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Top Reasons to Honeymoon in Bermuda

Posted by Jeffra on Aug 24, 2011

Guest Post By: Brandon, co-founder of Traveler’s Joy

With miles of pink-sand beaches, numerous historic sites, spectacular water sports activities, plus first-rate hotels and resorts, Bermuda is an ideal destination for a late summer or early fall honeymoon. Just a two-hour direct flight from New York and other major East Coast cities, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a tropical oasis before lunchtime. Come dinnertime, you’ll never want to return home.

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So forget about that draining 13-hour trek to Tahiti and head to a piece of paradise closer to home. Whether you’ve come to relax on the pink-sand beaches or participate in an endless list of outdoor activities, Bermuda will surely provide memories and unique experiences to last a lifetime.

Explore Bermuda’s Historic Sites and Charming Cities

For an island 21 miles long and just a mile wide, Bermuda has an intriguing number of historic sites and “destination” cities to keep couples busy for days.

Start your trip off by exploring the historic town of St. George’s, which was the first permanent settlement on the island and founded in 1612. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, St. George’s features narrow, cobbled streets like Barber’s Alley, plus other can’t-miss spots such as King’s Square and Saint Peter’s Church. Newlyweds will find the town’s many shops, restaurants, museums and pastel-colored homes appealing, as well.

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Next, head over to Hamilton, Bermuda’s capital city, financial center and chief port. As Bermuda’s only incorporated city, Hamilton offers a number of possibilities for honeymooners, including one-of-a-kind shopping (think: Bacardi rum, fine clothing, and locally-owned bookstores), top restaurants and pubs, plenty of historic sites, plus a scenic harborfront. Come for the day and stroll the city’s charming streets, then stay for dinner and drinks before returning to your hotel for the evening.

Finally, be sure to make the journey over to the Royal Navy Dockyard, the former home base of the British Royal Navy in the Western Atlantic between 1795 and 1958. While retaining its historic aura, the facility has now been nicely redeveloped and features a fine array of shopping and dining experiences, plus glassblowing, art galleries, pottery studios, and more.

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Unpack your bags at the Mandarin Oriental at Elbow Beach, a romantic, oceanfront hotel that’s in between all of the action. The gorgeous property has 98 guestrooms and suites, private access to one of the island’s finest beaches, 50 acres of landscaped gardens, a luxurious spa, and a variety of fine dining options.

Beaches and Water Sports

Bermuda is home to some of the world’s most stunning beaches, so couples should plan on spending plenty of time relaxing together on the soft pink sands. Located on the south shore, Horseshoe Bay is truly spectacular with its wide beach and rocky coves. Be sure to arrive early, though, as the beach tends to get crowded rather fast. Elsewhere, Church Bay is perfect for snorkeling, while John Smith’s Bay is long, flat, and usually untouched by tourists.

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For water sports enthusiasts, Bermuda definitely has you covered. Snorkelers and divers will particularly enjoy the clear waters, fascinating coral reef formations, plus many shipwreck sites. Tarpon Beach is renowned for its coral formations, while the wreck sites of the North Carolina, the Hermes, and the Constellation all attract divers from across the globe for their stunning discoveries.

Newlyweds should also consider renting their own Boston Whaler or sailboat before stopping for a picnic on a secluded island. Or perhaps take a kayak and explore the dozens of coves and bays surrounding the main island. As couples will quickly discover, the turquoise waters are so clear that you’ll be able to enjoy the diverse marine life without even going under the surface.

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Book a room at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess, where you’ll be in walking distance of Hamilton’s top attractions. Complimentary ferry service also transports guests to/from its sister property in Southampton, the Fairmont Southampton. This expansive property sits on the highest point of the island and features a golf course, private beach, numerous restaurants and lounges, tennis courts, an award-winning spa, and separate indoor/outdoor pools. Enjoy a romantic dinner with glorious bay views at the Waterlot Inn, one of Bermuda’s top dining facilities.

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Brandon | co-founder of Traveler’s Joy

Brandon often found himself purchasing generic wedding gifts for friends and family who shared his passion for travel and preferred a once in a lifetime honeymoon experience. In 2004 he co-founded Traveler’s Joy honeymoon registry to help couples take the honeymoon of their dreams. After having his own honeymoon in northern Wisconsin and Zanzibar, he and his colleagues live vicariously through the couples that use Traveler’s Joy to have an unbelievable honeymoon. When Brandon isn’t researching new honeymoon spots, cycling, gardening, or working, you’ll likely find him on the back porch with family and friends cooking BBQ or playing with his daughter. Brandon spends his time in Wilmington, Delaware and Durham, North Carolina.

