Uruguay approved same-sex marriage in 2010 and remains a welcoming and rarified place for gay travelers. Both the nightlife hotspot of Punta del Este and the boho-chic enclave of José Ignacio are less than a hundred miles up the stunning coastline from the capital of Montevideo, whose bustling historic downtown full of faded Beaux Arts buildings is not to be missed. The boutique, gay-owned Casa Sarandi Guesthouse is a great starting point for exploring the city; from there, rent a car and head for the pristine beaches of Carrasco, visit the 17th-century Portuguese stronghold of Colonia del Sacramento, or find a place to go whale-watching along the coast. For something more secluded and luxurious, tuck away inside one of the modern architectural compounds of Playa Vik, or try one of the surprisingly affordable rooms of Casapueblo, the whitewashed cement citadel created by the late artist Carlos Páez Vilaró.
When the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act was passed in 2013, it further solidified Hawaii’s reputation as a quintessential honeymoon destination for gay couples looking for someplace simultaneously exotic and familiar. Couples with secluded relaxation in mind might pass up Honolulu’s extensive gay-friendly nightlife options for Maui, or better yet, Kauai, which has the more dramatic scenery: the peaks of the Na Pali Coast, primeval rainforest, red-rock cliffs of Waimea Canyon, and Wailua Falls. Book a room at the St. Regis Princeville Resort for unobstructed views of Hanalei Bay, or head to the smaller Koa Kea Resort in Poipu Beach for peak tranquility.
Having given us the world’s first openly gay head of state, Iceland’s embodiment of the liberal Nordic outlook makes it perfect for LGBT honeymooners whose taste in landscapes skew toward the results of violent geological upheaval. Gay life there centers around the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, which boasts a handful of gay owned and operated bed and breakfasts, and a number of bold and contemporary spaces, like the 101 Hotel, which boasts nice views of the harbor and old town. A stay in the Blue Lagoon Clinic offers the Iceland-only perk of a spa treatment in a geothermally heated lagoon. With the new wave of budget airlines offering transatlantic routes, fares from Boston to Reykjavik have been known to go as low as $99.
Though Provincetown, Cape Cod remains New England’s traditional gay enclave, Maine, which voted to recognize sam-sex marriage in 2012, boasts the kind of romantic coastline inns that great honeymoons are made of. The White Barn Inn in the seaside village of Kennebunkport offers dinner for two in French-influenced, five-star dining room that also happens to be a timber-framed barn, while the kitchen of the Norumbega Inn, which is situated in a turreted stone castle in Camden, is run by a former Culinary Institute of America professor. Head back out on Maine’s coastal Route 1 to find in search of a classic lobster shack, explore the galleries of Portland or Deer Isle, or shove off for an afternoon with any number of sailing companies.
Thousands in Puerto Rico celebrated last Friday’s Supreme Court ruling, which also meant marriage equality for the U.S. territory. The island of Vieques, 8 miles off the Puerto Rican coast, lost its “undiscovered” mystique some time ago, but still promises the same languid pace, beaches, and beautiful coves. (Also, nighttime kayaking to the bioluminescent Mosquito Bay.) Splurge on lodgings at the W Retreat and Spa, or splurge even further and rent an entire Prouve-style villa, in the form of the Casa de Crystal. Head back to the Puerto Rican mainland for a day exploring Old San Juan, which is nicely capped off by an evening bouncing around the city’s many gay bars and clubs.