26 Super Romantic Places To Elope


Photo: Courtesy of Deer Valley Resort.

To some, the term “elope” still conjures images of hasty lovers stumbling into clandestine chapels, or frugal pairs looking to save a few pennies on the guest list.

But elopements have changed.

Today, they’ve become an intimate alternative to a traditional wedding, where the details matter less than the vows being exchanged. No longer taboo, eloping is an incredibly romantic and wild way for adventurous couples to profess their love in some of the most stunning destinations around the world. Here are a few of our favorite romantic places to sneak away to say “I do.”

(Note: Be sure to check out the local embassy’s marriage requirements and restrictions before eloping in a foreign country.)


Aarhus, DenmarkExplore the cobbled streets of Aarhus, the second-largest city in Denmark, and a hive of Scandinavian culture. The city, which embodies Danish charm, is brimming with art, architecture, and fabulous cuisine. (Caffeine lovers, pay attention: Aarhus has particularly good coffee.) Visit one of its many art museums or plan your elopement around the Aarhus International Jazz Festival. For those who also want a bit of beach therapy, fear not: the southern coastline of the city has beaches to offer.

Photo: Getty Images.


Aarhus, Denmark (Continued)For proper intake of Aarhus’s many features, you’ll need to be near the city’s center. Enjoy a view of the beaches from the Marselis Hotel, which is conveniently located just 10 minutes away from bustling downtown. Take a walking tour of the city or rent bikes and take to the city on wheels. At the end of the day, take an evening walk along the beach.

Photo: Courtesy of Helnan Hotels.


MaltaThe Mediterranean sea is calling your name. More specifically, the picturesque island smack dab in the center of the Mediterranean sea is calling your name. This archipelago has a few urban centers, but is otherwise relatively undeveloped. Check out Comino, an island on the Blue Lagoon, which doesn’t allow cars. The Blue Lagoon itself is an attraction — the waters are an astounding shade of azure.

Photo: Getty Images.


Malta (continued)Lovers looking to escape can even stay on Comino at the Comino Hotel. The hotel, which is the only resort on the island, will keep you safely ensconced from the real world. The resort is fairly isolated, so you’ll have to take a boat to your residence. But what’s more romantic than a boat ride to a private island?

Photo: Courtesy of The Comino Hotel.


Tamil Nadu, IndiaSneak away to this state at the southern tip of India, which houses a generous array of temples for you and your soon-to-be spouse to enjoy. Trek to Thanjavur, a city near the coast, where the Great Living Chola Temples await. When the temples grow tiring, escape to one of Tamil Nadu’s many beaches, where you can enjoy fresh seafood with the customary south Indian spice.

Photo: Getty Images.


Tamil Nadu, India (Continued)The Ideal River View Resort in Thanjavur will seat you at the mouth of the Cauvery river. The two of you can enjoy an Ayurvedic massage at the resort, or just lie on the private beach. When the rest makes you restless, venture to the Vijayanagar fort, an impressive stone structure that houses the Tanjore Palace.

Photo: Courtesy of Idealresort.com.


Kennebunkport, MainePicturesque Maine promises cool weather and delicious seafood for your elopement. Kennebunkport, a town on the southern coast, is a popular summer destination for New Englanders. For a beachy elopement that doesn’t send you to the tropics, consider sealing the deal here.

Photo: Getty Images.


Kennebunkport, Maine (continued)The all-inclusive Hidden Pond resort, just minutes away from the beach, is designed for absolute R&R. Nestled in the forests of Maine, you’ll feel secluded in a northern paradise. Dine at Earth, a “farm-to-fork” restaurant situated in the middle of the resort. After dinner, enjoy a massage at the tree spa. Still looking to relax? The main cabin hosts s’mores by the campfire every night.

Photo: courtesy of Hiddenpondmaine.com.


