Looking for the best places to elope in the South? Here’s our recommendations for an adventurous elopement together!
The Best Places to Elope in the South for Adventure
Hi y’all – it’s no secret that we LOVE the mountains. Gorgeous views from craggy peaks, grassy mountain balds, epic waterfalls and mountain streams. We’ll start this list with places that are near and dear to us – being close to our home in the mountains of SC.
But we also love a trip to the coast for the spanish moss, the “slow” country vibe and warm sandy beaches. Truth be told, we love to spend the wedding offseason at the coast!
We hope this list is helpful to you for all we love about the mountains, beaches and everything in between!
Upstate SC – One of our favorite places to elope in the South
Honestly, the area around Greenville South Carolina (locals call this area the “Upstate”) is one of the best kept secrets for an adventure elopement. Just to the north, Asheville gets a LOT of attention for adventure – and with that comes the crowds of tourists.
If you want to prioritize privacy for your adventure elopement, the Upstate of South Carolina has many opportunities for a low-stress experience away from everyone else.
This is why we think you should check out the mountains of South Carolina for your elopement. Yes, South Carolina has mountains! Not only that, but you’ll find gorgeous waterfalls & secluded mountain valleys. All this is within about an hour’s drive from the city of Greenville or other cool small towns (like up and coming Traveler’s Rest).
Elopements have become so popular lately, it’s made all the well known areas even more crowded. Instead of trying to have your ceremony at a packed overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, there are so many opportunities just to the south. Places that “no one” knows about.
No one except for us though – we would be happy to fill you in an all our secret spots!
Imagine staying at a secluded airbnb for a couple days away from it all. Adventuring to a waterfall for your first look. Exchanging your vows on a mountain top, and watching the sun set over the valleys below. Then retreating to your quiet cabin and enjoying a campfire as night falls.
We know where these places are. We’d love to take you there!
Western North Carolina – It’s more than just Asheville
We’ll just go ahead and say it – Asheville is a very popular area for adventure elopements. We totally agree that there are more opportunities for mountain views in the area as compared to Upstate SC. Think for a moment though – that photo you see on Instagram probably wasn’t taken in solitude. Most likely it was alongside many other tourists vying for the same view.
However, we still love the general area of Western North Carolina as one of the best places to elope in the South!
Just think a little wider than just places convenient to Asheville.
For example, the Blue Ridge Parkway has many locations far to the northeast or west of Asheville that get less traffic and would give you that “out there” kind of vibe.
Even more so, Pisgah National Forest, Nantahala and a variety of state parks and forests combine to offer you SO many options away from the crowds.
Looking for a waterfall for your first look with no one around? We’ve got you covered.
Want to enjoy your first dance in the moonlight on a mountain top? We know where to go.
Just approach the area with an open mind. We’re happy to share with you ALL the incredibly beautiful spots we’ve discovered over the years, so you can have an amazing elopement experience without the rush of tourists around. There is so much to see in Western North Carolina for adventuring!
More Adventurous Places to Elope in the South
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (often referred to as GSMNP for short) is a unique park all to itself.
In contrast to the vast natural areas of the locations we describe above, GSMNP is a combination of both natural & historical significance. You’ll find in this park an area rich in natural beauty, with buildings preserved from decades past.
If you’re after a location that brings together the lush forests of the mountain south plus the nostalgic character of old churches and cabins, you’ll love the setting of this National Park.
For example, check out Cades Cove, a somewhat isolated valley surrounded by mountains all around. Imagine a high valley meadow with historic buildings tucked away into the mountains. It’s an amazing place to see wildlife too!
Congaree National Park
Here’s another “bet you didn’t know” – South Carolina does have a National Park! From the Congaree National Park website: the park “is the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States.”
No, it’s not a swamp. It’s a gorgeous example of old hardwood forest with boardwalks and trails taking you through the heart of the experience. While maybe not ideal in a southern summer, exploring this park in spring, fall (or even winter) is a treat for the senses. If you can time your visit to the synchronous firefly show, it’s even more amazing!
State Parks & National Forests you didn’t know existed
In all our travels to National Parks to see the locations popularized on social media, the biggest discoveries have been what is outside the park.
For every National Park preserving epic scenery at the federal level, there are countless smaller parks and forest land all around. These hold some incredible treasures, if you’re willing to look!
For example, one of our favorite spots ever is a state park in a remote part of Virginia. If you saw this in person you’d think it’s Black Balsam Knob in North Carolina (an incredibly crowded place these days). But instead, it’s someplace you’d have a good chance having all to yourself.
This same formula repeats across North Carolina and South Carolina as well. Look to State Parks for a place to have a quiet ceremony vs. the more crowded well-known locations!
The Carolina Coast
While Charleston South Carolina has a reputation as a beautiful city for weddings, there are many places around Charleston that work wonderfully for elopements! A few traditional wedding venues have elopement specific packages, and there are also many iconic spots in and around the city that work well for an elopement.
Also, look out to the smaller coastal communities too for more space. You’ll still find that iconic combination of spanish moss on live oaks, and sandy beaches without all the crowds.
One of our favorite lowcountry spots is so “far” out there it’s about 2 hours to the nearest Walmart!
What you will find is a sleepy coastal town that is home to quiet gravel roads, beaches great for finding shells and affordable airbnb rentals that remind you of a time before high-rise hotels and tourist trap communities.
Looking for your best place in the south to elope?
This is just an overview of the special places we’ve found for adventure elopements in the south. We have so many specific spots we’d love to share with you, including all our “secret” locations you won’t find through researching online or on Instagram.
All of our couples receive access to our interactive, virtual map of every beautiful location in this area that we have cataloged from our adventures over the years. Elopements have become more popular than ever – which means you need a knowledgeable couple who has experienced this area first hand to find the right spot for you.
Why not reach out to us today and let’s start planning your epic elopement!