Honeymoon Destination: Orange County, California

View from Heisler Park, Laguna Beach. Photo courtesy Visit Laguna Beach.

View from Heisler Park, Laguna Beach // Visit Laguna Beach

Warning: You’ll most likely spend your California honeymoon mumbling to your new spouse, “I can’t believe people actually live here,” because it’s hard to imagine that anyplace with this much indigo ocean and humidity-free sunshine (a.k.a. vacation perfection) could be someone’s everyday home. Embrace it and act like a local: Go with the beachy waves, spend your mornings hiking, and stuff your face with as many fish tacos as you can.

The O.C.—for those who aren’t intimate with MTV or Bravo—is a large county just south of L.A. made up in part of small coastal towns that hug the ocean. The Pacific Coast Highway, which has views that are only slightly sweeter than the Schuylkill Expressway, connects each hamlet, though they all have distinct vibes: the adorable cottages of Corona del Mar, the artsy scene in Laguna, scores of surfers riding around in drop-top Jeeps in Huntington Beach. There’s also Newport, an upscale town that has a beachy side (think: runners on a boardwalk and boats cruising the harbor) and picturesque bluffs. Up in those bluffs is where you’ll find Pelican Hill, an Italianate resort on 500 acres with views (blue ocean, meet blue sky) that will make you want to spend every waking moment outside.

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Here Are 9 Awesome Zika-Free Honeymoon Destinations

Australia's beaches are particularly gorgeous Zika-free zones // Shutterstock

Australia’s beaches are particularly gorgeous Zika-free zones // Shutterstock

As you have probably uttered to yourself more than once as you and your to-be have puzzled over where to take your post-nuptial getaway, this Zika thing has been a real bummer when it comes to planning a trip of a lifetime in a far-flung destination. As many people have found, it can be tricky to nail down a locale you guys are super pumped about for your honeymoon that is also completely safe and in the clear if the virus is something you are currently worried about.

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Honeymoon Destination: St. Barts

The pool at The Cheval Blanc St. Barth Isle de France

The pool at The Cheval Blanc St. Barth Isle de France

If you’ve ever wondered what, exactly, it is about Saint-Barthélemy that attracts the world’s glitterati, you won’t once you get there: One of the more diminutive islands in the French West Indies, it’s also one of the most beautiful. (It’s also inarguably the chicest, a breezy combination of French and Creole influences.) And despite the island’s glamorous reputation, the vibe is as relaxed and friendly as you’d expect anywhere in the Caribbean to be, while the white-sand beaches, warm blue-green waters and lush, rolling landscape are a postcard come to life. A trip to St. Barts is a taste of the good—the really good—life.

It’s true, of course, that getting there involves a decent amount of effort; the trip entails either ferrying by boat from St. Martin or hopping aboard a puddle-jumper that can make the landing on the island’s tiny airstrip. But the logistics are more than worth it once the two of you have your toes in the soft sand and are sipping champagne while you watch the sun dip down over the peaks of distant islands.

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BHLDN’s New Party Dress & Honeymoon Collections Have Us Swooning

We're swooning over BHLDN's new collections. All photos courtesy of BHLDN.

We’re swooning over BHLDN’s new collections. All photos courtesy of BHLDN.

Last week was a pretty and productive one for Philly-based BHLDN, Anthropologie’s wedding-focused little sister: They unveiled a new honeymoon collection (which we have consistently crushed on since they first debuted their first beachy capsule collection last year) and a new batch of party frocks, perfect for your ‘maids—or that list of weddings you’ve got coming up that aren’t yours.

The Swept Away honeymoon collection, as per usual, is filled with things that are beachy and flowy and white (you’re still a bride on your ‘moon!) and super easy to wear—and the party-frock collection features fun dresses in jewel tones and with sparkly embellishment that will immediately make you feel like dancing, which to us is a very important aspect of the perfect party dress.

We’ll put a few of our favorites from each collection, below—but you can view (and shop!) ’em all here and here.

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Hawaiian Island Honeymoon Destinations: Maui & Kauai

St Regis Princeville Kauai Honeymoon

The pool at the St. Regis Princeville, Kauai.

The idea of a honeymoon in Hawaii conjures up the images we’ve all seen before—the fancy hotel, the welcome leis, the colorful luaus. And while those rituals will more than likely be part of your Hawaiian getaway (and with good reason!), the truth is that our 50th state holds so much more: breathtaking landscapes, cuisine you won’t soon forget, and the unending chance for adventure. The truth is, it’s nothing short of magic.

By choosing the particular islands you visit and the type of hotels you stay in, you have the opportunity to design your dream getaway. And for the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, we’ve found just the itinerary: your first days spent lounging, recharging and exploring on the smaller island of Kauai, nestled in the luxurious St. Regis Princeville on the North Shore, followed by an energized stay at the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea, on the southern side of the island, where there’s no shortage of surfing, whale-watching, snorkeling and sailing, to ensure that every single minute is a blast until, as they say, the honeymoon is over.

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Honeymoon Here: The 12 Most Incredible Islands in the World

Hello, Khao Phing Kan. istockphoto.com/Kadir Barcin

Hello, Khao Phing Kan. istockphoto.com/Kadir Barcin

Being that it’s Friday and you’re just a few hours away from the weekend, we thought it was an ideal time to share a colorful roundup of places to add to your honeymoon bucket list. (How else are you going to make it through that final stretch of work for the day?)

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Honeymoon Inspo: 11 Gorgeous Beaches in France

How about a trip to Île de Ré? iStockphoto.com/mdulieu

How about a trip to Île de Ré? iStockphoto.com/mdulieu

Whenever there’s talk about honeymooning in France, most people’s minds immediately drift to Parisit is the City of Love, after all, and pretty well-known as one of the most romantic places in the world, making it an ideal place to spend your post-nuptial getaway.

France’s capital isn’t the only spot that’s perfect for newlyweds, though: The country has plenty of other lovely destinations to hit up—especially if a beach honeymoon is what you’re after.

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8 Secret Islands in Italy That are Perfect for Your Honeymoon

Hi, beautiful Lipari. iStockphoto.com/Flavio Vallenari

Hi, beautiful Lipari. iStockphoto.com/Flavio Vallenari

I’m generally one of those people who will alway prefer to travel somewhere new rather than revisit a place I’ve already been, but when it comes to Italy, I’ll gladly make an exception (I’m half Italian, after all).

At 16 years old I had the great fortune of spending over a week in the gorgeous country, frolicking from town to town with a chaperoned group of other high school students who were way too young and way too naive to truly appreciate such an incredible opportunity. Needless to say the adult version of me is due for a revisit.

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These 11 Underwater Hotels Make for the Coolest Honeymoon Accommodations

We wouldn't mind a stay in this awesome suite. Facebook.com/TheMantaResort

We wouldn’t mind a stay in this awesome suite. Facebook.com/TheMantaResort

We talk quite frequently here on the blog about the world’s most unbelievable, bucket list-worthy hotels to stay at for your honeymoon. We’ve featured tons of amazing accommodations over the yearsbut the spots we’re showing you today take the wow factor to a whole new level.

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15 Zika-Free Beach Destinations to Consider for Your Honeymoon

Australia's Whitehaven beach is a particularly gorgeous Zika-free zone.

Australia’s Whitehaven beach is a particularly gorgeous Zika-free zone.

Zika virus has been a major cause for concern for honeymooners over the past year, with many couples having to adjust their plans due to the risks involved with traveling to certain areas of the world. With so many countries affected, it definitely limits your options when it comes to choosing a destination—especially if you have your heart set on a beach honeymoon in the Caribbean or some other tropical location.

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