11.04.19

OUR ROAD TRIP HONEYMOON

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

we spent 6 months not really knowing what to do for our honeymoon, we contemplated skipping it, and then one day we just decided to do a spontaneous two week road trip in a van through arizona, utah, colorado, and new mexico! we enjoy that way of travel the most, and somewhere far and fancy felt like too much pressure. it was the BEST decision and we had such a blast!

we rented the nora sprinter van from Go Camp. it was fully stocked and ready to go. it had a table that converted to a queen bed, a small bathroom, and a kitchen with a stove top/oven/sink. plus everything we needed like bedding, utensils, tent, sleeping bag, camping chairs, a heater…everything really. we were driving around 3,000 miles so we wanted something that felt sturdy, safe and fast. the vanagons will be what we will rent for our california road trips!

we did a mixture of camping in the van and a few hotels along the way. some nicer, some motels. it was a really great balance. i’m excited to share our itinerary and hope some of you stop at these spots! I recommend just starring a bunch of places in your google map, plan out a loose itinerary and just hit the road. we went in the off season (oct 18-nov 1st) so some things were closed but mostly it was not crowded and great. let me know if you have any questions!

ok, here we go…

LA > ARIZONA

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

LA > SEDONA

I hadn’t been to sedona since I was a young kid, but I remember being amazed by the sunsets and the red rocks when I was there. there sure is something pretty magical about that place!

we camped at rancho sedona RV park for 2 days and got familiar with the van. it was close to town (we walked a lot), clean and right by the water. I heard amara resort and spa is nice to stay too – here is a $50 off any hotel link if you want!

we really liked indian gardens cafe & market for breakfast (we also stocked up on beer and snacks for the trip here). I heard that mariposa latin grill is worth checking out. we ended up cooking in the van most meals.

we did a pink jeep tour at sunset. pretty touristy, but also so gorgeous so I think it’s worth it.

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
  
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

ARCOSANTI

this was actually our first stop on our way to sedona, about an hour away. arcosanti is an architecture dream! this place has been on our list for awhile, so I am really happy we were able to see it finally. it’s an “experimental city” where people live, but many just visit and tour the place. I find the shapes, windows, colors, and vibe there totally fascinating. check their site and book a little tour. they are strict about not just wandering around on your own.

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

SEDONA > ZION NATIONAL PARK

I was considering going to amangiri for a night because it looks gorgeous but I just couldn’t justify that nightly rate. my friend ashley told me about this ranch in zion called zion mountain ranch that was was affordable and super cute. it’s a bunch of individual cabins and there were grazing animals (baby bison!) and chickens on the property. the drive to get there is really pretty too so I am happy we saw more of Utah on the road.

we also had a cozy farm to table dinner at the restaurant on the property and s’mores on the fire after.

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

the next morning we grabbed breakfast at a casual diner, thunderbird restaurant, on our way out of town (there are only like 2 spots to eat around there)

ZION > ANTELOPE CANYON

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

SEE THE WHOLE TRAVEL GUIDE AFTER THE JUMP!…

man I am so happy we did the antelope canyon tour. it’s INCREDIBLE! blows your mind. we did the lower canyon tour + a lake powell 1 hour boat tour and it was perfect. the lower canyon I heard is smaller but I actually felt like it made it more fun. I think the upper canyon tour fills up quicker, so maybe book in advance. we booked ours the night before. but don’t miss this stop!!

tip: if you want to stay near there instead, find a place in Page, AZ

LAKE POWELL > MONUMENT VALLEY

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

this spot we found the day of on hipcamp, a site just like airbnb we were using to find campsites. the one we chose was wayyy in the middle of nowhere which was kinda scary but only because we drove at pitch dark and there was no cell service on a dirt road. you can really freak yourself out at night haha. in the morning there were actual kittens running around and it was beautiful. pretty funny actually.

MONUMENT VALLEY > DUNTON

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

it’s so cool to see the landscape drastically change from utah to colorado! some of our favorite moments on the trip were just driving on empty roads with vast land everywhere you turned. it’s soooo nice to disconnect from signage, logos, and buildings!

I was most excited about seeing dunton hot springs and it truly delivers. it’s secluded, the land is gorgeous, the cabins are well designed, the meals are all inclusive and delicious (they ring a bell and everyone eats together) and the hot springs are just awesome! justin did fly fishing and I spent hours in their little cabin library with a fire. we loved it SO much. it’s pricey but seriously a treat once you are there. we did two nights there, but I think 2-4 days is just perfect to get the full experience. (I think you can just go soak and have lunch there too, it’s just kinda in the middle of nowhere)

we stayed in “christy’s tent” cabin…

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

we definitely hope to go back to dunton hot springs one day with a family!

