Where Are the Best Places to Elope?

Where are the best places to elope?

The best places to elope are places with lax marriage laws and beautiful scenery.

Eloping is a lost art. There was a time in our history when sneaking away with your lover to get married was downright honorable.

People elope to sneak out of a bad situation or to get married without parental approval. These days, some people elope just for the heck of it — they see it as a unique alternative to a traditional wedding.

Certain parts of the country are better destinations to head for if you’re planning on eloping; the marriage license laws in some places are more conducive to eloping. Combine lax marriage laws with beautiful surroundings and you’ve got the perfect eloping destination.

Here are my votes for the best places to elope:

Napa Valley, California

Elope and spend your honeymoon in California’s wine country. The state of California has no residency requirements and no waiting period for marriage. Escape into the night and drive to Napa Valley, and you can be married before the next morning. Spend your honeymoon touring wineries, eating some of the country’s best food, and enjoying the scenic drives through Napa Valley.

Maui, Hawaii

Where Are the Best Places to Elope?

Where Are the Best Places to Elope?

If you can make it across the water to Hawaii, you’ll be in an eloper’s paradise. This island state has no residency requirements to get a marriage license. You don’t even have to be a US citizen to get married in Hawaii. There’s also no waiting period before your marriage license is issued. If you’re an American citizen and your spouse-to-be is not, jetting off to Hawaii for a quick elopement is practical and pleasurable. Get out to Paradise and get hitched.

Miami, Florida

Forget what you learned on sitcoms about retirement communities. Miami is an active city with vibrant night life and plenty of young people looking to have fun. The state of Florida requires nothing in the way of residency, and there’s no waiting period in Florida if you live in another state. Elopers in Georgia would be smart to scoot down to Florida and get a no-waiting-period marriage license.

New Orleans

Long known as an eloper’s haven, New Orleans earns that title by requiring no proof of residency and by issuing marriage licenses with no waiting period. The state of Louisiana is notoriously lax when it comes to marriage law, and you and your new bride can take advantage of that in a beautiful setting. From the French Quarter to the mighty Mississippi, New Orleans is one elopement destination you won’t soon forget.

Austin, Texas

Texas has a 48 hour waiting period for a marriage license, but no residency requirement. You can spend that your 48 hour waiting period in the state capital — everything from fine dining and haute couture to Texas-style barbecue and country line dancing takes place in the Texas hill country.


Looking for a memorable location for your elopement? The state of Alaska has no residency requirement, but in many places you will have to wait out a 72 hour waiting period before you get your hands on your marriage license. The state of Alaska is the most exotic state in the United States of America, featuring a landscape and plenty of flora and fauna found nowhere else in the US. If you and your new spouse can’t keep each other occupied for 72 hours among this kind of beauty, then you’re doing it wrong.

You can more ideas from this cool book available at Amazon: Let’s Elope: The Definitive Guide to Eloping, Destination Weddings, and Other Creative Wedding Options. (Buy it via our link here, and we’ll make a little bit of money for recommending it.)

This article is part of a “where are the best places to…” series of articles, more of which can be found below: