Once you and your partner have decided to hold an elopement, one of the first steps of the planning process is deciding a location. With seemingly endless options, it can be overwhelming to pick an area that will give you the most memorable experience.
The most romantic spots to elope generally provide a breathtaking backdrop of nature. Sometimes, these places have cultural and historic value to the area. National parks, state parks, recreational areas, and beaches are intimate, picturesque, and ideal locations for an elopement.
Listed below are 55 of the best locations for elopements in the United States, including other American territories. Every location has something unique and memorable to offer. However, keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive; the US is a vastly large and diverse country.
Most Romantic Places to Elope in the US
1. Acadia National Park, Maine
Spanning over 49,000 acres of land, Acadia National Park boasts a diverse range of sights to see: miles of headlands and mountains, including the highest in the Atlantic coast; narrow “carriage roads” that will lead explorers to Cadillac Mountain which peaks at 1,530 feet, providing a breathtaking vantage point for sunrises; and several bodies of water, such as Jordan Pond, Somes Sound, and Eagle Lake.
Accommodation and vendors are present in the area, capitalizing on the rich flora and fauna inherent to the location. The months of May to October are considered the park’s busiest season; in contrast, facilities and roads are closed from November to April. Intimate ceremonies, such as elopements, are allowed with a $50 permit fee. For more information, visit: https://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/weddings.htm
2. Arches National Park, Utah
The Arches National Park is renowned worldwide for having the highest density of natural stone arches — more than 2,000. The entire park has an elevation that ranges from 4,085 feet to 5,653 feet, which gives it exceptional views of sunsets and sunrises. Some well-known rock formations include the Delicate Arch and the Double Arch; the latter is composed of two large arches that have merged, making it a metaphor for love and commitment.
The perfect time to hold an elopement in Arches National Park is during the spring and fall. However, that is also its peak season, as summer and winter are marked by extreme weather conditions. Only certain locations in the park are open for weddings, including the aforementioned arches. A wedding permit costs $185. For more information, visit: https://www.nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/weddings.htm
Beachview Club Hotel is one of Georgia’s least crowded beachfronts; it is hidden within the shores of Jekyll Island and behind centuries-old live oaks. You and your guests can roam around the Jekyll Island Historic District, lounge by the beach, play golf, go to a fishing pier, take part on a dolphin tour, and ride a bike or a horse around the island.
For $3,700, you can invite up to 15 guests for their Island Getaway package. This package includes oceanfront accommodations for you and your partner, floral arrangements in your wedding colors, an on-site wedding coordinator, an officiant, and more. If you want a slightly larger guest list, you can avail of their Atlantic Wedding Package or Blissful Wedding Package, which can accommodate 35 and 55 guests, respectively.
4. Big Sur, California
Lauded as “the longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous United States,” the Big Sur is a mountainous region of the Central Coast of California. It is a highly popular tourist destination that offers hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.
As the Big Sur is a long stretch of mountains, there are several notable attractions you can look into for your elopement. State Parks such as Garrapata, Andrew Molera, Pfeiffer Big Sur, and Julia Pfeiffer Burns are examples of ideal spots for your “I do.”
The Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area, or simply Bogus Basin, is well-known among skiers, but it offers year-round recreational activities such as disc golf, hiking, and mountain biking. It is located in Boise County, southwest Idaho, with a top elevation of over 7,000 feet. Travelers are encouraged to walk along the trails and reconnect with nature or participate in their free community-wide events.
Because of renovations, Bogus Basin has stopped offering its wedding program at the moment. Their website states that more information about their updated wedding programs will be available by the summer of 2022.
Their elopement package includes a liaison, an officiant, wedding flowers, a two-tiered wedding cake, a bottle of Champagne for the toast, and ceremony chairs. Availing of any package gives the couple a one-night stay in a luxury Balcony Loft Suite.
8. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Located in south-central Utah, Capitol Reef National Park has an area of over 240,000 acres of a desert landscape. It consists of domes, cliffs, canyons, and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline almost 100 miles long. Travelers can take part in various activities, either led by a ranger or by themselves, such as hiking, camping, cycling, backpacking, horseback riding, rock climbing, and harvesting fruits in orchards.
Capitol Reef National Park is open all year, though most of its visitors arrive in the months of May to September. Weather conditions during this time are more agreeable for outdoor activities. Wedding permits are issued at $50. For more information regarding rules and restrictions, visit https://www.nps.gov/care/planyourvisit/wedding-permits.htm.