DUNTON > TELLURIDE

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

then we did a quick day trip or one night in a few little mountain towns. such a fun section of the trip. our first stop was telluride! we had the most delicious lunch at this laid back spot called floradora saloon (the duck egg rolls and french dip with a bloody mary is highly recommended by me) we just walked around and popped in a few stores and then kept on moving…

TELLURIDE > OURAY

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

we spent the night in ouray which is such a charming, sort of strange but in a good way town. we chose to stay at the wiesbaden hot springs because someone told us the vapor caves under the hotel were super cool. they were definitely weird and worth seeing (look at these photos!) and the motel was perfectly placed in town so we could easily walk everywhere. it’s a no frills place and was like $100. a lot of people told me orvis in ridgway is a great option to stay at too, more of a hippy, clothing optional, secluded hot springs place just like 10 mins outside of town. we passed it and it looked like a fun spot.

we ate at the outlaw restaurant and split a steak + crab legs plate that was gooood and then shot some pool at the silver eagle dive bar across the street. in the morning we grabbed a breakfast sandwich at the goods. I heard mouse’s chocolates & coffee is great for a sweet tooth.

also definitely recommend seeing box canyon park. we aren’t big hikers, so we weren’t really looking for anything crazy but this was a short easy walk, and an impressive waterfall!

oh and just a note, this drive is along the million dollar highway which is insanely pretty but can be kinda scary. people hyped me up a lot about it but we were only scared for a couple minutes (no side rails, steep drop offs, winding roads) just be careful, take it slow and enjoy!

OURAY > SILVERTON

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

silverton! a colorful old mining town that will make you feel transported in time once you arrive. it’s really small so you can easily walk around the whole thing. the streets are wide, there’s an old train that you can take from there and most of it feels like an old western movie.

the wyman hotel was opened by an adorable couple that we really enjoyed meeting. they moved from brooklyn and live in silverton now. they have amazing taste and their boutique hotel was lovely. it’s such a contrast to the surroundings, so comfortable, they have movie nights and events…we loved it.

we grabbed lunch at the avalanche and a hit-the-spot comfort meal for dinner at the eureka station.

SILVERTON > DURANGO > RED RIVER

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

our last mountain town was durango. we were lucky to arrive when the farmer’s market was happening. we stopped in a few vintage stores and picked up some food to make for dinner at our camp site. on our way out we had maybe the best breakfast burrito i’ve ever had at backcountry (pork belly, potato, just wow!) I kinda wish we had more time in that town. but we kept it moving…

we wanted another night of mountain camping and decided on red river in new mexico so we could split up the driving and make it to taos earlier the next day. we stayed at a pretty empty RV park, cooked a stew, sat by the fire and went to sleep early. at this point we were getting pretty worn out from moving around so much, I could tell our patience was wearing thin and we needed to just chill.

RED RIVER > TAOS

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

we had the best huevos rancheros at farmhouse and explored taos a little bit. we were pretty exhausted and a lot of the restaurants I wanted to try (everyone told me love apple!) weren’t open till later that night. we didn’t really time taos right, but we will go back someday! we drove the two hours to santa fe and took a nap. sometimes you gotta just miss out.

TAOS > SANTA FE

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

we loved our 2 night stay at the el rey court in santa fe. (maybe call to book because only some of the rooms are renovated and it makes a big difference) it’s affordable, comfortable, very stylish, great bar, and it has a little pop up tent with coffee and breakfast. it’s not very walkable to the main part of town, but it’s a quick 5 min drive. you have to get a margarita at their bar, la raina. our first night we had an amazing dinner at paloma (queso, tacos and mezcal!!)

the inn of five graces looks very interesting to stay too, but we wanted something a little less extravagant. maybe next time we will try it.

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

the next day was jam packed after a good night’s sleep and excitement for santa fe. we obviously hit up the wacky and must see Meow Wolf, then we had enchiladas at cafe pasqual’s, and found some new zuni treasures at keshi just down the street. we walked through the georgia o’keeffe museum and then went our separate ways for a few hours.

