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Radhika and Gautam – US

An action-packed US honeymoon saw New Delhi-based couple Radhika and Gautam enjoying multiple adventures at one go

This New Delhi-based couple chose an exciting itinerary for their fortnight in the US, and they sum up their experiences by stating they had “the time of our lives”.

After our ‘designed to impress’ big, fat Punjabi wedding on February 15 last year in New Delhi, we knew our honeymoon had to be an equally sensational affair. It’s been a year since we got married, and we are still the ‘go-to guides’ for other couples in our friends circle who are planning their US honeymoons. So we felt we should share our experiences with a wider audience like the readers of WeddingSutra.

We had the time of our lives in the US! We chose to travel there because we are tourists-cum-travellers. We enjoy exploring scenic locations as well as indulging in the luxuries that a destination has to offer. And since we wanted the best of both worlds, we chose the US for our honeymoon in February.

Honeymoon Planning
Since we dated for almost two years before getting married, we both knew what exactly we wanted – a place which offered not just scenic beauty, but a lot of activities and parties. We were looking for a destination that was ‘happening’ and where we could easily spend two weeks without getting bored. We chose the US because it offered us beaches, casinos, cool clubs, world-class theatre, amazing shopping and scenic beauty. We initially considered Spain but changed our minds because it would be very cold there during February and we did not want that. We enjoyed windy Las Vegas, as well as sunny Miami and snowy New York. We packed wisely for each city due to the varied weather conditions.

Honeymoon Highlights
Our first three days were spent in Los Angeles, where we stayed at the Hollywood Hotel. We visited the Hollywood & Highland Centre, which included the historic Walk of Fame, Madame Tussaud’s Museum and the TCL Chinese Theatre. We highly recommend visiting Universal Studios for a ‘wow’ experience, the Grove for dining and high-end shopping, and Beverly Hills.
A good place to eat here is The Cheesecake Factory at 208 Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

TCL Chinese Theatre, Universal Studios and The Cheesecake Factory

We then took a shuttle to Las Vegas in Nevada, where we stayed at the splendid MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. We spent most of our time either casino-hopping at the Vegas strip or partying through the weekend at XS Club at Encore Hotel, and Hakkasan at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. We also spent an evening at Fremont (Old Vegas).

MGM Grand Hotel & Casino

In Miami, we stayed at The Ocean Reef Suites at South Beach (nicknamed SoBe). After relaxing at the beach all day, we walked tirelessly through Mexican Street, CocoWalk and Bayside Marketplace, and explored ocean-facing restaurants, fancy beach-wear stores and tempting ice-cream parlours. We particularly enjoyed the live music and dance session at the Mango’s Tropical Café.

Mango’s Tropical Café and Bayside Marketplace

After romancing under Miami’s sun, we packed up our summer wear & pulled out our jackets for New York, where we stayed at Hyatt Times Square. We enjoyed our first snowfall while walking through the streets of Manhattan and Fifth Avenue. We enjoyed being surrounded by illuminated signs and countless pedestrians at Times Square – the energy here is awesome! We visited the Statue Of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Wall Street and Central Park. We enjoyed relaxing over a game of pool at the Library Bar in Hudson Hotel.

Best meals
Cheesecake at Lindy’s, The Halal Guys, Junior’s and Bareburger in New York. The Chandelier bar at The Cosmopolitan, Rainforest Café at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Shake Shack, Gordon Ramsay BurGr and Fat Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Most Romantic moment
When Gautam gave me a bouquet of roses on top of the Empire State Building.

Advice for couples
If you are going to visit different US states during the same season, you may need to pack both winter and summer wear. Always check the monthyl weather forecast before doing your bookings. Try and search online for deals for various activities and pre-book them.

Must experience:
-Los Angeles: Universal Studios Hollywood -Las Vegas: Visit different casinos at the hotel on the Strip as the essence of each hotel is unique. For clubbing, you can’t go wrong with XS or Hakkasan. -Miami: Mango’s Tropical Café at South Beach, and Bayside Marketplace -New York: The Empire State Building and the Statue Of Liberty

Can avoid
CocoWalk at Coconut Grove Miami

The Rink at Rockefeller Center. A better choice would be the free rink at Bryant Park.

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