Punta Cana, Dominican RepublicWhite-sand beaches and calm turquoise seas: If you’ve always fantasized about getting hitched on your own private island, you can’t do much better than Punta Cana. Be sure to plan a trip to Playa Grande, one of the area’s most popular spots, and if you’ve got time to explore, island-hop to nearby gems like Saona and Catalina.

Photo: Courtesy of Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana.


Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (continued)Want to invite your entire extended family along for the ride? Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana offers the perfect mix of all-inclusive ease and luxury accommodations — and you can even get slimed, if that’s what you’re into. Book one of the five-star resort’s 1,300-square-foot Pool Super Villas for the ultimate tropical escape: the bells and whistles include a private infinity pool, outdoor shower and tub, and butler service.

Photo: Courtesy of Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana.


The Smoky MountainsLovers of the great outdoors can retreat to one of our country’s finest sights: the Smoky Mountains. This eastern National Park, which straddles the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, will keep your nuptials covert under the Appalachian forestry. Looking for some time alone? You’ve got it — just be sure to watch out for the black bears that frequent the area.

Photo: Getty Images.


The Smoky Mountains (continued)The tallest peak in the park, Mount Le Conte, rises in 5,301 feet from base to summit. Break a sweat on the hike up, then rest in the Le Conte Lodge. In 1934, Pauline and Jack Huff married atop the mountain and began operating a hotel from its peak. Today, the lodge is maintained by a hospitality service, but it has retained its family-run charm. After celebrating your marriage with a hike, cuddle up in a one-room cabin and dine on family-style meals in the main lodge.

Photo: courtesy of Lecontelodge.com.


Napa Valley, CaliforniaWine country is known for being rustic, charming, and quaint, so why not have a small Napa wedding ceremony to match?

Photo: Getty Images.


Napa Valley, California (Continued)Milliken Creek Inn and Spa has beautiful gardens where you can hold your intimate service. And since eloping is all about avoiding the stress of planning and paying for a big wedding, why not take your relaxation to the new level with pampering at the spa and unwind with a two-day stay in the historic inn.

Photo: Courtesy of Milliken Creek Facebook.


Napa Valley, California (Continued)While in Napa, make sure to take advantage of the best wine in the country. Take a tour of one of the area’s 400 wineries and do a taste-testing with your lover. You can even get a bird’s eye view of the landscape from a hot air balloon.

Photo: Getty Images.


New York, New YorkThe Big Apple could be the ideal city for your small or last-minute wedding. With an endless number of urban, natural, and historic spaces, there are literally hundreds of locations to stage your ceremony and post-nuptial celebrations, solo or with a group.

Photo: Getty Images.


New York, New York (Continued)One classic New York location that never goes out of style is Central Park. If you have fewer than 20 guests, you aren’t even required to purchase a permit to hold your ceremony there. And the park is filled with a variety of quaint bridges, gazebos, and fountains that serve as an idyllic backdrop for your vows.

Photo: Bo Zaunders/ Getty Images.


New York, New York (Continued)New York also has pockets of romance around virtually every corner. Kiss your new spouse atop the Empire State Building, à la Sleepless in Seattle, or admire the dreamy views of the Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Photo: Getty Images.


Maui, HawaiiHawaii has long been a popular spot for honeymooners, so why not get a jump on things by exchanging your vows right there in the Aloha State? The most popular island for eloping couples is Maui, as it offers a variety of location options from breathtaking white sand beaches to historic churches.

Photo: Ron Dahlquist/ Getty Images.


Maui, Hawaii (Continued)You can say “I do” on Makena Cove in South Maui. Also known as “Secret Beach,” it’s the perfect spot for an intimate ceremony. Beautiful sunsets against the crystal blue water make for a dream backdrop.

Photo: Getty Images.


Maui, Hawaii (Continued)In the same secluded area near Makena stands a historic and quintessentially Hawaiian church. Founded in 1832, Keawalai Church is a small and beautiful seaside chapel ideal for a short and sweet ceremony before your tropical honeymoon begins.

Photo: Courtesy of Kaeawala’s Facebook.


