days in an immersive city that knows how to have a good time, go to New Orleans. After a day of sightseeing and gumbo-devouring, return to a boutique hotel like The Chloe or Hotel Peter and Paul. For traditional luxury, the Four Seasons on Canal Street is a no-brainer. They even launched a streetcar experience that’s the perfect minimoon activity: a private ride on a historic St. Charles Streetcar accompanied by a brass band and a local historian to guide your ride up the idyllic St. Charles Avenue. Plus, indulge in a wine-paired dinner at Miss River upon your return.
Providence, Rhode Island
If you want a destination that’s close to home but not where you’d normally spend a weekend, consider Providence, Rhode Island. The city has a network of canals, giving a slight urban Venice vibe (you can even book a gondola ride or check out WaterFire). The historic city's The Beatrice hotel, boasts a Bellini restaurant by Ignazio Cipriani as well as a luxury rooftop club.
Hudson, New York
Small-town charm hits its stride in Hudson, New York. This upstate respite is the perfect place for minimooners who want to eat well, relax, and stroll around quaint shops and vintage treasure troves. Skip the hotel and book This Old Hudson Maison on Airbnb for a home-away-from-home aesthetic. The French-inspired rental, designed by Zio and Sons, is furnished with picture-perfect antiques and cozy touches like linen upholstery and a cast-iron tub with brass fixtures. It even has a private porch for evening wine and cheese boards.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe is where art and nature intersect, with its many galleries and unique selection of Southwestern accommodations. For your minimoon, stay at the Bishop’s Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection, a retreat that’s situated on 317 acres bordering Santa Fe’s National Forest (and just a few minutes from downtown). The design direction leans heavily on local artisans and pulls in the colors and textures of the surrounding mountains. Wind down at the end of the day with a craft mezcal cocktail at The Bar followed by a dinner at SkyFire imagined by chef Dean Fearing.
This seaside village is the kind of place where minimooners thrive. It’s small in size, surrounded by breathtaking beauty, and your days can be spent eating, taking in the landscape, and relaxing. L’Auberge Carmel is a staple stay and conveniently located downtown. Their romantic getaway package includes a two-night stay, in-room welcome amenities, dinner with wine pairings at Aubergine Restaurant, and a signature breakfast.
Paso Robles, California
For the couple that loves fine wine, head to Paso Robles for your minimoon. This small town, located in California’s breathtaking Central Coast wine country, is an oenophile’s delight with more than 200 wineries peppered throughout the region (a few highlights include Peachy Canyon, Paix Sur Terre, Sans Liege, Broadside, Anarchy Wine Co., and Absolution Cellars). For a Tuscan villa aesthetic, book a room at The Canyon Villa. If you want to stay on a vineyard, head to The Inn at Croad Vineyards.
Mexico City, Mexico
With reasonable flight prices and a central location, this destination is well-suited for minimooners who want to leave the country for a shorter period of time. Stay at one of the city’s original boutique hotels Condesa DF. Housed in a 1920s building, the design is a visual feast with custom furniture by Parisian designer India Mahdavi. Enjoy views of Parque España and Chapultepec Castle from the hotel’s La Terraza and spend your days exploring the surrounding historic neighborhoods of Condesa and Roma.
If you and your partner live for small-town charm and culinary delights, look no further than Urbanna, Virginia. Not only is it filled with historic buildings, but it also happens to be a destination for world-class oysters. Book a room at The Tides Inn, a waterfront resort that’s been around since 1947.
For Gothic architecture and no shortage of elegant Spanish moss, head south to Savannah. It’s the oldest city in Georgia and feels like an otherworldly escape with its historic sites, waterfront location, and ghost tours. Newly opened Thompson Savannah is located along the river’s edge and offers a rooftop bar, pool deck, and onsite dining.
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
For a wine country escape out of the ordinary, head to Canada’s esteemed Okanagan Valley for a taste of the region’s finest. Von Mandl wineries should be at the top of your list (Mission Hill and Checkmate, for example) and Sparkling Hill Resort, with its dazzling views, should satiate your wanderlust quite nicely.
There’s never been a better time to enjoy a slower pace, and in Bozeman, it’s simply the way of life. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the abundant activities in nature (fly fishing, hiking, and rock climbing, to name a few) and the small town’s farmers markets and street festivals are perfect for assimilating to this charming locale. Stay at The Ranch at Rock Creek in one of the property’s many unique accommodations, like their remodeled 19th-century barn.
Eleuthera and Harbour Island, Bahamas
Easy to get to and breathtakingly beautiful, the Bahamas are a dream location for a minimoon. Harbour Island, with its pink sand beaches and diverse marine life, is the perfect destination to unwind. Stay at Ocean Tally, a luxury bed and breakfast with a distinctly remote feel. With just three ocean cottages (each with private decks and views of the Atlantic), you’ll be ready to book a return trip before you’ve even left.