Whatevery your budget or personality, there is a Southern destination for your romantic post-wedding getaway.
Destination: Wrightsville Beach, NC
You can learn to surf on kind and gentle waves, or you can lounge around lazily—no one will judge.
Stay: Book the Bridal Suite at the Blockade-Runner Beach Resort, and start each day with a complimentary breakfast. Enjoy views of the Atlantic from a private balcony.
Eat: Dine at Oceanic, Wrightsville Beach’s only restaurant with a panoramic view of the Atlantic. There is often live music on the pier. Be sure to order the hush puppies.
Play: Sign up for private surfing lessons with instructors from Surf Camp, a locally owned business. There’s no better way to start your life as a couple than by learning the thrills of riding the waves together—or learning to pick yourself up when you fall.
Destination: New Orleans, LA
The food and the music in New Orleans are legendary. The sounds of street musicians beckon you outside, while irresistible aromas beckon you in.
Stay: Book a room at the W New Orleans-French Quarter hotel on Chartres—it’s conveniently tucked among shops and restaurants and has a pool in a cozy courtyard.
Eat: Make a reservation at Martinique Bistro on Magazine Street, and ask for a table in the courtyard for the best al fresco dining in the city. martiniquebistro.com
Play: Leave the car with the valet service, and see the city from a bicycle. Joy Ride Bike Rentals will deliver bikes—with attached baskets for carrying purchases—to your location.
Destination: Austin, TX
Nearly 2,000 bands and performing artists live in and around the self-proclaimed Live Music Capital of the World. Choose from the city’s nearly 200 live music venues, where you can hear all kinds of tunes.
Stay: Book a room at the Hotel San José on South Congress Avenue. The 1939 motor court is a bungalow-style hotel with a hipster vibe. sanjosehotel.com
Eat: For casual dining, walk down to Perla’s Seafood & Oyster Bar for fresh oysters and top-notch seafood dishes. For white tablecloth dining, reserve a table at the Driskill Grill.
Play: Stop in at The Continental Club, which opened in 1957 and bills itself as the “granddaddy of all local music venues.”
Destination: Miami, FL
Miami is for couples who like their romance with glittering late nights and sandy days.
Stay: Book a room at the Fontainebleau for high-end luxury and dazzling ocean views. In its 1950s heyday, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and Bob Hope stayed here.
Eat: Explore the Cuban flavor of Miami with a stop at Versailles Restaurant in the heart of Little Havana on Calle Ocho. The iconic diner and bakery offers low prices on hearty fare, such as ropa viejo (shredded beef stew). It’s open after midnight to satisfy your late-night, after-dancing cravings.
Play: Learn how to dance Miami-style by taking a two-hour lesson from Salsa Mía teachers at the Yuca Lounge.
Destination: Red River Gorge, KY
This natural wonder, with more than 100 soaring sandstone arches and overhanging cliffs, is one of the South’s best-kept secrets. (Don’t even tell your friends.) Near Slade, Kentucky, it’s about an hour’s drive from Lexington.
Stay: Book a room at Natural Bridge State Resort Park, or rent a riverside cabin at Red River Adventure.
Eat: Stop by Miguel’s Pizza, known among rock climbers as the place to eat in Slade. End an active day by chowing down on this legendary gourmet pizza served in a bohemian atmosphere.
Play: If you’re a rock-climbing enthusiast, you’ll love the thousands of climbing routes to explore. Or take a scenic paddling tour from Red River Adventure.
Destination: Charleston, SC
There is no place like the romantic city of Charleston for strolling hand-in-hand with the one you love.
Stay: Book a room at Charleston Place if you’re looking for luxury. Faith Hill and Oprah Winfrey have stayed in this hotel near King Street. Book a Together Warm Stone Massage in the full-service spa for some relaxing couple time.
Eat: Reserve a table at Peninsula Grill, located in the City Market. For dessert, order a piece of chef Robert Carter’s 12-layer Ultimate Coconut Cake, and ask for two forks.
Play: Take a city tour by horse-drawn carriage. Palmetto Carriage Works offers a historically accurate and entertaining overview of downtown Charleston.