One way to celebrate your destination wedding or honeymoon is to escape the high stress of wedding planning with the serenity, simplicity and alluring magic of a perfect beach.
Recently Trip Advisor released it's 2017 list of Travelers' Choice for Beaches awards. Conde Nast Traveler also recently updated it's Readers Choice Awards for the 20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World. I decided to do my own list of "Top 10 Romantic Beach Escapes" (alphabetical order) so sit back and let your mind and imagination take a trip to paradise!
Aruba's Palm Beach and Eagle Beach both made best beach lists. This island off the coast of Venezuela has warm trade winds, lots of sunshine and it is outside the hurricane belt. Couples who enjoy nightlife, shopping, kitesurfing, scuba diving, snorkeling and beaches with powdery sand and crystal clear water will love it.
The Bahamas are made up of more than 700 islands and cays. The beaches are a huge draw in addition to golf, duty-free shopping, fishing, exploring off shore reefs and wildlife reserves. Did you know you can even swim with pigs? 🐷 Sandals Emerald Bay was the second choice for our own destination wedding. It had our two must haves...a gorgeous beach for me and golf for my hubby. I will share where we ended up later in this blog post.
#3 Bora Bora
Matira Beach in Bora Bora is a mile-long stretch of silky, powder-white sand that slopes gently into a shallow emerald lagoon, and is backed by a thick curtain of palms and tropical foliage. Plus it is one of the only public-access beaches. According to US News & World Report - Travel, Bora Bora is ranked #1 for Best Honeymoon Destination. Many couples go to Tahiti to enjoy the over-water bungalows. Many honeymooners splurge for this luxury and I don't blame them. If you want to save a little money travel in the off-season (Dec-Mar). Check out my blog post on a Bora Bora honeymoon here.
#4 Costa Rica
Playa Manuel Beach inside the Manuel Antonio National Park snuck on the Trip Advisor list of best beaches at #23. Costa Rica is a top ecotourism destination. Couples who enjoy a variety of adventurous activities will love the diversity of the island. Beaches, tropical rainforest, waterfalls, hot springs, volcanoes, you name it and you can experience it! I go into more depth in my three part series on Costa Rica. You can access part one here, part two here and part three here.
#5 Dominican Republic
Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana made the Trip Advisor list coming in at #14. It will always hold a #1 spot in my heart since this is where we had our destination wedding. It was a dream come true! There are many all-inclusive resorts that can cater to any couples "must haves". We snorkeled, swam, golfed, visited a local cigar/rum/chocolate/coffee factory and enjoyed the gorgeous beach and pool area. It was the perfect warm weather escape from the midwest in February.
Jamaica is one of the most laid back, friendly islands I have ever visited. Home to Bob Marley, famous Reggae musician and Usain Bolt, famous olympic athlete, it also boasts some lovely beaches. Snorkeling and other water sports are prevalent. I took a FAM trip to Jamaica and was surprised how much I liked it. I didn't realize that I had a negative connotation before I actually experienced it in person, now I love it and recommend it all the time. I even booked my son and his fiancé at Couples San Souci recently for their honeymoon.
Maui's Honokalani Beach in Wai'anapanapa State Park on Maui ranked #1 on Conde Nast Traveler's list of 20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World. The sand is actually made up of tiny lava pebbles. There is lush foliage and sea caves carved into the lava cliffs along the shore. Most honeymooners end up on the famous Wailea beach on the south side of the island. You can experience tradition, culture and history along with visiting a volcano, snorkeling with sea turtles, golfing, attending a luau or simply lounging on one of the picture perfect beaches.
Seychelles? Where's that? If you don't already know, you will definitely want to. Seychelles is a cluster of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa. Seychelles ranks #4 in the Most Luxurious Honeymoon Destinations according to the U.S. News & World Report travel rankings. While each island is unique, one thing they all have in common are the white sand beaches framed by giant boulders, turquoise water and rustling palms. They provide the perfect backdrop for an exceptional and unique honeymoon.
#9 St. Lucia
The dramatic backdrop of the Piton mountains, lush rainforests and the island's chalky white beaches make St. Lucia a lover's paradise. It ranks #3 in Best Beach Honeymoon Destinations by U.S. News & World Report and Reduit Beach ranks #5 in Conde Nast Traveler's 20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World. One of my favorite places to escape is Jade Mountain, the sister resort to Anse Chastanet. You can combine a couple of days of your honeymoon at the beach and then move to Jade Mountain for an unparalleled view of the mountains and beach from your own tranquility pool. Ahh, heaven!
#10 Turks & Caicos
Grace Bay was Trip Advisor's #2 Best Beach in the World and it is obvious why. The white sugar sand combined with turquoise blue crystal clear water create an alluring paradise. There are 40 islands and cays that make up Turks and Caicos. Most are uninhabited. It boasts the world's 3rd largest barrier reef and snorkeling or scuba diving are excellent. Parrot Cay is a 1000 acre private island only accessible by 35 minute boat ride. There is one luxury resort, COMO Parrot Cay, nestled in among the private villas and vacation homes of stars such as Bruce Willis and Donna Karan. The beach at Parrot Cay ranked #11 by Conde Nast Traveler. If you'd like to read more about Turks and Caicos click here.
That completes my list of "Top Ten Romantic Beach Escapes". There are so many more and I can help you find them! Click here to begin planning your romantic beach escape.
I created a quiz that you can take to discover your ideal honeymoon destination. Hint: Your answer will be one of four of the above destinations! Which one will you get? Post a comment below and tell me your results.