Some of our Favorite Midwest Elopement Spots

Tali      January 10, 2023

When you think of “jaw dropping elopement locations” eloping in the Midwest probably isn’t the first thing that pops into your head… but maybe it should be! The Midwest is full of incredible places to elope and because it isn’t typically at the top of anyone’s radar, eloping in the Midwest is often easier, cheaper, and more unique. Plus, you don’t have to worry as much about crowds or having ten other couples eloping at the same place as you on the same day. To help make your planning one step easier, we have compiled this list of the best places to elope in the Midwest.

EPIC PLACES YOU COULD GET MARRIED... IN THE MIDWEST

A groom kissing his bride's forehead on the rocky shore of lake superior during their Gooseberry State Park Intimate Wedding.

The North Shore of Lake Superior – Northern Minnesota

The North Shore of Lake Superior is overflowing with incredible elopement locations, making it one of our top picks for the best places to elope in the Midwest. It is full of lush forests, rushing rivers, cascading waterfalls, and miles of stunning rocky shore line and cliffs overlooking Lake Superior. If you are looking for unbeatable variety, small town vibes, and truly jaw dropping views, this is the place.

Nearby Towns: Duluth, MN – Duluth is a bustling town with plenty of lodging, dining, breweries, and entertainment options. 

Getting There: A 3-4 hour drive from the Twin Cities (MSP is the major airport) or Duluth has a smaller airport as well. 

Seasons: Summer and fall are our favorite seasons along the north shore, but spring can be lovely as well! If you don’t mind the cold, the north shore is stunning in the winter and most areas are still accessible. (Things don’t shut down in Minnesota due to just a little snow.)

Why it’s our Favorite: We spend almost every free weekend exploring the north shore and are still surprised by the hidden gems we stumble upon. It’s an easy area to get away from the crowds and we might be biased, but if you ask us, it’s one of the most beautiful places on the planet! We also love that the majority of the North Shore is dog-friendly… Lily Pad is also a huge fan. 

A newly engaged couple kiss on the shore of Tettagouche State Park during their engagement photos as a wave crashes on the rocks of Lake Superior behind them.
Drone shot of a couple on their elopement day in Northern Minnesota, one of the best places to elope in the midwest!
Sunrise Wedding Pictures at Gooseberry Falls State Park
A couple kiss on the rocky Lake Superior shore during their north shore adventure elopement.
A bride and groom fish on the edge of Lake Superior during their Gooseberry elopement.
Gooseberry Falls State Park is one of the best places in the Midwest to elope. With the recent snow melt filling the rivers, spring brings rushing waterfalls making it one of the best times of year to elope in Minnesota, particularly at Gooseberry Falls State Park!
The North Shore of Minnesota is one of the best places to elope in the Midwest. Minnesota is beautiful year round, but we think fall is one of the best times of year to elope in Minnesota.

Pro Tip: Thinking about eloping along the North Shore of Lake Superior or in Minnesota? Check out our blog on How to Elope in Minnesota for more details, tips, and helpful information!

A couple kissed on the shore of Devil's Lake during their elopement at Devil's Lake State Park.

Devil’s Lake Wisconsin

Devil’s Lake is one of those places that gives off major “out west” vibes. With huge cliffs overlooking the lake, it’s hard to believe you are in the middle of Wisconsin. We also love that Devil’s Lake State Park is so close to Wisconsin Dells (the waterpark capital of the world). If you are looking for a place that you can get out in nature and also enjoy all the bustling entertainment of a huge tourist town, this is the place. Wisconsin Dells is full of amusement parks, indoor and outdoor waterparks, restaurants, hotels, and countless other entertainment options (laser tag, escape rooms, museums, etc.). Whether you are looking for a place to have fun just the two of you or a great destination for entertaining close family and friends, this place has it all!

Nearby Towns: Wisconsin Dells, WI – A large city with plenty of options for lodging, dining, entertainment, and other amenities. 

Getting There: If you are planning on flying, the best airport to fly into is the Madison Airport (MSN). Devil’s Lake is also a moderate drive from the Chicago and Twin Cities areas, a perfect weekend getaway without too much time in the car. 

Seasons: We think summer and fall are the prettiest, but this area is still accessible in the spring and fall with stunning views and smaller crowds. 

Why it’s our Favorite: The combination of stunning views and the amenities of Wisconsin Dells, put Devil’s Lake at the top of our list for the best places to elope in the Midwest. 

A newlywed kisses after their fall elopement at Devil's Lake. The fall colors are stunning in the background of this Devil's Lake elopement.
A couple embraces on the shore of Devil's Lake during their wedding. Devil's Lake State Park is one of the best places to elope in the Midwest!

