Discover travel and honeymoon tips from one recently married couple.
“We drove along the gorgeous Pacific Coast Highway to get to our California destinations.”
Two short days after their nuptials in sunny Palm Beach, Florida, Cecilie Wedel and Mauricio Perez jetted across the country to the Golden State to start their honeymoon with a road trip down the California coast. The newlyweds stopped at four different hot spots as they descended to Los Angeles, where the lovebirds flew to beautiful Bora Bora to end their excursion on a tropical high note.
San Francisco, California & Monterey, California
Though originally planning to solely travel to Bora Bora for their honeymoon, “we decided instead to explore and drive down the Pacific Coast Highway. After a busy three-day wedding event, we knew we wouldn’t want to travel all the way to Bora Bora at once, so stopping in California was the perfect solution,” reveals the bride of their adventurous journey. Upon their arrival, the two took the opportunity to see as much as possible. “Since we landed in San Francisco, we decided to visit all of the popular sites we could before heading down to Monterey,” Cece says.
With just one night to spend, the newlyweds were pleased with their coastal accommodations at InterContinental The Clement Monterey. “The location was convenient and our room was beautiful,” Cece remarks. The next morning, the pair knew exactly what they wanted to do – tour the expansive Monterey Bay Aquarium. Cece and Mauricio roamed the halls of the aquatic exhibits and took in the sights, including the array of native fish species and playful sea otters. The next morning, the duo decided to “beach hop,” driving the 17-Mile Drive in nearby Pebble Beach and Carmel-by-the-Sea to see perfectly gorgeous vistas of the Pacific Ocean – as well as enjoying some much-needed java from The Carmel Coffee House.
Big Sur, California
Continuing down the coast, the next stop on the itinerary was Big Sur, California – a lovely location that combines the unique beauty of the forest and the sea. “We stayed at the renowned Post Ranch Inn and we would highly recommend this property to other couples,” the bride gushes. “It had spectacular views of the mountains and the ocean, impeccable service, and unbelievable cuisine.” Before checking in at the hotel, the sweethearts headed to Nepenthe Restaurant to watch the sunset and enjoy a spread of delicious wine and cheese.
Following their romantic detour, the couple checked in, dropped off their bags in their coastal suite and headed off to dinner at Sierra Mar, located on-site. After their delectable meal, “we were so tired that we decided to take our dessert to go, and by the time we got back to our room 10 minutes later, our treats were already there waiting for us! It seemed like the staff was always one step ahead, anticipating our every need,” smiles Cece. The next day, Cece and Mauricio excitedly explored their surroundings. “We took a hike through the forest of redwood trees and then wandered around the property for a bit,” she explains. “The entire location was stunning – we were upset that we had to get back on the road so soon!” Santa Barbara, California
After a five-hour car ride, the pair arrived at their first Southern California location. Upon checking into Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, they knew they’d made a smart decision. “We knew we wanted to stop in Santa Barbara and The Biltmore was a striking property on the water – it was also conveniently located, close to downtown,” the bride muses. The lure of the charming shopping district could not be ignored, and the newlyweds spent hours strolling by the beach and in and out of the quaint stores.
Though they adored their “cozy and beautiful” room in the hotel, the duo elected to travel to another resort, San Ysidro Ranch, for dinner. “The food was wonderful, but unfortunately at night, we couldn’t fully appreciate the views offered from the dining room,” Cece shares. “We decided to go back the next morning to walk around and really take it all in before departing.”
Santa Monica, California
Entering into Los Angeles County, the couple made their way to their next destination, which happened to be right in the heart of Santa Monica. “We’d recommend the Shore Hotel due to its location,” divulges the bride. From the property, the sweethearts were able to walk to popular spots along the coast such as Third Street Promenade and the Santa Monica Boardwalk, which was an important aspect while making their hotel choice.
For dinner that evening, Cece and Mauricio traveled over to nearby Venice Beach to Gjelina, a trendy restaurant that features New American cuisine within a rustic-chic space. “It was American food, but it had a farm-to-table feel,” explains the bride. “We were there on a Thursday night and it was packed!” The next morning, the pair awoke early to climb the infamous Santa Monica Stairs – which feature approximately 170 steps. “The views were great – the workout was tough!” Cece laughs. Wanting to venture further inland, the pair took the rest of the day to play tourists in the heart of Los Angeles. “We stopped for açai bowls at Nekter Juice Bar, spent some time on Rodeo Drive, then headed to the hills to see the Hollywood sign,” says the bride.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
After their stateside excursion, the duo landed on the island of Bora Bora for a drastically different adventure. “We had seen pictures of the crystal-clear blue water and we knew we needed to discover it for ourselves,” affirms Cece. “The whole area truly looks like it could be a screensaver photo!” Checking into The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort for a seven-night stay, the lovebirds had plenty of time to get to know their surroundings. Mixing relaxation with excitement, the two booked a couple’s massage as well as a waterskiing and wakeboarding adventure. Without giving their jet-lag a second thought, they made sure they fit as many activities into this leg of the trip as possible.
Wanting to see the famous Mount Otemanu from different angles, Cece and Mauricio took a private Jet Ski tour all around the base of the mountain, stopping to learn how to make fresh coconut milk, and enjoyed a thrilling 15-minute helicopter tour around the peak. However, the pinnacle of their time in Bora Bora came about with some new animal friends. “We spent a full day doing a lagoon tour where we swam with stingrays and all sorts of sharks,” reveals the bride. “The stingrays got super close, which was a little intimidating at first, but after we felt comfortable, they were so cute! As part of that Lagoon tour, our guide even showed us how to ‘ride’ a nurse shark.” Cece adds. “We did things in Bora Bora we never would have imagined. The whole experience was just beyond perfect and we would recommend it to any couple.”