(Closed) Reasonably priced California honeymoon ideas?

posted 3 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 2
91 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2019

Sometimes when I’m wanting to visit a certain area of the US, I check out Roadtrippers.com. They set up trips with specific starting and ending points and then list off all kinds of sites and activities inbetween. But most of the time I just look at their premade trips until something catches my eye.

Redwood National Park is gorgeous, as are most of the National Parks in Northern Cali. Yosemite is amazing.

Try not to shy away from San Francisco. It is expensive, but it’s also a really fun and exciting place. I didn’t need to spend money on activities because I spent so much time walking around and enjoying the sights!

Post # 3
5935 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

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queenbatgirl :  I don’t know about cost, but Mendocino is really lovely. October is the crush month in wine country and Sonoma county would possibly be less expensive than Napa. So Co is on the coast, too. Lots of pretty beaches. 

Post # 4
3249 posts
Sugar bee

Oh man. I miss my home state, and if I was going back for vacation, it would be to Monterey/Carmel. Staying in a little B&B… walking the streets… enjoying the beach (Carmel is super dog friendly if that’s a thing for you guys!)… oh how I miss it!

If you wanted a little warmer, Santa Barbara is always great. 

Or if you want wintery, Tahoe is always a place that’s fun, especially in the winter. Log cabin, snow falling, hot tubs!

Post # 5
1699 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

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queenbatgirl :  I wonder if San Francisco is getting an image issue. Fi and I briefly considered it, but all I hear about from there is crazy overcrowding and poop in the streets. San Diego definitely made it in the short list though. Beaches, wilderness stuff, plus I’ve wanted to visit ever since my sister moved out there. Right now it’s San Diego vs South Carolina. Since we’re cheaping out on our honeymoon, we’ll probably do Europe for our first anniversary trip.

Also don’t rule out cruises, pretty economical plus lots of fun. We’re doing one in Feb, so we wanted to do something different for our honeymoon in May.

Post # 7
19 posts



Just wanted to suggest a possible West Coast cruise? Not sure if you & DH are into that– but most cruises are all inclusive (food and drinks, but not alcohol). And I’ve seen both one-way and round-trip that start or end in SoCal (LA, SD, LB) and end in Vancaouver/Seattle area, and vice versa. They stop in between like SF and Portland.


Anyway, wish you the best of luck in finding a reasonably priced honeymoon!

Post # 8
9943 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

We did 2 days in SF, 1 night in Sonoma, then drove down the cost to Big Sur and stayed in Pacific Grove (really close to Monterey/Carmel) for 2 days. It wasn’t that bad if you shop around for deals on hotels.

You could camp in Big Sur if you’re into that?

Post # 9
9539 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

SF is probably my least favorite part of the whole Bay Area, so I don’t think you’re missing much if you skip it.

But I’d do some research to see what different places have to offer and what seems to match up best with your/your DH’s interests. Monterey/Carmel are a hit with a lot of people, but not so much for us—we’d rather go up to the North Bay and Napa/Sonoma. Sonoma is more down to earth and charming than Napa (and more affordable!). Plus fall in wine country is absolutely beautiful, we got engaged in October in Calistoga and it was amazing with all the colors.

If you can swing it, I think it’s best to spend a couple days in a few different places because there isn’t any single place that I’d need to spend more than 2-3 days at. But I get bored easily and live here, so take that advice with a giant grain of salt!

Post # 10
2805 posts
Sugar bee

I’d do Yosemite personally. Or do a roadtrip along the coast. Big Sur, San Simeon & the Hearst castle, etc. There are tons of charming sleepy towns along the coast, and some beautiful Spanish missions to visit if you like history. Napa, Sonoma, and Calistoga are lovely too, though I’m not sure which exact areas were affected by the fires. 

Post # 11
2561 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

Depends on what kind of honeymoon you want!

A dreamy, sleepy, foggy city that is romantic and quaint with an epic 17 mile drive with nature and turquoise oceans? Go to Monterey/Carmel!

Breathtaking coastlines with forests next to a beach, perhaps with a waterfall leading into the ocean? Go to Big Sur!

Giant Redwood trees with beautiful beaches and delicious food nearby? Go to Santa Cruz

Museums, art shows, WORLD Renowned food, and eclectic people abound? Go to San Francisco

I think you have five days, you should either do SF only this time or another’s time specifically. I whould fly into San Jose, then drive down to your destination! Let me know if you need food or other specific recommendations 🙂

Post # 12
3100 posts
Sugar bee

Do you have an approx budget in mind?  And would you prefer something lazy (ie, lots of room service, spa treatment, time in bed) or something with more sightseeing (museusm, theatre, hiking, etc)?  

Post # 14
9539 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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queenbatgirl :  We aren’t big on wine either — we mainly just love how beautiful it is up there! (the food isn’t too shabby either hehe)

Highly recommend Domaine Carneros and Domaine Chandon for sparkling wine if you ever make it out! I prefer the bubblies too. 😊

Have a great honeymoon no matter where you go / whatever you decide to do!

Post # 15
265 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

OP, do you like hiking and the outdoors?  You could go to Yosemite.  It’s very expensive the stay in Yosemite Valley itself, but the town of Mariposa is nearby and it’s cheap and adorable, with cute little inns to stay at, shops, and restaurants.  Fiance and I went there last week when we were in CA over the holidays as a little side trip, and it was fantastic.  You just have to get up early to drive into the park, then once there, ditch your car and hike and take the free shuttles around.

If you want to go to Napa (it’s gorgeous, even after some nearby hills got scorched), I second Domaine Carneros.  Also check out Mumm.  Both do great sparkling wine.

I’m from the Bay Area and I think SF is kind of overrated.  It’s beautiful, but it’s also crowded, extremely pricy, and the traffic is horrific (thanks to the crush of people continuously moving in and double-parked Uber jitneys everywhere).

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