June 22, 2021
Hoh Rainforest: One of the most epic places on the Washington coast (that isn’t water), is the Hoh Rain Forest near Forks, Washington. This epic rainforest is part of the Olympic National Park and it spans about 24 miles. The Hoh is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the U.S. It’s a must see if you’re visiting Washington! And it’s definitely one of our best recommendations for elopement locations. It’s the perfect place if you want to see epic old growth trees covered in moss, lots of fungi, a beautiful river, and tons of wildlife.
Sandy Beaches: If you’re looking for expansive beaches, lots of sand, and the beautiful Pacific
Ocean, we’ve got you covered! Some of the best known sandy beaches in Washington are: Long Beach, Ocean Shores, and Seabrook. These beaches are all in cute towns and there is a lot tha
t you could do while you’re there! Seabrook has super cute rental homes, you can drive on the beach at Ocean Shores, and Long Beach is near the Cape Disappointment and North Head Lighthouses. We also have several lesser known sandy beaches in mind that might be perfect for your elopement!
Rocky Beaches: In our opinion, rocky beaches are one of the most epic places to elope! Especially in Washington, there are just so many cool rock formations to explore. You have the epic southwesternmost tip of Washington, Cape Disappointment, with state parks and lighthouses nearby. Then, the most northernwestern tip of Washington, Cape Flattery, where you can see Canada! And there are so many incredible beaches in between like Ruby Beach.
Average Temperature: 40s in winter and 60s in summer
Best Season To Elope: In our opinion, you can honestly elope yearround at the Washington Coast. But if you want to try and avoid the rain, summer would be the best season to elope. Although, keep in mind that Washington, especially on the coast, is unpredictable and it coule rain in the summer or be completely clear on a day in February.
You will need a Special Use Permit in order to elope on a Washington Beach if the beach is within a state park and your elopement has 25 people or more. Rules are constantly changing so it is best to check with local agencies about the need for permits.
While the Washington coast is often windy and a bit chilly, there are still a ton of fun activities that you can do! For example, you can walk on the beach or explore local shops in the beach towns. You can fly a kite, swim, camp, or rent a cabin! You can explore tide pools, hike, have a camp fire, ride your car on the beach, or find oysters. The options are endless!
Camping: There are tons of state parks on the coast, and most take reservations for summer camping. There are also some options to stay in cabins or yurts along the coast! Some of the campgrounds include: Cape Disappointment, Ocean City State Park, and Kalaloch Campground.
Airbnbs: This can be a really cute option that may be more private than staying at a hotel or campground, and if you are lucky you may find one with it’s own beach access. A few Washington coast Airbnb options include: Dog-Friendly Cottage in Seabrook, Stunning Beachy Cottage in Moclips, Tiny House in Forks, and Dog-Friendly House in Long Beach.
Lodges/Hotels: Pretty much any major town will have a hotel/motel to stay at in Washington. Here is a link with some Washington Coast Resorts and Lodges.
Rocky Coastal Areas: Like we mentioned above, rocky coastal areas are epic locations for an elopement! If you’re going to get married on the west coast, you might as well check out some of these spots! In Oregon, Hug Point, Cape Kiwanda, and Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor are some of the best rocky beaches that come to mind. We have experience photographing couples in all of these locations and they are just beyond stunning!
Sandy Beaches: While rocky beaches might be our favorite place to explore, you can’t forget the sandy beaches in Oregon. It’s so fun to run around on the sand! Some of our favorite sandy beaches include: Cannon Beach, Indian Beach, and Gold Beach.
Average Temperature: 40s in the winter, and mid to high 60s in the summer
Best Season To Elope: Just like with Washington, the best season to elope and avoid the rain would be during the summer. But it is also the busiest time of the year, so if you want to risk the rain, you could go during the off-season to have a more private coast elopement.
Most of the time, you do not need a permit to elope on the Oregon Coast because it is considered public land. However, we will always double-check this to make sure!
The Washington and Oregon Coast have a lot in common! You can pretty much do all of the same activities like: walking, exploring tide pools, checking out local beach towns, hiking, flying kites, etc. But we didn’t mention that you can also fish, boogie board, and sometimes surf, too!
Camping: There are tons of state parks on the coast, most take reservations and some also have the option to stay in a cabin or a yurt. Many of these parks also have showers. Some of the best camping locations on the Oregon Coast include: Cape Lookout State Park, Harris Beach State Park, Sunset Bay State Park, Beverly Beach State Park, and Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park.
Airbnbs:This can be a great cute option that may be more private than staying at a hotel or campground, and if you are lucky you may find one with it’s own beach access. A few super cute Oregon Coast Airbnbs are: Main House & Studio w/ Private Dock in Port Orford, House w/ Private Beach Access near Bandon, Newly Remodeled OceanFront Home in Lincoln City, Dog-Friendly Bungalow in Cannon Beach, OceanFront Retreat in Depoe Bay, and Renovated A-Frame in Rockaway Beach.
Lodges/Hotels: Just like in Washington, any major town along the Oregon Coast will most likely have some sort of lodge, hotel, motel, or inn to stay at if you can’t find any other lodging. If you go to a website like Hotels.com, you can find the city you want to stay in and see what options they have available for you. Make sure to check reviews!
Beaches: The California Coast is obviously the largest part of the West Coast, and it has such a huge diversity of incredible beaches. You can elope on a sandy beach, or explore incredible rocky beaches. Some of the best California beach elopement locations include: Big Sur, Patrick’s Point State Park, El Matador State Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, and Black Sands Beach. Those are just a few ideas to get you started, but there are so many more epic locations to explore!
Forest: One of the other cool things about the California Coast is that if you want to not only have the incredible coast as your elopement backdrop, you can also have forest scenery! There are a ton of different Redwoods Groves near the coast. We’ve explored a few different groves if you’re interested in checking the Redwoods out!
Average Temperature: Northern California Coast is less warm than the Southern California Coast, but the weather is typically around the 70s in the summer and 60s in the winter
Best Season To Elope: Any season! But make sure that you find either a private spot on the beach to elope or you pick a weekday in an off season (such as spring or fall).
The State of California requires that you obtain a permit, even for a 2-person wedding. Most beaches are part of state parks, so it’s important that we check with each park to see what the individual requirements are for permits.
There are tons to do on the California Coast, but a few fun things include: parasailing, surfing, whale watching, jet skiing, sailing, kayaking, and snorkeling. You can also hike and explore local beach towns/cities! There are tons of great restaurants and bars to enjoy some food and drinks.
Camping: We haven’t been able to camp on the California Coast yet, but after some research we found a few recommended areas! A few recommended campgrounds include: Manchester Beach KOA, Mill Creek Campground, and Kirk Creek Campground.
Airbnbs: When we aren’t camping, we definitely recommend checking out local Airbnbs! There are some really epic ones for sure! A few that we found are: Malibu Beachfront Apartment, Oceanfront Condo in Solano Beach, Ocean Breeze Bungalow in San Diego, Sea Cloud Yurt in Fort Bragg, Bird’s Nest Bungalow in Stinson Beach, and Peaceful Treehouse with Ocean View in Aptos.
Lodges/Hotels: Just like we mentioned above, there are tons of options for hotels and motels on the coast. But, we wanted to see if we could find some unique hotels that were recommended! So, check out this link for unique oceanfront stays in California!