#4. Scottsdale AZ
Why You Should Honeymoon Here: Scottsdale is a public arts mecca, and one of its most famous pieces is Robert Indiana’s LOVE Sculpture, a cherry red pop art piece that places the “L” “O” over “V” “E.” (Fun fact: To make the sign more public-facing, the city recently used a crane to move the sculpture. The inside joke around town was that “LOVE” was in the air.) Beyond the obvious photo opp with the sculpture, this desert oasis is home to more than 50 resort and day spas, has a 2.5-hour long Chocolate Tour, and the stargazing is stellar.
Go Here Instead Of: Paris. The art scene is spectacular, and strolling through Main Street Galleries (which showcase the art of more than 1,000 artists) under the twinkling stars rivals the romantic atmosphere of the City of Light.
Average Nightly Hotel Price: $168
Where to Stay: Nestled on the north slope of its namesake, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain has luxe mountainside casitas and an infinity-edge pool. Beyoncé and Jay-Z honeymooned here. Enough said.
What to Pack: Bring a light jacket for cooler seasons because temps in the desert can dip at night, and some fancy duds to hit the town in the evenings.
Romantic Date Night Spot: Honeymooners at FnB can enjoy an Arizona wine experience with Pavle Milic, part-owner of the intimate, downtown restaurant. Chef Charleen Badman, a James Beard award semifinalist, is well-known for crafting elevated veggie dishes.
Can’t-Miss Experience: Take a sunrise or sunset hot air balloon ride above the Sonoran desert with Hot Air Expeditions or Rainbow Ryders, ending in a celebratory champagne toast.
Sweet Spot: For the most Instagrammable and decadent dessert in the desert, stop in at ZuZu inside Hotel Valley Ho. The Showstopper Shake is a massive, $16 milkshake topped with baked goods and whipped cream. The theme changes monthly, but, to give you a taste, a recent unicorn theme featured a mixed berry milkshake with a funfetti cupcake, rainbow sprinkles, birthday cake frosting, marshmallows, cotton candy and a white-chocolate dipped waffle cone.