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Honeymoons to Ireland

Posted by Jeffra on Jul 27, 2011

Guest Post By: Brandon, co-founder of Traveler’s Joy

With its rolling green hillsides, majestic castles, quaint villages, and unique culture and traditions, Ireland is an instant magnet for honeymooners. Quite simply, it’s diverse in a number of ways, which is arguably why the Emerald Isle remains so popular with newlyweds. But most of all, romantic possibilities abound – from stays at historic inns to horse-drawn carriage rides and strolls amidst well-manicured gardens and waterfalls.

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Thinking about making Ireland your ultimate honeymoon choice? Check out these three can’t-miss destinations that offer everything from big city attractions to one-of-a-kind cultural experiences.

Dublin

No trip to Ireland is complete without spending time in its enchanting capital city. The list of attractions is seemingly endless, from historical sites like St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Trinity College to popular destinations such as Temple Bar and the Guinness Storehouse. Meanwhile, newlyweds will be amazed at the shopping, restaurants and prime people-watching opportunities along Grafton and O’Connell Streets. Be sure to stop at Brazen Head – officially Ireland’s oldest pub – for a pint before embarking on a romantic stroll along the River Liffey at dusk.

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Equipped with dynamic views of St. Stephen’s Green, the historic Shelbourne Hotel is one of the city’s finest properties and makes for a fine choice to splurge while on your trip. Afternoon tea in the Lord Mayor’s lounge is not to be missed. For those on a more modest budget, check in at The Morgan Hotel, a trendy boutique property near Temple Bar.

Killarney

The Killarney region is home to Killarney National Park and the country’s highest mountain range, making it the perfect destination for couples in love with the outdoors. The landscape offers majestic mountains, pristine lakes, rivers/waterfalls, lush forest, and diverse wildlife. Visitors can explore via car, foot, bike, and boat, or even take horse-drawn carriage rides through the mountains, including the breathtaking Gap of Dunloe.

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Killarney is also a terrific launching point to exploring the Dingle Peninsula and its winding coastline, steep cliffs, sandy beaches, and colorful seaside villages. It’s rugged and rural but still home to a thriving Irish language community. In other words, get ready to practice your Gaelic.

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Make your home base at the charming Killarney Park Hotel in downtown Killarney. Expect spacious rooms, attentive staff, and top-notch amenities.

Galway

Here in the western region of the country, Irish customs carry over well into the 21st century as the area has long been known for its language, music and dancing traditions. Galway is an appealing city and stands out as the region’s cultural hub. Meanwhile, a day trip to the Aran Islands makes for a perfect side excursion. These barren islands offer dramatic coastlines, Iron Age forts, ancient stone walls, and impressive historical sites. Visit the postcard-perfect villages of Clifden and Spiddal before taking another detour north to Connemara National Park, noted for its mountains, wildlife and nature trails.

Check in at the Park House Hotel in Galway, located in the city center and known for its exceptional service and fine dining at the Park Restaurant.

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Brandon | co-founder of Traveler’s Joy

Brandon often found himself purchasing generic wedding gifts for friends and family who shared his passion for travel and preferred a once in a lifetime honeymoon experience. In 2004 he co-founded Traveler’s Joy honeymoon registry to help couples take the honeymoon of their dreams. After having his own honeymoon in northern Wisconsin and Zanzibar, he and his colleagues live vicariously through the couples that use Traveler’s Joy to have an unbelievable honeymoon. When Brandon isn’t researching new honeymoon spots, cycling, gardening, or working, you’ll likely find him on the back porch with family and friends cooking BBQ or playing with his daughter. Brandon spends his time in Wilmington, Delaware and Durham, North Carolina.

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Top Honeymoon Destinations in the Continental USA

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jun 23, 2011

Guest Post By: Brandon, co-founder of Traveler’s Joy

It’s no surprise to find that many newlyweds opt to experience the soft sands of a Caribbean beach or indulge in the old world charm of Europe for their honeymoon. However, there are plenty of options for those couples looking to stay stateside but still covet the experience of a lifetime. No matter if relaxation or adventure is in the cards, check out these three top destinations in the Continental United States and discover how your ultimate honeymoon can actually be found in your own backyard.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Situated in the Northwest corner of Wyoming, the Jackson Hole region is considered the gateway to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. With unparalleled mountain vistas around every corner, a wide range of accommodations, and an endless list of activities, it’s the perfect destination for newlyweds seeking that perfect balance of relaxation, exploration and adventure.

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Grand Teton National Park (Photo Credit: http://americanthings.wordpress.com)

After days of experiencing wonders such as Old Faithful Geyser and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, couples can go whitewater rafting on the Snake River, biking, kayaking, hiking, hot air ballooning, horseback riding, or sign up for wildlife and ranch tours. Meanwhile, the town of Jackson offers hundreds of restaurant, shopping and nightlife options for every type of budget.

