Being the “Traveling Newlyweds”, we look for destinations that inspire adventure, that inspire discovery, that most importantly, inspire romance. Places that are off-the-beaten path - but easily accessible, places where we could escape for the week - or visit for an epic weekend getaway, places that we’ve heard about before - but never knew just how special they really are….

Places where our love story can further be told. Places like Virginia.

That’s right, Virginia. Their slogan “Virginia is for Lovers” was created 50 years ago, and it’s as true today as it was in 1969. From the rolling green hills to the quaint, family-run wineries... I guess you can say that we’ve fallen in love with this enchanting state. It’s approachable and down to earth, but at the same time Virginia is one of the most romantic and enchanting places we’ve been. It’s the perfect spot for a honeymoon or anniversary. And when their slogan is “Virginia is for lovers”, can you expect anything else?


We’re the kind of people that will take any excuse for a photo opportunity. Whether it’s a funny sign or a pretty mural, you better believe we’ll stop and strike a pose (or two). When we found out that Virginia has more than 150 LOVE artworks across the state, we immediately went into planning mode, hoping to see as many as possible.

While we didn’t get to see ALL 150 Loveworks signs (that’s a goal for next time), we did visit quite a few. This map was a super helpful tool for finding the Loveworks signs on our itinerary (which you can learn more about and gain inspiration for other LOVE trips here)!


The hotels we stayed at in Virginia were something out of a postcard. They were quaint, and classy, and all of them had a story to tell.

Hotel Laurance is an inviting and historic boutique hotel in Luray, that dates back to the 1800’s. All 12 rooms have a full kitchen, luxurious amenities, and perfectly fluffy beds. It’s located right on the Main Street of Luray, and they’re incredibly dog friendly. It’s not very often that we get a hotel room with a full kitchen, so being able to have a freezer for ice cream and make our morning smoothies was a game changer. Not to mention the whole staff at Hotel Laurance were all incredibly friendly and welcoming… We could’ve easily stayed for a week!

The Stonewall Jackson Hotel, located in Staunton, is another Shenandoah Valley hotel that’s rich in history and charm. Dating back to 1924, this Colonial Revivalist style hotel is still as enchanting and grand as it was when it first opened. The Stonewall Jackson Hotel is steps away from Staunton’s main street, Woodrow Wilson’s Presidential Library, the American Shakespeare Center, and so much more. Plus, they have a beautiful indoor pool, hot tub, and spacious work out room!

Located in the Shenandoah National Park, the Skyland Resort is an oasis for nature lovers. With sweeping mountain views, snug cabins and spacious suites, it’s a destination that will leave you breathless. Our jaws dropped the moment we stepped out onto our balcony, and it became our go-to spot to watch the sunrise and sunset. The rustling of the leaves, the birds chirping, the crisp, mountain air… The Skyland Resort is truly a calming and tranquil escape. Even our pup, Sally, was obsessed!

The biggest fan of the Stonewall Jackson Hotel

Hotel Laurance was so cute!

More cozy Hotel Laurance vibes

Views from our room at the Skyland Resort!


Being “big city” California kids, we’ve always just assumed that quaint main streets exist only in the movies. Little did we know that almost every city and town in Virginia has a bustling main street that belongs in the next big romcom. Lined with locally run boutiques, cafes, wine bars, ice cream shops… these main streets are typically the hub of the town! (And they’re typically adorable.)

Luray, Virginia is a small town in the Shenandoah Valley that has a darling main street that dates back to the 1800’s. It has everything from family-owned antique shops, cute restaurants like Moonshadows and Gathering Grounds, and a stylish (and popular) wine bar, The Valley Cork. It’s easily walkable, fun for the whole family, and the perfect spot for an afternoon of exploring. (And the ice cream at Stephan’s Sugar Shack is not to be missed!)

Staunton, Virginia (also in the Shenandoah Valley), has one of the most iconic Main Streets in the USA! Architectural Digest, USA Today, Fodor’s, Huffington Post, and the Reader’s Digest have all featured Staunton’s Main Street in countless awards and publications. And in the name of love, Expedia even recently named Staunton one of the “Best Places to Propose in the US”! (We agree!) With its striking brick buildings, lush green trees, and quaint shops and cafes, Staunton’s Main Street gave us “heart eyes” nearly immediately!

Exploring beautiful Luray!

