Beach vacays are relaxing and sexy—qualities that make for an awesome postwedding trip. Check out these sunny, sandy spots we absolutely love in Mexico, the Caribbean and Florida.
1. Trunk Bay, St. John, US Virgin Islands
Water the color of an amazing piece of turquoise jewelry, powdery-soft sand, an underwater snorkeling trail chock-full of Technicolor coral and fish. (Seriously, it’s some of the best snorkeling you can find this side of the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia—and a heck of a lot more affordable to get to.) These are just three great reasons to put Trunk Bay on your honeymoon short list
Where to Stay: Just a few minutes away from Trunk Bay, Caneel Bay resort is only accessible by boat or ferry and has been world-renowned since opening in 1956. It has a casual but elegant vibe, and you two can really disconnect from reality—there are no phones or TVs. But don’t worry—there is Wi-Fi, so you’ll be able to upload your latest beach selfies to Instagram.
2. North Playa Del Carmen, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
If a fun book and a delicious margarita can only hold your interest for so long, the north side of the beach adjacent to downtown Playa del Carmen is for you, with its Miami-esque lively beach club scene (think: cool DJs, daybeds and dancing). And it’s only a short drive to one of the best golf courses in Mexico, El Camaleón at Mayakoba.
Where To Stay: Every single one of the 41 villas at the Viceroy Riviera Maya comes with that classic ultra-luxe honeymoon feature—a private plunge pool. Take things up a notch with the Plunge Pool Turndown. A concierge will completely customize your experience with aromatherapy, relaxing mood music and beverages.
3. Siesta Beach, Siesta Key, Florida
Even on a typically blistering hot South Florida summer day, the sand on this particular beach feels super-soft and cool, because it’s 99 percent pure white quartz. Between the bright blue seas and sunsets so beautiful you’ll want to take a ridiculous number of pictures, Siesta Key feels more like a far-off tropical island than a relatively local (and inexpensive) destination.
Where To Stay: The Capri at Siesta is a relaxed boutique hotel that has everything you need for a laid-back honeymoon in one of the absolute best locations on Siesta Key—namely, private beach access via a paved path and brand-new barbecue grills just for guests.
4. Shoal Bay East, Anguilla
This two-mile section of Anguilla’s 16 miles of coastline has white sand so glittery it looks like millions of diamonds glinting in the sun, but Anguilla itself isn’t flashy at all. While A-list celebs like Beyoncé and Jay Z have been spotted vacationing here, the scene is totally not a “scene”—no casinos, big chain restaurants or nightlife here. Don’t miss Gwen’s Reggae Bar & Grill, famous for its delicious ribs and strong rum punch (both make the hammocks in front of the joint the prime place for after-lunch lounging).
Where To Stay: If you’re looking for a seriously low-key (and budget-friendly) stay in a truly unbelievable location right on Shoal Bay beach, Shoal Bay Villas is the perfect pick. These apartments are the opposite of a mega-resort: simple rooms with fully equipped kitchens. So if your idea of a perfect honeymoon consists of drinking coffee with your toes in the sand in the morning and repeating with a chilled glass of wine at sunset, you’ll do just fine at Shoal Bay Villas.
5. Playa Del Amor, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Cabo San Lucas is most known for its decadent nightlife, but it’s most popular for its stunning beaches—most of which make for insanely beautiful Instagram shots, but can be dangerous to swim in since the surf is rough. Lover’s Beach (aka Playa del Amor) has calm waters perfect for snorkeling and paddling around. It’s only accessible by water taxi and has no bathrooms or shops so plan accordingly (read: make a restroom stop before you get on the water taxi, and don’t forget your sunscreen).
Where to Stay: Every single room at Esperanza Resort Cabo San Lucas offers an “OMG, is this real life?” ocean view, and the area has bragging rights to an average of 350 days of sunshine per year. Explore the lush 17-acre estate dramatically positioned between two bluffs, get a couple’s massage in a cbana right on the beach, try a cocktail-making or seafood-cooking class (and then enjoy the creations you’ve concocted), or participate in a tequila tasting led by a Master Tequilero.
6. Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
Sure, it has the most beautiful coral Caribbean sand you won’t find anywhere else on this list. And the water is so clear you’ll be able to see the crazy rainbow of fish swimming around you and your better half. But you’ll also find a surprisingly vast number of adventures to go on, from renting wave runners and parasailing to pick-up volleyball games with friendly locals.
Where to Stay: The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman has 800 employees serving just 365 guest rooms and suites—you’d be hard-pressed to find more attentive service in the Caribbean or anywhere else. The resort has a La Prairie Spa, a tennis center laid out by famed coach Nick Bollettieri and a Greg Norman–designed oceanfront golf course.
7. Playa Delfines, Cancun, Mexico
While it’s located smack dab in the middle of Cancun’s Hotel Zone, there aren’t any resorts directly on Playa Delfines—meaning its blue- green waters and white sand are relatively quiet for the area, which is known to be party central whether or not it’s spring break.
Where To Stay: When you think of Mexico, you might think of tequila, but the all-inclusive Secrets The Vine Cancun resort (just a couple of minutes away from Playa Delfines) is actually focused on wine. Even though it’s all-inclusive, they offer a world-class wine list at every meal. Vinophiles on vacation can take sommelier-led classes or simply visit the Vine Bar and sample one of its 3,000 varietals.
8. Barefoot Beach, North Naples, Florida
Not all Florida beaches look like the über-developed ones you see in Miami. Barefoot Beach Preserve Park has 342 acres of pristine land, including a white-sand, shell-laden beachfront where you’re more likely to see nesting sea turtles among the palm trees and lagoons than club-goers. It’s relatively quiet from April through October, before the white-haired snowbirds descend for the winter season.
Where To Stay: Four cascading pools (in other words, mini-waterfalls) and a world-class spa and golf course may mean you’ll never want to leave LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort, but you should—downtown Naples, with artsy boutiques, a bustling farmers market and eclectic restaurants, is just minutes away.
9. Galley Bay Beach, St. John’s Parish, Antigua
Although it has some of the Caribbean’s best sunsets and is home to adorable sea turtles, Galley Bay largely remains a secret of the hotel’s guests—for now. Swimmers as well as snorkelers will love the crystal- clear, warm turquoise water and its pristine white-sand beach. The charming thatched-roof villas of the on-site resort dot the coast, giving Galley Bay a bohemian feel.
Where To Stay: The all-inclusive Galley Bay Resort is located on the sunset side of Antigua, so don’t forget to charge up your camera or smartphone. Add the honeymoon package, which includes a champagne picnic on a secluded beach and in-room petals, candles, robes and a couple’s massage.
10. Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
You know those crazy-beautiful beaches from your laptop’s background options, where the sky and water both blend into one unbelievably serene blue? The ones you didn’t believe existed? Well, prepare to become a believer. Grace Bay is 12 miles of that picture-perfect image. The island of Providenciales also has a golf course and a casino (just in case you need a break from the breathtaking beach). Bonus: It’s easy to get to—only three hours from New York City.
Where To Stay: The Grace Bay Club is pure luxury all the way. It consists entirely of oceanfront suites, and has canopied beach beds and an infinity pool overlooking the turquoise water. Have a drink at the Infiniti Bar, one of the longest bars in the Caribbean. Stretching out 90 feet, there’s plenty of room to grab a mojito or martini and try a dish off the menu of “small and sexy” bites.