It's the season of summer weddings, which means there's couples out there looking for a summer honeymoon spot. The trick here is keeping it on budget, blending romantic ambiance with great value. These picks go way beyond the expected, offering everything from art to cuisine to five-star hotel suites–all for a steal.
Sunset at Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa in Palm Beach — Photo courtesy of Discover The Palm Beaches
Palm Beach, Florida
High society converges in this seaside enclave "in season," from the winter holidays through April. But come summer, the jet-set heads elsewhere, leaving gorgeous hotels available at great rates. For instance, the new Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa starts at $424 per night in winter, but goes down to $195 per night come summer. Extra perks are shopping on Worth Avenue, wide beautiful beaches and easy access via West Palm Beach International Airport.
An iconic divi divi tree on Aruba — Photo courtesy of Serge Melki via Flickr
This Caribbean isle charms all year, with colorful Dutch-Colonial architecture, cooling trade winds that lure pro windsurfers and kite surfers and an abundance of resorts offering great value. It's southern location puts it below the seasonal hurricane belt, upping your chances of a sun-filled escape at the adults-only Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, where summer rates are 30% down from winter.
Summer in Central Park — Photo courtesy of Tony Fischer via Flickr
There's nothing like having a major metropolis to yourselves, which is how NYC feels on summer weekends when residents head out for the beaches. Stroll Central Park up the peaceful Harlem Meer, get into top restaurants that are usually packed and take in the abundance of free arts offerings, from Shakespeare in the Park to concerts at Battery Park. You'll find a great list of gratis options at nycgo.com/free.
Hiking in the Rocky Mountains — Photo courtesy of Jack Affleck
Colorado's Rocky Mountains are known for their powder but come summer those slopes become playgrounds for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding, and rates drop . At night, enjoy free or almost-free concerts from rock to bluegrass to the Vail Jazz Festival, which runs from June 28 through September 7. Book early and you'll save 35% off at The Arrabelle at Vail Square, located in the heart of the village.
Sin City isn't just for destination weddings. — Photo courtesy of Las Vegas News Bureau
Las Vegas, Nevada
Sure, the casinos are fun, but the best attractions in Sin City are the slew of amazing hotels. SLS Las Vegas is the newest heating up the town, and bring 1,600 Hollywood-chic rooms and suites along with outposts from celebrity chefs Jose Andres and Katsuya Uechi. The best part? Rooms can be had for under $100 per night, leaving you plenty of scratch for the blackjack table.
A quiet street in the artsy San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires — Photo courtesy of Benjamin Dumas
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Yes, it takes some money to get here, but once you land, Buenos Aires offers fantastic deals, especially on food and wine. A gourmet steak dinner that would cost you $200 in New York City goes for half that here, or less. Wash it down with malbec from nearby Mendoza; great vintages can be had for $10 a bottle. Check into the colorful San Telmo Lofts, where cute apartments go for less than $100 per night.
Island view of El Conquistador, A Waldorf Astoria Resort & Spa — Photo courtesy of El Conquistador, A Waldorf Astoria Resort & Spa
This US territory offers some of the best values in the Caribbean, with plentiful nonstop flights from the US mainland. And it's surprisingly diverse, from charming Old San Juan to the west coast surf town of Rincon. Time your trip from June to September and you'll save up to 40% off winter hotel rates at 'moon-worthy resorts like El Conquistador, A Waldorf Astoria Resort.
Santorini is a favorite port of call for honeymooners. — Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Lines
Cruising has always been a great way to save money, with the cost of port-hopping built into the cruise. Combine that with the strong dollar and there has never been a better time to sail the Mediterranean. You'll save even more by booking ahead–as much as nine months for discounts of 25%. If it's too late for this year, you can always plan for 2016!
The romantic French Quarter — Photo courtesy of Alex Demyan/NewOrleansOnline.com
New Orleans, Louisiana
Yes, it's hot in New Orleans in the summer. But that just means the city's already-reasonable hotel rates drop by 25% or more, so you have more cash for cocktails–maybe a brandy milk punch at the iconic Carousel Bar in the French Quarter? Tales of the Cocktail brings the nation's top mixologists to town in mid-July, with plenty of tasting opportunities. August brings dining specials across the city, via New Orleans Coolinary month, and July's Satchmo Summerfest celebrates Louis Armstrong.
Plunge pool suites are a steal in the summer. — Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
This country offers great value any time of year, but "Green Season" amps it up even at the luxury level. The sexy Four Seasons Costa Rica offers almost 50% off rooms in August, while boho boutique Latitude 10 in Santa Teresa does "stay four nights, pay for three" from April through November. Yes, you'll have some showers–but how else do you make a rainforest?