Keeping our day low-calorie by starting with a yummy treat from Gathering Grounds :)

Love the stunning Staunton Main Street!

Family photo in Staunton!


We were instantly amazed (and inspired) by Virginia’s respect and commitment to their local economy. From the restaurants that we frequented to the boutiques where we shopped for souvenirs, these places celebrate and support their local farmers, entrepreneurs, and businesses. Most everything we purchased was indeed “Made in Virginia” - and we LOVE that.

Reunion Bakery (Staunton) serves melt-in-your mouth pastries (their croissants are to die for), freshly baked quiches, and bold, strong coffee. Inspired by the high-quality bakeries in France, Reunion Bakery’s owner and head baker, Bryan Hollar, has worked hard to perfect his baked goods… and it shows.

The Yelping Dog (Staunton) is a family-run wine, cheese, and gourmet shop that has just about everything we love in life. Delicious wine, mouth-watering charcuterie boards, fancy grilled cheeses, and a love for dogs. The owner, Nancy, is as warm and friendly as they come - you instantly feel like family!

CrossKeys Vineyards (Mt Crawford) is a family owned and operated winery set on 125 stunning acres in the Shenandoah Valley. Chances are that when you come for a tasting, you’ll be greeted by one of the Bakhtiar family members, who will graciously welcome and invite you to try some of their 12 delicious varietals. And what’s more romantic than a day of wine tasting?

Reunion Bakery became a daily routine. So good!

Yes, we loved the wine. But oh my goodness, the grilled cheeses at Yelping Dog are INCREDIBLE!

Nice little afternoon of wine tasting at CrossKeys

Vineyard views at CrossKeys


The Shenandoah National Park is one of the most naturally beautiful, picturesque National Park’s we’ve seen in awhile. Not only that, but it’s a mecca for hiking enthusiasts, with over 500 miles of gorgeous trails! We could talk about its beauty for days, but we’ll let these pictures do the talking instead..

If you haven’t heard of the Luray Caverns before, are you living under a rock? (Pun intended!) They’re the largest and most popular caverns in the eastern United States, dating back over 4,000,000 years! This U.S. Natural Landmark is quite the adventure for you and your lover - and if that’s not enough, you can even get married in the cave!

Stunning views all over Shenandoah National Park

The drive through Shenandoah National Park (and view points) is worth the trip!

Those views!

Touring the caverns

Luray Cavern reflections are INSANE!

Do You Guys Ever Fight? Behind the Scenes with Alli & Bobby

It seems as though the more we share our lives through our travels, the more fascinated our audience is with the “behind the scenes”. If we had a dollar for every time someone asks us, “Don’t you get sick of each other?” - well, we’d have a lot of dollars. We get it all the time! Questions about our relationship, how we live, work, travel together - even people wondering where our dog goes when we’re not home! (Valid question.)

So, we decided to devote a blog post to just that.

The Traveling Newlyweds as you’ve never seen them before… (lol!)

How do you guys do it? 24 hours a day, 7 days a week together?

Alli: It honestly isn’t as much - or as hard - as some people think. Maybe that’s due to our easy going personalities, or maybe it’s luck… but we really haven’t had many issues with spending so much time together. Sure we get on each other’s nerves every once and awhile, but it’s never anything that lasts very long.

We’ve definitely learned patience. For me, that means lingering a little (sometimes a lot) longer at certain spots so Bobby can get the “perfect” shot. My intuition is always to go go go - and that’s not always conducive to content creating. It’s something I’m still working on. For Bobby, it’s patience when we’re (well, mostly me) deciding where to eat. I need to research, look on Instagram, survey my surroundings and compare menus before I land on a decision. Bobby’s “hanger” used to show itself a lot more than it does now!

One thing that I think we do really well is support each other. We’re each other’s biggest cheerleaders. Whether Bobby’s working on a new photography project or I’m writing content for a tourism board, we’re the first to encourage each other. We have to daily remind ourselves that we’re on the same team - and with that kind of mentality, you can do anything.

Bobby: It’s challenging to follow Alli on this, because I would say most of the same things.

Our personalities mesh together in a way that compliment each other, and we don’t get sick of each other. But don’t be fooled... we also work hard to keep a strong marriage. We listen to each other, have date nights, we’re intentional about spending quality time together, we’re quick to apologize and forgive, we laugh often and our inside jokes get weirder by the year, and we are each other’s biggest fan. As Alli said… patience is really important in our world. I get pretty neurotic and particular about photography sometimes, and Alli can just go with the flow. And instead of getting upset when I’m hungry, or “hangry”, I’m getting better at being grateful that my wife is going to find us the most epic spot to eat. See, I’m saying the same things as Alli.

With all that in mind, Traveling Newlyweds is so much fun for us - we see it as a season of life that is uncertain, so we’re cherishing every moment!

You guys look like you’re living the DREAM. Do you even work?

Alli: Believe us when we say that content creating and travel blogging is hard work. It’s extremely long days when we’re in-destination, it’s late-night editing and early morning hustling. It’s a lot of writing, it’s a lot of planning, it’s a lot of busy work, and it’s a lot of being “on”. Being on a “press trip” may sound cool and exclusive, but typically it means red-eye flights, full days packed with meetings, gathering content, interviewing tourism boards and brand agents, and experiencing hosted activities that we’re capturing content for. You may see a snapshot of us laying out at the beach, but the times where we’re actually laying out are few and far between. 98% of the time we’re running around from dawn to dusk!

That being said, we’ll be the first to say that we ARE living the dream, because we LOVE what we do.

We love the destinations we travel to and the clients we work for. We thrive on new experiences and new locations, and learning more about this magical world we live in is truly our favorite pastime. We feel SO BLESSED to call this our job, and we’ll never take it for granted!

Bobby: What she said. We work hard.

How do you work, and who does what? What’s a day in the life of the Traveling Newlyweds?

Bobby: Every day is different. For the most part here is what I do: pursue new opportunities, cook good scrambled eggs, plan out logistics, edit photos, pick up Sally’s poop, take photos, and manage our website.

Alli: Just like Bobby said - no day is the same. Our travels and projects are so seasonal, that it’s constantly changing and evolving. It’s usually a pretty even mix of emails, travel research, phone meetings, picture taking, and editing. It’s incredibly easy for us to spend an entire day looking at a screen - so we try to break it up with evening walks, dinners with friends, and an occasional card game. I always win. ;)

How do you balance work life/personal life?

Alli: It definitely gets tricky when your work life is so personal. We try to be intentional about having date nights where our phones are put away and we make time during the week to hang out with family and friends. Having a dog also helps, as we try to take her on nightly walks where there’s no “business talk” allowed. We’re still figuring out the balance - but so far so good.

Bobby: This was really hard for me when I was teaching (I taught high school math). All of my students would dig into our personal life and it drove me crazy for the first year or two. But then, like an older brother that teases their sibling to get a reaction, as soon as I got over it, they mellowed out. Now that I’m not teaching, the new struggle is finding balance… I sometimes feel like a work-a-holic even though all of our friends would say, “You work?” Alli and Sally force me to slow down a bit, and I’m grateful.

What kind of camera do you use, and who takes your pictures?

Bobby: Alli uses her iPhone Xs, and I use a Fuji XT-1. Not sponsored, I just love the feel of all the dials and the quality of the glass. But if you work for Fuji and want to sponsor me, let’s talk.

What’s been your favorite destination so far?

Alli:  I LOVED Japan. The people, the food, culture, the pride in their culture and country. It’s by far the cleanest country I’ve ever been to - even the subway in Tokyo is pristine! It’s hilariously quirky too - hedgehog cafes, robot shows, teeny tiny bars that hold only eight people… And don’t even get me started on Kyoto. One of the most magical, truly “zen” places I’ve ever been. Japan is otherworldly.

Bobby: South Africa. We’re definitely spoiled living in California, and South Africa reminded me the most of home. When in Cape Town, you can be at the beach in the morning, playing with penguins in the early afternoon, and sipping wine in a spectacular wine region in the early evening. There is so much to see and do… and whiskey is really cheap :)

What have you learned from working together?

Bobby: Alli isn’t afraid to dream big. She loves thinking of the next destination, strategy, or campaign that we’re going to go after, and nothing is out of reach. She also tries really hard to hear me out when she doesn’t like one of my far-fetched ideas. She’ll let me go on and on about why I think an idea or product is what our next move should be, and then will gently (most of the time) let me know that it’s not a good idea.

