When it comes to destination weddings, you can literally choose almost any location to have your big day in. When some people hear "destination wedding," a lot of times they assume it means out of the country. But a destination wedding doesn't have to be out of the country! There are many beautiful places in the US to choose. A destination wedding could be a trip down south to Florida, or something quaint in Oregon, or in a big city in New York. I've compiled a list of some of the best areas of the US for a destination wedding, for all you brides/grooms-to-be as inspiration!
This is the first state everyone jumps to. Of course there's Disney World and Universal Studios for those of you who are a child at heart (including myself!), but Florida has tons of other things to offer too. There are beautiful beaches closer to you than in Costa Rica and the Caribbean, and Florida is one of the best places to find them. There are lots of things to do in Florida for you and your guests, like snorkeling, tanning, plenty of amusement parks, shopping, the list goes on!
* The Florida Keys- The Keys are thousands of islands connected by miles of overwater highway, making it beautiful islands to visit without having to travel out of the country. The Keys are known for fantastic sunsets and lively beach bars. It's the perfect place for a destination wedding with a more laid-back beach setting.
* Boca Grande- With a charming little downtown area and famous blue waters, Boca Grande is another perfect location for a destination wedding. It's also one of the most renowned places to fish in Florida, and has rich historical beauty throughout the city. For a classier and more elegant destination wedding, Boca Grande is a beautiful choice.
* Destin- Destin, Florida is a city on Florida's Emerald Coast. With emerald waters that live up to the Emerald Coast name and white sand beaches, it's a popular tourist destination- especially for weddings. Destin holds many events annually, like the Destin Fishing Rodeo in October and the Destin Seafood Festival (Floridians like their fish). Whether you just want to be beach bums with your guests or to fish and shop, Destin is a gorgeous setting.
For those who want a quieter, quaint, and simple wedding, Oregon is a beautiful, quite underrated location. There's historical locations to give your wedding an old-time touch, rustic ranches and farms, pretty beaches, and many beautiful outdoor venues and gardens that make for beautiful wedding photos. It also helps that Oregon is the second cheapest state to get married in! You'll never want to leave!
* Portland- The beautiful capital of the state, Portland has a lot to offer, as state capitals often do. Located near the end of the Oregon Trail, you can get a taste of history while experiencing the beauty of the locale. Portland is also one of the most environmentally sound cities in the U.S truly a "green" city. It has thousands of acres of parks, and is also known as the City of Roses, due to its ideal climate for the flower. For the party animals, Portland has many breweries, more than any US city. Portland is a perfect place for any kind of destination wedding.
* Sunriver- 15 miles from the base of the Cascade Range, Sunriver is a picturesque place for a destination wedding. The Sunriver Resort Lodge is the most popular hotel there, with four golf courses and multiple fine dining options. With warm Mediterranean air and pretty rivers and beaches, consider this as a location!
* Port Orford- This is a small city between the Pacific and the Siskiyou National Forest, which provides for multiple expanses of beautiful land or beaches for wedding ceremonies. A popular destination for weddings in Port Orford is Wild Springs, full of flowers and things to do, like whale watching. It's a secluded, quaint little area, with a historical background of being founded on old Native American ground. It'll make you feel right at home.
Another really popular state, and for good reason. There's Redwood Forests and a large party population. There's beautiful stretches of coastline, and then of course there's huge cities like Hollywood, LA, or San Francisco. For a more upscale, lively wedding, California is a good choice.
* San Diego- One of the most well-known Californian cities, San Diego is popular with out-of-staters and the California citizens. Right on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, it's also adjacent to Mexico's border, so it'll have a bit of a foreign flair too! There's plenty of things to do, and is the best place for fun things like surfing and water skiing. With San Diego being California's birthplace, there's lots of historical flair too. With a gorgeous cityscape filled with 300 foot skyscrapers San Diego is a great city for destination weddings.
* Santa Monica- This is a beautiful beachfront city in West LA County. Home to many celebrities and big business entrepreneurs, the city is hopping. It's a famous resort town also, because of it's wonderfully warm climate. The city has a lot going for it; The Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome (historical carousel), the famous Santa Monica Pier, the La Monica Ballroom, etc. The city has also has THREE different large shopping districts. It's impossible to run out of things to do and see. There's even a song about it! (Theory of a Deadman, anyone?)
* Napa Valley- You've probably heard of Napa Valley. It's one of the biggest wine regions in the world, with over 140 wineries. It has plenty of vineyards available for a beautiful wedding ceremony! There's plenty other things to do for those not into wine too. Napa Valley has some of the best hiking and kayaking locations, and there's even hot air balloon rides, where you can look out over the beautiful valleys. There's a 400 acre wildlife sanctuary where you can take a safari, and many beautiful state parks ideal for picnics. Napa Valley has so much to offer.
I may be biased. My name is Bailey, and I've been writing Blue's blog posts. I live in a small suburban city in Michigan, and have been living in Michigan for all of my nineteen years. Michigan is more beautiful and fun than people expect it to be, and Downtown Detroit isn't scary. Really, I promise. There are so many places you could take advantage of in this amazing state for a destination wedding.
* Mackinac Island- In North Michigan, there sits a beautiful island with a super long, but super cool bridge. This is Mackinac Island (Mack-ih-naw people, not Mack-ih-nack). There aren't any cars here, so take a horse-drawn carriage or bikes around the city or to the beach for your ceremony. If you want a wedding with a Victorian charm, this is the place for you. A small and romantic place, you could take a tour of Fort Mackinac or go to all of the shops down Main Street. And yes, there is a Pub Crawl route for those of you that are guests that want to party. Also, there's world renowned fudge. Who could ask for more?
* Detroit- Downtown Detroit is an awesome place for a destination wedding! Hear me out. There's so many historic buildings for more old-time flair, or there's fun places, like the Detroit Zoo or the Whitney, a haunted hotel (shun you non-believers, you're just a scaredy-cat!) There's gorgeous churches to marry in too, like St. Anne de Detroit. There's the Detroit Historical Museum for the nerdier couple, or the Heidelberg Project, an AMAZINGLY cool urban area of street art. (I've even met the founder!) I could go on forever about the Downtown Riverwalk, the Motown Museum, or the Institute of Arts, but I'll spare you. I think I have you convinced.
* Traverse City- Random fact, Traverse City is the largest producer of cherries in the whole US. There's a National Cherry Festival in July. How cool would you be to tell people "I got married during the National Cherry Festival." Besides that, the city has way more to offer too. There are many freshwater beaches, skiing areas, and vineyards. There's the City Opera House, Grand Traverse Bay, and they even have a City Film Festival. For a fun wedding, Traverse City is one of the places to be.
If you decide on a destination wedding in the US, there are plenty of places you wouldn't have thought of to get married in. Take our tips to find some beautiful locations in America!