Consider visiting around the Fourth of July and booking with one of Jackson’s many luxury properties like Amangani or Hotel Terra. Head into town for dinner and an evening at the Jackson Hole Rodeo before watching fireworks light up the sky over Snow King Mountain.

Pacific Northwest – Washington to California

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Big Sur, California

Visit three beautiful, diverse cities and spend time enjoying the great outdoors in between as you spend your honeymoon experiencing the Pacific Northwest. This often overlooked but spectacular region is home to picturesque beaches backed by towering mountains, sunbaked vineyards, historic lighthouses, and charming towns.

Consider a drive from Seattle to Portland to San Francisco. You’ll be able to take in the unique big city sites before exploring majestic places like Olympic National Park in Washington, Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, and Redwood National Park in California.

Book a suite at The Stephanie Inn in Cannon Beach, a romantic property overlooking the rugged shoreline and world renowned Haystack Rock. The inn also features Jacuzzi Air Baths, flat-screen televisions, wet bars, and an excellent restaurant on site.

U.S. Southeast – Charleston and Savannah

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Charleston, SC

Savannah exudes southern charm with its tree-lined streets, historic homes, and wide array of shopping, dining, and arts destinations. Hold hands while walking through beautiful Forsyth Park and the Savannah Historic District before heading over to the waterfront area to browse through the fine collection of boutiques and galleries. This lovely destination also features several historic forts, a restored central market, plus 22 distinct public squares complete with fountains and monuments.

Meanwhile, Charleston ranks as one of America’s top destinations for romance thanks to its vibrant streets, historic sites, and overall diversity. As South Carolina’s oldest city, Charleston contains miles of cobblestone streets, stunning harborfront views, well-manicured gardens, and beautifully restored homes that go back more than 340 years. The city – one of the country’s finest spots for a horse-drawn carriage tour – is also home to many must-see museums, unforgettable historical sites, and a flourishing restaurant scene.

Consider making your home base at the gorgeous Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah Island, a top-ranked beachfront property noted for its tremendous golf courses, superb kayaking options, excellent dining, and award-winning spa.

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Brandon | co-founder of Traveler’s Joy

Brandon often found himself purchasing generic wedding gifts for friends and family who shared his passion for travel and preferred a once in a lifetime honeymoon experience. In 2004 he co-founded Traveler’s Joy honeymoon registry to help couples take the honeymoon of their dreams. After having his own honeymoon in northern Wisconsin and Zanzibar, he and his colleagues live vicariously through the couples that use Traveler’s Joy to have an unbelievable honeymoon. When Brandon isn’t researching new honeymoon spots, cycling, gardening, or working, you’ll likely find him on the back porch with family and friends cooking BBQ or playing with his daughter. Brandon spends his time in Wilmington, Delaware and Durham, North Carolina.

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Top Honeymoon Locations in Hawaii

Posted by Guest Blogger on May 04, 2011

Guest Post Provided By: Brandon, Co-Founder of Travelers Joy

Hawaii has been attracting honeymooners for decades thanks to its beautiful beaches, majestic mountains, unique culture and first-rate resorts. Meanwhile, with a number of diverse islands to choose from, plus an endless list of romantic activities available at a moment’s notice, the state manages to feature everything a newly married couple could hope for in a destination. For those couples searching for paradise on earth, look no further. Here’s a list of Hawaii’s top destinations that will make for an unforgettable honeymoon experience.

Big Island

Complete with oozing volcanoes, snow-capped mountains, rolling green hills, pristine beaches and endless acres of coffee and fruit plantations, the Big Island of Hawaii is ideal for those newlyweds in search of adventure, new discoveries and other natural wonders.

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Take a day to drive to the summit of Mauna Kea, the world’s tallest mountain as measured from the base of the Pacific Ocean. During the journey, you’ll have a unique opportunity to travel through a number of different terrains within a few hours, including lava fields, desert, rainforest and lush green pastures. Another can’t-miss highlight is Volcanoes National Park. Whether experiencing the fascinating sights via helicopter or hiking, the chance to get up close with an active volcano is truly amazing.

Make your home at the gorgeous Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the island’s western coast. The resort features premium beachfront access, upscale accommodations, a variety of fine dining options, plus access to a world-class spa.

Maui

It’s no secret why Maui continues to be one of America’s top honeymoon destinations. The island packs in beautiful coastline, world-class resorts, remarkable mountain terrain, charming towns and some of the world’s most scenic drives.

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During your visit, take a day to explore Mount Haleakala. Head up to the summit of the 10,000-foot mountain for an unforgettable sunrise spectacle before biking down the dormant volcano’s switchbacks via bicycle. For those less adventurous couples, rent a car and take the scenic “Road to Hana.” Filled with waterfalls, gorges, rocky beaches, swimming holes and colorful roadside stands, this long and winding drive is truly spectacular.