Monte-Carlo, MonacoWhat could be more romantic than eloping to the French Riviera? Well, possibly this: As we recently reported, the Hotel Metropole in Monte-Carlo has launched an incredibly unique underwater wedding package, complete with festive diving gear, an officiant of your choosing, and a Champagne-laden reception. Take the plunge as a team of two, or invite up to 22 guests to join you as you say “I do” under the sea.

Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Metropole.


Da Nang, VietnamVietnam’s fifth-largest city is also one of its most picturesque, with scenic beaches, stunning mountains, and close proximity to several UNESCO world heritage sites. Da Nang tends to attract fewer tourists than Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, but that’s part of its appeal for couples looking for a private escape.

Photo: Courtesy of the Intercontinental DaNang Sun Peninsula Resort.


Da Nang, Vietnam (Continued)The award-winning InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula offers extreme luxury and a private beachfront locale, with plenty of stunning spots to exchange vows.

Photo: Courtesy of the Intercontinental DaNang Sun Peninsula Resort.


Kenya, AfricaIf you’re looking to take your vows in one of the most magical, spectacular regions of the world, Kenya should be on your radar. The culture is rich and vibrant, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking, and it might be your best chance at saying “I do” with a giraffe as your witness.

Photo: Courtesy of Serena Hotels.


Kenya, Africa (Continued)Want to take wedding pictures with Mount Kilimanjaro or the Indian Ocean in the background? You can. You could also head out on safari and spend your wedding day with lions, leopards, buffalos, rhinoceros, and elephants; all five “big game” animals call Kenya home. Or, just hole up at a high-end resort like Mombasa Serena Beach Hotel on Shanzu Beach and let the staff coordinate all the details. Whatever you choose, this is one trip you’ll never forget.

Photo: Courtesy of Serena Hotels.


Bled, SloveniaNot only does the country literally have love in its name, but the storybook village of Bled is one of the few destinations around the world with a romantic tradition just as beautiful as the scenery that surrounds it.

Photo: Mark Alpert.


Bled, Slovenia (Continued)In the middle of the town is a lake; in the middle of the lake is a small island; and on the middle of the island is a tiny church, perched high above the water.

Photo: Jacob Carter/REX Shutterstock.


Bled, Slovenia (Continued)Local tradition calls for grooms to carry their bride up the steep 99 steps to ring the wishing bell inside the Church of the Assumption of Mary, before heading back across the lake in a wooden gondola to share a slice of Bled cream cake on the veranda at the Grand Hotel Toplice.

Photo: Mark Alpert.


Tokyo, JapanThink the irony of planning a private ceremony in the most populous metropolitan area in the world is lost on us? Not quite. Tokyo is a city of contrasts; it’s at once ancient and new, imperial and rustic, quirky and traditional, urban and pastoral.

Photo: Courtesy of Kristy Alpert.


Tokyo, Japan (Continued)It’s a city where almost anything can happen, from climbing 52 stories to say your vows at the highest stand-alone chapel in the city, to attending a robot wedding, to saying “I do” under an umbrella of pink petals during hanami (cherry blossom) season.

Photo: Courtesy of Kristy Alpert.


Park City, UtahUtah’s lax legislation on marriage restrictions makes it a piece of cake to elope there, and it doesn’t hurt that the state also offers some of the most romantic landscapes and unique activities in the country.

Photo: Courtesy of Deer Valley Resort.


Park City, Utah (Continued)It may be known as a ski resort town, but the slopes around Park City make a picturesque backdrop for a romantic celebration at any time of year.

Photo: Courtesy of Deer Valley Resort.


Park City, Utah (Continued)Opt for a small private ceremony atop Bald Mountain at the breathtaking Deer Valley Resort (accessible via chairlift). Or, exchange vows inside a mountain at the Homestead Crater, before taking a romantic full-moon lift ride up the peak at night. Either way, the beauty of eloping is that you won’t have to share the cake!

Photo: Courtesy of Deer Valley Resort.


Gretna Green, ScotlandThis little village in the south of Scotland is the unofficial birthplace of eloping. Couples have been running off to make their bond legal in this village since the mid 1700s, when marriage restrictions in England prompted couples to cross the Scottish border to become husband and wife.

Photo: John Eveson/REX Shutterstock.


Gretna Green, Scotland (Continued)The phrase “running away to Gretna Green” has been used in romantic literature for centuries, and it’s easy to see that the town’s charming pastoral scenes make a great romantic backdrop for any love story.

Photo: Courtesy of Visit Scotland.


Sydney, AustraliaDespite housing a population of roughly 4.8 million people, this harbor city has an undeniably intimate and remote vibe.

Photo: Courtesy of Destination NSW.


Sydney, Australia (Continued)Maybe it’s the more than 20 hours you have to spend on a plane to get there, or maybe it’s the romantic hidden gems to be found throughout the city.

Photo: Courtesy of Kristy Alpert.


Sydney, Australia (Continued)From the dreamlike QT Sydney Hotel, whimsical custom picnics, starry-eyed outdoor cinemas, and hard to reach heights of the city, it doesn’t get much better than fleeing to the secluded shores of Sydney for a one-of-a-kind escape.

Photo: Courtesy of Kristy Alpert.


Turks & CaicosPart of the genius of eloping on Turks and Caicos is that it forces you to stay put in paradise. This British territory requires couples to be on the island at least three days before saying “I do,” and then pauses their return for three more days after the vows to process the marriage license.

Photo: Mark Alpert.


Turks & Caicos (Continued)That’s six days of “required relaxation” and beachy bliss. Consider it the island’s elopement gift to you.

Photo: Mark Alpert.


Turks & Caicos (Continued)Not sure how to fill your time during your mandatory exile? Might we suggest taking a sunset horseback ride along the beach, spending the day on a secluded island, or even extending your stay to enjoy a free night at The Somerset on Grace Bay with their romance package?

Photo: Mark Alpert.


Cusco, PeruSeal your sacred vows high in the heart of the Andes near the Sacred Valley, in Peru’s crowning city of Cusco.

Photo: Courtesy of Kristy Alpert.


Cusco, Peru (Continued)The city is gilded with romantic gems for couples, including the chance to drift to sleep above ancient Incan ruins in the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco, watch the lamplights flicker on after dusk at the Plaza de Armas, sip coca leaf-infused cocktails at Limo, or even take a day trip to explore the ruins of Machu Picchu.

Photo: Courtesy of Kristy Alpert.


Bali, IndonesiaBoasting breathtaking sunsets, lush landscapes, and a vibrant local culture, Bali has long been regarded as one of the most romantic destinations in the world.

Photo: Courtesy of Kristy Alpert.


Bali, Indonesia (Continued)It’s here that couples can get lost together among the butterflies and rice fields at the Campuhan Ridge Walk, bathe in a pool of 500 red roses at the Spa on the Rocks, take a flavorful journey through Indonesia’s finest ingredients above the Valley of the Kings at the Cascade Restaurant, and stroll around the temple gardens at the Taman Ayun Temple ( pictured).

Photo: Courtesy of Kristy Alpert.


Tremezzina, ItalyWidely regarded as one of the most beautiful destinations in Europe, the stunning scenery alone is enough to make anyone fall in love with this Italian lakefront village on Lake Como.

Photo: Courtesy of The Grand Hotel Tremezzo.


Tremezzina, Italy (Continued)The Grand Hotel Tremezzo makes it easy for soon-to-be spouses to immerse themselves in la dolce vita. Offering some of the most amazing accommodations in the area, the hotel is without a doubt the best place to book a romantic stay while in town.

Photo: Courtesy of The Grand Hotel Tremezzo.