9. Cathedral Ledge State Park, New Hampshire
Cathedral Ledge is a state park in Bartlett, New Hampshire. The 700-foot ledge has a magnificent view of the Saco River Valley and the White Mountains. Popular among rock and ice climbers, the park is accessible from hiking trails at the Echo Lake State Park or a mile-long auto road.
To learn more about their wedding and elopement packages, you may contact the park through their number: 603-356-2672. For more information, visit https://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/cathedral-ledge-state-park.
Their elopement package includes a two-night stay in their Country Meadow or Wine Country room, a full breakfast and dinner for every day of your stay, champagne, an officiant, and a wedding cake. Prices start at $1,019, changing according to the day and number of guests present.
The pricing for elopements begins at $1,250 to $3,000 for 20 people. This package includes a two-hour rental of the venue. The price increases as you add more guests and rent the venue longer. For instance, an “intimate elopement” is $9,750 for four people; this package includes an eight-hour rental of the venue, officiant, the services of a wedding planner and decorator, and so on.
For $595, you can avail of an elopement in Devereaux Shields House; the price includes a wedding officiant, wedding flowers, a cake, bubbly, and an engraved brick to be placed in their garden walk. They also allow customization to the package, such as adding guests or a carriage ride through the city. Note that you are required to book a two-night stay in the house, which is not included in the base price.
The resort has an in-house wedding team that will help you achieve your vision, from the theme to your venue. Besides their catering and venue services, they also allow you to make your own cocktail and find the perfect cake to be served at your reception.
15. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska
The national park is open at full service to the public from May to September, with its peak season lasting from June to August. For a permit fee of $50, you can hold your intimate elopement with a backdrop of lakes and mountains coated with layers of snow. For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/glba/planyourvisit/permitsandreservations.htm.
16. Glacier National Park, Montana
Also referred to as the “Crown of the Continent Ecosystem,” Glacier National Park covers over 1 million acres of land and water, such as parts of two mountain ranges, over 130 lakes, at least 1,000 distinct species of plants, and hundreds of distinct species of animals. It is located right on the country’s border with Canada. Among its famous attractions is the Going-to-the-Sun Road, a 50-mile paved highway that runs through all the terrains the national park has to offer, including forests, glacial lakes, valleys, and alpine tundras.
The Going-to-the-Sun Road is open from early July to early October, drawing in an influx of visitors around that time. Application for a special use permit costs $125. For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/weddings.htm.
17. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is roughly 1,254,000 acres of high desert terrain. With one of its main attractions being Lake Powell, the area has five marinas, four campgrounds, two small airports, and concessions for renting houseboats and other fishing-related equipment.
One of Glen Canyon NRA’s most well-known features is the Horseshoe Bend, an entrenched meander named because of its shape. After a 1.5 mile-hike, visitors get a chance to view the overlook. With the Colorado River in the background, this is a popular spot for elopements. Application for a special use permit includes a non-refundable processing fee of $100. For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/glca/learn/management/sup.htm.
18. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Situated in northwestern Wyoming, the Grand Teton National Park has an area of 310,000 acres. It is home to the Teton Range, which is considered to be the youngest mountain range in the Rocky Mountains. Other than that, the national park also consists of canyons, valleys, lakes, rivers, and glaciers. The astounding altitude variance of more than 7,000 feet gives Grand Teton National Park multiple distinct ecological zones, in which 1,000 species of vascular plants can be found.
Also because of the aforementioned altitude variance, hiking and mountaineering are popular recreational activities. Many travelers love to boat and fish as well. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted during the winter. The application fee for a wedding permit is $200. Visit https://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/weddings.htm for more information.
There are four locations on the beach that can accommodate an elopement: Beach Pavilion, Alabama Point, Cotton Bayou, and Romar Beach. Additionally, there are two facilities that can host your intimate ceremony: the amphitheater, which is still close to the beach but without the sand; and the education building with a covered deck.
20. Haleakalā National Park, Hawaii
The Haleakalā National Park, with its natural pools and waterfalls lining the coastline, is perfect for the adventurous couple’s elopement. The trails in Kīpahulu allow hikers to witness and admire the tropical geography of the area. Upon reaching the summit, you have access to breathtaking sunrises and sunsets; if you stick around, Haleakalā National Park’s night sky is pollution-free and clear, making it an ideal spot for stargazing. You can go straight to your honeymoon after the elopement ceremony by booking a camping spot or availing of a cabin for $75 a night.
The national park is open year-round; because of its popularity, the peak season is also year-round. With that said, weather conditions are highly unpredictable. You are strongly advised to always inquire with the visitor center regarding current conditions. The permit fee for an intimate wedding in Haleakalā National Park is $150. For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/hale/learn/management/special-use-permits.htm#.
