Looking for places to elope in North Carolina? Here’s our recommendations for an adventurous elopement in the mountains!
The Best Places to Elope in North Carolina
When it comes to eloping in North Carolina, you have lots of beautiful options available to you. There are lots of things to consider, so we’ve started with the basics here to show you the more popular spots and some lesser well known. As you can imagine, there is a greater chance of privacy when you get away from the popular locations.
The locations we’ve listed here are just a sample of what’s out there! We have lots of suggestions to help you find just the right place for you!
Popular Places to Elope in North Carolina
Pisgah National Forest
Looking for mile-high peaks and waterfalls nearby? You’ve got to check out Pisgah National Forest. The land covered by Pisgah is significant – either surrounding most of the Blue Ridge Parkway or bordering the Cherokee National Forest (and Tennessee) to the north. All that land gives you so much opportunity to “get out there” and find your own place.
Mountain top balds make for a great place to have a ceremony, and Pisgah offers that and more. Epic tall waterfalls and secluded forests, secret swimming holes and room to just get away together.
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Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway has been called “America’s Favorite Drive.” No other road comes close in terms of scenic beauty, mile after mile – for such a great distance. Stretching from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to Smoky Mountains National Park to the south, there are so many incredible & diverse places to elope!
One of the reasons “The Parkway” is so popular for mountain elopements is because of accessibility. The road was purposefully designed to take you as close as possible to overlooks, so if you’re planning a wedding ceremony and need as little hiking as possible (or none at all) – this will be at the top of your list!
There are many different personalities to The Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. Waterfalls, craggy mountain peaks, mountain views for miles around, and grassy meadows to catch the sun. Enjoy a hike of any distance or just pull up and enjoy the view. There’s something for everyone on the Parkway!
Mount Mitchell State Park
When you want elevation in North Carolina, this is the place. At 6,684 ft, Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi. Summer temperatures are quite pleasant and it’s one of the first places you’ll see the leaves change (and snow arrive) in the fall.
Mount Mitchell State Park shares a similar vibe to the Blue Ridge Parkway (which is the only road to the state park). Mount Craig and other peaks are adjacent to the tall peak, and you can hike from the park down the spine of these tall mountains and enjoy the view from multiple places.
At the same time, the peak is accessible by car and there is a handicapped accessible observation platform as well. Want to elope to a location that has epic views without a hike, but also want to wander off for alone time afterwards? Mount Mitchell State Park has you covered!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Looking for a little bit of Southern Appalachian history? Great Smoky Mountains National Park (often referred to as GSMNP for short) is a combination of natural conservation and historical preservation. Biodiversity and mountain views combine with preserved buildings from communities gone by. No other place offers such a selection of old churches, cabins and other remnants of civilization that this area once knew.
Great Smoky Mountain National Park is home to Cades Cove, a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains. It’s well known for historic buildings, wildlife viewing, hiking and more!
Even More Places to Elope in North Carolina
Did we mention we’ve lived in this area for over 20 years? Here’s more places for you to enjoy!
Very close to spots in Pisgah but off on it’s own, this area is best known for “slickrock” and waterfalls. While not at mile-high elevation, the slickrock slabs and granite domes are a unique experience. You will not want to miss any of the waterfalls either!
This is a really cool town to stay in and visit while you’re in the area. Our favorite place for an elopement celebration (whether dinner or lunch) is the Square Root Restaurant. Love the euro feel of this unique place!
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Nantahala National Forest
The largest National Forest in North Carolina, Nantahala covers almost the entire southwestern part of North Carolina. While the locations listed above are better known (and more popular), Nantahala has more of a remote wilderness vibe. Not a single interstate touches this National Forest. Roads are crooked and access to worthwhile locations takes some time from the nearest city (Asheville).
Nantahala National Forest is less about epic peaks and more about getting lost in the mountains together. A few high elevation lookouts plus lakes, rivers, streams & waterfalls are what you’ll find here – beautiful mountain views and some of the most quiet land you’ll find anywhere on the east coast.
This national forest is home to a gorgeous backcountry area tucked away literally “in the middle of nowhere.” If you want to get away from everything, you should check out this place which has been called “The Yosemite of the East.” Would you believe that decades ago this amazing place almost was turned into a development?
Headwaters State Forest
Even many folks from NC haven’t heard of this place. It’s not really one anyone’s radar, being relatively new (established 2018). Headwaters partially borders South Carolina and is convenient to Sassafras Mountain, one of our top places to elope in SC.
What’s special about Headwaters? It runs right along the Blue Ridge escarpment, at the headwaters of the French Broad and Savannah Rivers (hence the name). This means waterfalls!
If you’re looking for beautiful waterfalls with far less visitation than anything above, you should have a look at Headwaters State Forest.
Where to Elope in North Carolina for Privacy
This is both an easy and difficult question.
In fact, the answer could be “all of the above.”
Generally speaking, the Blue Ridge Parkway is the most popular place and most difficult to find privacy. Pisgah National Forest might seem less popular, but in fact has locations that can be covered in visitors on a peak Saturday.
The trick is local knowledge. We have explored this area for many more years than we care to admit – and know the all the seasons (both weather & tourist season). We know how to find the right place for you to get away from the crowds!
Tip: Plan your day together with a nearby vacation rental in the NC mountains
To help you with inspiration for your day, you might have seen our example elopement itinerary on our resources page How to Elope. We definitely recommend booking a nearby VRBO or Airbnb for your elopement day! Why?
Because eloping should be about spending time with each other. Having someplace to call “home” together – even for just a few days – does so much to anchor your experience together.
Practically speaking, the right vacation house is where you’ll love getting ready; it’s a great a back-up option in case it rains; and is another chance for beautiful photos of the two of you. Have a look at what’s out there below!
Looking for the best place to elope for you?
This is just an overview of what’s available in North Carolina for your adventure elopement. 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 Western NC 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!