Best Places to Elope in California

The Ultimate Guide for
Picking The Best Elopement
Locations In California

California at a Glance

Where will you choose?

Incredible coastlines, expansive deserts, mountain peaks, granite cliffs, ancient redwood trees—this is California. There’s so much more to California than you might initially think. It’s one of the most incredibly diverse states nestled inside the US—and one that’s absolutely outfitted for adventure (no matter what kind of adventure you’re looking for).With 8 national parks and more than 100 state parks—with landscapes ranging from the snowy Sierra Mountains to the turquoise waters of Lake Tahoe to the arid stretches of Death Valley National Park—California is everything an adventurous couple like you could dream of for your wildly different wedding day.

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Whether you seek enormous, jutting boulders overlooking the crashing Pacific Ocean in Big Sur, towering waterfalls cascading from steep cliffs in Yosemite National Park, or old-growth trees in the enchanting Redwood National Park, you’ll have no trouble finding the best place to elope in California.

Choosing Your California Elopement Location

Enormous granite cliffsides, lush forests, snow-capped mountain ranges,  massive deserts, sunny seasides—California truly has every landscape you could possibly imagine. It’s the perfect choice for a couple who wants, well, everything. The diverse landscape is perfect for hiking couples, couples who love to camp and backpack, couples who love seaside activities, off-roading couples, and so much more!

The question really isn’t should we elope in California?

More like, how can we possibly choose just the best places to elope in California?

(PRO TIP: You don’t have to!)

Landscape & Seasonality

The Best Time of Year to Elope in California

California is famous for its sunny-and-75 vibe, but truthfully, the state is so large that the weather varies from place to place. Northern California and Southern California have entirely different climates and seasons from each other, so keep that in mind when planning your elopement!



NoCal is peak leaf-peeping location—the colors change, the chill hits, and you even get a little bit of the PNW mood. SoCal is a different story. You might still get some leaves and colors, but the peak won’t hit until early November (and even then, it’s short-lived).

Months: Southern California (November – December) & Northern California (September – December)

Activities: Hiking, mountain biking



While spring in SoCal is more like a breezier summer, the NoCal spring is nothing to ignore. All that snow in the mountains creates some of the most beautiful wildflower meadows you’ll ever see. If prancing through an alpine meadow overflowing with color is something you’re interested in, NoCal spring might be the perfect season for you!

Months: Southern California (March – May) & Northern California (April – June)

Activities: Hiking, biking, discovering waterfalls



SoCal winters are mild as mild gets—unless you’re in the desert. Then, you need to be prepared for freezing temps at night. NoCal, especially in the mountains, gets snowy weather, chilly temps, and leaves plenty of chances for skiing, snowboarding, and more.

Months: Southern California (December – February) & Northern California (December – March)

Activities: Hiking, Mountain biking, Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing



SoCal is best-known for its hot-but-perfect summer weather. with high temps and lots of sunshine, be ready to take a dip in the pacific to cool off. NoCal, on the other hand, has a warm, but mild, summer. expect tons of sunshine, but breezier, milder temps up in the mountains.

Months: Southern California (May – October) & Northern California (June – September)

Activities: Hiking, biking

Best Places to

Elope in California

A state full of magic so unreal and so diverse you’ll hardly believe your eyes. With NINE national parks (yes, nine—more than any other state in the U.S.) ranging in landscape from Death Valley National Park to Lassen Volcanic National Park and over 118 state parks, it’s beautifully obvious—there are endless options for places to elope in California.

Best Places to

Elope in California

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park’s giant sequoias, vast wilderness, deep valleys, and breathtaking viewpoints are second-to-none. The park is absolutely overflowing with famous spots like Glacier Point, Half Dome, Taft Point—but we happen to have a few lesser-known spots up our sleeve, too. Whether you seek granite cliffs, old-growth forests, or enormous waterfalls, Yosemite never disappoints.

Big Sur

We can’t draw up a guide on the best places to elope in California and not include Big Sur.  Giant cliffs jut up from the beaches surrounding the crashing Pacific Ocean, redwoods line sections of the shore, and the viewpoints of the landscape from the craggy, granite overlooks are next-level beautiful. Imagine standing cliffside with the love of your life as the sun sets over the Pacific. Sounds unreal, right? Don’t worry, we have to remind ourselves all the time—this place really exists!  

Mount Tamalpais

When you enter this wilderness area, you almost forget you’re right near San Francisco. There are numerous hikes around here that will weave you through mossy TALL trees, trickling streams, and then as you’re hiking along, you suddenly pop out over a large vista overlooking the bay! As you might expect, sometimes the fog will roll in and out of this area—it’s really mesmerizing! There are also some pretty great campsites through here.


You may be familiar with Mammoth, California for skiing and snowboarding, but this area is also surrounded by some of our favorite hiking in California with Ansel Adams Wilderness & John Muir Wilderness & Inyo National Forest filling up this whole area. This would also be a super ideal area for a backpacking elopement. You can hike along the Pacific Crest Trail and John Muir Trail and see Devil’s Postpile National Monument.

Point Reyes National Seashore

If you love a pristine coastline with rocky cliffs, do consider visiting this National Seashore during your wedding day! The views are incredibly inspiring, plus since it’s so protected, you have a great chance of spotting sealife and wildlife— from migrating whales to tule elk! How cool?! The best time to visit is during spring and fall for comfortable temperatures and to avoid heavy fog.

Redwood National Park

A beautiful lush NP with trees so large you feel miniature. It’s very humbling to walk through this area and note just how tall and old these trees are. This area has an almost enchanting feel to it.


California is an enormous state that ranges from sandy beaches to old-growth forests to epic mountain peaks— in other words, it’s absolutely overflowing with incredible places for you and your love to adventure together. We mentioned three big, general spots, but don’t worry—we have thousands of location suggestions and ideas for your California elopement. We can’t wait to share them all with you!

Find your location

Ready to begin
planning your
own adventure

You can Download The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Elopement to begin digging deep into your own goals for your wedding celebration, or contact us so we can help you narrow down your options!

If you’re looking for further information on elopements, check out this blog all about the cost of elopements & how you can budget for an epic day!

We firmly believe you deserve to celebrate your marriage in whatever way feels perfectly you – maybe you’ve found inspiration here that’s pointed you in the right direction, or maybe you vision something else entirely!

Whatever your goals, reach out! We can’t wait to hear all about your dream elopement adventure!