Best Places to Elope in the US

Our Guide to the Best Places to Elope in The USA - Elopement Destinations USA

best places to elope in US | North Cascades Jeep elopement

The Best Places To Elope In The US | Our Guide To The Best USA Elopement Locations

Top 10 Places To Elope in the US

From the red deserts of Utah to the lush forests of Washington State to the mossy trees of the southeastern United States, the US has pretty much every landscape you could imagine (and hands-down some of the best places to elope in the world). As an elopement photographer, I spend a ton of my time getting out and scouting the best places in the country for adventure elopements, and I’ve crafted this list in the process: the best places to elope in the US.

How the Seasons Can Impact the Best Places to Elope in the US

Seasonality Can Have A Huge Impact On Where You Choose To Elope In The US

Depending on where in the US you want to elope, you’ll need to look into how seasonality impacts the weather. The reality is the best elopement destinations are highly season-dependent. 

Once you know that, you can narrow down the best places to elope in the US. With that said, which places in the US are best for elopements in the various seasons?

Eloping in the US in the Summer and Fall

Summer and Fall Elopement Destinations

best places to elope in US | elopement in the San Juan Mountains

Best Places To Elope In The US In The Summer Months

  • The mountains and higher elevation locations really shine in the summer months, making them among the best places to elope in the US during this season.

  • The Rocky Mountains and the North Cascades have gorgeous wildflower blooms that come to life in late July and early August, and they’re the perfect backdrop for summer adventure elopements.

  • Depending on where in the mountains you’re looking to elope, there are designated elopement venues as well as awesome trails for you to choose from, all of which make for awesome USA elopement destinations.

  • On the other hand, the desert regions of places like Moab and Death Valley and many parts of the southeast that are riddled with excessive heat. I’d typically suggest avoiding these regions when eloping in the summer, but they make for epic US elopement locations during other parts of the year.

Best Places To Elope In The US In The Fall Months

  • If you want to elope in the mountains in the US, fall is another great season. The leaves in the mountains look gorgeous during peak color time, making mountainous regions one of our favorite places to elope in the US.

  • If you want to elope when the fall colors are at their best, make sure to check when peak colors happen in the mountain region you’re considering. For example, in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, peak fall colors happen at the tail end of September, making CO one of the best elopement destinations for this season.

  • Beaches are some of the best places to elope in the US in the fall. They’re much milder, temperature-wise during this time of the year, and they’re usually less busy since families aren’t on vacation then.

  • The desert is also great in the fall, with the heat from summer fading away. This is when states like Arizona, Utah, and Nevada really shine.

Eloping in the US in the Winter and Spring

Winter and Spring Elopement Destinations

best places to elope in US | elopement in Breckenridge in winter

Best Places To Elope In The US In The Winter Months

  • If you want a winter wonderland vibe for your elopement, the mountains can be one of the best elopement destinations. Just be aware that snowshoeing may be necessary if you’re eloping on a hiking trail.

    Also, certain mountain passes close during the winter season, so that’s something to keep in mind as well (like Rocky Mountain National Park’s Trail Ridge Road). That said, Colorado has some awesome elopement venues, like Sapphire Point, that are so much better in the winter months than any other season. Just be aware that you could be spending multiple hours on end in very cold temps!

  • If you want to elope in winter but prefer a milder climate, the beaches of southern California and Florida are great options. These places tend to stay relatively warm pretty much year round, so making them one of the best places to elope in the US in the wintertime.

  • Also, certain desert locations are a good option in the winter months. Death Valley and Joshua Tree are great this time of year. While it can still be chilly, the temps are nowhere near as uncomfortable as these places can be in the summertime, making them pretty awesome places to elope.

