There’s something truly romantic about the changing colors in fall. We’re always chasing down spots with the best foliage each September and October, and we wanted to share some insight for others looking to elope this time of year.
If you’re wanting to have a backdrop of bright golds, oranges, and reds for your elopement, here is our list for the best places to elope in autumn.
Smoky Mountains, North Carolina
Hands-down, the Appalachian Mountains along western North Carolina’s border have some of the most intense and diverse color changes anywhere in the US. You’ll get to see a range of colors from soft greens and yellows, to deeper hues of burgundy, copper, and brown . . . sometimes all at once!
We recommend couples elope to this area between the beginning of October and the beginning of November, although you can sometimes still find color even into the middle of November here. Our favorite areas for fall elopements here include the area around Highlands along the Cullasaja River Gorge, Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Blue Ridge Parkway (especially near Asheville).
It’s hard for us to narrow down to just one great place in Colorado to elope in the fall. We’ve seen some amazing autumn colors for elopements in Breckenridge, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the San Juan mountains on the western slope. We even have a few hidden gem + locals-only type locations we have saved on our lists, given exclusively to couples who work with us.
Do keep in mind, though that being flexible with your expectations of fall in Colorado is best. What dates may be peak color for fall in one year, may not be the same the next, since everything from temperature swings and total rainfall during summer can greatly impact how intense the golden aspens look or how long the fall color stays. Best bet is to aim for end of September or beginning of October, and be open to the fact that it might even snow before or on your elopement day.
If you’re wanting to combine water views with autumn colors, elope to Michigan! Places like Traverse City and the peninsula allow you to access the shores of the Great Lakes while also enjoying fall color sometimes even into November. You can also enjoy some great local wine for your elopement, since there are plenty of amazing wineries around as well.
Upstate New York
From September into October, the Northeast (especially near the northern end of the Appalachian Mountains) turns a range of colors you’d love for your elopement day. Some of the best places to catch color in this region include the Catskills, Huntington, the Adirondacks, and Whiteface Mountain.
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
Whenever we get the chance, we love visiting the Columbia RIver Gorge. And the scenic byway here is even better in autumn. If you elope to this spot, you’ll have access to a wide range of hiking trails and waterfalls, and be less than an hour away from the city of Portland.
Work with Our Elopement Photo + Video Team
Skyewater Photo + Film is an adventure elopement and destination wedding photo and video team based in Washington. We help couples plan elopements all over the US, and offer insight for more than just photography: from planning assistance, finding and booking locations, vendor references and more! Reach out to our elopement photography and videography team today to get more info!