Wondering where you should elope in Minnesota? It’s no secret that there are tons of beautiful places to elope in Minnesota (okay, maybe you did NOT know but I am here to show you there are!). Whether you’re looking for a venue, state park, or beach, we truly have it all! Here’s a list of my favorite spots to help you with planning your Minnesota elopement!
You will need a state park pass for your vehicle that you can purchase on site or online in advance here.
Located in Taylor Falls, Minnesota and crossing over into St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin – this beautiful park has everything you need for an outdoor adventure elopement only one hour from the Twin Cities! Imagine saying your vows then getting into a canoe on the St. Croix River together and enjoying the beautiful views.
There are light hiking trails that are perfect for surrounding yourself with nature. You can even spend some relaxing time kayaking in the water (if that’s something you love to do!).
Itasca State Park is Minnesota’s oldest state park, and it’s a 32,000 acre sanctuary where the Mississippi River begins its journey to the Gulf of Mexico.
If you elope here, you can rent a kayak or canoe and spend some time on Lake Itasca after you say your vows. And if you’re not into kayaking / canoeing but still want to be on the water, they offer guided boat tours!
There’s a canopy of super tall pine trees that would be a beautiful photo op, in an area called Preacher’s Grove. Almost anywhere you go in the park is beautiful and you’ll be surrounded by nature!
There are quite a few lodging spots within and near the park, such as Leech Lake Bed & Breakfast, Douglas Lodge, and Pine Park Resort. These would be perfect for a relaxing stay in nature after your elopement.
Afton State Park is a small but beautiful state park located on the banks of the St. Croix River. It is less than an hour from the Twin Cities. There are 20 miles of hiking trails within Afton State Park, so perfect for the adventurous couples out there that love to hike! You can go on a pre or post elopement hike and enjoy all the scenery that this park has to offer.
There’s a beautiful, secluded beach that’s about a ½ mile hike from the parking area where you could have your ceremony or take photos after your ceremony.
Overall, this is a great park to elope at if you don’t want to travel too far from the cities and want a combination of trees, nature, hiking, and a beach!
Make sure to check out the Minnesota parks and recreation guide for how to get married at one of the parks and additional information.
Located in the heart of St. Anthony falls near downtown Minneapolis and the Stone Arch Bridge there’s an outlook to the river at Waterpower Park. I had a couple elope here summer of 2022 and it had a beautiful view of the city skyline and water!
After your ceremony at the park you can take photos at the iconic Stone Arch Bridge that’s just a short walk away.
Boom Island has one of my favorite views of the Minneapolis skyline. It also has an open field and small trail that is great for a variety of photo backdrops in one spot.
Longfellow Gardens provides a picturesque backdrop for weddings and other ceremonies. The formal garden, featuring a pergola, graces the top of the land bridge, providing a stunning view of the downtown skyline.
The Minnehaha Falls Pergola Garden features perennial native wildflowers and grasses that border the southeast overlook of Minnehaha Falls. The blooms, and the butterflies they attract, peak from June-September, just in time for “wedding season”. Its beauty, space and convenience make the Pergola Garden one of the most popular wedding locations in the Minneapolis park system.
The park is super close to the Minneapolis Airport (MSP) making it easily accessible if you’re flying in family for your Minnesota elopement.
This is a small but beautiful beach located on Minnesota’s North Shore in Silver Bay! It’s one of my favorite spots for elopements in Minnesota!
Black Beach would be such a unique spot for your Minnesota elopement. As the name suggests, it’s filled with fine black sand that lines the shore of Lake Superior.
Black Beach is also bordered by jagged cliffs and rock formations that would make for a beautiful background/photo location for your elopement! You can reserve a camping spot at the beach and spend the evening of your elopement by a campfire making s’mores (aka my favorite food!!) or eating some pie from Betty’s Pie! Or you can find a nearby North Shore Airbnb / hotel!
Winter at Black Beach is arguably even more stunning than the summertime, when there’s a blanket of white snow that covers the beach and provides a stark contrast to the sand. Whatever time of year you pick it’ll be beautiful!
Tip: take photos at both Black Beach AND Palisade Head with your photographer! (Although I only recommend Palisade Head during the late spring, summer, or early fall as the road up to Palisade Head can be dangerous to drive on if wet or icy.) I also recommend grabbing a slice of pie from Betty’s Pie and have a little picnic on the beach while watching the sunset!
Hands down, Palisade Head has one of the most breathtaking views in the state of Minnesota. It is a large rock formation on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. It is technically part of Tettegouche State Park but is not connected. This would be an absolutely stunning and unique park to elope in Minnesota.
