The usual suspects (Paris, Hawaii, the Amalfi Coast), are the usual suspects for a reason: They’re gorgeous and romantic. But there are plenty of incredible off-the-beaten-path destinations that are equally—if not more—romantic, exotic and memorable for a post-wedding getaway. Here are six non-traditional honeymoon ideas you should seriously consider…or at least just daydream about for now.
1. INSTEAD OF NANTUCKET, GO TO THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS
The slow-paced, hippie vibes on this archipelago off the coast of Washington state will have you relaxed in no time. It’s home to artists, fishermen and wildlife, so chances are you’ll probably see more bikes than cars. And if you’re into eating local, the farmers’ markets selling goat’s-milk cheeses and fresh oysters will having you swooning.
Highlights: Whale watching in Friday Harbor, wine tasting at Lopez Island Vineyards, hiking hidden beaches and eating at popular gastropub Cask and Schooner for razor clam chowder and baked Judd Cove oysters.
Best time to go: Late spring and early fall to avoid the rainy season, over-crowded ferries and peak summer hotel rates.
2. INSTEAD OF BALI, GO TO VIETNAM
Velvety, green mountains? Check. Bustling cities? Check. Azure waters and silky shores? You bet. Vietnam is adventurous and luxurious all at once. Start in Ho Chi Minh City, a vivacious metropolis on the banks of the Saigon River where you’ll find French colonial architecture, decadent pagodas and some of the world’s best street food.
Highlights: Ha Long Bay’s limestone karsts and colorful floating fishing villages; Phu Quoc island’s beaches; and Sa Pa, a mountain town in the Northwest province overlooking miles of spiraling, emerald rice fields.
Best time to go: October and November during the dry season, when temperatures across the north and south range from the 60s to 70s.
3. INSTEAD OF SANTORINI, GO TO THE ALGARVE
On Portugal’s southern coast, the Algarve is known for its stunning beaches, glorious Mediterranean weather and laid-back fishing villages. While the towns of Lagos, Faros and Albufeira are more developed, Sagres is the more rustic and less traveled path.
Highlights: All along the coast, you’ll find golden sand beaches, jutting red cliffs, whitewashed villas and wildflowers. Keep an eye out for seaside shacks serving just-caught bounty and hidden coves where surfers can catch rolling waves.
Best time to go: May and September, when the weather is sunny and warm (but without the summer crowds).
4. INSTEAD OF PARIS, GO TO BUENOS AIRES
The capital city of Argentina is a hub of South American culture with a European flair. It’s full of art museums, fabulous architecture, nightlife and incredible food (beef, yes, but there’s so much more).
Highlights: Historic sites like Recoleta Cemetery, the vibrant flea markets of San Telmo and the colorful, street-art-filled neighborhood of La Boca. At night, feast on some of the most tender, melt-in-your-mouth steak you’ve ever tried. And of course, catch a live tango show.
Best time to go: Spring and fall for pleasant, mild weather and gorgeous foliage during the changing seasons.
5. INSTEAD OF HAWAII, GO TO GUADELOUPE
You heard it here first: In a couple years, Guadeloupe will be one of the buzziest Caribbean destinations. The island has a distinctly French flair that’s most apparent in the Creole cuisine (think dishes like creamy ravioli filled with langoustine and ceviche in coconut milk).
Highlights: The views. The island is split in half: On one side, Grande-Terre has endless sun-kissed sand and crystal beaches. On the other, Basse-Terre is made up of lush rainforests and sprawling mountains.
Best time to go: During the dry season, December through May, when you can spend every day basking in the 80-degree sun.
6. INSTEAD OF NEW ZEALAND, GO TO BRITISH COLUMBIA
Between the jaw-dropping Pacific coastline and snow-capped Canadian Rocky Mountains, British Columbia is one of the most rugged and incredible natural landscapes in the world. It’s also home to Vancouver, which has famously been described as Manhattan with mountains.
Highlights: Skiers will love the fresh-powdered slopes in Whistler, while beach bums will find a totally new type of coastal getaway in the laid-back surf town of Tofino.
Best time to go: If you’re into all the snow activities: winter. But for hiking, camping or hitting up the beach, summer’s your best bet. If you don’t plan on leaving the hotel room, either will be just fine.