Best Places To Elope In The US In The Spring Months

  • Spring is probably the only season when I’d say avoid the mountains. At higher elevations, plants are still dead from winter, certain regions get heavily bogged down with rain, and sometimes you can end up in the middle of a hail storm. Not the best for an adventure elopement.
  • If your allergies tend to get the best of you, I also recommend avoiding the southeast. Pollen can get pretty intense down there. But if you don’t have overactive allergies, the blooming in the spring in the southeast can be gorgeous.
  • Honestly, in my opinion, the best places to elope in the US are the west coast beaches, particularly in California. Springtime in most regions is known for lots of rain (and hail!), but southern California is generally drier and the beaches won’t be as hot as they are in the summer months making then a great option.
  • The high deserts of Utah are also great in the spring. This is the ideal time to visit them and elope: before they become scorching in the summer.

The nice thing about the US is that there isn’t really a bad elopement season. Because the US covers such a diversity of regions, there are good places to elope in, no matter the time of year. 

Finding the best places to elope in the US will ultimately just depend on what types of landscapes you like the most. Once you figure out what you like, picking a season becomes easy. 

Ok, So You've Narrowed Down Your Preferred Elopement Season.

Now, Let's Dig Into Finding Your Perfect Elopement Spot In The US.

The best piece of advice I could give you when you’re trying to find the best places to elope in the US is to chat with your adventure elopement photographer. Why? 

As an adventure elopement photographer myself, I spend a huge chunk of my time traveling to the most epic elopement locations and destinations and scouting them out for our couples. It’s my job to know the best places to elope.

That said, when determining the best places to elope in the US, you and your partner should discuss which types of landscapes you like most. Would you rather elope in the mountains or on the coast? 

Share your likes and dislikes with your elopement photographer, and they should be able to find you the best places in the US to match those preferences. I chat a bit more in detail out this in our Ultimate Elopement Planning Checklist.

Our Personal Favorite US Elopement Locations

The Best Places To Elope In The US

As a seasoned adventure elopement photographer and person who has traveled to pretty much every region in the US, I’ve seen a lot of places. And from my travels, I’ve narrowed my favorite elopement locations and what I think are the best elopement destinations down to a few key spots. 

Our list of the best places to elope in the US include the places that made my jaw drop…that felt other-worldly in how inspiring and gorgeous they are. 

Disclosure: Within the list, I’ve included links to lodging options at some of our favorite elopement locations so you can get started on planning your US elopement. I may earn a commission, at no additional cost to you, if you book through these links. Your clicks help support small businesses like mine. Thank you!

Best Places To Elope In The US #1

1. Telluride, Colorado

Colorado in general is known for its epic mountains, and Telluride takes the cake for some of the absolute best in the state. This town is located in the San Juan Mountain range. In the winter, Telluride is a top skiing destination.

In the fall, the aspens are completely aglow. And in the summer the epic mountain passes near the town open up and make for some of the best off-roading. This town’s versatility is one of the reasons I consider it one of the best elopement destinations.

Telluride is basically an adventurer’s paradise (but it also has boutique hotels and cute little restaurants giving it the perfect balance of adventure and romance).

This town honestly covers all the bases which is why it’s at the top of our list of best places to elope in the US. If you’re looking for places to stay in the area, you’ll want to look for lodging in Telluride itself or in nearby Mountain Village.

Best Places To Elope In The US #2

2. Mount Rainier National Park

There’s no other way to put it: Mount Rainier is straight majestic. This stratovolcano pretty much follows you the entire drive from Seattle into the park…standing above every hill and mountain nearby.

Even in the summer months, the mountain is caked in snow (like in this photo that was taken at the end of July).

Personally I love the juxtaposition of a snowy Rainier with late summer wildflower blooms. It’s honestly what makes this park one of the most epic, best places to elope in the US.

With multiple entrances and various trails of differing lengths, you can get away from the crowds and have a slice of Washington State heaven all to yourself on your elopement day. A truly special place to elope in the United States, and by far one of the best elopement destinations. 

Depending on where in the park you’re eloping, I’d recommend finding lodging in either Packwood or Ashford.

