Before you've got both hands on a carriage, grab your honey for a quick couples escape. Where to? We chose destinations that aren't swimming with kiddos (love 'em, but there's time in for that in your future) and where you'll find plenty of pregnancy-friendly perks, so you'll feel pampered and not the least bit out of place. Step away from the nursery prep and start packing!
For couples who... long to bury their toes in the sand
ELIZABETH POINTE LODGE
Amelia Island, Florida
Wander into this serene Nantucket-style bed-and-breakfast and feel your mom-to-be angst evaporate. Perfectly positioned on powder-soft Fernandina Beach, this waterside gem lulls your senses with the sounds of crashing waves, uncensored ocean views, and an irresistible aroma of the Lodge's famous fresh-baked cookies. (You'll find them near the front desk sitting alongside lemonade... yum!)
Wake to a belly-pleasing breakfast served in the sunroom, then grab a book and park yourself in one of the ocean-facing racking chairs on the wraparound porch. If you want some beach time -- this is Florida, after all! -- it's only a few steps away from your room. The doting staff will see to it that you have a lounge chair and an umbrella; there's no fighting for beach space on this vacation. Later, explore historic downtown Fernandina for shopping, dining (Beech Street Grill oozes charm), or walks by the scenic harbor. The perfect end to each nicely hedonistic day: a bubbly bath in your room's oversized soaking tub.
Details: The two-night babymoon package starts at $926 for weekday stays in a sunset room (oceanfront and weekend rates are slightly higher) and includes strawberries and nonalcoholic wine upon arrival, massages for both of you at a nearby spa, dinner at a local restaurant, hors d'oeuvres each evening, milk and cookies delivered at bedtime, and daily breakfast.
For couples who... dig the desert
ROYAL PALMS RESORT AND SPAPhoenix, Arizona
Talk about an oasis! You may feel as if you're trespassing on the grounds of some royal palace, but no worries, resort guests are welcome to explore the ornate Spanish Colonial architecture, lush gardens, and intimate courtyards of this nine-acre, 119-room Arizona haven. It's all set against palm trees and the iconic backdrop of Camelback Mountain.
At sunset, sneak off to the Monte Vista Courtyard, where you might catch Camelback ablaze in shades of orange. You and your honey can turn to mush together during massages in the divine Tuscan-style Villa Fiore, a treatment room for two at the Alvadora Spa. Satisfy your hunger pangs at the resort's Mediterranean-themed restaurant, T. Cook's; try to snag an intimate table on the patio near the glow of the outdoor fireplace, and share the signature desert, caramel cr?me brulee cheesecake. You might just find enough calm to decide on a baby name!
Details: The resort's two-night Babymoon Bliss package includes a prenatal massage and pedi for mom, a 60-minute massage for Dad, delivery to your room of the food you're craving (Rocky Road? Just ask!), a cigar and cognac for Dad, a baby-bump photo session with a local photographer, as well as goodies and a $50 gift certificate from a local baby boutique. You'll also get a candlelit bath drawn for two and a selection of baby-related movies (such as Three Men and a Baby) to enjoy in your room, along with gourmet popcorn, sparkling water, and beer (for Dad, of course). Package starts at $1,238.
For couples who... like sight-seeing lakeside
BELLA VISTA SUITES
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Park your car, and leave it: Restless mamas can easily walk to the lakeshore and the downtown from this charming hotel. In addition to the natural scenery, the historic mansions lining the lake will leave you gawking; this town is known as "The Newport of the West."
Can't stop thinking about nesting? You'll get a kick out of touring Black Point Estate, the former "cottage" of a beer baron. (Boy, did he have rooms to decorate!) Or pick up the paved path in front of the hotel; turn right and you'll catch a half mile of level terrain that will take you to 10-acre Library Park, perfect for meandering hand in hand or swimming at the beach. After a nap in your suite or some chill time at the spa, head to a festive dinner (and a different era) at The Baker House next door. Eat in one of the mansion's parlors while costumed entertainers recreate the Gilded Age. Fancy schmancy!
Details: The babymoon package offers one night in a Parkview Suite or a Lakeside Suite, an on-site couples massage, a bottle of sparkling cider, and continental breakfast delivered to your door. Package starts at $309 ($339 for a Lakeside Suite).
For couples who... crave European charm
HOTEL LE CLOS SAINT-LOUIS
Old Quebec, Canada
Flying to Paris is probably a stretch, but this quaint 18-room townhouse in the heart of Old Quebec provides a magnifique experience much closer to home. This hideaway is decked in cozy French-country d?cor; some of the decadent rooms boast exposed stone walls and canopy beds.
Venture outside and you'll hear lots of French (but English is widely spoken too). Outdoor cafes and French bistros? Oui! Charming cobblestone streets, Old World architecture, designer boutiques, and museums? Oui, oui! Soak in the scene over a pot of cheese fondue, on a horse-and-carriage ride through the city, or while sitting peacefully on a pew, admiring the details of Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral. You'll always have Old Quebec!
