I so often feel that the east coast of the USA is so overlooked when it comes to elopements. It isn't just the western USA that has stunning landscapes and exciting cities! The east has all that and more! Here is a list of 6 locations in the eastern USA that I think make beautiful and unique elopement locations.
Blue Ridge Mountains
Part of the Appalachian Mountain range, the Blue Ridge Mountains predominantly lie in North Carolina and this is also where the highest peaks can be found! A few of my favorite hikes and the ones that have the most stunning views are the ones in Pisgah National Forest. What I love about these hikes here and this part of the mountain range is the location. It is near Asheville, North Carolina. You have the options to enjoy and explore nature, but also go to the Biltmore or one of the many breweries there!
When I was in school in Knoxville we used to head east to this mountain range all the time to hike! One of my favorite memories was waking up at 4 AM to get there in time to watch the sunrise from the top of a mountain. Easily one of the prettiest sunrises I have seen to date!
Known for its stunning manicured parks, horse-drawn carriages and antebellum architecture Savannah, Georgia is just one phenomenal city where you can have your urban elopement. When eloping in Savannah you get the best of both worlds: urban and nature. Starting on Tybee Island, 20 minutes from the historic district, you can explore the scenic beaches and watch the ocean, maybe even have a picnic there! If the beach isn’t your thing you can still be surrounded by salt marshes and wildlife at Skidaway Island State Park.
Once in the city you have countless options to see stunning architecture and eat tasty food. In the heart of the historic district lies Forsyth Park and not too far from the park is Lafayette Square, both of which have recognizable fountains in them. To end your day you all could stop at Treylor Park to grab a bite to eat or if you are looking for something a little more fancy you and your partner can grab drinks and dinner at the rooftop bar at Drayton Hotel that overlooks the city. Now if you ask me that is one heck of a way to end one of the best days of your life.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana. Where do I even begin? From the food to the history to the architecture you can plan an entire day here and still not see it all! The 5 neighborhoods I would recommend checking out are the French Quarter, Garden District, Art District, Uptown and Mid-City.
If you opt to pick only one neighborhood, I would recommend exploring the historic heart of the city, the French Quarter. This neighborhood offers you a true NOLA experience from the jazz clubs and Cajun eateries to the French Market and Jackson Square. I have walked through the quarter countless times and I still feel like I see something new every time!
If you want some other ideas of what you can do during your New Orleans elopement check out 11 Things To Do During your New Orleans Elopement HERE.
Key West, FL
After flying into Miami and driving south 165 miles you will find yourself in Key West, Florida. The southernmost point of the continental USA. Known for its water activities over its beaches, Key West will be the place for you if you want water adventures and an island experience located in the states. Smathers Beach is the perfect location to say your vows and Aaron, from Aaron’s Key West Weddings is a phenomenal local officiant. After promising yourselves to each other on the beach, head to Mallory Square to see the absolute best sunset you will ever witness and phenomenal street performers. In the area is also all the local cuisine you could eat to close out the night, One Duval being one of the most popular.
Music City, Athens of the South, Smashville, and Nashvegas. Just a few of the nicknames coined over the years for Nashville. As a native Nashvillian I can tell you all these are fitting. If you all are country music fanatics this is the city for you and even if you aren’t this city has something for everyone! For y’all music lovers the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and historic Ryman Auditorium are a must. While in that area you can also eat breakfast at Biscuit Love in the Gulch, I always get their blacklock hash! For non-music enthusiasts 12 South is a cute trendy little strip in south Nashville that boasts yummy restaurants, vintage clothing stores and handcrafted jewelry. My favorite restaurant in the area is Bartaco, they have the best salsa and margaritas! Nashville is the perfect city to elope in if you are looking for a unique experience and enjoy exploring what a city has to offer.
I might be a little biased about this location, but you really cannot beat the clear blue/green water, the fine, soft sand and the abundance of cute little towns to explore. There is not a bad time to come to this area, but be cautious of hurricane season that lasts from June to November. All along the coast there are these small coastal towns that have many hole in the wall restaurants, unique stores and quaint architecture. A few of these towns that are a must are Alys Beach, Seaside, and Rosemary Beach. The bigger towns in the area are Destin and Pensacola. Popular Crab Island also calls Destin home. If you want to live like you are in a country music video make sure you check out Crab Island by boat (highly recommend doing it this way as it is dangerous to kayak or paddleboard out there).
Although there are many tiny towns along the coast to pick from, you truly don’t have to pick just one because of how close they all are. Imagine getting married on the beach and then spending the rest of the day eating fresh seafood and exploring these small towns.
All in all the east coast of the USA has phenomenal locations to elope whether you are wanting to have an urban or nature based elopement. So don’t skip straight to western elopements, you might be surprised and find just what you are looking for on the east coast!