These days, the draw of getting out and communing with nature is stronger than ever. Thankfully, you don’t have to travel outside the country to have an unforgettable post-nuptial getaway centered around the outdoors. The United States has so many incredible natural wonders—from the glorious geysers of Yosemite to Zion’s red rock canyons—that opting for a national park honeymoon is sort of a no-brainer.
But how much does it cost and when’s the best time to go? To answer those important questions, we tapped travel expert Caroline Wood.
Meet the Expert
Caroline Wood is a Bozeman-based travel advisor and affiliate of Travel Experts, a Virtuoso Agency.
“I think it’s possible to do a great five-night national park honeymoon for as little as $2,000. However, there are some fantastic splurges that might put the total around $8,000 or even up to $20,000 depending on the type of room and excursions.”
In terms of timing, each park is going to be a bit different based on geography, weather, and what you’re aiming to do. Death Valley, for example, gets downright scorching in the summer but wows the rest of the year. Late April to May and September through early October are considered the peak periods in Yellowstone. You can pretty much venture to the Grand Canyon anytime, though the months of June, July, and August tend to be the most crowded.
Keen to start planning your first trip as newlyweds? Ahead are the best hotels, resorts, and lodges for a national park honeymoon.
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.
Yosemite National Park: The Ahwahnee
The Ahwahnee shines in all of its 1927-built glory with eye-catching Art Deco architecture, stone fireplaces, beamed ceiling, stained glass, and hand-carved wooden furnishings. The views of Half Dome, Glacier Point, and Yosemite Falls are equally captivating. Due to The Ahwahnee’s desirable location inside Yosemite National Park, status as a National Historic Landmark, and sterling reputation (royals and presidents have posted up here over the years), it’s difficult to snag a reservation, so be sure to book a year in advance.
Rates start at $829/night
Yellowstone National Park: Sage Lodge
Like adventure, leisure, and breathtaking scenery? Sage Lodge will win you over in an instant. Boasting a gorgeous perch on the banks of the Yellowstone River, just 35 minutes from the northern entrance of Yellowstone National Park, this sustainably-minded lodge has all the making of a magical Montana honeymoon with a mix of luxurious accommodations, tranquility, and stunning surroundings. It also provides incredible opportunities to peep wildlife right on the property. Keep your eyes peeled for elk and moose.
Rates start at $349/night
Grand Teton National Park: Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole
“Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole in Teton Village is a wonderful option that’s just one mile from the back door entrance to Grand Teton National Park,” notes Wood. Besides a top-notch location, this posh refuge has a picture-perfect setting facing snow-capped peaks and fabled ski runs. The resort exudes this brilliant blend of rustic and refined that flows through everything from the cozy furnishings and deliciously hearty fare to the adventurous excursions that the concierge will happily coordinate.
Rates start at $499/night
Glacier National Park: Many Glacier Hotel
“I recommend booking early to get a room at the Many Glacier Hotel, which is very special and sits on one of the most picturesque spots on the east side of Glacier National Park in an area that’s known as Switzerland of North America,” says Wood. Boat cruises and horseback rides await nearby. Of course, the outdoors aren’t the only grand thing about the Many Glacier Hotel. The old-world ambiance and mesmerizing water views just make everything that much more memorable.
Rates start at $219/night
Zion National Park: Desert Pearl Inn
Perfectly positioned at the entrance to Zion National Park, Desert Pearl Inn—a fitting name for such an enchanting place—welcomes honeymooners with red rock vistas and a deep sense of soulfulness. It’s impossible not to marvel at the stone walkways, sun-baked stucco, reclaimed redwood beams, and handcrafted furnishings. Spacious rooms with private patios and secluded spots by the edge of the Virgin River, under a blanket of stars, beckon couples to enjoy some alone time.
Rates start at $184/night
Arches National Park: Sorrel River Ranch
Sorrel River Ranch is a superb home base for exploring the endless beauty of Arches National Park. The only hiccup? You might like staying at this 240-acre riverside estate so much that leaving starts to feel less appealing by the second. We totally get it. Who wouldn’t be enticed by custom-built cabins replete with Southwestern décor and clawfoot tubs? But we promise the chance to walk beside natural sandstone arches is worth giving up such plush comforts for a few hours.
