Whether you’re looking to chill or be adventurous, we found awesome spots around the world for your last, prebaby trip.
By Juliet Izon
Other than a honeymoon, there may be no vacation with higher expectations than a babymoon. The stakes for the best babymoon destinations are especially high—because, whether it’s your first kid or your fourth, you’ll want to squeeze every last drop of relaxation and exploration out of the trip before your world explodes with, well, diaper explosions.
And with Zika now less of a concern (but please, wear bug spray and speak to your doctor before booking travel plans!), the entire world is now your (pregnancy-safe equivalent of an) oyster. Just make sure to travel during the weeks your ob-gyn deems safe, which is generally the second trimester (or 14 to 28 weeks).
Where to go all depends on your travel style, budget, and how long you’d like to be away. Is cozying up for a romantic weekend getaway in a lodge your speed? Or are you more of an overwater-bungalow-in-the-Maldives type? We’ve done the research and compiled the best babymoon destinations from around the world for every type of trip and traveler, whether you’re looking to go all out or stay on budget, fly halfway around the globe or keep it close to home.
As you ponder your dream trip (and the pregnancy-friendly shoes to pack), read on to discover 22 spots that are absolutely perfect for your prebaby vacation.
Known as the The Valley Isle, Hawaii’s second largest island is best known for its stunning beaches, excellent farm-to-table restaurants, and plenty of resorts that can cater to your every whim (or craving). You could certainly spend your entire trip on the island’s serene sandy shores; with 30 miles of beach coastline, there are plenty of spots to choose from. Or, if you’re feeling more active, there’s everything on Maui from snorkeling to whale watching to deep-sea fishing. We love the elegance of the newly refreshed Fairmont Kea Lani, located on the gorgeous Wailea coast. You can hang out all day at the adults-only pool in a private cabana, then head to the award-winning Willow Stream Spa for side-by-side body scrubs and massages.
Surrounded almost exclusively by the calm waters of the Caribbean Sea and boasting 95 miles of stunning coastline, there are few islands better for beach lovers than Antigua. And while we certainly endorse a babymoon spent entirely prone on the beach, the island also offers much in the way of low-key activities, like kayaking, snorkeling, and hiking on numerous trails. We recommend posting up at Curtain Bluff, an all-inclusive resort with an unbelievably attentive staff who can cater to your every pregnancy craving. Amenities include a palm-shaded beach, 72 suites and rooms with ocean views, and a 5,000-square-foot spa with services like a mango-passionfruit yogurt wrap and pregnancy massages.
With a nickname of One Happy Island, is there any wonder that this cheerful spot in the Leeward Antilles is ideal for a babymoon? Our guess is that the moniker has something to do with the weather; Aruba is located outside the “Hurricane Alley” of the Caribbean, which means sunny skies are the default year-round. Add in powder-soft sand, cerulean blue waters, and easy flights from the US, and it’s a no-brainer why the island is a popular spot for any kind of ’mooning. Check in to the Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, which was recently renovated and offers tons of romantic activities for parents-to-be, like private dinners on the beach and couples spa treatments.
Nassau, the Bahamas
The capital of the Bahamas may be the most famous location in the islands, but it’s been popular for decades for good reason: It’s an easy flight from most US cities (crucial when you’re getting up to pee every 10 minutes), the beaches are unparalleled, and there are hotels for every budget, from affordable to luxe. The country’s unofficial motto is “It’s Better Here,” after all. We also love Nassau because, apart from the serene beaches, there’s lots to keep you occupied in the city, from the National Art Gallery to casinos and white-tablecloth dining. Check in to Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, a beachfront resort with eight pools, on-site snorkeling, special spa treatments for pregnancy, and access to 45 different dining options in or near the hotel, making it easy to never leave.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Few places embody New England charm the way Cape Cod does, a peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeast tip of Massachusetts. There are over a dozen towns to explore, from the more populous Yarmouth and Falmouth to the teeny but adorable Truro and Provincetown. During the warmer months, you can pick a new beach every day, taking a break to wander into the towns for lobster rolls or fried clams, or visit during autumn, when the area’s trees explode into a riot of colors. For a unique, affordable experience (and one that is certainly trickier to do with a baby), check in to AutoCamp Cape Cod, a collection of Airstream suites and roomy canvas tents. Perks include free vinyasa yoga and nightly outdoor fires with live music—both excellent ways to chill prebaby.
