Jekyll Island, Helen & Dahlonega Voted Among the Top Budget-Friendly Honeymoon Destinations in America

Friday, August 11th, 2023

  • Georgia destinations voted among newlyweds' favorites.

  • Cedar Key in Florida emerged as the top honeymoon destination for couples on a budget. 

  • Infographic showing the top 150 under-the-radar and inexpensive honeymoon destinations.

As the wedding bells start ringing across the country, the euphoria of newlywed bliss is closely shadowed by the daunting expenses that weddings and honeymoons entail. Living the high life in 2023 isn't exactly a cakewalk, with that pesky thing we call inflation still sticking around and most couples starting their wedded adventure with a 'something borrowed' bank balance. Given that the average honeymoon cost in the U.S. hovers around $4,500, it's no surprise that the astute couples of today want to make every cent count, without compromising on an unforgettable experience. 

America is bursting with under-the-radar beautiful destinations that don't require going into debt (or selling grandmother's antique brooch). Experts at commissioned a survey of 3,000 couples which identified the top 150 beautiful honeymoon destinations that are easy on the wallet, allowing couples to kick off their married life with a delightful getaway that doesn't break the bank. From cozy beach towns to vibrant city escapes, these lesser-known gems offer a refreshing twist to conventional honeymoon narratives, proving that romance and budget can indeed coexist harmoniously.


In first place came Cedar Key in Florida. Nestled along the serene Gulf of Mexico, this quaint coastal town exudes a laid-back atmosphere that fosters intimacy and relaxation. The area boasts pristine beaches, breathtaking sunsets, and abundant wildlife, providing ample opportunities for romantic walks and unforgettable moments. The town's charming local inns and vacation rentals offer affordable accommodations, allowing couples to stay comfortably within their budget. Moreover, Cedar Key's delicious seafood restaurants and affordable eateries enable couples to savor delectable cuisine without overspending. 


Hawaii’s Molokai (2nd place) offers a unique and authentic Hawaiian experience without the bustling tourist crowds and high costs of more popular islands. Couples can explore the untouched beauty of Kalaupapa National Historical Park or embark on affordable outdoor adventures like hiking, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. The island's modest accommodations, ranging from cozy beachfront cottages to budget-friendly vacation rentals, allow couples to enjoy their stay without overspending. Additionally, Molokai's local markets and eateries offer delicious Hawaiian cuisine at reasonable prices. 


Edisto Island (SC) was voted in 3rd position. This charming coastal haven is renowned for its untouched beauty, with miles of pristine beaches, lush marshlands, and ancient oak trees draped in Spanish moss. Edisto Island offers affordable vacation rentals and cozy bed and breakfasts, providing comfortable accommodations for honeymooners on a budget. The island's local seafood restaurants and casual eateries serve up delicious Lowcountry cuisine at reasonable prices, allowing couples to experience the rich flavors of the region without overspending. 


Cumberland Falls State Resort Park in Kentucky is a hidden gem and an excellent honeymoon destination for couples on a budget, as it was voted in 4th place. Known as the "Niagara of the South," this enchanting park features the majestic Cumberland Falls, a stunning waterfall that creates a magical moonbow phenomenon under the right conditions. Nature-loving couples can explore the park's scenic trails, have picnics by the river, and enjoy the breathtaking views without any entrance fees. The park's affordable lodge and cozy cabins provide comfortable accommodations surrounded by the beauty of nature. Couples can also opt for budget-friendly camping options to immerse themselves fully in the wilderness. In the evening, they can indulge in a romantic dinner at the park's restaurant, which offers regional specialties at reasonable prices. 


Located along Florida's Forgotten Coast, Apalachicola (voted in 5th) is a historic fishing town which offers a peaceful and laid-back ambiance, perfect for couples seeking a romantic escape without the crowds. Apalachicola's stunning beaches and nearby nature reserves provide opportunities for free outdoor activities like beachcombing, birdwatching, and scenic hikes, allowing couples to connect with nature and each other. The town's quaint downtown is lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and unique eateries, offering a budget-friendly shopping and dining experience. The town's affordable inns, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals provide comfortable and cozy accommodations, making it easy to stay within budget. 


In 6th place came Skagway, Alaska, which offers breathtaking vistas of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, and pristine fjords. Nature enthusiasts can embark on affordable outdoor activities like hiking, wildlife spotting, and exploring the nearby national parks without any entrance fees. Skagway's selection of budget-friendly accommodations, including cozy inns and lodges, allows honeymooners to immerse themselves in the Alaskan frontier without splurging. Couples can savor fresh seafood and locally sourced cuisine at affordable eateries, enjoying the flavors of the region without straining their wallets. 