Alli: Bobby is SO driven. He’s the first to wake up and start working in the morning, and he’s usually hustling on projects and emails until he falls asleep. He’s always coming up with new ideas for TN, and for having zero marketing/social media experience - he’s really caught on quick!

Is it hard having a dog and traveling as much as you do? Where does she go when you’re gone?

Alli: It’s only hard because we miss her so much!!! We try to take her on as many trips as we can, but most of the time she stays with my parents. She’s the closest thing they have to a granddaughter, and they love her just as much (if not more) than we do! Shout out to Mama and Papa Swan for being the best puppysitters EVER!!

Bobby: Yeah, it’s not that hard. We love Sally so as long as we know she’s being taken care of and getting lots of love, it’s not that big of a deal. We’re super blessed to have Alli’s parents, as well as an amazing doggie-daycare right down the street.

What’s one thing you can’t travel without?

Alli: I don’t go anywhere without my Aloha bags. I’ve been traveling with them for nearly four years now, and they’ve completely changed the way I pack. They’re waterproof, machine washable, durable, incredibly lightweight - and even make cute clutches when you’re on the go! I LOVE THEM. (not sponsored.)   

Bobby: I can’t travel without my earplugs. Nothing special, just the squishy ones you get at a Rite Aid. Whether it’s crying babies on a plane, or Alli talking in her sleep, I am always thankful when I have a pair of earplugs in my backpack.

What’s your dream destination?

Alli:  Samoa. It’s perfectly underrated - and I’ve wanted to go for years… Turquoise waters, rugged rainforest, friendly locals.. It’s going to happen.  

Bobby: Tahiti was a destination that caused us to start Traveling Newlyweds, thinking it was a place we could never afford on a teacher’s salary. So I think if/when we go there, it will be pretty special.  

Laguna Beach Engagement Spots

Bobby and Alli here from Traveling Newlyweds, and we're so excited to be sharing our top ten favorite engagement spots in Laguna Beach!


Let's be real. Getting engaged is a BIG DEAL. You're asking your partner to spend the REST OF THEIR LIFE with you!! The future of your relationship rests in this one, pivotal, life-changing moment. But no pressure or anything.


This is exactly why picking the PERFECT engagement location is so crucial! It's a spot that will forever be engrained in your hearts, a spot that you'll continue to return to on anniversaries, and a spot you might even bring your kids to someday!


Laguna Beach has some of the most engagement-worthy places of anywhere we've ever been to. From stunning lookout spots to beautiful beaches to iconic hotels - you're sure to find the perfect location to ask those four big words... "Will you marry me?" Below are our top 10 picks (starting with southern Laguna and working our way north), and we encourage you to scope them out for yourself and decide if one is worthy of that big, life-altering moment.


1. Table Rock Beach: Table Rock is one of the most beautiful and iconic small stretches of beach in Laguna. It's a small, secluded cove with cliffs on both sides. There's a really great chance you'll have this spot with few onlookers. You could propose on the sand, the rock formation in the middle, or even up on the cliffs that look over the beach. You really can't go wrong in this picture-perfect location.


2. Treasure Island: Treasure Island is a small beach located just south of the Montage. We like this spot because it is a pristine stretch of beach, that is 100% engagement worthy. We love walking along the park above the beach, and the beach itself (complete with the coolest tide pools!) is epic as well. And did someone say celebration drinks at the Montage?!   

3. Which leads us to... the Montage: There's no denying that the Montage is one of the most beautiful resorts anywhere. The main lobby opens up to a big balcony with stunning views of the pool and the ocean. It's one of our favorite places to watch the sunset and have a glass of wine... and getting engaged there would be pretty dreamy. Why not start with surprising your significant other with a weekend here, and pop the question during the best weekend of your life?! (Until your wedding day, that is!) ;)


4. Ruby Street Park: This is our personal favorite. Ruby street park is truly one of Laguna Beach's hidden gems. (So don't tell too many people!!) Tucked away between two houses, you meander down a narrow path that opens to a small deck overlooking the ocean. There is only one bench to sit here, with just enough room for two. We often stop here at sunset with our fingers crossed that we have it to ourselves, and more often than not we do! If you're looking for a very intimate, private engagement location - this is it!

5. Pearl Street Beach: We love this beach. It's beautiful, easy to access, and the perfect place to take your significant other for a "causal" walk on the beach. Distract them with the amazing tide pools and then boom! You're down on one knee. They'll never see it coming!! 