You don’t have to go to an island to experience the restorative powers of the Caribbean Sea: Mexico’s Caribbean Coast offers the same white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters as destinations that are a little farther afield. And while parts of Cancún have a reputation for attracting spring breakers, there are many areas within an easy drive of the airport that are tranquil and restorative. One of the best hotels for a babymoon is the new Etéreo, an Auberge Resorts Collection property that’s just 30 minutes from the airport and nestled inside a protected mangrove forest. Parents-to-be can relax in private plunge pools in the rooms, take a dip in the spa’s modern-day cenote, or even nap in one of the beach’s breezy hammocks.
The DR, just a short, two-hour flight from Miami and about four from most East Coast cities, is one of our favorite picks for a babymoon because it’s just so easy to get to. And of course, once you’re there, you’re greeted with a tropical island with nearly a thousand miles of coastline, with 250 of that being some of the Caribbean’s finest beaches. And if you’re up for a little more adventure, the island is home to 26 golf courses, easy hiking trails, beautiful waterfalls, and the only cloud forest in the Caribbean. For the ultimate in pampering, book a room at the Relais & Châteaux property Eden Roc Cap Cana, where parents-to-be can treat themselves to a couples massage in your room’s personal spa area, lounge in your very own pool, or snooze at the resort’s Blue Flag–certified private beach.
Key West, Florida
For a tropical island experience that doesn’t require leaving the continental US, take a drive down to the end of US Route 1. Key West is actually the continental US’s southernmost city, which makes it an especially appealing spot during the chilliest months of winter. Here, babymooners can snorkel in glass-clear waters, explore the shops on Duval Street, or hop on a sailboat for the day. We recommend booking a stay at Oceans Edge Resort & Marina, a tranquil 20-acre expanse of palm trees that also boasts amenities like six saltwater swimming pools, free yoga classes and kayak rentals, and roomy oceanfront balconies.
Lake Como, Italy
Few places scream glamorous relaxation the way Italy’s Lake District does—the sparkling waters, the enchanting villages, and the possibility of a George Clooney sighting. The crown jewel is certainly Lake Como, which, at just an hour’s drive from Milan’s Malpensa airport, is actually doable for a long weekend from the East Coast. And if you’re looking to feel like Italian royalty, there’s nowhere better to stay than the beloved Grand Hotel Tremezzo, a 100-year-old palazzo that’s surrounded by a private park. Low-stress activities here include pasta-making classes, boat tours around the lake, or a romantic dinner for two (and a half) at La Terrazza Gualtiero Marchesi, which is famous for its decadent gold-leaf risotto.
Litchfield County, Connecticut
As Gilmore Girls fans know, there’s just something magical about the Connecticut countryside. This pocket in the northwest of the state is ideal for those looking for a babymoon that offers a little bit of everything: relaxation, exploration, and a ton of natural beauty. Each town in the area, from Kent to Washington, is oozing with New England charm, and most are close to gentle hiking, boutique shopping, and excellent farm-to-table restaurants. And if a spa day is a must-do, then make sure to reserve a room at Mayflower Inn & Spa, one of the East Coast’s premier wellness destinations. The Well at The Mayflower Inn specializes in restorative treatments influenced by a combination of Eastern and Western healing practices (think guided sleep meditation and reiki), and also offers prenatal services like a 90-minute massage.
If a city babymoon is more your speed, there are few urban centers easier to navigate than London. The tube makes it simple to speed from the adorable High Street of Marylebone to the cool-kid neighborhoods of Dalston and Hackney, and Central London is easily walkable. Plus, whether you’re in the mood for live theater, stellar art and history museums, delicious pastries, or boutique shopping, London has it all in spades. We love the Corinthia London for a babymoon trip: Not only is it centrally located to many of the city’s best sights, it’s also home to ESPA Life at Corinthia, probably the city’s finest spa. Here, parents-to-be can toggle between the sleep pods to the vitality pool, or book a private spa suite for two for a healing mud ritual.
