Dreaming of your own elope Asheville experience? Want to enjoy an epic engagement session in Asheville? Whether your after gorgeous landscapes for your engagement photos, or plan to elope in Asheville, we know where to go. Here’s our top locations for an adventurous day together, and we’ve included itinerary ideas to help you plan your total experience!
Your Guide to the Best Locations to Elope Asheville
Breathtaking Waterfall locations for your Elope Asheville Experience
Waterfalls are such a magical experience. (We love extending the effect by filming you in super slow motion in front of the falls!)
While Western NC is abundant with falling water, there is irony in the fact that only a precious few work well for elopement or engagement photos. Many falls that look amazing for landscape photography don’t work that well when you consider the needs for portrait photography as well. Add to that the safety aspect (some have too many slippery, mossy rocks) and strenuous hikes to boot, and the list gets smaller and smaller.
Below are two our favorites for fairly convenient and safe waterfall spots!
Elevation: 4300 ft
About 1.5h SW of Asheville, NC near the intersection of the Blue Ridge Parkway and NC 215 (or 50min north of Brevard, NC).
Dill Falls is fairly convenient to Black Balsam Knob, which makes it a great stop if you want to add another epic spot to your adventure session or elopement day (or extend to another day!). While the drive is down many curvy (and gravel) roads, the access is less than 2 miles of easy trail. There’s not usually a lot of visitors, and tt’s a perfect spot to cool off in the middle of summer!
Looking Glass Falls
Elevation: 2300 ft
About 50 min SW of Asheville, NC (or 15min north of Brevard, NC).
Looking Glass Falls is “almost” perfect for a romantic, picturesque and breathtaking spot. The water below the falls is (fairly) easy to access and everything is proportioned just right to capture beautiful photographs of you in front of the falls. The pool below is very shallow and easy to walk through.
Why do we say “almost?” Well – the falls are just off of the main road (US276) which makes the access by car very easy. However that same access makes it very popular, especially in the summer months.
Don’t let that sway you though – couples love the setting and we know how to stack the odds in our favor to avoid the crowds. Can you believe the photo below was during a weekend in the summer? We made it happen, and we’re sure we can for you too!
Awe-inspiring Mountain locations for your engagement or elope Asheville experience
Buck Spring Gap
Elevation: 4900 ft
About 45min SW of Asheville, NC near the Pisgah Inn
There is a LOT to like about Buck Spring Gap. It’s fairly convenient to Asheville and facilities are nearby at the Pisgah Inn. The Inn not only is a lodging option but has a restaurant (excellent fried chicken!) with excellent views of the valley below.
At Buck Spring Gap you won’t feel like you’re at a busy overlook with traffic flying by. Take a few steps down the Mountains to Sea trail, and you’ll find a little hideaway that’s great for a “just us” elopement or inviting a few guests for an intimate wedding.
This setting also works well for clearly capturing your vows – less road noise in your wedding video!
There is a good amount of flexibility to Buck Spring Gap. It’s a great spot for an intimate, set apart ceremony; it can accommodate a few guests; not far from Asheville & the Pisgah Inn is just down the road. One of our favorites!
Elevation: 5600 ft
About 45min NE of Asheville, NC near the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center
While the NPS does not allow weddings on some of the biologically sensitive areas, the Gardens have so much to offer we still recommend it. The trail to the Pinnacle is about 2 miles (out and back) and there is so much to see and experience both there and on the picnic area side of Craggy!
Expansive views of the valley below are yours to enjoy. Rhododendron tunnels cover you in cool shade as you walk through. Open mountain tops to feel the warmth of the sun as you watch dawn together.
In many ways, Craggy Gardens is quintessential Blue Ridge Parkway all in one location. If you’re a fan of the mountains near Asheville, we’re sure you’ll find your special place at the Gardens.
Black Balsam Knob
Elevation: 6100 ft
About 1h 15min SW of Asheville, NC near the intersection of the Blue Ridge Parkway and NC 215 (or 50min north of Brevard, NC)
Black Balsam Knob can be a popular spot (and a crowded parking lot) at times, but with a little planning it’s worth it for your Asheville elopement or intimate wedding! There are truly places for 360 degree unobstructed views of the mountains, and the elevation is perfect during a hot summer in the valley below.
The area can work well (with smart carpooling because of limited parking) for a small number of guests. The top is abundant in grassy balds with space for you and your closest family and friends. The hike is a bit steep at times, but short (1.5 miles).
Also unique to this area is the grove of fir trees just below the peak of the Knob. When you’re “inside” this grove, you get to experience total silence together – even with a full parking lot just below. It’s a perfect place to unwind from your dawn ceremony with a picnic just for two.
Accessible Mountain Overlooks for Asheville Elopements or Engagement Sessions
While these might not technically be ADA compliant, here are two options if you or your guests are looking for the mountain experience with easiest access. We wish we would have known about these when we were looking for a location near Asheville that would work for our family!
Tanbark Ridge Overlook
About 15min NE of Asheville, NC
This overlook has a short & flat paved path to the very edge, just a few yards from parking. The best views are looking northeast towards the mountains rising from the valley below. This is also one of the few locations (mostly) open in the middle of winter. When the rest of the Parkway might be closed due to snow, if you’re planning a winter photo session this is a great option.
Glassmine Falls Overlook
About 50min NE of Asheville, NC just past the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center
Named for an observation point to view Glassmine Falls off in the distance in the east, there is a somewhat steep ramp up (but short). The path is mostly paved, but not exactly wheelchair friendly due to the rock breaks in the trail to divert runoff.
At the top, there is a little “cove” surrounded by a short rock wall. It’s hidden from view from the road and feels like your own private space!
If you want to elope in Asheville – why not make a day of it?
There is this idea about elopements – we might even call it a myth – that if you elope, it should be quick and short. We would disagree! Your elopement wedding day is not less meaningful than that of a big, typical wedding. We’d say it’s even more meaningful than cookie-cutter weddings because you’ve decided to make the day about the two of you together, and not about what anyone else thinks it should look like!
For a truly “Elope Asheville” experience, consider a day apart from everything & everyone else, just to focus on the two of you and your relationship. The possibilities are endless!
How to elope Asheville – itinerary inspiration
We believe your day is worth more than arriving at a location, meeting your officiant, saying your vows and being on your way. This is YOUR day, and your chance to make it a romantic & meaningful experience!
For every one of our couples we do the heavy lifting of planning out a day just for you, based on your interests and what “together” experiences will light up your day the most. Here’s just one example itinerary to truly celebrate the start of your marriage in epic fashion:
Adventurous day itinerary
- Getting ready at your Asheville AirBnB
- Drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway to your spot
- Saying your vows just as the sun lights up the sky
- Adventuring on a nearby trail
- Taking time to be in the moment
- Enjoy a champagne celebration and picnic lunch together
- Drive back to your AirBnB
- Downtime after lunch
- Welcome reception for closest family and friends
- Group photos
- Private dinner from a local farm-to-table chef
- Campfire toasts and celebration!
Extend your day & experience together!
- Head out from AirBnB
- Arrive at a “secret” trailhead
- Hike to a secluded waterfall
- Epic portraits & fun with the water!
- Back to the AirBnB for lunch
Ready for an Elopement or Adventurous Engagement Session in Asheville?
Choosing the right location is only part of making your dream day a reality. From making sure we avoid the crowds, choosing the best light, or finding a great AirBnB or local farm to table restaurant to make your experience that much more memorable, we’re here to help! Check out our Blue Ridge Mountain Elopement Planning Guide for more info and to see all the ways we help you create your epic day!