Details: The hotel's babymoon package includes a room for two nights, daily full breakfast, a box of chocolates, parking, a massage for Mom and one for Dad, and a four-course dinner for two at a top restaurant (including gratuity). Package starts at about $860 in U.S. dollars, including taxes.
For couples who... enjoy mountain escapes
STOWEFLAKE MOUNTAIN RESORT & SPA
Year-round, Mother Nature seriously struts her stuff at Stoweflake. Besides flowers in spring, green fields in summer, fiery colors in fall, and downy piles of snow in winter, this resort offers a huge spa, hearty eats, and a cute-as-a-button village nearby.
Ease away pregnancy jitters with a Marvelous Motherhood treatment (a body peel, facial mask, and massage). Lounge in the spa's solarium listening to the rush of an indoor waterfall while staring toward Mount Mansfield and its foothills just up the road. Pop by Laughing Moon Chocolates, or drive a half hour to the Ben and Jerry's Factory Tour in Waterbury. They need your taste-testing skills, right?
Details: Rates start at $199 per room. Mention "American Baby" to receive 20 percent off weekday spa treatments.
For couples who... are foodies (or want to be)
HOTEL HEALDSBURGSonoma County, California
Minutes from idyllic vineyards, this luxury retreat is vintage Sonoma. There's plenty to fall in love with, even if you're not sipping wine! Poke around the farmers' market; most goods are grown within 10 miles. See how chefs -- or even the two of you -- turn produce into delicious dishes during a class at Relish Culinary Center. Then? Spa! This 55-room hotel may be boutique in size, but its menu of maternity services is not.
Details: Just say "American Baby" for 20 percent off the Expecting the Best package; you'll also get a room upgrade (if available). Package includes one night in a deluxe king room, a prenatal massage and facial for Mom, a Daddy's Turn Massage, valet parking, breakfast, dinner for two at Dry Creek Kitchen, and special gifts. It's $1,040 with our discount (holidays excluded), and mentioning "American Baby" will also get you 20 percent off additional nights.
For couples who... love the nightlife
VDARA LAS VEGASLas Vegas, Nevada
For a dip into grown-up pleasures, Vegas is your place. The Vdara Hotel and Spa, in the CityCenter complex, provides an all-suite, smoke-free, and sedate (no gaming) stay. But with the Aria and Bellagio a two-minute walk away, you can sample the casino world and then return to your sanctuary.
Head to the rooftop pool or holistic spa, or else meander the Botanical Gardens or dancing fountains at the Bellagio. Ready for more of a red-carpet moment (or at least one that warrants lipstick and sensible heels)? Get tix to a Cirque du Soleil show; "O" is at Bellagio and "Viva Elvis" at Aria. And if you're walking through Aria, grab a to-die-for pastry at Jean-Philippe Patisserie to satisfy those sweet cravings (it's open 'til midnight).
Details: the Escape Package includes two nights in a deluxe suite, 10 percent off spa purchases, and two 50-minute spa treatments. In order to book Sunday through Thursday from $586, use code ESCWB; for Friday and Saturday from $698, use code ESCWBWE. Expires June 30th, 2012.
I loved my babymoon!
BABY LET'S CRUISE
San Diego, California
"We went on a seven-day cruise when I was four months pregnant. I was too excited about taking the trip to worry about seasickness; luckily, the motion rocked me to sleep. Between room service, the formal meals, and cooking classes, I could eat 24/7 if I wanted. When the staff found out I was pregnant, they treated me like a queen. Life has been more hectic since our son Chance was born in September! We're so glad we went on that babymoon. It's nothing but great memories."
I loved my babymoon!
Tinker Airforce Base, Oklahoma
"My husband and I were stationed in England with the U.S. Air Force. When I was seven months along, we drove through the countryside from Cambridge to Warwickshire, about a four-hour drive. We visited Windsor Castle, and our hotel had an indoor heated pool that made the baby I was carrying feel weightless. On July 4th, our fourth wedding anniversary, we took a double-decker bus tour of Shakespeare's village, and then that night, we watched fireworks at the American base. Being away felt absolutely heavenly! Our son, Gideon, now 3 ?, arrived seven weeks after our adventure."
I loved my babymoon!
"At the end of my first trimester, we went to Disney World over New Year's Eve. The trip gave us the chance to act like kids and just have fun. We didn't know whether we were having a girl or a boy, so we bought a gender-neutral stuffed Donald Duck for the baby. We had an amazing time together and plan to return to the parks in April, this time with our new daughter, Eliana."
I loved my babymoon!
"My husband, Dusty, and I got married quickly and didn't go on an official honeymoon. When we found out I was pregnant, we figured it was 'now or never!' We flew to sunny Cabo San Lucas where we could lounge around the pool all day and relax on the beach. I was in my third trimester, so when Dusty said, 'I'd really like to go whale-watching,' I responded with, 'Well, honey, you are laying with one, up close and personal!' Five weeks later, our now-2-year-old daughter, Ali Joy, was born."
Originally published in the March 2012 issue of American Baby magazine.
This piece was accurate at publication time, but all prices, offerings and availabilities are subject to change. Please contact each hotel and attraction for up-to-date rates and information before taking your trip.