I was SO excited to try the ten thousand waves spa, and it was a DREAM. I just booked an hour massage (good prices) and got to soak in the hot springs, hang in the saunas and meditation room (with spa music headphones) for a few hours before and after. I felt like a new woman! it was so peaceful and i highly recommend. then justin met up with me for dinner on the property at the izanami restaurant and it was seriously good!! get a sake flight, a try the tasting menu. a very romantic spot that feels like a trip to japan!

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

oh and don’t forget the green chile cilantro corn cakes with honey at modern general! they are to die for. there are more new mexico recommendations here from my last trip if you are interested.

SANTA FE > WHITE SANDS

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefestv
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

I knew I HAD to put my eyes on the white sands national monument. we timed it so that we could arrive around sunset and it other worldly and awesome. we bought those sleds at the gift shop and basically laughed at ourselves for an hour because we couldn’t get them to work and just felt out of shape and out of breath, but it was hilarious. it almost feels like you are on the moon! I loved driving through the park so much!

there isn’t a lot around there, so we ended up crashing at the hotel encanto in las cruces (about an hour away and was $80) we went full blown cheesy, ate at olive garden, watched 90 day fiance in bed and had a blast. in the morning we drove 15 mins to a cute little town called mesilla for breakfast which was interesting. the billy the kid gift shop was worth popping in.

MESILLA > TUCSON

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

the posada was easily one of the best designed hotels i’ve ever seen. what an amazing way to end our trip. every corner was so intentional and beautiful. it was created by the talented duo who designed the joshua tree house (which is also worth checking out in california!)

we stayed in the saguaro suite, (get $40 towards your stay with this code). coolest bathroom ever. we watched movies, made fires, cooked in the community room…it was the best.

it’s about 30 mins outside of tucson next to the saguaro national park. it’s very secluded and i recommend just getting food and drinks to cook with and chilling out for a few days.

we ate at penca for dinner and five points market for breakfast on our way back home. both were good!

honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest
honeymoon road trip | designlovefest

and then we made the 7.5 hour drive home. it was our longest driving day and kind of sad since it was all over, but we really had such a memorable time. I am SO SO SO happy we made this happen. I really hope someone copies this exact trip and writes me about it 🙂 we love van living and will definitely be doing more of that soon!

lots of love! xx bri

photos by designlovefest

14 COMMENTS

Add your own

    Anonymous says:

    Well, I can really say I enjoyed every minute and every picture. Everything was super professional!! I will always want to come back to this post and watch it again. Especially the pictures. Fabulous!!!!

    Marcella says:

    Love this! Have been to white sands twice and slender both times it’s funny that y’all couldn’t 😂 also last time I was in Tucson for work went to both Penca and five points for breakfast!

    Marcella says:

    oops autocorrect don’t know why it said slender lol

    So beautiful! Will be going to AZ Sedona in a couple of days and I’m definitely planning to stop by Arcosanti, can’t wait! Would love to visit New Mexico in the near future though and will save these spots for next time! Thanks for the recommendations ! 🙂

    This honeymoon is SO ‘you guys’!! Love seeing your adventure, love you! xo

    Karlijn says:

    This looks and sounds amazing! I’m sending this to my boyfriend, we want to make an USA-trip next year and I really want to do yours now 🙂 X

    fnaf says:

    The photos of your trip are quite impressive and beautiful, I would love to see them.

    Harriet says:

    Wow, this looks incredible! We’re feeling the same where we haven’t been able to decide where to honeymoon so hopefully a spontaneous trip will present itself as a sign to us!

    192.168.1.1 says:

    Wow! Everything looks amazing!! Love the photos~

    Carmelo says:

    Living in a van with all the amenities and being able to go from one place to another is a complete adventure. accesselitenow.com/

    paige j says:

    I’ve done quite a few things on this trip, but on different occasions, but you really hit all the spots!…also love the idea of renting a camper van…sounds so fun! I’m headed to red/river taos area for thanksgiving so we’ll definitely be making some of these stops along the way! such a helpful round-up

    -Paige
    https://paigesofnothing.com/a-marrakech-travel-guide-for-fashion-lovers/

    sam says:

    This has been my roadtrip D R E A M forever!!!! Amazing photos and inspiration for when I finally make my dreams come true! Beautiful!! Thank you for this post!!

    Gary says:

    Judging from the photos, it looks like you enjoyed you really enjoyed your honeymoon. atlanticsigncompany.com/cincinnati-channel-letter-signs/

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