6. Top of the World Park: Something different for those of you that may rather be hiking than having sand between your toes. Top of the World has an array of trails and lookouts that boast dramatic 360 degree views. On a clear day you'll feel as though you're flying - especially once you're ENGAGED!


7. Main Beach Park: If you don't mind a very public engagement, this very well could be your spot. We love this iconic stretch of beach, and can only imagine how epic a proposal on the boardwalk could be! Followed by engagement photos by the famous lifeguard tower?! You're welcome!! ;)


8. Heisler Park: Heisler park is another one of our favorite oceanfront parks. It boasts perfectly groomed gardens and lush palm trees atop a stunning, green bluff that looks down on various coves. There's a very romantic gazebo that looks over Main Beach - and on a clear day, all of southern Laguna. You can pop the question here, or if you're feeling crazy, obtain a permit and get married in the Gazebo!

9. Shaw's Cove: Small. intimate, and picturesque. This is a beach, similar to Ruby Street park, where you're off the beaten path and most likely in for a very private and secluded engagement. This would be a PERFECT spot for a romantic sunset proposal! 


10. Crescent Bay Point Park: Once again, another hidden gem that overlooks the ocean. Laguna is FULL of them!! Crescent Bay Point park is also lesser known and less crowded, and it provides amazing views. This is another spot where you can get engaged or get married... or BOTH!

This may be our top ten list of engagement-worthy locations in Laguna Beach, but we really have barely scratched the surface! We encourage you to take some time to explore and find your favorite spot. It may be a stretch of beach or park that we mentioned, but maybe it's something else! One of the best parts about where you get engaged is that it is YOUR STORY. 


Choose wisely, as it is a moment that will be remembered forever. But then again, planning a wedding can be stressful, so don't stress too much about this. Do something that fits your relationship, have fun, and savor it! And then comment below and tell us ALL about it. :)


We’ve been married for almost 3 years now, and can 100% agree with all of the saps out there that every year it gets better. But you know what has impacted our marriage most of all? Travel!

Over the past 3 years we’ve gone on 4 cruises, 8 road trips, and we've explored 13 different countries together. Every trip has challenged, inspired, and strengthened our marriage! We whole-heartedly recommend all newlyweds (or not!) to travel… it’s done amazing things for our marriage! 

Here’s why:



Travel forces you to get vulnerable, fast. There's nothing quite like sitting side-by-side on a 14-hour international flight and then landing in a foreign country, jet lagged, smelly, and hangry. (Come to think of it - that must be where the term hangry comes from!) We've learned each other's travel quirks, and they surprisingly speak truth into our daily life as well. Alli doesn't do well with crowded, uncontrolled places. Bobby needs to always have a snack nearby. And for both of us naps are ALWAYS a good idea. While traveling together isn't always a walk in the park (although we do like those), we learn more about each other with each trip we take. We've come to appreciate our differences, and never go to sleep upset. Because who wants to travel with a cranky pants?


There's no getting around it. Traveling forces you and your partner to meet in the middle. Whether it's deciding where you're going to eat for dinner, where you're going to stay, or if you should walk or take a taxi... it's all about compromise. We've had some of our biggest arguments over silly differences of opinion, and it only takes about two hours for us to realize it's just not worth the fight. Even if it means walking up ten flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator.



Things go wrong when you travel. It's bound to happen. You might miss your flight or lose your wallet. You might even eat bad sashimi and spend a good 24 hours on your hotel's bathroom floor! (Happened to us.) Regardless, these chaotic situations have become some of our favorite memories! We've learned to accept, grow, and laugh about the sometimes painful travel experiences. 



There's something so beautiful about being so vulnerable. Traveling has bonded us in such a way, that we've come to truly accept each other for who we are. We've seen the good, the bad, and the really ugly - but we love that. With that love and acceptance comes a freedom that is liberating. It makes candlelit dinners in Tuscany, long walks in a Parisian market, or zip-lining through the Panamanian rainforest THAT much more romantic.

The past three years have been a whirlwind, filled with countless memories we'll never forget. Through all of our travels we've learned that it doesn't matter what our geographic location is, as long as we're together. So get out there and explore the world with your partner... and invest in a good pair of earplugs while you're at it. Just in case. ;)