Opting for their outdoor venue allows you to have a lush and vibrant backdrop of flowers. You also have five indoor options, each with a distinct greenhouse setting. You can use either the two display pavilions or the expansive lawns for a reception.
At the moment, they are not accepting applications for reservations. They will be reopening applications by January 3, 2022.
The Indian Peaks Wilderness is at its busiest every July and August. Visitors are allowed to traverse the trails and explore high passes, waterfalls, and lakes. Mountaineering is a popular activity as well. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted in the winter.
Some couples opt to hold their elopement in Indian Peaks Wilderness rather than Rocky Mountain National Park because of the former’s proximity to the Denver metropolitan area. Arguably, Rocky Mountain National Park is the more well-known tourist attraction, so an elopement in Indian Peaks Wilderness would have a considerably smaller crowd.
Joslyn Castle can accommodate weddings with a ceremony only and weddings with a ceremony and a reception. Prices begin at $600 and vary depending on the day of the rental. You are free to use the main floor, gardens, and grounds, as well as tables and chairs for indoor use.
26. Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Mount Katmai, the stratovolcano after which the national park is named, has an elevation of 6,716 feet. Activities such as bear viewing, fishing, backcountry traveling, camping, and hiking are some of the activities to partake in.
The castle can accommodate a maximum of 50 guests for a ceremony-only wedding. For $250, you can rent a portion of the castle to hold your elopement; for an additional $100, you can have your wedding photographs taken at their premises.
The Rose Garden is part of the larger Lyndale Park, which spans over 60 acres of land. There are three other gardens in the park, namely the Peace Garden, the Perennial Garden, and the Perennial Trial Garden. These gardens are also eligible for outdoor weddings and elopements.
30. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Mount Rainier, the volcano after which the national park is named, is an active volcano whose 14,411 feet of elevation makes it the highest mountain in Washington and the Cascade Range. The landmass is surrounded by subalpine meadows, old-growth forests, waterfalls, valleys, and glaciers. Carbon Glacier and Emmons Glacier are the largest glaciers by volume and by area, respectively, in the contiguous United States.
Climbing, hiking, and wilderness camping are some of the most popular activities in Mount Rainier National Park. The park’s peak season is from spring through fall; the winter and wet seasons are unpredictable. For a $60 application fee, you can obtain a Special Use Permit that will allow you to hold your wedding ceremony in the area. For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/permitsandreservations.htm
You may also opt to fill your wedding weekend with fun activities, such as mani/pedi parties, beach fires, and brunches, all of which can be arranged as part of the “wedding enhancements.”
32. Olympic National Park, Washington
Designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the Olympic National Park is home to three ecosystems within its four regions: the temperate rainforest in the west, the drier forests in the east, the alpine areas, and the Pacific coastline. The entire park stretches over 922,000 acres. Precisely because of this diversity, couples will not run out of activities to try: paddling on lakes, hiking and watching sunrises, skiing, snowboarding, and rafting, to name a few.
Although open year-round, winter and wet seasons have unpredictable weather conditions. The park’s peak season is considered to be spring to fall. The permit fee for intimate ceremonies is $50. For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/permitsandreservations.htm.
Because of their status in the craft beer industry, the Pelican Pub & Brewery is known to serve world-renowned food-and-beer pairings that maximize each other’s flavors. They have an in-house wedding planner that will manage every aspect of the process, even if you are planning your wedding states away.
34. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is the country’s first National Lakeshore; there are miles of immaculate beachfront, trails, sandstone cliffs, and woodlands to explore in Pictured Rocks. Open throughout the year, the park offers four-season recreational activities, such as hiking, kayaking, birding, drive-in camping, cross-country skiing, ice climbing, and so on.
Like national parks, national lakeshores require a special use permit for events like weddings. The application fee costs $100, though you may be charged with monitoring, cost recovery, and other additional fees if deemed necessary. For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/piro/planyourvisit/special-use-permits.htm.
The Pine Mountain & Jenkins Overlooks was established as a way of allowing travelers to appreciate the majestic views Pine Mountain has to offer. There are seven overlooks open for weddings and elopements.
The Potawatomi Inn & Conference Center, located within the state park, offers various amenities and services that will make your elopement possible. The Courtyard and the Sun Deck are two of the venues you can choose from. Additionally, they have onsite catering and accommodations for both the couple and their guests.
Elopements start at $1,900. Elopements in Promise Ridge only consist of the couple, officiant, and necessary vendors. In contrast, micro weddings can accommodate three to 20 people; rates for micro weddings begin at $2,500.
38. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
The park is open all year long, and its peak seasons are spring and summer. Statistics from 2015 note that Rocky Mountain National Park was the third most visited national park in the country. Due to its sheer popularity, the special use permit fee costs $350. For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm.
The San Francisco City Hall offers a “One-hour Wedding package” for couples who want a simple and cost-effective ceremony. This package gives you access to the Mayor’s Balcony or a Fourth Floor Gallery. However, you have to take care of your marriage license and officiant yourself.
Keep in mind that these packages require a minimum of 15 guests. You can have up to 20 additional guests for $175 per head. They have an in-house team of wedding planners that will assist you every step of the way.
Because Sassafras Springs is a winery and vineyard, you are assured of high-quality drinks for your wedding. They also offer various services, such as servers, planners, coordinators, stemware rentals, decoration set-up, and so on.
42. Sedona, Arizona
Sedona is a city in Arizona well-known for its red sandstone formations whose orange and red surfaces glimmer during sunsets and sunrises. The area has trails perfect for hikers and mountain bikers. There are multiple spots frequented by elopers, with the most popular one being the Cathedral Rock Trail. Other spots worth mentioning include the Bell Rock Pathway, Devil’s Bridge Trail, Teacup Trail to Coffee Pot Rock, Red Rock Crossing, Munds Wagon Trail, and the Airport Mesa Trail.
Each area varies in its rules and regulations, but on average, you are not required to secure a permit for an elopement. Additionally, an elopement in Sedona may cost you anywhere from $6,000 to $25,000.
43. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Shenandoah National Park boasts more than 200,000 acres of vistas, wooded hollows, waterfalls, mountain streams, and fields of wildflowers, which provide natural habitats for songbirds, seer, and black bears. The national park is well-known for its Skyline Drive, a 105 miles-stretch of roads with spectacular views, trailheads, campgrounds, and areas for picnicking. Besides a hike on the Appalachian Trail, Shenandoah also offers the following activities: stargazing, horseback riding, rock climbing and rappelling, live entertainment, and culinary events (e.g., whisky-wine excursions, seasonings tastings, buffets).
The park’s peak seasons are spring and fall. According to their office, “simple, standup ceremonies with less than 16 participants and no set-up do not require a permit.” Otherwise, a $150 processing fee is required when applying for a permit. For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/weddings.htm.
Sunset Terrace can accommodate 150 guests at most. The price of a wedding package begins at $200 per head. Their team of planners for Special Events will work the details out, including the logistics and vendors for your elopement.
47. Telluride, Colorado
They have an on-site team of professional planners that can help you execute your elopement. Moreover, they have in-house vendors that can provide their services if you need them. They also offer several packages to personalize your special day.
They offer three wedding packages: elope, kiss, and micro. The first among the three, elope, is best suited for intimate elopements. You have full control of the venue, their sound equipment, and other rentals such as tables and chairs for two hours. This package starts at $350 and can accommodate 50 guests. For those unable to attend the ceremony, their team will provide a live stream of the event in a Facebook group.
50. The Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho
The Sawtooth Wilderness, or the Sawtooth National Recreation Area at large, spans over 200,000 acres and encompasses the Sawtooth Range. This mountain range has over 50 peaks with elevations above 10,000 feet. It is surrounded by lakes and rivers, such as the Snake River, the Salmon River, and the Payette River.
If you plan on holding your elopement at the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, you must first contact a Forest Service office and request an application. A meeting is required to discuss your proposal, guidelines and restrictions, fees, and so on. For more information, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/sawtooth/passes-permits/other.
For $2,000, couples can avail of the elopement package, which includes an hour in the location you chose, an officiant, wedding flowers from a local vendor, and a bottle of Champagne. Viewpoint will assist you in finding other wedding vendors you need. However, you will have to book the two-night minimum hotel stay, which is not included in the package. You can bring up to four guests, which will cost $25 per head.
52. Virgin Islands National Park, Virgin Islands
The national park sees an influx of tourists and travelers during winter and early spring — more specifically, from November to April. Application for a Special Use Permit costs $25 for weddings, along with a recovery deposit of $100 to $150, depending on the size of your guest list. For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/viis/planyourvisit/permitsandreservations.htm.
They offer four wedding packages, two of which are perfect for elopers: Why Wait On Love is a package that allows couples to tie the knot in less than six months; Marry Micro At Wild Dunes Resort is a package specifically designed for intimate ceremonies, with prices starting at $8,750 for 20 guests.
Yankee Clipper Inn can accommodate weddings with 30 to 60 people, including the bridal party. As the inn is a full-service bed and breakfast inn, they can provide lodging and catering for your ceremony. Most of the suites have a great view of the oceanfront.