Dis­cover travel and hon­ey­moon tips from one re­cently mar­ried cou­ple.

Inside Weddings - - Travel Diaries -

“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.”

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