By Kitty Bean Yancey
What to do when you’re expecting? Vacation with your loved one for a soothing just-us sojourn before the newborn takes center stage. Here are five suggestions for the perfect babymoon getaway.
A couple couldn’t ask for much more in a beach destination. Stroll hand in hand on miles of white-quartz sand then watch the sun go down at Peg Leg Pete’s on Pensacola Beach before dining at locally revered Jackson’s Steak House. Enjoy exploring the revamped downtown with pastel-colored 19th century cottages and the renovated Spanish Baroque Saenger Theatre, which stages operas and popular musicals. Dad- and mom-to-be spirits will soar at the National Naval Aviation Museum which is packed with flying machines from all eras. For more information, go to visitpensacola.com.
Where to stay in Pensacola: try a beachfront condo.
Palm Springs, California
Slip off to this desert oasis to indulge in some serious prenatal babymoon his-and-her treatments. Studio M Salon and Spa is just one of many day spas that earn high marks. Retail therapy is close at hand on Palm Canyon Drive, which becomes a pedestrian mall on Thursday nights with booths selling the work of local artisans, snacks, clothing and more. Stop by Baby La La for infant wear then treat yourself at Great Shakes to a local specialty—a date milkshake. For more destination information, go to visitpalmsprings.com.
Where to stay in Palm Springs: stay in a mountainside home.
You don’t have to ski to enjoy clean air and alpine vistas. Spring, summer or fall, this destination has it all for twosomes. Take walks on wildflower-covered slopes, ride a gondola 11,000 feet up to snap a selfie or two and applaud a favorite act at the Hot Summer Nights music fest. Reserve a table at rural Pine Creek Cookhouse for views of fall foliage or winter vistas. Plant lovers shouldn’t miss the popular Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, which is open 365 days a year. For more information, go to visitvailvalley.com.
Where to stay in Vail: check out a mountainside lodge.
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama
What could be more relaxing for your babymoon than packing binoculars and spying kestrels, blue herons and hummingbirds on the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail? Or how about chartering a boat for some of the finest freshwater and ocean fishing in the nation? Some couples simply spend days lazing on 32 miles of white-sand beach and nights savoring good eats any way you like it. For more information, visit gulfshores.com.
Where to stay in Alabama: check out these beach homes.
OK, mom-to-be, this one’s for you. Hunt for Tennessee mountain crafts, antiques and pretty much anything your heart (or infant) can desire at more than 500 shops. Locally made candy, jams and beef jerky will satisfy cravings, and a ramble on a rustic trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a scene-setter for romance. For more destination information, visit gatlinburg.com.
Where to stay in Gatlinburg: stay in a woodsy cabin.
Kitty Bean Yancey is a Washington, D.C.-based award-winning former USA TODAY travel writer. She freelances for publications including AARP Magazine and AAA publications.