Say your vows near the edge of a cliff and walk around for some beautiful portraits. After saying your vows at Palisade Head, you can drive over the Black Beach and watch the sunset with a picnic! As mentioned above, you can reserve a camping spot at the beach and spend the evening of your elopement by a campfire making s’mores. Or you can rent a North Shore Airbnb.
Nature Link is a newer venue in Minnesota. Marketed as your modern link to nature, this resort is making an effort to help people disconnect from the distractions of modern technology and get back in touch with the nature around them.
Nature Link is located a few minutes from downtown Nisswa, and sits on 14 wooded acres on Clark Lake, with 2,200 feet of shoreline. The resort has forests, a private beach, and a private island for their guests – what could be better than that!?
There are two ceremony sites to choose from on the property, one indoor and one outdoor. The outdoor ceremony spot is tucked in the forest surrounded by towering pine trees.
When you elope here, reservation of the 14 acre property can be included so you can house your elopement guests in one of their 10+ cabins. This venue will also provide a venue coordinator to help ensure your day runs smoothly.
You can view a gallery of beautiful images from this venue here.
Pinewood Wedding and Events is a modern, woody venue located about an hour north of Minneapolis in Cambridge, Minnesota. It is one of my favorite venues that can be used for both weddings or elopements in Minnesota.
It was built by a couple who are lovers of the outdoors and wanted to create a venue that’s perfect for couples wanting to get married surrounded by the beauty of nature.
This is a 10 acre property that is pretty secluded. You have access to the entire property with the getting ready suites for the entire day of your elopement.
Their outdoor ceremony site is located in the middle of countless towering pine trees which is part of what makes this venue so unique and beautiful. If there’s inclement weather on your elopement day, the second floor of the indoor space can be a stress-free backup plan for you and your partner. Whether you get married inside or outside – every inch of this venue is absolutely stunning!
Bluefin Bay is known as Minnesota’s most romantic and renowned lakeside resorts, located on the shore of Lake Superior. With this north shore venue you can have your small ceremony at the secluded cove that’s on the shore and exclusive to Bluefin Bay guests. There’s also three sister resorts on this property.
Bluefin Bay hosts events with up to 50 people, so it is perfect for elopements or intimate weddings!
This would be a beautiful spot for a winter wedding as well! If you want to get married outdoors but don’t want to worry about hiking in the snow/cold weather, you can elope here in the winter. Since it’s located on the North Shore of Minnesota, there is a lot you can explore before / after eloping here!
You can have an intimate dinner/reception after your ceremony indoors at Bluefin Grille, their onsite restaurant/intimate event space.
The courthouse in St. Paul, Minnesota can be the perfect location to get married in the Twin Cities! This historical building is at the heart of St. Paul where you can elope with a judge as your officiant.
After you elope at the courthouse, you can head over to a park to take some more portraits like Mariana and Thomas did for their courthouse elopement.
This is a modern event venue located in downtown Minneapolis in the Arts District. They have an eclectic, modern, industrial vibe in terms of style and decor!
It’s a very open and expansive space. You have room to play around with the setup and it provides an overall clean slate for whatever the theme of your elopement is.
You can also elope somewhere outdoors or in the state parks talked about above, and then have a reception at Quincy Hall with your friends and family. It’s not too far from the Minneapolis Airport if you’re having anyone who needs to fly in.
Switching gears a bit, we have Union Depot. The Union Depot is a railroad station in the Twin Cities with tons of character. This unique venue has a 1920s style.
There are technically five indoor spaces and two outdoor spaces which gives tons of room & opportunity for photos!
The Waiting Room specifically was restored to its original elegance and is definitely the most picturesque out of all the indoor spaces.
The North Plaza can also be reserved for your elopement, but regardless is a super beautiful place to take photos!
Switching it up once again, we have Hutton House! This is a 12,000 sq ft modern event space with a gorgeous outdoor courtyard. I have personally toured this venue since I moved super close to it and every inch of it is stunning!
This is an all-white indoor venue with TONS of natural light and a great blank canvas if you have an “extravagant” vision for your elopement! Or even if you just want to keep it simple!
It’s privately nestled near Medicine Lake, just minutes from downtown Minneapolis so you’re not too far from the city.
Also a beautiful place for a winter elopement when the courtyard is covered in snow.
Another great option for couples who want to elope at a venue! This unique mansion venue has both outdoor and indoor ceremony spots and looks like a castle! Located in Minneapolis, the historic Van Dusen Mansion is perfect for any time of the year and hosts both full size weddings and elopements.
There is no better time than now to get started on planning your elopement in Minnesota! I would love to help you photograph this special day! Your photos are what you will hang up in your home together, look at in albums that sit on your coffee table, and what you’ll share for generations to come. Reach out to me via the contact form on my website and let’s chat!
Other helpful resources for planning your Minnesota elopement: