GIVEAWAY: Beep, beep! V-Day plans yet? We’re teaming up with Escape Campervans to help you plan your next solo, partner, or bff’s romantic escape into nature. Win a 3-day van-cation + $250 in camping credit by following @escapecampervans + @hipcamp, sharing a story about falling in love in–or with–nature using #HipcampEscape before Feb 9, and spreading the love! ?
You have found the partner of your dreams, and now you’re busy planning happily-ever-after together. Chances are that means you’re in full wedding planning mode (queue Psycho’s “murder music”), but even if you’re one who loves planning their wedding, everyone knows the real fun starts afterwards: on your honeymoon.
There’s research out there that suggests nature can make us kinder, happier, and more creative. Sharing awe-inspiring vistas, late nights around campfires, picturesque sunset kisses, and cozy sleeping bag snuggles are guaranteed to set a positive tone for the start of your married life.
Even if you decide to go the deluxe glamping route, you won’t have to spend nearly as many of those precious pennies on hotels (or airfare, if you choose the road trip route). A cheaper honeymoon will allow you to afford extending your honeymoon that extra day (or three), and pocket your saving for many more anniversaries to come.
Airport travel can be a stressful and a total time suck. A camping trip, on the other hand, is way more fun (it can be a day at the beach, quite literally). Spending the night in nature will bring you and your S.O. way closer together than a couple hours caught in a long TSA line, trust me (airport honeymoon, anyone?). And if you’re making your camping trip into a road trip, traveling will actually become part of the adventure—just make sure you can handle your partner’s music taste for hours on end.
If watching the leaves change color is on your bucket list, an East Coast honeymoon is a must! While different parts of the country have spectacular color shows in the fall, nothing quite beats New England. Use Hipcamp’s interactive fall foliage map, or take my recommendation to visit Acadia National Park when the leaves are in full effect September through October. At this time, the park’s summer crowds will have left (yippee!) and temperatures will have yet to drop below freezing.
Cooler daytime temps in January and February offers the perfect weather for honeymooners to maintain that post-wedding glow while exploring the otherworldly rock formations, sweeping desertscapes, technicolored sunsets, and expansive dark, starry skies unique to Joshua Tree. Daytime temps are usually around 60-degrees in January and February, which deters large crowds, but is also ideal weather for hiking and climbing in the desert—just pack a puffy and a beanie! Though snow is extremely rare, you could even be lucky enough to see the orange desert dusted with snow.
Arguably the best time to visit the Grand Canyon, the crown jewel of all National Parks, is March through May when the crowds are still light and the weather hangs around a pleasant 70 degrees. For a day’s excursion head to the quieter North Rim and hike the 14-mile North Kaibab Trail that leads all the way to the Colorado River.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can extend your honeymoon and drive 3.5 hours north to Zion National Park, UT. On your way, you’ll pass through Page, AZ—home to Antelope Canyon, Glen Canyon & Lake Powell, and Horseshoe Bend, worth a day or two’s exploration on their own. If you’re not totally wiped from the North Kaibab Trail, Zion is home to some of the most challenging, but rewarding, hikes, such as Angels Landing and the Narrows.
For adventurous couples, the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range offers endless rugged peaks, refreshing alpines lakes, historic ghost towns, and hidden hot springs to check off your list. Summertime in the Sierra Nevada often brings reprieve from those toasty foothill temps, but it still gets warm enough to sleep comfortably in your tent. Thru-hike part of John Muir Trail (or the whole 210 miles!), take a dip in the south shore of Mono Lake, or if the mountain is still open, summer ski Mammoth Mountain. And let’s not forget the Sierra mecca, Yosemite National Park. Hike to any of Yosemite’s epic falls, take a rock climbing lesson, or raft on the Merced River. Exploring the Sierra Nevada will take a lifetime, but even scratching the surface will jump start your marriage with adventure.
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