Best Places To Elope In The US #3

3. Dillon and Breckenridge, Colorado

While Telluride is a bit hard to travel to, given the limited ways to get there and its distance from Denver, the Breckenridge/Dillon/Keystone area is far more accessible, which is why I love it so much.

You still get those epic mountain views, but you’re only a couple hours from the airport and super close to a major freeway.

Ultimately, this area is one of the best elopement destinations for couples looking to have an epic outdoors experience, without wandering too far out into the backcountry.

Personally, I believe the Breckenridge/Dillon area is one of the best places to elope in the US for couples who are looking to bring a few family members or friends along with them.

There’s plenty to do in town, but it’s also easy to escape into the Colorado Rockies when you’re ready for some mountain air and exploration.

There’s plenty of lodging in the area, but I highly recommend finding yours ASAP, as this area of Colorado is super popular and books up fast.

Best Places To Elope In The US #4

4. Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is probably the closest you can get in the US to the views you’d see in Canada’s Banff and Jasper.

When it comes to crazy epic mountain views and glacial lakes, Glacier National Park would honestly be our number one best place to elope in the US.

If you’re thinking about eloping in Glacier, though, I recommend doing so between early July and early October, since that’s when the famous Going To the Sun Road is open, allowing you to drive the length of the park and see some of the most epic mountain views Glacier has to offer.

This road is one of the biggest features that makes this park one of the best elopement destinations.

West Glacier has plenty of great places to stay. Not only is Glacier one of the best places to elope in the US, but it also has some super cute lodging options, like this adorable lodge with the cutest little cabins and this lovely mountain chalet.

Best Places To Elope In The US #5

5. Capitol Reef National Park

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Capitol Reef is the severely underrated underdog of the Utah national parks. Frankly, I’d venture to say it’s the best national park in the state.

It’s far less crowded than Zion and Arches, but it’s just as epic. And that’s part of the reason I think this park is also one of the most romantic places to elope: you can so easily get away from it all.

You can have more privacy when you elope in Capitol Reef, which can be hard to come by in places like Moab. And oh my gosh, the sunrises in this park are unreal.

I highly recommend this park as one of the best places to elope in the US, without a doubt. For places to stay when eloping in Capitol Reef, you’ll want to look for lodging in Torrey, UT.

Best Places To Elope In The US #6

6. Grand Teton National Park

While Grand Teton sits right next to its more popular sister Yellowstone NP, I think you’re much better off skipping the geysers and long lines and heading over to the Tetons.

Trust me, when you get there you’ll see why this park is listed as one of the best places to elope in the US.

The mountain views are absolutely stunning. The Teton range is jagged and dramatic and feels like it basically juts out of the ground from nowhere.

And the park itself is not nearly as busy as some others in the US, making it an awesome elopement location for a little more seclusion. Plus, the adorable town of Jackson has some of the best lodging.

Whether you’re looking for a modern hotel vibe, a lodging experience that’s total elevated luxury, or a gorgeously renovated hotel with historic charm, Jackson has the best.

Best Places To Elope In The US #7

7. Indian Peaks Wilderness In Colorado

While it’s not a national park, the Indian Peaks Wilderness can keep up with the best of them. In fact, there’s a reason why I recommend this spot as one of the best elopement destinations over encouraging couples to elope in the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park.

Frankly, Indian Peaks is a far better elopement location. And that’s largely because the designated ceremony spots in Rocky Mountain leave A LOT to be desired. The mountain views aren’t nearly as epic as you might think and you typically have a crowd of people nearby (not the most romantic way to start off your marriage).

Meanwhile, Indian Peaks gives you the chance to get away from it all, as long as you’re willing to hike a bit (trust us, it’s worth it for this epic elopement place).

As an elopement photographer based in Colorado, I spend a lot of time wandering and working in the Rockies, which is why I can confidently recommend Indian Peaks as one of the best places to elope in the United States.

If you need help finding places to stay when eloping in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, Nederland is one of the closest towns to this area.

