Discovering Beauty Beyond Imagination:
Top 10 Scenic Destination Elopement Locations in the US
Planning an elopement is a journey into the heart of your unique love story. Choosing a picturesque destination for your elopement adds an extra layer of magic to your special day. In this guide, we’ll explore the top 10 most scenic destination elopement locations in the United States. From rugged coastlines to majestic mountain peaks, these places are not only visually stunning but also offer unique experiences for adventurous couples. So, let’s embark on a journey to discover these incredible settings and the captivating stories they hold.
1. Big Sur, California
What Makes It Picturesque: Big Sur is a coastal paradise with dramatic cliffs, redwood forests, and breathtaking ocean views. McWay Falls, a secluded waterfall that drops onto a sandy beach, is a must-see spot.
Fun Things to Do: Explore the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge, hike in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and dine at Nepenthe while enjoying gorgeous panoramic ocean views.
Challenges: The winding Highway 1 can be challenging to navigate, and permits are often required for ceremonies in state parks.
Enhancements: Consider a flower crown or a rustic bouquet to complement the natural beauty.
Popularity: Big Sur is a popular spot, so plan ahead and secure your permits and accommodations early.
2. Sedona, Arizona
What Makes It Picturesque: Sedona boasts striking red rock formations and a serene desert landscape. Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock are famous for their stunning backdrops.
Fun Things to Do: Go on a jeep tour, hike the famous West Fork Trail, and stargaze at night in this designated Dark Sky Community.
Challenges: Weather can be unpredictable, and summer temperatures can be scorching, so plan your ceremony time wisely.
Enhancements: Incorporate native desert flora into your bouquet and attire for an authentic desert vibe.
Popularity: Sedona is a popular destination for weddings and elopements, so book accommodations well in advance.
3. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
What Makes It Picturesque: Lake Tahoe is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, majestic mountains, and pine-covered shores. Emerald Bay is a top pick for ceremonies.
Fun Things to Do: Enjoy water activities like paddleboarding, explore hiking trails, and visit charming lakeside towns.
Challenges: The high-altitude location can be challenging for those not acclimated, and permits may be required for certain locations.
Enhancements: Consider a cozy shawl or sweater for cooler mountain temperatures and vibrant wildflower arrangements.
Popularity: Lake Tahoe is a popular wedding destination, especially during the summer, so make reservations early.
4. Acadia National Park, Maine
What Makes It Picturesque: Acadia offers rugged coastal beauty with granite cliffs, pristine beaches, and lush forests. Otter Cliff is a stunning ceremony spot.
Fun Things to Do: Explore scenic drives, hike Cadillac Mountain, and savor a lobster dinner (yum).
Challenges: Weather in Maine can be unpredictable, and parking in the park can be limited, so arrive early.
Enhancements: Add a nautical touch with seashell accents or incorporate locally sourced blueberries into your bouquet.
Popularity: Acadia is a less crowded national park, but still, consider off-peak times for your elopement.
5. Moab, Utah
What Makes It Picturesque: Moab is an adventurer’s paradise with red rock formations, canyons, and arches. Delicate Arch is an iconic location.
Fun Things to Do: Explore Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, go off-roading, and stargaze in one of the darkest skies in the US.
Challenges: Desert heat can be intense, so plan for sunrise or sunset ceremonies. Permits may be needed for some locations.
Enhancements: Opt for earthy tones and desert wildflowers in your attire and bouquet.
Popularity: Moab is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, so plan accommodations and permits well in advance.
6. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
What Makes It Picturesque: Shenandoah is a lush wonderland with the Blue Ridge Mountains, waterfalls, and scenic overlooks. Mary’s Rock is a favorite spot.
Fun Things to Do: Hike the Appalachian Trail, visit Skyline Drive, and experience the vibrant fall foliage.
Challenges: Weather can change rapidly in the mountains, so be prepared, and permits may be required for certain areas.
Enhancements: Embrace the mountain theme with wooden accents and incorporate local wildflowers.
Popularity: Shenandoah is a serene location, but consider weekday elopements to avoid weekend crowds.
7. Olympic National Park, Washington
What Makes It Picturesque: Olympic National Park offers diverse landscapes, from temperate rainforests to rugged coastline and alpine meadows. Ruby Beach is a captivating ceremony spot.
Fun Things to Do: Explore the Hoh Rainforest, soak in natural hot springs, and take in the views from Hurricane Ridge.
Challenges: The Pacific Northwest can be rainy, so consider a clear tent for rain protection. Permits may be needed.
Enhancements: Incorporate driftwood and sea glass into your decor to match the beachy vibe.
Popularity: Olympic is a quieter national park, but still, plan ahead for permits and accommodations.
8. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
What Makes It Picturesque: Rocky Mountain National Park boasts towering peaks, alpine lakes, and lush meadows. Dream Lake is a dreamy elopement location.
Fun Things to Do: Hike to stunning lakes, drive the Trail Ridge Road, and enjoy wildlife sightings.
Challenges: Altitude can affect breathing, so acclimate before your ceremony. Permits may be required for certain areas.
Enhancements: Incorporate mountain pinecones and alpine flowers into your bouquet and decor.
Popularity: Rocky Mountain National Park is a sought-after location, so secure permits and accommodations well in advance.
9. Charleston, South Carolina
What Makes It Picturesque: Charleston offers historic charm, cobblestone streets, and antebellum architecture. The Battery is a picturesque ceremony location, and every beach offers a breathtaking view.
Fun Things to Do: Take a horse-drawn carriage tour, visit historic plantations, and savor the cuisine. Charleston is a hotspot for chefs so you can find some amazing restaurants like Basil, Paige’s Okra Grill, and Vicious Biscuit.
Challenges: Summers can be hot and humid, so consider morning or evening ceremonies. Permits may be needed for certain public spaces.
Enhancements: Embrace Southern elegance with a classic bouquet and vintage accessories.
Popularity: Charleston is a popular wedding destination, so book your venue and photographer early.
10. Yosemite National Park, California
What Makes It Picturesque: Yosemite is an icon of natural beauty with towering waterfalls, granite cliffs, and lush valleys. Yosemite Valley offers various scenic spots.
Fun Things to Do: Hike to Yosemite Falls, drive through Tunnel View, and witness the iconic Half Dome.
Challenges: Yosemite can be crowded during peak season, so plan for off-peak times for a quieter experience. Permits may be required.
Enhancements: Incorporate alpine flowers and bear grass into your bouquet to match the park’s flora.
Popularity: Yosemite is a highly sought-after destination, so secure accommodations and permits well in advance.
These top 10 scenic destination elopement locations in the United States offer a glimpse into the diverse beauty that awaits adventurous couples. Each location holds its unique charm and provides a picturesque backdrop for your intimate ceremony. From coastlines to mountains, deserts to forests, these destinations offer more than just stunning scenery; they provide unforgettable experiences and lasting memories. As you plan your destination elopement, remember to consider the challenges and requirements specific to each location, enhance the natural beauty with thoughtful accessories, and book accommodations and permits well in advance so nothing happens to derail your big day. If you don’t know where to start, it’s always a good idea to reach out first to the location you’ve chosen if they have an online presence. They should be able to tell you the specific things they require and how to go about securing them. Your destination elopement will not only be visually stunning but will also mark the beginning of an incredible journey filled with love, adventure, and endless possibilities.