Inexpensive Trips Tips

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Where can we have a "mini-moon" in California?

Santa Catalina Island Honeymoon

If you live on the west coast, have only a few days after the wedding for your honeymoon, but would really like to get away from it all, Catalina Island may be just the spot for you. Just an hour's ferry ride from Los Angeles, romantic Catalina is worlds away from the big city.

There has been little development since the days when William Wrigley Jr. (of chewing gum fame) lived in his mansion more than 80 years ago. Restored to its former elegance, the grand house is now the Inn on Mt. Ada, offering charming hotel rooms, gorgeous suites, fabulous views of the town of Avalon and wonderful cuisine.

While in Avalon, you won't be able to miss the glowing, cylindrical Casino. Also built by Wrigley, some 70 years ago, this gorgeous Art Deco structure still entertains with dances, bands, and films.

There's great snorkeling and scuba diving around the island (often described as the best in Southern California) and dive boats are available for excursions. In fact, just about every water-related sport imaginable can be enjoyed, from parasailing to kayaking.

If you're a landlubber, you're sure to love the wonderful trails, gorgeous gardens and herds of roaming bison.

During the week and off-season, room rates are quite reasonable, especially considering the pristine ocean views, terrific meals and relative tranquility that await you on Santa Catalina Island.

Where can we "mini-moon" in the South East?

Romantic Key West Honeymoon

If you live on the East Coast, don't have much time to get away after the wedding, and love the idea of a tropical island honeymoon, Florida's Key West is an excellent choice for a mini-moon.

Key West is known for its many interesting bars, each more interesting than the last. Fans of American literature will have a great time haunting the old haunts of Ernest Hemingway, most notably Sloppy Joe's, “Papa's” favorite hangout. Another must-see is Hemingway House, the famous writer's home for eight years, and where he penned several of his famous works.

There's great shopping and sightseeing in Old Town, beautiful gardens, palm trees and, of course, spectacular stretches of the Atlantic.

Key West also boasts some fine restaurants; hotel accommodations are numerous and can be quite reasonable, though it's advisable to book well in advance. Then when you arrive, you can kick off your shoes and indulge in Key West's specialty: relaxation!

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George Sayour