When picturing your perfect honeymoon, do you like the idea of a romantic escape and adventure? Perhaps traveling to the other side of the world is beyond your budget or your comfort zone. Consider an excursion here at home. Whether you’re a couple who loves rails, romantic cabins or upbeat hikes and zip lining, there are a variety of stateside options.

Honeymoon by train

There is something wildly romantic about a train, and many newlyweds embark on Amtrak vacations for their honeymoon.

“We have seen a growing increase in honeymoon and anniversary trips,” said Kaitlyn Audley, spokesperson for Amtrak Vacations. “With more than three hundred rail vacations, the options for honeymooners are endless.”

Audley said national park trips are by far some of the most popular vacation packages Amtrak offers.

“What better honeymoon than the scenic landscapes of the Grand Canyon or Glacier National Park?” she said. “Looking for beautiful views? Take a trip down the California coast on the ‘Coast Starlight’ as the train glides along the ocean’s edge. Music lovers? ‘Jazz Blues Rock N’ Roll’ is the perfect vacation for all music lovers.”

Honeymooners have the option to depart from any Amtrak station nationwide, she said.

“A honeymoon should be a time to kick back and relax and a train journey honeymoon is a unique, stress free experience to do just that,” she said. “Whether you are in your private sleeping car, the dining car enjoying a chef prepared meal or the observation car enjoying the views, you will have plenty of time to enjoy quality time with your significant other.”

Log cabin romance

If you want to save even more money, you could forget about airfare and consider a getaway that’s not actually far away at all, despite feeling like it.

The Cotton Gin Village in Fredericksburg has “romantically outfitted rustic cabins,” koi ponds with water features and gorgeously landscaped grounds, Operations Manager Elizabeth Rodriguez said. She added that they do get a lot of honeymooners at the village.

“It’s got quite a bit of charm,” Rodriguez said. “The seven log cabins are from the 1800s, but have modern amenities — Jacuzzi tubs, big fireplaces and small kitchenettes-- everything you need but with a rustic and romantic atmosphere.”

The Village also has it’s own gourmet restaurant, the Cotton Gin Cabernet Grill. Owner and chef Ross Burtwell said it features a unique, chef driven menu that highlights food from Hill Country growers and producers in an upscale but casual environment.

“Being located in the center of the Texas wine country, we also feature the nations largest ‘all Texas’ wine list,” said Burtwell, who has been a chef since 1989. “Through various field trips to wineries, direct conversations with wine makers and grape growers as well as continual training seminars, our service staff has the ability to match our patrons’ tastes to the perfect wine selection.”

Burtwell said a hot picnic basket breakfast delivered to the door of an 1800s era log cabin are the hallmarks of a stay at the Cotton Gin Village, but pairing that with a fifty-foot stroll to one of the highest rated wine country restaurants makes the stay memorable after a truly unique dining experience.

“We offer an add on Texas Romance Package for our lodging guests, which includes fresh flowers, locally made artisan chocolates and sparkling wine placed in your cabin for arrival,” Burtwell said. “We can also arrange for in-room couples’ massages, winery tours and horse drawn carriage rides down historic Fredericksburg Main Street.”

Honeymoon in the trees

Are you and your new husband the adventurous type? Cypress Valley Canopy Tours, only 30 minutes from downtown Austin, offers luxury tree houses for rent.

“All four of our tree houses are built in ancient cypress trees growing from a creek that chatters happily along the ravine floor,” Manager Shelby Semon said. “Embraced by nature, our tree houses offer the unique opportunity to not just see nature but to truly feel a part of it. A honeymoon at Cypress Valley takes away the distractions. No television, no Wi-Fi, just you, your partner, and a thrilling experience that speaks to the senses, encouraging the inner child to come out and play.”

Semon said even international honeymooners come to stay in the tree houses. They have a “Romantic Package” that includes a night in a round room high in the trees, complete with a canopy bed, hammock, wicker chairs and wraparound porch with seating. A bridge connects the room with a private bathhouse that includes a waterfall filled bathtub that overlooks a ravine. The package also includes a zip line tour for two, wine tasting for two at local vineyard and dinner for two at a nearby steakhouse.

“From the gentle whispers of the creek below you, to the stunning display of hill country stars, to the hoot of a great horned owl and the brilliant dance of the fireflies in summer, the natural wonders of Cypress Valley set the stage for any romantic adventurer,” Semon said.

SALLY GRACE HOLTGRIEVE is a full-time freelance writer in Central Texas. A few of her favorite things include traveling, hiking, camping, reading, cats, classic rock music and cheese. As a kid, Sally Grace could never figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up — astronaut, Celtic dancer, entomologist, Egyptologist — everything was interesting and she couldn’t decide on just one world to immerse herself in and study, so she became a journalist. She learns new things every day.

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