The Best Places to Elope in California
California is one of the best states when it comes to choosing your elopement location! This is because no matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it here! You can choose from rugged beaches, snow capped mountains, natural hot springs, and so much more! So to help you decide, here are the best places to elope in California.
The Best Places to Elope on the Coast of California
If there’s one thing that California’s known for, it’s the beaches. While those who aren’t local may think of the beaches as palm tree clad, always sunny, and great for surfing, there’s a lot more variety along the coast of California!
One of the best places to elope in California if you’re hoping for an ocean side location is Big Sur. The iconic Highway 1 winds along the coast, with jaw dropping views around every turn. It’s probably best to avoid this one if you aren’t into heights (I have a fear of heights and there are sections I definitely would not drive again)! However, you’ll find countless overlooks and cliffs that peek over the ocean, as well as gorgeous beaches that you can walk down to. You’ll likely see some sunbathing sea lions too!
Northern California is cloudier, colder (along the coast), and moodier, then SoCal. That means its beaches, while not ideal for swimming, make an incredible elopement backdrop. There are rocks peeking through the ocean and cliffs that tower by the water. You can also hike spots that take you through groves of Redwood trees and out to the coast. Del Norte is one of the most scenic places on the coast, offering different trails and ocean side spots to say your vows.
The Best Places to Elope in the Mountains of California
Inland from the beaches and coastal towns of California you’ll find mountain ranges perfect for hiking, sking, and just enjoying the view!
Yosemite National Park
As one of California’s best known elopement locations, Yosemite National Park never disappoints when it comes to incredible scenery. The granite cliffs that tower over the valley make a great place to elope – whether you hike to the top or find an overlook. With countless trails to choose from, you’ll find something perfect for you! Check out my recent blog post about how to elope in Yosemite!
The stunning turquoise waters of Lake Tahoe are one of the best places to elope in California. This can include whether you tie the knot on one of the beaches, or you explore the surrounding mountains. Hike up for a birds eye view of the lake below, or hang out by the water to cool off! In the winter, this is one of the best skiing destinations in the state, so this elopement location is incredible year round.
The Best Places for a Hot Spring Elopement in California
What could be better than ending a day of adventures with a hot soak in the middle of nowhere? Here are some of the best places to elope in California if you want to find some natural hot springs!
Mammoth Lakes is a small mountain town east of Yosemite. Along with incredible mountain views, you’ll find lots of natural hot springs tucked in the forest just outside of town. Visit one of the popular spots, or do some exploring to find a private pool of your own! There’s even a heart shaped pool called Wild Willy’s, just off the highway.
Deep Creek Hot Springs
There’s a little bit of hiking required to get to Deep Creek Hot Springs, but this spot will reward you with natural pools right next to the river! You can soak in the natural stone tubs, then take a dip in the cool water.
The Best Places for a Forest Elopement in California
Did you know that the tallest trees in the world ccan be found in California? Here are some places to elope if you want that magical, fairytale-esque forest vibe.
Sequoia National Forest
The United States’ first national park and home to the world’s tallest trees, Sequoia National Park is one of the best places to elope in California. The groves of towering giants look like something out of a storybook. You can also choose from countless trails that take you through the forest!
Redwoods National and State Parks
Several parks encompass the Redwood trees, which are known for being tall and wide. In Del Norte, you can hike through forests of Redwoods and emerge on the coast combining woodsy views with views of the ocean!
The Best Places to Elope in the Desert in California
California’s deserts are a great place to get away from the cold in the winter time – though they can get chilly at night!
Joshua Tree National Park
The unique Joshua Trees (can you guess where the park’s name came from?) cover this desert landscape, along with rocky formations perfect for climbing. This is one of the best places to elope in California if you love desert views, and the orangey-neutral color palette creates a gorgeous boho look!
Death Valley National Park
Despite the ominous name, Death Valley has some of the most incredible desert views in California. The colorful layers of sand make up the hills and valleys of the park, offering unique landscapes to explore! Just don’t visit in the summer, as this is one of the hottest places on earth that time of year – so it might feel like it’s living up to its name a little.
Finding the Best Place to Elope in California
The best place to elope for you isn’t the same as any other couple’s – which is why as an elopement photographer, I make sure to customize a list of location recommendations for each couple, so that you can find the best spot for your vows!
Contact me to start planning your dream day – one that’s adventurous, stress free, and perfect for you.
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