Consider staying at Hotel Hana-Maui on Maui’s remote eastern coast. The ranch-style property features several dining options, a fantastic spa, plus many outdoor activities, including snorkeling, hiking, horseback riding and lei making.

Oahu

As Hawaii’s most visited and populated island, Oahu has no shortage of sights and activities. From the big city attractions of Honolulu to the picturesque beaches of the North Shore, it’s easy to see how Oahu attracts so many newlyweds from around the world each year.

Look to spend a day hiking iconic Diamond Head Crater. The moderate trek only takes a few hours and offers breathtaking views of Oahu’s entire western coast, including the Honolulu skyline. Next, after checking out the must-see historic sites at Pearl Harbor, make sure you take the time to visit Byodo-In Temple, a stunning Japanese temple built as a shrine to Hawaii’s original Japanese immigrants.

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For a most memorable experience, stay at the Kahala Hotel and Resort just outside of Waikiki. The resort is much quieter than its Honolulu counterparts, features beautiful modern rooms, four excellent restaurants, plus the only swimming-with-dolphins experience on the island.


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Brandon | co-founder of Traveler’s Joy

Brandon often found himself purchasing generic wedding gifts for friends and family who shared his passion for travel and preferred a once in a lifetime honeymoon experience. In 2004 he co-founded Traveler’s Joy honeymoon registry to help couples take the honeymoon of their dreams. After having his own honeymoon in northern Wisconsin and Zanzibar, he and his colleagues live vicariously through the couples that use Traveler’s Joy to have an unbelievable honeymoon. When Brandon isn’t researching new honeymoon spots, cycling, gardening, or working, you’ll likely find him on the back porch with family and friends cooking BBQ or playing with his daughter. Brandon spends his time in Wilmington, Delaware and Durham, North Carolina.

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Top Honeymoons in France

Posted by Guest Blogger on Apr 06, 2011

Guest Post Provided By: Brandon, Co-Founder of Travelers Joy

When it comes to ultimate honeymoon destinations, France ranks at the very top. With its big city sights, bucolic countryside features and playful Mediterranean coastline, the country offers great overall diversity and an extraordinary amount of activities to take part in. For those couples looking for the perfect trip that blends romance, relaxation and new experiences, consider spending your honeymoon in these three one-of-a-kind destinations in France.

Paris

The city of lights is as romantic as they come. Complete with charming cobblestone streets, iconic structures, glorious palaces, beautiful parks and superb cuisine, Paris is the perfect place for newlyweds to spend their first few days as a married couple. The options for intimate experiences are endless, whether it’s a picnic in Parc des Buttes Chaumont, window shopping along avenue Montaigne or biking along the Seine. Paris is also a city of discovery, where people watching at a cafe, visiting a city market and getting lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood make up a perfect day.

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Meanwhile, feel like royalty at Hotel d’Aubusson, a historic boutique hotel featuring comfortable yet elegant furnishings located just steps from the Seine.

Bordeaux

Bordeaux is a stunning and historic city set in Southwestern France and best known for being the wine capital of the world. The city is filled with historic churches, palaces and tree-lined streets, and the historic section is even a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Make your way to the postcard-perfect village of St-Emilion for a romantic escape in the heart of wine country. Stroll the lovely cobblestone streets surrounded by sun-drenched vineyards before visiting one of the nearby chateaus for an amazing wine experience.

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Consider making the Regent Bordeaux your home base for exploring the city and region. The elegant property is located in the Golden Triangle area of the city, known for its many historic sites, excellent shopping and restaurants.

French Riviera (Cote d’Azur)

The extraordinary French Riviera makes up the Southeastern coast of France and is popular with newlyweds for its beach atmosphere, luxury resorts, watersports options and scenic mountain terrain. Try your luck at the famous casinos in Monte Carlo. Take a boat trip out on the open waters of the Mediterranean. Or simply take your time and embark on a scenic road trip along the coast and visit historic castles, grand palaces and pleasant seaside villages.

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Stay at Tiara Yaktsa Cannes, a striking boutique property nestled high along the coast and offering spectacular Mediterranean views.


travelers joy logo, guest bloggers contributing blogs Brandon, co-founder of Traveler’s Joy, often found himself purchasing generic wedding gifts for friends and family who shared his passion for travel and preferred a once in a lifetime honeymoon experience. In 2004 he co-founded Traveler’s Joy honeymoon registry to help couples take the honeymoon of their dreams. After having his own honeymoon in northern Wisconsin and Zanzibar, he and his colleagues live vicariously through the couples that use Traveler’s Joy to have an unbelievable honeymoon. When Brandon isn’t researching new honeymoon spots, cycling, gardening, or working, you’ll likely find him on the back porch with family and friends cooking BBQ or playing with his daughter. Brandon spends his time in Wilmington, Delaware and Durham, North Carolina.
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