Tremezzina, Italy (Continued)There, couples can watch the sun set while sipping Prosecco on a private boat tour, relax in a private spa room for customized couples treatments, and luxuriate in plush robes on a private terrace overlooking Lake Como in the romantic Suite Maria.

Photo: Courtesy of The Grand Hotel Tremezzo.


Salzburg, AustriaSalzburg is steeped in romance and history, from the glistening waters below in the Salzach River to the spectacular spires towering above the city on the Fortress Hohensalzburg.

Photo: Courtesy of Tourism Salzburg.


Salzburg, Austria (Continued)The city set the scene for The Sound of Music more than 50 years ago, but today it’s the perfect storybook setting for couples to write their own romantic tale. Spend the day meandering beneath Baroque architecture, tasting your way through the city’s numerous breweries, or cycling among the natural lakes and soaring mountains on the Tauernradweg cycle path.

Photo: Mike Longhurst/REX Shutterstock.


London, United KingdomIf London hasn’t already seduced you, it will as soon as you disembark the plane. London is one of the most inspiring cities of all time, acting as the birthplace for some of the most romantic writers of all time, from John Keats to Lord Byron.

Photo: Courtesy of Kristy Alpert.


London, United Kingdom (Continued)In fact, English poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning chose London’s St. Marylebone Parish Church for their elopement back in 1846.

Photo: Courtesy of Kristy Alpert.


London, United Kingdom (Continued)From choosing a bouquet at the Columbia Road Flower Market to renting a rowboat in Hyde Park before heading to afternoon tea at The Goring Hotel (where Kate Middleton spent the night before her wedding), London offers a poetic start to any eternal romance.

Photo: Courtesy of The Goring Hotel.


New Orleans, LouisianaThough often thought of as a party capital, New Orleans is also one of the most amorous cities in America.

Photo: Courtesy of Kristy Alpert.


New Orleans, Louisiana (Continued)Spend the morning splitting beignets at Café Du Monde, steal a kiss on a streetcar, make a wish in the Jackson Square fountain, and rendezvous at Café Amelie for a secluded courtyard dinner. Then, snuggle into a booth on Frenchman Street for some live jazz before returning to the ethereally elegant Windsor Court Hotel for a late-night custom cocktail and a four-diamond night’s sleep.

Photo: Courtesy of Kristy Alpert.


Niagara Falls, CanadaLocated right on the U.S.-Canada border (between New York and Ontario), Niagara Falls may bring to mind cheesy, ’70s-style wedding suites, but don’t buy into that. A number of cute chapels not far from the Falls do offer quickie weddings, but today you can elope in style. We recommend heading to nearby Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, for your I Dos.

Photo: Getty Images.


Niagara Falls, Canada (Continued)Niagara-On-The-Lake is a bit like stepping back in time — the heart of the town is its downtown historic district, which is full of of well preserved 19th century buildings. In addition to its close proximity to the Falls, it’s also a short drive to Ontario’s wine country. Book your stay at 124 on Queen, where the staff will happily coordinate the details of your elopement. Or, make like Jim and Pam, and take your vows aboard the Maid of the Mist.

Photo: Getty Images.


St. Lucia, The West IndiesNeed a Caribbean vacation? Escape to Saint Lucia, the sovereign island nestled among the Lesser Antilles. Brimming with wildlife and beaches galore, the vacation spot is just secluded enough for a clandestine wedding. Drive through (yes, through) a volcano at Sulphur Springs, hike the “twin” mountains Gros Piton and Petit Piton, and get to know the cacao farming process at The Rabot Estate.

Photo: Getty Images.


St. Lucia, West Indies (continued)Experience both history and luxury in a renovated 18th century sugar mill called The Balenbouche Estate. The property provides breakfast every morning and access to the island’s plentiful sights. The estate features a private private as well as a yoga barn, where you can take class in the mornings. When you’re done relaxing (as if that ever happens), venture to the Tet Paul Nature Trail, which runs through an organic farm.

Photo: courtesy of Balenbouche.com.

 

Source: http://www.refinery29.com/

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