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5 Awesome Honeymoon Road Trip Ideas

Just you, your husband, and the open road


From: Martha Stewart 

Just you, your husband, and the open road: What could be more romantic than that? (Well, sleeping in an Irish castle at night, possibly. But who says you can't do both?) With options in the United States and abroad, these five unforgettable honeymoon journeys—including highlights to see along the way—will fuel you to take the wheel and embark on the road trip of a lifetime.
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Drive Highway 1 in California


Why Here?

American roads don't get more iconic than this 270-mile stretch wrapping the coast from Carmel-by-the-Sea south to Santa Barbara. Give yourself at least a weekend to check out the forests of 100-foot redwoods, cliffs overlooking the misty ocean, and sea lion colonies. 

What to Rent

What else? A convertible. Top down. 

Where to Start

Carmel-by-the-Sea could be a classic movie
set, with its charming main street lined with art galleries, cowboy-boot shops, and bakeries. Nearby Bernardus Lodge & Spa has 57 rooms with views of vineyards and lavender-covered fields (from $475 a night). 
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Pit Stops

It's hard not to pull off at every overlook—so go right ahead. But be sure to hike among the towering trees in Limekiln State Park and lie on the purple sand at Pfeiffer Beach. Refuel with chicken salad sandwiches on Big Sur Bakery's wraparound porch. 

Where to End

Get cozy at Santa Barbara's Belmond El Encanto. The 1920s landmark, once frequented by Hollywood stars like Clark Gable, has 92 bungalows (from $425
 a night). 

Drive Hana Highway in Maui, Hawaii


Why Here?

The famed road is one of the island's most traveled—and for good reason. It's 50-plus miles of switchbacks cut through fern forests and go past waterfalls. The trip can 
be done in a day, but wouldn't it be more fun to make it last? 

What to Rent

A compact car navigates the narrow roads best; don't fall for the four-wheel drive Jeep upsell.
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Where to Start

The beachfront Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is an understated alternative to the area's vast hotel compounds (from $474 a night). The Road to Hana begins near Paia, 35 minutes away; get there early to beat the traffic. 


Pit Stops

In Ke'anae,
the namesake dish at Aunt Sandy's Banana Bread is served warm from the oven (808-248-7448). Don’t miss seeing the Ke'anae Congregational Church, built from lava rock and coral in 1860. At Wai'ānapanapa State Park, just before Hana, spot turtles dozing on the rock pillars.

Where to End

Residents laud Hana as reminiscent of old Hawaii, with untouched rain forests, taro farms, and an off-the-grid feel. Embrace the relaxed local vibe by renting a home through Airbnb, like a stone-and-wood bungalow with views of the Haleakalā volcano (from $235 a night). 

Drive Clare Coast in Ireland


Why Here? 

Patchwork fields and fairy-tale castles are
just a few of the draws of the wild western shore. Take it 
all in on this 100-mile route. 
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What to Rent

The tiniest car possible for those skinny streets. 

Where to Start 

A 1750 manor near Galway Bay, Gregans Castle was a refuge for writers such as J.R.R. Tolkien. The antiques-filled rooms and scent of peat burning in the fireplaces are enough to make you want to stay forever (from $300 a night).

Pit Stops

At the picturesque Burren Perfumery, a half-hour detour inland, watch artisans create balms and sprays. Back on the coast, you'll find the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher; the surf town of Lahinch; and Kilkee, with its pastel-hued homes. 

Where to End 

Go clay pigeon shooting, hike 450 wooded acres, or play the famous golf course at Dromoland Castle. The dining room is straight out of Downton Abbey, complete with live harp music (from $320 a night). 

Drive Basque Country in Spain

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Why Here?

The distance between Bilbao and San Sebastián is just 63 miles, but there are enough bucolic towns, innovative restaurants, and art-filled cultural sites to fill at least a week of meandering. 

What to Rent 

The roads are easy—anything goes!

Where to Start

After visiting the Frank Gehry–designed Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa, stay outside the city at the neo-medieval Castillo de Arteaga (from $190 a night). On the way, eat at three Michelin-starred Azurmendi; travel company Made
 for Spain can arrange a kitchen tour. 

Pit Stops 

Strike Instagram gold at Oma forest, a group
of Monterey pines-turned-brightly painted artworks by Agustín Ibarrola. Then it's east to Getaria’s Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa to view more than 1,500 elegant pieces by the fashion house, whose founder was born in the town. 

Where to End 

An 1898 mansion hidden away near San Sebastián's 
old town, Hotel Villa Soro has manicured gardens and shady Breakfast patios (from $120 a night). 
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Drive Great Ocean Road 
in Australia


Why Here?

It's 621 miles from Melbourne to Adelaide—and along the way, the 151-mile Great Ocean Road is a thrill seeker's dream, with jaw-dropping surf breaks and off-roading in a national park. Take at least three nights; there's lots to see.

What to Rent

Four-wheel drive for off-road exploring.

Where to Start

Beat your jet lag at Melbourne's boutique Lyall Hotel and Spa (from $235
 a night; book through travel specialist Cassandra Bookholder for a good chance at an upgrade).
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Pit Stops 

The drive officially starts in Torquay, home of surf Brands Rip Curl and Quiksilver. Take a lesson at Torquay Surf Academy (from $160), or just watch the experts on nearby Bells Beach before lunch 
at Brae, which has its own gardens and orchards. Stay near the beach and shops at Captain's at the Bay, in Apollo Bay (from $145 a night), then
 check out Great Otway National Park and the Twelve Apostles limestone towers en route to Port Fairy. Here, Drifthouse has four modern-cool suites (from $275 a night).

Where to End 

Adelaide lacked for lovely hotels until the Art Deco–style Mayfair Hotel opened in 2015 (from $130 a night).

More from Martha Stewart

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Travel Magazine: 5 Awesome Honeymoon Road Trip Ideas
5 Awesome Honeymoon Road Trip Ideas
Just you, your husband, and the open road
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Travel Magazine
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