Badlands National Park – South Dakota

The Badlands is one of those places that are hard to believe they exist where they do. It feels like something that should be in the southwest with major Utah and Nevada vibes. Stunning red and orange dirt form pillars, hills, and cliffs as far as the eye can see. While it is easy to get away from the crowds of people in this park, you’ll never be far from the countless animals that call Badlands National Park home. Goats and prairie dogs are abundant and if you know where to look, you might even spot a buffalo!

Nearby Towns: Wall, SD – A smaller touristy town and home to the famous Wall Drug; Rapid City, SD – About an hour way, Rapid City is a much larger city with far more amenities. 

Getting There: If you are planning on flying, Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP) is the closest major airport, located about an hour drive from Badlands National Park.

Seasons: Late Spring, Summer, and fall are all stunning. The winds in SD can make this location hard to reach in the winter with the blowing snow, but early winter with a light dusting of snow can be really pretty. Rain can cause the clay to become very slick and sticky (it clumps on to everything!) so plan carefully around the wet seasons. 

Why it’s our Favorite: Badlands National Park offers a truly unique landscape and is one of those places that you have to see to believe. Sunsets are stunning, adventures are abundant, and the opportunities for viewing wildlife are prime! Badlands National Park has all the makings of a perfect elopement location.

The views of Badlands National Park at sunset are hard to beat. This overlook is a perfect place to say your vows during your elopement.
The wide variety of wildlife in Badlands National Park make it a great elopement location for couples looking for an adventure in the Midwest.
A man and his dog hiking in the Black Hills of South Dakota. One of the best dog-friendly elopement locations in the Midwest.

The Black Hills of South Dakota

The Black Hills are filled with countless opportunities for adventure. Home to the highest point east of the Rockies until you reach the Pyrenees Mountains of Europe, “Hills” hardly seems like the right term to describe this area. Rocky cliffs, needles of granite jutting into the sky, pine filled forest, and blue lakes are some of the major features of this area. With major attractions like Mount Rushmore, the area surrounding the Black Hills is well developed with plenty of hotels, camping options, entertainment, and dining. This is also a great area to get out backpacking (Dom and I have camped and backpacked in the Black Hills) or even to do a bit of horse back riding. Plus, much of the area is dog-friendly! If you are planning on bringing your furry friend to your wedding, this should definitely be on your list of places to elope in the Midwest.

Nearby Towns: Rapid City, SD – A large city with plenty of hotels, restaurants, entertainment, and other amenities. 

Getting There: If you are planning on flying, the Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP) is the closest major airport, located just a short drive from the Black Hills.

Seasons: Late Spring, Summer, and fall are all stunning. The winds in SD can make this location hard to reach in the winter with the blowing snow, but early winter with a light dusting of snow can be really pretty. Late Spring when the air is warm enough to be without a jacket, but there are still patches of snow on the ground is one of our favorite times here. 

Why it’s our Favorite: The Black Hills really feel like they should be a national park. The landscape is stunning, the adventures are plenty, and it is easy to escape the crowds. It’s one of our favorite long weekend camping trips! We also love that the majority of the area is dog-friendly.

This fire tower in the Black Hills offers castle like vibes for your elopement in the middle of the forest. An incredible Midwest elopement place!

Once you know where to look, it’s easy to find the perfect place to elope among the hidden gems of the Midwest. We hope this list of some of our favorite Midwest elopement locations has helped you find the perfect place for your Midwest elopement!

If you happen to also be looking for the perfect Midwest Elopement photographer, we would love to get in touch and chat about your vision! Get in touch and let’s get rolling! Contact us through the link below or feel free to shoot us an email to tell us about your day. 

9 thoughts on “The Best Places to Elope in the Midwest”

  1. These locations are beautiful! From your captivating images, you can see it’s absolutely worth eloping in the Mid-West. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. You got me daydreaming with all these beautiful midwest photos! Badlands National Park is my favorite from the list with its orange hills. You are lucky to be able to document elopements there. Thanks for this little blog with epic photos!

  3. Wow! What a selection of locations that offer such a variety of looks…amazing. I’m torn between the Badlands and Devil’s Lake, thanks for sharing!

  4. The lakes might be my favorite from this list, although there are truly a lof of options! IT’s so awesome to see how much choice there is everywhere (especially since i m not from the us and know just a few classic areas!)

  5. I never would have imagined the Midwest looking as beautiful as this!!! Thank you so much for making this guide for those who have never been before (:

  6. I had no idea Midwest gems can be such a great location for elopement and couple adventures. Thanks for showing me the beauty of these lands. I think Badlands National Park – South Dakota looks the best for me so far.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *