Nowadays not even celebrity newlyweds like Beyoncé and Jay-Z have the luxury of booking a monthlong honeymoon at a far-flung destination. Instead, they celebrate the “new honeymoon” or “mini ’moon” by heading to a stateside destination with romantic honeymoon hideaways: Arizona. But you don’t have to be a celebrity to enjoy one of these eight romantic getaways in Arizona – where the honeymoon is never over.
Celebs have slipped away for secret honeymoons in the Phoenix area dating all the way back to Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, who stayed at the Arizona Biltmore, an Arizona luxury hotel built in 1929. The posh winter getaway steeped in Frank Lloyd Wright’s signature style features a luxuriant spa, eight swimming pools, seven tennis courts and two 18-hole championship golf courses.
Nearby, the romantic Royal Palms Resort and Spa flaunts Tuscan charm. The 1929 Mediterranean-style mansion features cozy courtyards, burbling fountains, bougainvillea-lined walkways and an orange grove strung with hammocks.
Days spent golfing or shopping at Biltmore Fashion Park and Scottsdale Fashion Square or perusing art galleries in downtown Scottsdale end with romantic dinners at T. Cook’s at the Royal Palms, Lon’s at the Hermosa or Elements at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa.
Tucson’s Sonoran Desert backdrop lures honeymooners to renowned resorts with pampering spa treatments, healthy gourmet cuisine, golf courses, tennis courts and nighttime skies that are among the best for stargazing. Popular destinations include Canyon Ranch, Miraval and a new addition: Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, set high in the Sonoran Desert northwest of Tucson with wood-burning fire pits to cuddle by as you enjoy Arizona’s famous sunsets and starlit skies.
Beyond the resorts, newlyweds can venture off on adventurous hikes in Saguaro National Park and Sabino Canyon in the Santa Catalina foothills or take a romantic sunset drive along Gates Pass Road into Tucson Mountain Park.
For a cozy honeymoon, nothing tops a stay at a quaint B&B like The Inn at 410, an 1894 Craftsman-style bungalow with nine rooms decorated in distinct themes, including Monet’s Garden, with a private porch overlooking a garden patio.
After a gourmet breakfast of pecan-custard French toast, newlyweds can ski at nearby Arizona Snowbowl during the winter, see the otherworldly lava flows of Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and Wupatki National Monument’s Ancestral Puebloan ruins or explore the shops and restaurants lining the streets of historic downtown Flagstaff.
The Red Rock Country of Sedona promises a mystical, magical honeymoon beginning with a stay at Enchantment Resort. Here, couples can enjoy a romantic dinner at Yavapai Restaurant followed by cocktails at Tii Gavo’s, which has a luxurious patio overlooking the dramatic cliffs of Boynton Canyon.
The resort offers easy access for couples looking to experience Sedona’s mysterious “energy vortices” – including Boynton Canyon, Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock – or to commemorate the big event with a one-of-a-kind art purchase at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village.
The Grand Canyon
Perched near the edge of the South Rim, the elegant El Tovar hotel – built in 1905 for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway – features panoramic vistas of the Grand Canyon from the dining room. And the hotel’s wide, inviting porches offer a perfect place to relax after a long hike.
For another canyon vantage point, Arizona honeymooners can hike to Phantom Ranch for a stay in the cozy stone cottages at the bottom of the canyon along the banks of the Colorado River.
Opportunities for outdoor adventure at the canyon are endless, from rafting down the Colorado River to hiking the North Kaibab Trail alongside Bright Angel Creek and Ribbon Falls.
For one of the most distinctive Arizona honeymoon suites, book a houseboat on Lake Powell. The shimmering azure waters of the lake set against the red-gold canyons, peaks and buttes of Glen Canyon Recreational Area provide picture-perfect surroundings. The 186-mile-long lake with 1,960 miles of shoreline invites kayakers to ply its placid waters and explore some of its 96 enticing side canyons.
Honeymooners can also “play the slots” – explore one of the region’s many mysterious underground slot canyons – with a local guide, some of whom offer jeep or Hummer tours as part of the adventure.
From winter’s snow-capped San Francisco Peaks to Tucson’s Saguaro National Park, the Arizona Trail, one of America’s newest and most scenic long-distance trails, allows honeymooners to choose among a variety of hiking adventures. Stretching from Arizona’s border with Utah to Mexico, it crosses 21 miles rim-to-rim of the Grand Canyon, eight distinct mountain ranges, four national forests and 225 miles of the Sonoran Desert. See Indian cliff dwellings, old mining camps and ghost towns along the way.
Prescott National Forest
Towering Ponderosa pines, steep canyons, placid lakes and the odd jumble of granite boulders in the Granite Mountain Wilderness on the outskirts of Prescott allow honeymooners to take their pick of adventures that range from rock climbing, mountain biking and kayaking to hiking and fishing.