Best Places To Elope In The US #8

8. Death Valley National Park

I love how extreme Death Valley is. Who says a little desert heat can’t be romantic? In the summer months, the temperatures get insanely hot (which is why I don’t really recommend eloping here at this time of the year).

And this park also contains the lowest elevation point in the entire US. How cool is that?!

But beyond fun facts, the reason I recommend this park as one of the best places to elope in the US is because of the crazy landscapes it has. You have everything from bare mountains, desert, sand dunes, and salt flats.

Everything is barren and beautiful. It’s honestly these extremes that make this park one of our favorite elopement locations. And there’s actually a hotel inside the park, and it’s stunning. You can’t beat that.

Best Places To Elope In The US #9

9. Southern Wyoming

When it comes to the best places to elope in the US, southern Wyoming is like the hidden gem nobody’s ever heard of. And I’ll be honest, I kind of like it that way. 

I have my personal favorite elopement spots in these mountains, and every time I visit them, it’s like I’m seeing them for the first time. They take my breath away. 

These mountains rival some of the best in the mountain west, and this part of Wyoming is kind of a local secret. It’s funny how many couples reach out to me about wanting to elope in Colorado and then end up choosing southern Wyoming instead. 

I’ll shout it from the rooftops…southern Wyoming is hands-down one of the best places to elope in the US.

Best Places To Elope In The US #10

10. A Place That's Special To You And Your Partner

At the end of the day, where you choose to elope is completely and totally up to you. While epic views are awesome, what’s even more awesome is choosing a place that has meaning to you and your partner. 

Is there a specific trail that you two went on your first date together? Or do you visit a specific national park every year to go camping? Consider eloping there. 

The best places to elope in the US (and the most romantic places to elope) are the places that matter the most to you…wherever that may be. 

Even if that’s just in your backyard or in the courtyard of the coffeeshop where you two had your first date. Sometimes the best elopement destinations are closer to home than you would’ve thought.

Acquire Any Needed Permits To Elope In The US

Most US Elopement Locations on Public Lands Require Permits

Once you’ve chosen your preferred US elopement location or elopement venue, you’ll want to dig into whether or not you’ll need an elopement permit. Some national forests require them and others do not. On the other hand, you can pretty much be certain that you’ll need a wedding permit if you’re eloping in one of the US’s 63 national parks.

Ultimately, permit requirements for elopement locations and elopement venues should be viewed on a location-by-location basis. Definitely check in with a ranger at your elopement location to get a solid answer on whether or not you’ll need one.

So You've Found Your Perfect US Elopement Location

Wanna Snag Some More USA Elopement Tips?

romantic elopement locations | Colorado Springs USA elopement

As A Seasoned Elopement Photographer, I've Got Your Back.

You Don't Have to Go Through This Elopement Process Alone

Curious about how much an elopement could cost you, compared to a traditional wedding? Check out our article breaking down all the costs

Need a checklist that covers the entire elopement process? Our Ultimate Elopement Guide includes everything, from how to find the best places to elope to what you should be packing with you.

Interested in eloping in Washington State or Colorado? I tell you all about how to do that. Want to know the best places to elope in Utah or California? No worries…I’ve written articles on that too. 

P.S. As an adventure elopement photographer, I do more than just capture your US elopement. I help couples like you sort out all the little details as well — like helping you find the perfect time of year for your California coast elopement. Or finding you the best places to elope in the US, whether it’s a national park or elopement venue. I’ve been in your shoes with my own US elopement, and that’s why I’m in this industry in the first place.

Planning Your Adventure Wedding Or National Park Elopement?

After looking through the best places to elope in the US, it’s now time to dig into more elopement resources. Check out some of our favorites:

Sheena Shahangian Photography LLC

Empowering You To Have Your Adventure Elopement, Your Way

Colorado Elopement Photographers + Adventure Wedding Photographers

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved. Sheena Shahangian Photography LLC.