Mackinac Island, Michigan
Sitting squarely between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas in the middle of Lake Huron is this quaint island, almost frozen in amber. Here you’ll find horse-drawn carriages instead of cars, some of the country’s most outstanding fudge, and a pace of life that’s refreshingly laid back—all ideal for a relaxing babymoon. There’s also plentiful hiking, a bike trail around the entire island, and famous sunrises that are worth waking up for. For the best early morning views, book a room at Mission Point Resort, an 18-acre hotel with a peaceful Great Lawn, historic on-site movie theater, and six restaurants with a “farm-to-ferry” focus. Lakeside Spa and Salon also offers a special “Momma Bee” massage, which focuses on the feet and includes a sweet honey mask.
Sure, it’s far, even if you’re flying from the West Coast, but if you have your heart set on cerulean blue seas and a sweet overwater bungalow, there is nowhere better. This nation in the middle of the Indian Ocean comprises 1,100 islands and, aside from its superb resorts, is also known for its colorful coral reefs and white-sand beaches with shallow waters. And while it’s hard to go wrong with any property here, one of our favorites is the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, just a 25-minute speedboat ride from the airport. Each room here is a freestanding structure and ideal for relaxation, encompassing a private pool, sunrise or sunset views of the ocean, and a cozy daybed gazebo. For a special romantic prebaby treat, book a couples massage at The Night Spa, a rooftop terrace setup complete with an oversized bathtub.
New York City
While we wouldn’t say that a stay in the Big Apple would qualify as the most relaxing of babymoons, it’s hard to think of a place with more to explore than this buzzy city. Whether scooping up a whole new wardrobe of maternity clothes (and baby clothes!) is on your to-do list, or checking out some of the nation’s most well-regarded restaurants, a vacation in NYC can truly be anything you want it to be, from museum-focused to concert hopping to pizza crawls. One of our favorite new properties is the stunning Ritz-Carlton New York, Nomad, which is not only home to José Andrés’s Zaytinya restaurant but also the insanely beautiful rooftop bar Nubeluz (don’t worry, they can make you a mocktail!). Apart from its central location, we also love it here for its brand-new babymoon package, which includes, among other perks, a stay in a spacious one-bedroom suite, a custom embroidered blanket and robe, breakfast in bed for two, and a 90-minute Naturally Nurtured massage.
Palm Springs, California
Located in the Coachella Valley, this desert retreat has long had a glamorous reputation for its eye-catching midcentury architecture, wellness culture, and around 350 days of sunshine all year. While we wouldn’t recommend anyone pregnant come here during the summer, when temps can average 100°F, the dry heat of the January-through-April season is the perfect antidote to wintry climates elsewhere in the country. Here babymooners can take the 2.5-mile aerial tramway for a beautiful view of the valley, stroll through the colorful stores of downtown, and tour some of the best examples of “Desert Modernism” architecture. Of course, you’ll also want to leave ample room for pool and relaxation time. Our hotel vote is Korakia Pensione, a collection of beautiful Mediterranean- and Moroccan-inspired villas whose amenities include two pools, indoor and outdoor spa services, and a huge included breakfast that can be delivered to your room.
