Oh, Oregon…363 miles of coastline to be explored, with some of the most unique beaches in the entire United States! This is one of the most beautiful spots for a beachy, coastal elopement. There’s a lot of specific spots you can choose from, and some locations are a lot more popular than others (which means you might be in competition with other couples!). I’m here to break down the best Oregon Coast elopement locations so you can narrow down the top choice for you and your partner!
Popular Oregon Coast Elopement Choices
If you’ve been doing any research on the Oregon Coast, you might be familiar with some of these places. What makes them great spots to elope? And should you elope there? Let’s break it down.
Just north of Pacific City, Cape Kiwanda has one of the state’s best viewpoints of the ocean! You do have to be mindful of the fencing and the cliff’s edge. The sandstone is fragile and prone to crumbling! If you choose Cape Kiwanda for your Oregon Coast elopement, stay safe and careful!
There’s a $10 parking fee at the lot on Hungry Harbor Road. There is no permit needed to hold your ceremony here, and you can wander anywhere among the sand dunes, up the hiking trails, at the cliff viewpoints. The flexibility of options here makes it a great choice! It is a popular tourist spot during the summer, though. I recommend a weekday for your elopement, and if you’re up for a sunrise ceremony, the crowds are sure to be much smaller!
Haystack Rock (Cannon Beach)
Haystack Rock is probably the most recognizable landmark on the Oregon Coast. I bet you’ve seen dozens of pictures of it, elopement-related or not! The tidepools here are so unique and fun to explore, and both sunrise and sunset are jaw-dropping. Because it’s so popular, though, there will always be crowds around! If you’re picturing a more private setting, this may not be the best fit for your Oregon Coast elopement.
But, if the crowds don’t bother you, check out this permit information for holding your wedding ceremony at Cannon Beach. If your elopement is going to have less than 50 people in attendance, you may not need a permit. There’s a contact phone number you can call to double check and make sure you’re within the allowed regulations!
Ecola State Park
Ecola is another famous Oregon Coast elopement spot near Tillamook. The scenic views and hiking opportunities are what gives Ecola its reputation, but you’ll also find people surfing, exploring the tidepools, and having picnics here.
In 2020 and 2021, landslides & sinkholes destroyed a huge portion of the Crescent Beach Trail. Because of the danger the sinkhole poses, that section of the park has been closed indefinitely since. Updates are provided on the park’s main website here. You can still access Ecola through the Tillamook Head Trail, which is a 5-mile hike that is rated "challenging." There are coves to explore, forested headlands, and even an old abandoned lighthouse you can check out!
The Knoll/God’s Thumb Trail
This is a really cool spot (if you couldn’t already tell by the name)! If hiking is your jam, God’s Thumb is about a 4-mile trail that’s rated moderate difficulty. There’s tons of wildflowers along the way in the summer, and the view when you reach the end is unbeatable. I recommend the summer months for an elopement here — because of rain, the trail is extremely muddy in the winter!
Some Lesser-Known Gems
Secret Garden (Cannon Beach)
This location is for private elopements only! So if you’re envisioning an elopement that’s close to the ocean but without the crowds, this might be the spot for you.
This particular forest-y spot is about 30 minutes away from Cannon Beach, and I just love the way the light filters through the trees here on sunny days! Reach out to me for more info on this amazing location!
P.S. This shoot was featured in Oregon Bride Magazine!
Samuel H Boardman State Scenic Corridor
This is a 12-mile section of the Oregon Coast with a few sandy beach spots, a lot of forested areas, and rugged cliff sides! This spot is in Southern Oregon, between Gold Beach and Brookings. Cape Ferrelo and House Rock Viewpoints will get you the absolute best sunset-watching spots here.
The cool thing about Sam H Boardman is that even though you might be hiking around a little, it doesn’t have to be strenuous! You can park close by any of the viewpoints or beaches and only have to walk a little for that perfect Oregon Coast elopement spot. Of course, if hiking is up your alley, you can spend all day doing that here too!
Oregon Sand Dunes
I think all the spots on this list are cool, but the dunes are especially cool! The Pacific Ocean is on one side, and a series of lakes on the other, leaving this wide open sand dune beach right in between! People come here to hike, fish, canoe, camp, and horseback ride.
If you’re looking for an amazing spot to elope and some activities to do with your partner while you’re there, the Oregon Dunes are perfect.
Cape Falcon (Oswald West State Park)
Cape Falcon is an easy hike through huge Sitka spruce trees, with a few at the end looking south toward Neahkahnie Mountain. Oswald West State Park has several hiking trails that will give you really high-up views of the coastline and the sea. If you want to spend some time down on the beach as well, Short Sand Beach is just a short distance away from Cape Falcon!
Cape Falcon is a popular hiking destination in Oregon. But compared to places like Cannon Beach or Cape Kiwanda, it’s bound to be much more private for your Oregon Coast elopement!
Carnahan County Park
This spot is right off Highway 101 between Astoria and Seaside. There’s a day-use fee for your vehicle of $5 between May and September. While this spot isn’t going to give you beach views, you can have an elopement on the docks of Cullaby Lake. You’ll get mountains and pine trees in the background, the serene water beneath you, and there’s spots for barbecuing after you exchange your vows!
This location is a summer camp in Otis, Oregon. They also allow you to host your wedding here, and it’s a well-kept Oregon secret! The camp is located on a mile of oceanfront, with 529 acres of woods to explore, too. If you want to invite some guests along for your Oregon Coast elopement, Camp Westwind can sleep up to 145. Picture a weekend elopement getaway here: camping, walking on the beach, hiking, and celebrating your marriage all in one!
An Oregon Coast Elopement…Inland?
I’m veering away from the traditional Oregon Coast elopement locations now, so stick with me! Oregon is so packed full of amazing places that I have to give honorable mentions to a few spots further inland! These won’t give you the beachy vibes that all the places on the coast will, but they have their own special Pacific Northwest magic, and are worth checking out before you finalize your elopement location decision.
Loloma Lodge is east of Eugene, along the McKenzie River. There are cozy riverfront cabins here for your stay, and the McKenzie River/McKenzie Bridge area is beautiful! It’s a little sunnier here than over on the coast, and the landscape still has that lush green vibe you’ll find west of the mountains. They are open year-round for weddings, which means you can elope here on a clear, sunny summer day or experience the magic of Oregon covered in snow in the winter!
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake is a must-see in Oregon! The park experiences mind-blowing amounts of snow in the winter, so the peak time to visit without certain spots being closed is between about April and November. (Don’t get me wrong, Crater Lake in the winter can still be a blast! You can snowshoe around the rim of the lake, which is super fun! It is incredibly cold, though!) Aside from the lake itself, I recommend Annie Creek for a little hiking adventure!
Check out this guide to getting married at Crater Lake for specifics on ceremony location, permits, what you can bring with you, etc.
Vernonia Lake City Park
My final recommendation is Vernonia Lake! This used to be a mill pond that was converted into a city park. There’s a paved trail that will take you all the way around the lake (just over a mile).
On their website, you’ll find a section about special events. They have a permit application for group events like weddings that you’ll need to fill out. There may be a fee associated with the permit, depending on the exact location and group size.
The most notable feature here is what people commonly refer to as the graffiti studio. This is an old concrete building that’s been painted over with tons of colorful graffiti artwork! Portraits here of you and your partner in your wedding attire would be so much fun!
And there you have it! A guide to the best Oregon Coast elopement locations, plus a few bonus extras to help you find the perfect spot! I hope this list inspires you as you’re planning your day. I’d love to hear from you about your elopement and how I can serve you as your photographer and adventure buddy!
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