Could COVID-19 Be the Best Time for a Mini-moon?
Updated: Jul 23
Mini-moons became a popular option for couples who didn’t have the time, or the resources, to take their dream honeymoon immediately following their wedding. The mini-moon was a way of celebrating and marking the moment, without breaking the bank. Usually, mini-moons were like a space holder getaway—they didn’t replace the big honeymoon; they simply bought the couple some extra time between the wedding and the big trip, while ensuring the wedding weekend was still memorably celebrated.
Today, across the country, couples are having to cancel their weddings. New travel restrictions mean even eloping isn’t a guaranteed way to get hitched. And no matter how calm or chill a couple is, seeing their intended date on the calendar, knowing that what should have been their wedding will instead be a day like any other, is more than a little depressing. Enter the pre-wedding, mini-moon.
Let us be clear—we aren’t saying you should throw caution to the wind and go travel as though nothing is going on. We are saying that with planning and responsible behavior, there are types of travel that can be done safely, and getting away together to commemorate what should have been a wedding weekend is sure to help alleviate the cancellation blues.
Here are some of the best options currently available for mini-moons:
1. The North Shore
This is one place you can still book a hotel-holiday. Many hotels have elevated their cleaning practices in order to offer rooms during COVID-19. Some are distributing breakfasts and toiletries in contact-less bags. Others are foregoing turn-down services to limit exposure between hotel-workers and guests. Every hotel we know of is enforcing masks in common areas, and limiting elevator occupancy to two people, or one family.
Once you’re in Superior’s North Shore, your options for remote, outdoor activities are seemingly endless. You can go for long hikes, taking in extraordinary vistas. You can golf pristine courses. You can search for agates, have picnics, go fishing, visit outdoor historical sites, or even try whale watching from ten different beaches. Yes, you read that correctly. According to Northshorevisitor.com, multiple charter boat services, and many locals, there have been abundant sightings of migrating whales on Lake Superior.
2. Brainerd Lakes
Many of the best businesses in this area have reopened. Book a stay at Grand View Lodge, Maddens, Craguns, or Breezy Point. Only two hours north of the Twin Cities, you can feel worlds away. Brainerd Lakes offers over 125 miles of bike paths, waterways to traverse by paddleboard or kayak, championship-level golf courses, and hotels and restaurants housing some of Minnesota’s best wine collections.
This area has all the trappings for a mini-moon where adventure meets romance, and its close proximity to the cities makes this a manageable option for just about any couple.
3. The Great American Road Trip
State parks are open. Private campgrounds and RV parks are open. Buy a tent or rent an RV, and hit the limitless open road. This is the perfect way to see areas you’ve never dreamed of seeing before.
Drive south to the Ozarks, east to Northern New England, or west all the way to wine country. Or, keep it more local by visiting Michigan’s Upper Peninsula or South Dakota’s legendary badlands and Black Hills. Everything becomes available if you’re willing to drive there. Pick a place where outdoor activity abounds, whether that is hiking and bird-watching in the Porkies, or wandering among the vines at your favorite wineries.
Many RV’s now offer internet capabilities, making a getaway possible even for couples who are having to work remotely. Go where your curiosity takes you. Enjoy the scenery and slow pace from your socially-distanced car window, and enjoy the simple fact that without a wedding, this weekend, there’s nowhere else you have to be.
A Note for All Travelers… many of the more picturesque places in this country have relatively low COVID-19 case numbers. Help them keep their numbers down by being a courteous, responsible tourist. Wear a mask every time you enter a business, even if they don’t post signage asking you to do so. Pack your own hand sanitizer and use it often, and follow all the additional safety protocols they have in place. When you’re the tourist, you may well be the biggest risk factor in the area, even if you feel fine. Tip well. Be patient and courteous, and see the country sans-crowds, enjoying calm and quiet on a level you may never quite see again.