The City of Light is also one of the most romantic destinations in the world, which we think makes for a wonderful babymoon. Whether you’re planning on just strolling the Seine or embarking on an all-day croissant tasting, Paris can be as busy or as quiet as you would prefer. And while it’s hard to find a hotel here that’s not beautiful or charming, one of our favorites is the storied Hotel Ritz, a sumptuous property with gorgeously designed rooms. We also love The Ritz Club & Spa, which has recently been redesigned and offers services from heavy hitters like skin care from Biologique Recherche, makeup from Serge Lutens, and nail care by Manucurist. Prebaby pampering has never been so chic.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
This resort town on Mexico’s Pacific coast is known for being one of the most welcoming cities in the country, as well as having gorgeous beaches and excellent food. What’s not to love? More adventurous babymooners can snorkel the reefs, take a sunset sail, or explore the Vallarta Botanical Gardens, but those looking for more relaxation have a wealth of awesome hotels from which to choose. We’re big fans of The Westin Resort & Spa, which is located on a secluded former palm tree farm. The resort has its own private beach, as well as walking trails, a tennis court, and plenty of water sports. They can even prepare a romantic seaside picnic for you, the better to enjoy the area’s famed sunsets.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
This capital of New Mexico is known as The City Different because there are so many ways to experience it. Art lovers will swoon over the high concentration of galleries and museums. Outdoor aficionados will enjoy the bountiful ski resorts and hiking trails that surround the city. And there are few places with more exciting and delicious cuisine than Santa Fe. For a splurge, check into elegant The Inn of the Five Graces, a boutique hotel in a traditional adobe structure that offers colorfully designed rooms, a hearty included breakfast, and a killer Tibetan-inspired spa. For a more affordable, but just as charming option, we also love La Posada de Santa Fe, a Historic Hotel of America with casita-style rooms and suites.
There may not be anywhere else on the planet that’s as stylish and luxurious as St. Barts, which is, technically, an overseas collectivity of France. This haven in the West Indies is home to some of the Caribbean’s most stunning and high-touch hotels, dreamy white-sand beaches, and restaurants that are as good as what you would expect from a French territory (which is, very). Basically, if you’re worried you might not get a vacation for a while after baby, do yourself a favor and book a flight here. While we doubt there’s anywhere to stay on the island that’s not flawless, a favorite property of ours is the boutique and ultra-private Le Toiny. Each of the 22 rooms at the Relais & Châteaux property has its own private pool and ample terrace which overlooks the beautiful Toiny Bay. But if you can drag yourself away, the resort also has its own Beach Club and Le Toiny Restaurant, which serves some of the island’s best seafood.
Fun fact: This island in the eastern Caribbean is the only sovereign nation to be named for a woman. And while that’s probably reason enough to visit, St. Lucia is also one of our favorite Caribbean destinations for its sheer diversity of activities. While the famed twin Piton mountains are one of the most famous attractions, there are also volcanic mud baths, excellent snorkeling, and—if you time it right—live sea turtle hatching. Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, is our top pick for a babymoon not only for its privacy but its gargantuan rooms, all with butler service (excellent for midnight cravings). The 100-acre property also has amazing views of the Pitons, a couples treehouse treatment room at the spa, and Saltwood, one of the island’s best restaurants for a special occasion.
St. Michael’s, Maryland
Just a few hours’ drive from most of the mid-Atlantic, this idyllic and historic town on the Miles River punches well above its weight when it comes to charm, fine dining, and pampering hotels. A day here could include plenty of time on the water, of course, whether that’s sailing, fishing, or kayaking, followed by a seafood lunch (don’t leave here without trying Maryland’s famed crabs), and then ending with an afternoon of shopping the unique boutiques on Talbot Street. One of our favorite hotels in the area is the romantic and tranquil Inn at Perry Cabin, which has three of its own daysailer boats, 26 acres of gardens to wander, and its own golf course. Don’t miss the spa, which uses herbs and aromatics from the hotel’s garden to create truly transportive treatments, including a prenatal massage.
Sure, you may not be able to partake in Tuscan wines during a babymoon, but we think the stellar cuisine, postcard-perfect rolling hills, and innumerable charming villages more than make up for it. In Tuscany you can rent a car to hop from town to town or find a quaint villa-turned-hotel to make your home base. Our top pick in the area is the stunningly restored Borgo Pignano. Located just outside the walled town of Volterra, this über-romantic property is made up of a number of spacious rooms, maisonettes, and villas, all of which are unique in their furnishings. After a day exploring the region, you can spend the afternoon poolside, or book a massage in the spa, which is located in a well house that has been there since medieval times. Bonus: This property is one of the most eco-friendly in Italy, and is a member of the prestigious Beyond Green portfolio of sustainable hotels.