Where is a good place to honeymoon in the midwest U.S. in July?
February 6, 2008 5:41 PM   Subscribe

Where is a good place to honeymoon in the midwest U.S. in July?

My fiancee and I are getting married in mid-July in southern Indiana. We'd like to find a destination or experience that meets the following criteria:

- within a day's drive of southern Indiana (we may need to get back at a moment's notice due to a family member's health)
- can be done in a week or less (no long commitments)
- less than $2.5K
- preferably something memorable but not too strenuous
- should have at least the opportunity for quiet time
- anything that appeals to readers, animal lovers, historical buffs, and/or film/art fans is a bonus
- on our previous vacations, we loved Charleston (SC), were not as thrilled with Vegas, and enjoyed the NC Outer Banks

posted by The Beezer to Travel & Transportation (28 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Door County, Wisconsin might be kind of a trek, but it's very pretty.
posted by christinetheslp at 5:46 PM on February 6, 2008

Mackinac Island? Touristy as all get-out, but still fun if you've never done it before.
posted by InnocentBystander at 5:48 PM on February 6, 2008

I'd second Mackinac Island - absolutely wonderful. Excellent food, very Victorian, the slow pace makes for an excellent honeymoon. The Inn at Stonecliffe is about the best you can do for a honeymoon and they take very good care of you. There are some great little resorts on the island.
Also, Holland, Michigan.

I've also had a blast every single time I've been to Madison, Wisconson, without exception.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 6:16 PM on February 6, 2008

Let me pitch Cincinnati. Its only a 2-4 hours from Southern Indiana. We have an excellent zoo, an aquarium, several art museums, and two different multi-screen art house cinemas. You should be able to do that for well less $2.5K.
posted by mmascolino at 6:26 PM on February 6, 2008

Madison is excellent, especially in the summer. You can get a nice mix of city things and country things, and there are great bars and wonderful restaurants. For $2.5 K you could have an amazing time there for a week.

Door County is very pretty, too, but offers less variety in terms of what you can do. If you want to hike and do outdoor things and put up with a lot of tiny towns with too much traffic, it is very pretty and it's fun.

posted by rachelpapers at 6:26 PM on February 6, 2008

How about renting a cabin in Red River Gorge, Kentucky?

Louisville has some great restaurants and can provide a good night out on the town on your way there and back.

The Gorge offers a lot of options in the way of nicer cabins, B&Bs and light outdoorsy activities like canoe trips and afternoon hikes. You'll get plenty of quiet time, and are close enough to Lexington that trips to horse farms, historic locations and old towns would be easy to accomplish.
posted by cior at 6:29 PM on February 6, 2008

Winona Lake, Indiana (I think that's where my grandparents' honeymoon was) or maybe Oakwood Park by Lake Wawasee (disclaimer: I know people who work there). I'm not sure if it'll be your thing exactly. It's a bit like summer camp -- tennis, swimming, boating, swing sets, fishing, and you can either stay in a cabin or a luxury hotel. MefiMail me if you want advice or details.
posted by salvia at 6:38 PM on February 6, 2008

Chicago? Sandusky Ohio? Traverse City Michigan?
posted by 6:1 at 6:41 PM on February 6, 2008

I agree with cior that Red River Gorge is a beautiful part of Kentucky. I live in Chicago, and make it down there 15-20 times a year to go rock climbing. But I have to say, I'm not convinced that it would make a great honeymoon location. It's pretty rustic. Personally, I'd get bored rather quickly if I couldn't climb.

For $2.5K, you could easily have quite a bit of fun in Chicago. There are some nice hotels that will give you deals in the $150-200 range, which leaves plenty left over for some great food, drinks and events. The Ravinia music festival (in the burbs, but there is a commuter train that runs) has lawn tickets for $10 and Millennium Park has amazing free concerts nearly every night (except for the week of Taste of Chicago). Combine that with great art cinema, music festivals, street fairs, etc., there would be lots to see and do.

