Honeymoon Destinations in the US for Adventurous Couples

My husband and I are not ones to lay around and do nothing when we travel. When it came time to plan our honeymoon and we started looking at all the typical beachy, romantic resorts......we realized, that wasn't us. So we had a jam-packed, adventurous, 15-day long honeymoon and I don't regret it for a second. I know there are other people out there like us, who want to do something more adventurous for their honeymoon but maybe they don't know where to start looking.

Well friend, I've got you.

1. Southern California Desert

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Where to Stay: Pioneertown Motel

Built in the 40s for old western movie stars, this little motel in the middle of the desert is a real gem. It was recently renovated for the modern age, but still keeps its old west vibe. It even has an old ghost town movie set next to it that you can walk through!

The doors have their respective movie stars' names on them. You can stay in Gene Autry's room, Roy Rogers' room, and a dozen others. Our room belonged to Barbara Stanwyck!

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Instead of phone books or notepads on the bedside table, you'll find these books. My kind of place. :)

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Things to Do

Joshua Tree National Park

The Pioneertown Motel is right outside of Joshua Tree National Park, so head over and do some hikes, climb some rocks, and explore!

We climbed a huge pile of rocks, and I was only a little nervous that I'd have to reenact the movie 127 Hours.

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Salvation Mountain

A strange, surreal, man-made mound of painted dirt in the middle of the desert, Salvation Mountain is a must-see if you're in southern California. It was created by Leonard Knight, who spent 25 years rebuilding and repainting it with one message in mind: God is Love. He died in 2014, and it's now maintained by volunteers.

While you're there, stop by Slab City and the Salton Sea too!

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2. Southern Utah

Southern Utah is THE place to go if you want something different. It has some of the most popular national parks and attracts all types of adventurous people. We just got back from a trip to Bryce Canyon, and I can't recommend it enough!

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Where to Stay: The Lodge at Bryce Canyon

The Lodge at Bryce Canyon sits right on the rim of the canyon, which makes for incredible views right outside your door and easy access to trailheads. We did the Queen's Garden and Navajo Loop Trails, which go down into the canyon, and since we were so close, it only took about thirty seconds to walk from our room to the trail! The Lodge has a nice restaurant and a pizza restaurant (only open in the summer!), so you don't even have to drive anywhere unless you want to visit another nearby park.

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Things to Do

If you want to go somewhere other than Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park is less than two hours away, the Grand Canyon is about three hours away, Arches National Park is about four hours away, and if you're feeling real adventurous, you can head over to Las Vegas for the day!

3. La Push, Washington

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Where to Stay: Quileute Oceanside Resort

The weekend we stayed here was one of my favorites. La Push Beach and the surrounding areas are just magical. This resort is owned by the Quileute tribe and we had our own private cabin, right on the beach. I'll just let the photos speak for themselves. :)

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Things to Do

Check out the surrounding beaches - each one is unique, though it doesn't seem like beaches in the same area could be so different. La Push Beach (also called 1st Beach) is the beach that the resort is on, then 2nd and 3rd Beach, Rialto Beach, and Ruby Beach! Ruby Beach was my favorite.

There's plenty to explore in Olympic National Park as well - Hurricane Ridge and the Hoh Rainforest were two of my favorites.

And of course, stock up on food at the local grocery store and make dinner every night in your cabin!

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The resort office will give you a fire permit for $5, and you can have a campfire at sunset. :)

I'd love to hear your thoughts or other adventurous places you've stayed at with your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/whatever. Feel free to shoot me an email! rachel@rachelfugate.com

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah - Couples Session

I almost gave up.

My husband and I picked up Hunter and AnneMarie at their apartment downtown right at rush hour. The phone was telling us that the drive was going to take an extra thirty minutes, even though we had calculated the drive time during rush hour several times the week before. Our ETA was ten minutes before sunset. It stormed the entire two hours there. We discovered on the drive that our rental car's back bumper was not fully attached, so it constantly flapped against the car. At one point we hit an insanely windy stretch of interstate, and the flapping abruptly stopped. We all guessed that the wind had picked it up and threw it off, but we couldn't see it out of the rearview mirrors, and it was too late to try to find it. 

I was so worried that I was wasting everyone's time, that we'd get there and maaaaaybe be able to take a couple of pictures. I kept apologizing to them and thanking them because their positivity about the whole situation was just overwhelming. "It's an adventure for sure!" Hunter said.

We arrived at the Salt Flats and they were flooded from the rain. We hopped out of the car and were immediately blown over by icy cold winds. The Salt Flats were so wet that it was like walking through cement. But - our bumper was still there! It had somehow miraculously snapped back into place! And the rain had let up! Our first little bits of hope.

We drove further down and the wind became less intense. And then, Hunter scooped up AnneMarie in his arms and walked out into the water in his nice shoes! And then it all clicked. It was all worth it.

Today I'm thankful for joyful, positive, adventurous people who just get it.

Best of Travel: 2016

What a year. I like to call 2016 our year of exploring America. We went out west three times. We spent a good, long, eleven days in the pacific northwest. We drove 7,871 miles in the car (that's only including trips, not our day-to-day driving!), flew 14,090 miles, cruised on a boat for 2,163 miles, and spent a grand total of 55 days traveling. We didn't even spend the first day of 2016 in our own state!

The crazy part is, because we plan these trips around business trips, weekends, and holidays, Brad only had to take off TEN days of work for the whole year! :O We're basically experts at going on vacation and still making it to work on Monday.

A few of my favorite moments this year: exploring Charleston, waking up at 5am and hiking up an ice-covered trail in 20 degrees to see the sunrise over the Delicate Arch with not a single person in sight, eating ice cream in Death Valley, hiking (swimming) The Narrows in Zion, driving into La Push at sunset and literally GASPING when I saw it, dog sledding on a glacier in Alaska (and taking a helicopter onto said glacier), hiking up tall sand dunes and then jumping down them, a 3-day solo road trip on my own, and paddle boarding with wild dolphins.

We have no plans of slowing down, and can't wait for everything already on the books for 2017!

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Michael + Megan, Long Hunter State Park Engagement

I always have a few tricks up my sleeve to get authentic laughs and emotions from my couples, but I didn't need to use any of them on Michael and Megan. These two crack each other up - I didn't even know what they were laughing at sometimes! Their wedding next May is going to be a treat!

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