Pictured above: Graduate Providence (Photo by Trent Bell Photography)
Mini-moons are short honeymoons that take place closer to home. They usually last three to five days and don’t involve a flight. Whether taken instead of a traditional honeymoon, or in advance of a longer honeymoon in the future, these short trips are an increasingly common option for couples fresh from their “I do’s.” According to a 2018 survey on the marriage site The Knot, 82 percent of recently married couples went on some type of mini-moon. For Connecticut newlyweds, there are many attractive options within a short driving distance. From major cities to rustic country getaways and beach vistas, here are some of our favorite mini-moon destinations, either in Connecticut or within easy striking distance of our borders.
Hopkins Inn, Warren, Connecticut
Located in the bucolic rolling hills of Litchfield overlooking Lake Waramaug, this destination offers views and country charm aplenty. It also shares a name and location with Hopkins Vineyard, so it’s perfect for the couple who likes to indulge in the fruit of the grape. If you want to toast your recent wedding with more than wine, Kent Falls Brewing Co. in neighboring Kent, and the Litchfield Distillery, in Litchfield, are both nearby and celebrated purveyors of their respective beverages. For dinner, grab an outdoor table overlooking the lake at the inn’s in-house restaurant, which specializes in traditional Austrian cuisine and has long been a favorite in the area.
Ace Hotel, New York City, New York
The Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Broadway, the world’s best pizza (outside of New Haven) and a million other attractions make New York City an ideal post-nuptials destination. And the Ace Hotel is a wonderful base of operations for your New York stay. This sleek, hipster-friendly hotel is located on West 29th Street with easy access up and downtown. There are also enough amenities that you never have to leave. From The Breslin, a famous restaurant from a James Beard Award-winning chef, to the celebrated Stumptown Coffee Roasters, there is plenty to enjoy during your stay.
Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York
This Victorian castle resort was founded in 1869 and looks like something straight out of the Swiss Alps. The mountaintop destination on the shores of Lake Mohonk is located on the Shawangunk Ridge, a region known for its natural mountain lakes and climbing opportunities. On the drive up you’ll gaze at the striking chalk-white cliff face of the Shawangunk Ridge. Once there you can walk, climb or bike across 40,000 acres of forest. If you are not a wilderness-inclined couple, you can enjoy the views from inside as you pamper yourselves at the resort’s award-winning spa. There are multiple dining opportunities and even an old-fashioned soda fountain on site.
XV Beacon Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts
Ranked the No. 2 hotel in the U.S. by Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards Survey in 2018, this hotel is lush and luxurious. Nestled in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill neighborhood in a turn-of-the-century landmark Beaux Arts building, Beacon Hotel has a grand staircase of marble, mahogany paneling and an original caged-glass elevator alongside modern furnishings. You can dine at Mooo, the hotel’s in-house steakhouse, which is more luxurious than its playful name implies. The restaurant also offers 24-hour in-room meals, just in case it’s the kind of honeymoon where you don’t want to leave the bedroom. If you do make it outside, Boston awaits with Fenway Park, Duck Tours and thousands of other wicked-good attractions.
The Red Lion Inn Village, Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Established in 1773, this classic inn is your gateway to the region and all it has to offer. The famous outdoor music venue Tanglewood is nearby, as is the Norman Rockwell Museum. The hotel offers several curated experiences including white-water rafting at Zoar gap (talk about a wet-and-wild honeymoon), an aerial canopy tour, smartphone photography classes and pottery workshops. The “village” consists of the Red Lion Inn itself as well as Maple Glen, a 17-room guesthouse. On-site restaurants include a formal dining room, a historic tavern, the Lion’s Den and seasonal outdoor options. It’s a beautiful destination perfect for the couple who loves history and nature.
Graduate Providence, Rhode Island
Built in 1922, the Graduate Providence has a Roaring Twenties classiness that feels straight out of Gatsby. The lobby has an ornate ceiling and glass-and-brass elevator. Though updated, it exudes the charm and sophistication of a bygone era. The hotel is pet-friendly for couples looking to share their honeymoon with their four-legged friends. It also offers complimentary bike rentals, providing a great way to explore this bike-friendly city. Popular destinations include the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Roger Williams Park, and the Water Place Park and Riverwalk (a great place to use those rented bikes from the hotel). Mini-mooners will also want to stroll along historic Federal Hill, Providence’s Little Italy, which is full of outdoor cafes and restaurants.
Spring House, Block Island, Rhode Island
Built way back in 1852, this classic destination is Block Island’s oldest and largest hotel. It sits on a 10-acre lawn overlooking the ocean. The lawn is dotted with Adirondack chairs where you and your betrothed can sit with cocktails and take in the views. A short walk from Old Harbor, it has easy access to the ferries as well as shopping. You also may want to take in some of the beaches. The restaurant specializes in farm-to-table cuisine with ingredients sourced from the hotel’s three gardens on the property. There are indoor and outdoor dining options available. Did we mention the amazing views?