Looking For the Best Places to Elope in the US?
If you are you’re thinking of forgoing a traditional wedding and eloping instead, then check out this list, the best places to elope in the US. We put together this list because we get it; weddings can be a bit of a headache. Today’s average wedding cost is around $34,000. And in the end, it’s a day (or months!) full of stress and problem-solving. Eloping can be stress-free and easy. Imagine this: just the two of you, or maybe a hand full of friends and family, getting married in one of the most beautiful places in the world. A day that’s all about you and your partner!
We’re all about helping you and your partner tie the knot, and stress-free! Since we specialize in adventure elopements, we are out scouting new locations all the time. Some of the best places to elope are right here in the United States. All of these accessible locations have incredible spots, and range from driving right up to them to hiking in a few miles. Here’s a list of the best places to elope in the US to get you dreaming about your adventure elopement!
Glacier National Park, MT
Do big snowy mountains, beautiful meadows, and pristine alpine lakes sound like the place for you? Then Glacier NP and most of Western Montana is the spot for you! Tucked up on the most northern boundary of the US and Canada, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park easily tops our list of best places to elope. It offers plenty of locations for your adventure elopement to take place, so let’s do it! We love this area!
Already thinking Montana is it?! Check out our elopement packages!
Access to this area can be pretty easy too. You can quickly fly to Bozeman or Missoula from anywhere in the world for pretty cheap, and you are within 3 hours to Glacier and Yellowstone National Park. The drive will be incredible, and you’ll be feeling pretty excited to be heading through big sky country to your destination wedding! Accommodations are plentiful and range from camping under the stars, staying in the Swiss chalet styled Lake McDonald Lodge, or one of the many amazing AirBnb’s listed here.
While the weather in the summer is generally pretty beautiful, it can be pretty unpredictable in Montana — always be ready for an afternoon thunderstorm. Expect the snow to arrive anytime after September. And it can stick around till plows can make it up Going-to-the-Sun Road sometime in May or June. There are so many reasons it is on our list for the best places to elope in the US!
Eastern Sierra Nevada
The Eastern Sierra is incredible and one of our favorite places to spend time. With 14,000-foot peaks meeting with the high desert, there is a vast range of different microclimates here. Summers are warm and sunny, and winters are snowy! Lakes and rivers are plentiful, as well as high country peaks and meadows. The fall colors can be pretty spectacular as well, depending on the year. No wonder why it’s on our list of best places to elope in the US!
Accommodations are bountiful here — cozy cottages in the June Lake area, camping in Red’s Meadow, or lodges in Mammoth Lakes. You can even stay in Yosemite National Park and drive over the tallest pass in the Sierra, Tioga Pass (almost 10,000 feet!). Tioga Pass is one of the best scenic drives but only open in the summer.
Eastern Sierra for sure!! Perfect!
Although accessible all year round, you can expect some difficulties and limited access in the winter. Mammoth Lakes now has some local flights to Las Vegas and LAX, and Reno has an international airport. Driving to the Mammoth or June Lakes Area is doable too– LA is about 5 hours, or even from Yosemite Valley, it’s 3 hours.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is right up there with the 7 Natural Wonders of the world. This park is magical, and is a very special place for us at Scenic Vows — we both lived here…for over ten years! It’s super easy to get here and is a relatively short drive from Fresno, Sacramento, or San Francisco. Most entrances to the park are open year-round, except the east entrance. Always check with Park Service to make sure — the last thing you want to hear is that you’ll have to drive a few hours longer because a road is closed.
There are plenty of locations here, (check out our blog post of Yosemite Elopement Locations). From the countless images on Instagram of the Glacier Point area to the rarely seen weddings on top of Half Dome or an un-named peak in Tuolumne, there are options! John Muir coined this mountain range the “Range of Light” for a good reason, the lighting here is incredible. The sun shines bright, the sky is blue as ever, and as the sun sets the light gets soft and warm turning the sky shades of pink and orange.
Already sold on Yosemite? It is pretty freaking awesome!
You can stay in any of the camps in Yosemite, though many of them fill up pretty quick in the summer months. Check out Housekeeping Camp for a drive up site on the Merced River. You can cook and have a nice campfire there as well. Other options in the valley include Camp 4, and the exquisite Ahwahnee Hotel. A great option in the high country is Tuolumne Meadows Lodge. Here you can stay in a rustic tent cabin with a wood-burning stove, it’s must-do!
If you are interested in a truly unique adventure elopement, we can chat! There are some amazing overnight options to be had here and to save their integrity, we won’t be listing them here on this blog. I’m getting excited just thinking about the opportunities!
Central Coast California
Believe it or not, the central coast of California is a pretty wild place! Big Sur contains some of the most diverse landscapes in California. The Pacific Coast Highway winds its way through seaside cliffs, wildflowers, and forests alike, for over 90 miles. It’s one of our favorite places to visit and easily makes our best places to elope in the US list!
Try out glamping at the luxurious Treebones Resort. Here you can stay in a posh yurt, or spend the night in their very cool Human Nest, or twig hut (pretty similar to the Ewok Village from Star Wars!). There are many options on the PHC as well, from camping to Bed & Breakfasts.
Getting to the Central Coast is simple. San Francisco and Monterey sit on the northern boundaries, then to the south lies Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Traffic along the PCH can be pretty horrendous during the busy times, so best to stay away from the holiday weekends and stick to the weekdays. It’s always a good idea to check road conditions here too.
The Oregon Coast is often overlooked and is a great place to say, “I do”! With miles of beautiful misty coastline, this area is easy to access. There are plenty of places to go for every elopement from dunes to sea cliff, to beach alcoves, etc. — some only reachable by hiking, and many a short walk from the car! The sun does shine here, and lots of time, the mist and fog will set just the right mood for a spectacular sunset photoshoot! Other times the foggy Pacific Northwest weather creeps in to create the dreamy landscape that accentuates this area. The unpredictable weather is one of the reasons we think it’s one of the best places to elope!
Places to stay are plenty with many bed & breakfasts, hotels, and campgrounds near any part of the coast. Check out the serene coastal town of Newport, or up near the most recognizable Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach.
Getting to the coast is easy. Flying into Portland, you can make it to the beach in less than 2 hours. Similar driving times or less from Eugene, Medford, and Ashland. Once at the Coast, the Pacific Highway travels along the coast and is equally stunning in either direction you are driving!
Have you fallen in Love with this coast already? Here’s some more info for you!
To sum it all up, there are so many places to have an incredible adventure elopement or intimate wedding!
One thing to always keep in mind is to Leave No Trace. We all should do our part in protecting these beautiful places. If we take care not to trample plants, pick up any trash, and leave each area as we found them (or better!), we’ll have them forever! So remember: leave only footprints, take only memories!