Rates start at $1,030/night
Bryce Canyon National Park: Stone Canyon Inn
Affordable, tranquil, and absolutely incredible for honeymooners seeking seclusion, Stone Canyon Inn flaunts private cottages and bungalows with epic panoramas and loads of rustic flair. Even though there will be other guests on-site, it won’t seem like it, which is really lovely for a trip that’s supposed to be about two souls embarking on a journey as one. What’s more, you can even hike to Bryce Canyon National Park from the property.
Rates start at $195/night
Grand Canyon National Park: El Tovar Hotel
For a stay as grand as the Grand Canyon itself (OK, nothing beats the immense sprawl of layered rocks dating back millions of years, but you get the sentiment), check in to El Tovar Hotel. Designed by Chicago-based architect Charles Whittlesey and teetering on the edge of the canyon rim, this historic lodging first opened in 1905 and has hosted everyone from Theodore Roosevelt to Albert Einstein. Even over a century later, the Swiss chalet-meets-elite American lodge vibes are still as alluring as ever.
Rates start at $257/night
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park: Kalaekilohana Inn & Retreat
After a day of exploring active volcanoes, steam vents, and lava tubes, bed down at Kalaekilohana Inn & Retreat. Less than an hour’s drive from Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, this boutique hotel prides itself on celebrating Hawaiian culture. That comes to life through the telltale Big Island hospitality, locally milled woods in the guest suites, breezy verandas, and the use of locally grown ingredients at the restaurant (we’re drooling just thinking of all the ripe, tropical fruit).
Rates start at $369/night
Acadia National Park: Under Canvas Acadia
When glamping gets so glam that it stops being camping and starts veering into the territory of staying at a luxury resort, what do you call it? Under Canvas Acadia. This newly opened hideaway blurs the line between the indoors and outdoors in the most beautiful way with luxury tents fitted with king-size beds, sumptuous linens, and wood-burning stoves right on the ocean. Honeymooners can fall asleep to the lull of waves and wake up to the sun rising over Maine’s spectacular coastline.
Rates start at $344/night
Olympic National Park: Kalaloch Lodge
The sort of setting that would inspire travelers to dive full-force into photography or just start to fancy themselves as being one with nature, Kalaloch Lodge in Olympic National Park is a real-deal sanctuary on a pristine stretch of coast. For something a bit more remote than the regular main lodge accommodations, the private cabins are the move. No matter where you choose to shack up, a lack of WiFi guarantees the chance to unplug fully and connect with your new spouse.
Rates start at $139/night
Great Smoky Mountain National Park: Blackberry Mountain
The sister property of celebrated Blackberry Farm, Blackberry Mountain puts travelers within 25 minutes of Great Smoky Mountain National Park while providing a guest experience so fabulous you might get swept up in the splendor of the incomparable offerings—aerial yoga, hydrafacials, herbal remedy sessions, and farm-to-fork food made with foraged ingredients from the area—as well as luxurious accommodations and forget to leave entirely. Though with horseback riding, paddle sports, and fly fishing at your fingertips, we have no doubt the pull of the outdoors will win out eventually.
Rates start at $1,045/night
Death Valley National Park: The Inn at Death Valley
Sometimes you want a rustic lodge or cozy cabin and other times it’s a resort with golf, a spring-fed pool, and a stargazing deck that steals the show. Dreaming of an idyllic environment that’s totally laid-back and perfect for honeymooners to unwind in between sweating it out in the hottest destination on the planet? The Inn at Death Valley is an unbeatable slice of paradise with a glimmer of Old Hollywood sheen—or, perhaps more accurately, a resplendent glittering oasis in the middle of the desert.
Rates start at $350/night
Rocky Mountain National Park: Della Terra Mountain Chateau
We can’t imagine a better place to call home during your Rocky Mountain National Park honeymoon than the Della Terra Mountain Chateau. It’s a phenomenal spot for a romantic escape (not to mention a stunning wedding venue). Adults-only suites have jetted showers, soaking tubs, balconies, and contemporary comforts galore. Add to that a serene spa, dry heat sauna, movie theater, and cocktail bar plus access to popular hiking trails, breathtaking views, and wide-open spaces for stargazing with your sweetie.
Rates start at $195/night
Mount Rainier National Park: Alta Crystal Resort
We won’t lie, the overnight options near Mount Rainier National Park are fairly limited. That’s just part of what makes Alta Crystal Resort such a great find. To be clear, it’s not the most luxurious lodging on our list, but that’s not really the point of this rustic gem, which lets guests choose between cozy suites and a single log cabin. Plus, it’s certainly not lacking in nostalgia with some aspects giving it a fun adult summer camp energy.
Rates start at $279/night