Williamsburg in Virginia came in 7th position overall. The romantic ambiance of the historic district sets the stage for memorable walks, horse-drawn carriage rides, and even budget-friendly candlelit dinners at some of the charming taverns. Moreover, the area's scenic parks and nature trails offer picturesque settings for romantic picnics and leisurely bike rides without any admission fees. Williamsburg also offers a variety of reasonably priced accommodations, including historic inns and cozy bed and breakfasts, which add a touch of old-world charm to the honeymoon experience.


Located along the Gulf of Mexico, Bay St. Louis in Mississippi (8th) is a charming and budget-friendly honeymoon destination that offers a delightful blend of coastal beauty, Southern hospitality, and cultural charm. Couples can enjoy romantic walks on the sandy shores, watch stunning sunsets, and relax in the laid-back atmosphere without any cost. Bay St. Louis boasts a range of affordable accommodations, from cozy bed and breakfasts to budget-friendly motels, ensuring a comfortable and cost-effective stay for honeymooners. For food-loving pairs, the town's diverse culinary scene offers delicious Southern cuisine and fresh seafood at reasonable prices. 


Cooperstown (NY) placed in 9th position. Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of New York, this idyllic town is known for its historic architecture, serene lakes, and scenic beauty. Couples can enjoy leisurely strolls through the charming streets, visit local art galleries, and explore quaint boutiques without any cost. The town's affordable bed and breakfasts, inns, and vacation rentals provide cozy and intimate accommodations for honeymooners. Moreover, couples can indulge in delicious farm-to-table cuisine at the town's eateries, experiencing the best of regional flavors without extravagant expenses. 


And rounding up the top 10 came Solvang in California. It is a charming and budget-friendly honeymoon destination that transports couples to a picturesque Danish village nestled in the heart of Santa Ynez Valley. This unique and romantic setting offers a blend of European charm and Californian beauty. Couples can wander through the town's storybook-like streets, admiring half-timbered buildings and windmills, without spending a dime. Solvang's Danish heritage is evident in its delightful bakeries, where honeymooners can sample delectable pastries and treats at affordable prices. The town's wineries offer wine tastings that won't break the bank, providing a chance for couples to savor local vintages and enjoy the scenic vineyards. 

Infographic showing the top 150 budget-friendly honeymoon destinations in America

Georgia had 3 budget-friendly honeymoon destinations in the top 150:


Jekyll Island emerges as an ideal and budget-friendly honeymoon destination, enchanting couples with its serene beaches, natural beauty, and historic charm. This hidden gem along Georgia's coast offers a wealth of affordable activities for an unforgettable romantic getaway. Couples can bask in the sun on the tranquil beaches, take romantic walks along the shore, and even spot dolphins frolicking in the waves. Jekyll Island's unspoiled landscapes and maritime forests provide free opportunities for hiking and birdwatching. For history buffs, the island's historic district boasts fascinating sites like the Jekyll Island Club National Historic Landmark, which can be explored at a budget-friendly price.


Helen captivates with its charming Alpine-inspired setting, romantic ambiance, and affordable activities. Tucked away in the North Georgia mountains, this picturesque town offers a wealth of low-cost adventures for couples to create lasting memories together. Strolling hand in hand through the cobblestone streets, lined with Bavarian-style buildings, exudes a sense of old-world charm without spending a fortune. Couples can enjoy leisurely walks along the Chattahoochee River, taking in the stunning scenery or have a romantic picnic in one of the many parks nearby. With a range of budget-conscious accommodations, from cozy cabins to affordable inns, couples can find a comfortable place to rest without straining their wallet. Helen's affordable eateries, serving up hearty German fare, complement the experience, and couples can explore various shops and local craft stores for unique souvenirs without breaking the bank.


Dahlonega is an ideal honeymoon destination for couples on a budget, offering a charming and enchanting escape without breaking the bank. This historic town provides a serene and picturesque ambiance for a memorable getaway. Couples can explore the town's well-preserved architecture, take leisurely walks through scenic trails, and visit local art galleries, all of which come at little to no cost. Dahlonega's affordable bed-and-breakfasts, cozy inns, and budget-friendly accommodations ensure a comfortable stay within budget limits. The town's local shops, boutiques, and craft stores offer unique and inexpensive souvenirs to commemorate their special trip. Additionally, Dahlonega's local eateries and restaurants serve delicious meals at reasonable prices, allowing couples to indulge in delightful culinary experiences without overspending.

"Choosing the perfect honeymoon destination doesn't have to mean choosing between an unforgettable experience and your financial future. As these top 150 budget-friendly destinations show, you can have your wedding cake and eat it too! There's an entire world of affordable, romantic, and unique getaways out there that cater to all types of couples. Whether you're beach lovers, history buffs, adventure junkies, or nature enthusiasts, there's a place for you. Honeymooning on a budget isn't about compromising; it's about starting this beautiful new chapter of your life with smart decisions that pave the way for a stable, happy future" says Dan Bagby from Honeymoon Always.