Mackinaw Island could be fun. Consider spending much of your time in Harbor Springs/Traverse City. The whole area is beautiful and very quiet. Mackinaw is touristy, but the rest is much more laid back.
posted by centerweight at 6:45 PM on February 6, 2008

The American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin (about 45 min north of Milwaukee). I've stayed in Paris, New York, and San Francisco, and this is still my favorite hotel.

appeals to readers,

Lots of quiet places to sit with a book. You'll drive thru Milwaukee on your way there, which has my favorite bookstore ever.

animal lovers,

horseback riding nearby

historical buffs,

The American Club was originally built for immigrant workers at the Kohler factory. There are historical tours.

and/or film/art fans is a bonus

The Kohler Arts Center, "a nationally acclaimed visual and performing arts complex."
posted by desjardins at 6:47 PM on February 6, 2008

Look up Eureka Springs, AK.
posted by sourwookie at 6:49 PM on February 6, 2008

Frankfort, Michigan. Really nice.
posted by John of Michigan at 6:51 PM on February 6, 2008

Galena, IL, perhaps. I find it a little schmoopy, but lots of people love the place. Lots of bed + breakfasts, and U.S. Grant lived there!
posted by asuprenant at 6:52 PM on February 6, 2008

Like some other people, the first place I thought of was Mackinac Island. In particular, the Grand Hotel is a beautiful, historic hotel with lots of character and great views.
posted by blue mustard at 6:59 PM on February 6, 2008

If you are into the arts the Chautauqua Institution is an incredibly interesting place.

I highly recommend Mackinac Island. The Grand Hotel would make a grand honeymoon destination. Holland, not so much. It's a nice city, with a decent beach, but there is not much there and not much in the way of restaurants. Saugatuck is a bit more interesting, with some very nice B&Bs and restaurants, although it does get a bit touristy. The Homestead up in the Leelanau peninsula would also make a great honeymoon location.
posted by caddis at 7:22 PM on February 6, 2008

Mineral Point, Wisconsin is nice.
posted by mamaraks at 7:45 PM on February 6, 2008

Lake Geneva, WI
posted by probablysteve at 7:49 PM on February 6, 2008

If you want to go somewhere close, there is always French Lick. The West Baden Springs Hotel is awesome.
posted by curlyelk at 7:53 PM on February 6, 2008

i live in nashville, and it might be a nice choice--there's the usual country-music touristy stuff, which is fun for about a day, but there are also good museums, some historic plantations, enough civilization to support some great restaurants and bars.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:56 PM on February 6, 2008

Oxford, MS. Home of Faulkner, lots of beautiful natural scenery. Should be maybe a 6-8 hour drive. Very good for you as book and history buffs. It should be way doable within your budget.
posted by cushie at 9:35 PM on February 6, 2008

Seconding sourwookie on Eureka Springs.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:36 PM on February 6, 2008

More West than Midwest, but lots of people like seeing the sights in Utah. Maybe?

Or, too far?
posted by SlyBevel at 10:08 PM on February 6, 2008

Hermann, Missouri - romantic, lots of B&Bs, places to eat, stroll, wine country(!) - "Old-World hospitality and the quiet charms of an earlier time."
posted by sagwalla at 2:44 AM on February 7, 2008

I went to Denison University in Granville, OH and was surprised by how many couples honey mooned there. It's a gorgeous little quaint town with Bed and Breakfasts and cute little shops. I'm not sure I'd love it, but a lot of people do!
posted by CAnneDC at 8:00 AM on February 7, 2008

Seconding Cincinnati. The Newport Aquarium is amazing: there are several tunnels that go under the tanks so you see things as though you were diving with the fish. The natural history museum (in a magnificent old train station) has just the right blend of interesting and kooky (giant fake cave walk-through, dinosaur skeletons, etc.). There are many good restaurants, and downtown is fairly visitor-friendly. Not super-cupids-romantic but it doesn't sound like you're necessarily looking for that. See this question for more to do.
posted by fidelity at 8:42 AM on February 7, 2008

Seconding Louisville. If you choose it, stay here. Absolutely the best B&B/hotel experience I have ever had.
posted by nax at 9:47 AM on February 7, 2008

Response by poster: Wow, so many great responses and choices. Thank you all so much!
posted by The Beezer at 6:23 AM on February 10, 2008

you're welcome...and I forgot...Congrats.
posted by mmascolino at 4:19 PM on February 10, 2008

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