Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Planning your babymoon? Read on for five Zika-free destinations.

Beach jaunts often make for the ideal babymoon. What more do moms and dads-to-be need than a little sun, sand and rest before being thrust into the un-relaxing world of parenthood? Sadly, the recent news surrounding the Zika virus means time-honored warm weather destinations like Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico may be re-considered by cautious parents-to-be.

RELATED: What to Do If You Want to Cancel Your Babymoon Because of Zika Virus

According to Erina Pindar, managing director at luxury travel agency SmartFlyer, these types of babymoon bookings have been canceled or rebooked domestically. "We're seeing an uptick in luxury ranches, spa or yoga destinations and local travel within the US to places like New Orleans, Charleston or Portland," said Pindar. While you may not be sipping a virgin piña colada, toes in sand, a wealth of babymoon alternatives can be both relaxing and safe. Check out our roundup:



With its temperate weather and stunning waterfront, this historic South Carolina city is best known for its cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and pastel pre-Civil-War houses. For history buffs, there's plenty to do, like visiting Fort Sumter, a Federal bastion where the first shots of the Civil War rang out. But Charleston also affords plenty in the way of R&R. Full service beach resorts like the Tides Hotel and Wild Dunes offer a wealth of amenities, such as golf and water sports. Back in town, The Vendue is the city's newly renovated arts hotel located in the historic district near restaurants, galleries and shops. Seaside grills line the harbor with local low-country cuisine, while for culture buffs, June's Spoleto Festival USA showcases nationally and internationally acclaimed artists in a celebration of opera, theater, dance and music.


If you can't part with the idea of sun and sand, look no further than one of the hottest destinations in the continental U.S. There is no shortage of activities in Miami, from lounging on the beach with a good book, to checking out local galleries in the Wynwood Arts District, to savoring a bit of local culture in Little Havana. Hotels cater to throwback Miami, from the recently renovated Eden Roc to the iconic Delano, while the newest players on the strip, The Faena and the Nautilus Hotel play to a more modernist Miami. If you're seeking less "South" and more "Beach," head further up the coast to the Ritz Carlton Bal Harbor, which offers all the amenities of a South Beach resort, without the crowds.


There is something about Sedona that just exudes calm. This magical Arizona desert town, surrounded by iconic red-rock buttes, steep canyon walls, and pine forests offers a nurturing, zen-like trip for couples looking to bond with each other and their baby-to-be. Take in the famous Chapel of the Holy Cross. Shop the charming Mexican villages with their cobblestone walkways and artisan boutiques. And for a truly relaxing experience, L'Auberge de Sedona is the premiere luxury resort nestled along the banks of Oak Creek in the Red Rock region. It offers unparalleled views from its luxury cottages and guest rooms, as well as fine dining and wellness at the L'Apothecary Spa. Even the most pregnant guest can enjoy low-key outdoor activities, such as moonlit meditation, daily yoga, and guided hikes around the scenic property.


It's not domestic, but this Canadian jewel is just a short drive from Maine and offers a European-style vacation in a nearby city that's at once both warm and inviting and totally cosmopolitan. For a foodie babymoon, you can't fare much better than Montreal. There are meat-heavy cuisines at top brass Joe Beef and the famous poutine and "duck in a can" at Au Pied de Cochon. There are the famous Montreal-style bagels in the heart of Mile End, and old world-style delis, such as Schwartz's and Ruben's. Here, any pregnant cravings could easily be met. For a true luxury experience, the Hotel Le St. James remains unrivaled in the heart of Old Montreal, but boutique hotels like Le Saint-Sulpice and the Hotel Gault appeal to younger, urban travelers craving an authentic experience.

Palm Springs


It's kitschy. It's charming, and most of all it's relaxing. This desert town in the Coachella Valley remains a great getaway for Los Angelinos, and for good reason. With endless sunshine, exceptional restaurants, and top-notch shopping, Palm Springs is an ideal destination to unwind from it all. For architecture aficionados, a historical, mid-century house tour provides a glimpse into old Hollywood, while hot springs offer the perfect respite from a day in the sun. For those who like their luxury spliced with style, The Parker Palm Springs is a decadent, psychedelic-luxe resort with a great spa and top restaurants, including the sumptuous Mister Parker and Norma's.

Planning your babymoon? Read on for five Zika-free destinations.

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