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The 5 Best Beach Elopement Locations in the PNW

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Life’s a beach. . . so why not make the most of it and have a hella dreamy beach elopement? 😉 I know that beaches in the Pacific Northwest are notttt like the ones in Cali at all, they’re not sunny 24/7 with warm water and enough sun to warrant sunglasses—they’re chilly, foggy, moody, and magical af in their own way. Sooo if you vibe more with Twilight-type beaches than Baywatch-type beaches, you’re in the right place! I’ll be covering the top 5 best beach elopement locations in the PNW plus answering all your q’s about eloping at a beach in Washington or Oregon. Let’s dive in (ocean pun totally intended)!!

PNW Beach Elopement FAQ’s

Let’s start by answering some general questions about beach elopements and what it’s like to elope at a beach in the PNW, then we’ll get into some pros & cons.

Are there beaches in the PNW?

Hell yeah there are! I know the PNW is most known for its epic mountains and iconic wildflower meadows, but there are just as many beautiful coastal spots—and we even have deserts too! Washington has the stunning & diverse Olympic Peninsula, islands, peninsulas, and the Puget Sound, and Oregon has its own extensive coastline that runs along the west side of the state.

Can you elope at a beach in Washington?

100%! As long as you get the proper permits and follow the area’s rules, you can totally elope at a beach in Washington. National and state parks typically require you to get a Special Use Permit if you’re having your ceremony in a park, and some local beach parks may require permits too. Be sure to also pay the entrance and/or parking fees wherever you decide to elope! Every location is different, but I’ll be sure to include permit info for each of the 5 places on this list.

Here’s some more in-depth info about how to get permits for your Washington State elopement!

Can you elope at a beach in Oregon?

Also yes! If you want to have your ceremony at a beach in Oregon, you might need a Special Event Permit, especially if you have a big group—it just depends on what location you choose. I would reach out to the Special Events Permit coordinator with the Oregon Park & Recreation Department via email to ask about your specific location and make sure you know what’s expected/required of ya.

When is the best time to elope at a beach?

Anytime! Unlike a lot of the best elopement locations in the PNW (such as spots in the mountains) that get super snowy in the fall/winter, and close down for the season, coastal spots are usually accessible all year! That means you can elope whenever you want, which is great because late fall, winter, and early spring are the least crowded times of year at most of these beaches! You can still totally elope in the warmth of the summer, just be prepared for more visitors and hikers around you. 

What should I wear to my beach elopement?

Anything FLOWY!! Beaches are all about being carefree and having fun, so I looove flowy dresses for beach elopements, especially ones that have a train that we can play around with for your photos. You could also wear a veil that’ll blow gently in the breeze & make you look extra gorg, or wear a gown with puffy sleeves that give off that beach babe vibe. Or you could go a whole alternate route and wear a non-white gown, maybe something with florals or fun pastel colors! The great thing about beaches is that since they’re such a blank slate, with wide-open space and long, sandy shores, you can really make any style & color palette look good: boho, black & white, neutrals, pastels, bold colors, you name it. For suits, I personally love it when people go with a fun color or a unique material to really show off their personal style!

One awesome part about PNW beaches vs. warm, sunny beaches is that you don’t have to worry as much about getting hot. Typically for a beach elopement outside of the PNW, I’d suggest wearing outfits with lightweight and breathable materials to avoid sweating a ton, but you don’t have to worry about that unless it’s a super hot summer on the coast here.

Pros & Cons of a PNW Beach Elopement

If you’re still unsure of whether a beach elopement in the PNW is right for you, here’s a quick list of the main pros & cons to help you decide!! It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you’re down to embrace the weather and have a quintessential PNW experience, then you’ll have such a dreamy day by the ocean (I may be slightly biased though).


  • There are tons of hidden spots to explore. While there are plenty of popular viewpoints & spots at these beaches (like Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach), there are also lots of secluded spots you can find if you’re down to explore a little. Coastal landscapes in the PW are so unique and beautiful because they have such a variety of scenery that you can enjoy: wide-open shores, craggy cliffs, massive sea stacks, cool caves, and driftwood everywhere.
  • GOLDEN HOUR! Nothing beats a gorgeous sunset over the horizon, especially with the way that the setting sun hits on a lot of these beaches on this list (like Ruby & Rialto)😍
  • Blue hour + dusk on the beach are also a 10/10. Yes, golden hour is breathtaking on any beach, but I personally LOVE blue hour and dusk just as much!! The way the sky turns blue & purple over the ocean, and the stars start to show up in the clear sky as it gets darker. . . it’s magical. Bringing out lanterns, headlamps, or even twinkle lights can be such a fun way to get creative in the dark.
  • They’re accessible year-round. As I mentioned above, you’re not limited to just the warmest summer months like you are with a lot of other PNW locations!


  • The beaches aren’t warm. If you’re looking for sunny beaches and water that isn’t absolutely freezing to swim in, head down south to Cali to a place like Big Sur.
  • The views could be blocked by fog. Beaches in the PNW can get pretty foggy, especially in the mornings and evenings and the fall/winter, so you may not be able to fully see the ocean or the views around you. While I think that fog is totally magical, it’s also okay if you don’t want to risk it and would rather elope somewhere sunnier.

If you’re feeling like maybe a beach elopement isn’t right for you, check out these waterfall elopement locations, alpine lake elopement locations, & forest elopement locations in the PNW instead.

The 5 Best Beach Elopement Locations in the PNW

1. Ruby Beach

Location: Olympic Peninsula

Entrance fee: $30

Permit required: ONP Special Use Permit

Ruby Beach will always be one of my top fav beaches on the west coast, I’ve talked about it in lots of blog posts before. It’s also one of the most iconic spots in Olympic Peninsula, located on the southwest coast of Olympic National Park about 27 miles from Forks (yes, the town from Twilight!). This beach is famous for its driftwood-covered shores, unique rock formations, and weirdly-shaped sea stacks that look super cool against the coastal scenery, all of which make it a seriously epic place to elope! The sunsets at Ruby Beach are to die for, with the golden glow lighting up the shores and reflecting the dramatic sea stacks onto the sand, but exploring it in the dark is also sooo magical. I love playing around with light for nighttime portraits at Ruby Beach with my couples using headlamps, car headlights, twinkle lights, lanterns, or even your iPhone flashlights! 

2. Rialto Beach

Location: Olympic Peninsula

Entrance fee: $30

Permit required: ONP Special Use Permit

Rialto Beach is another quintessential PNW beach, located about an hour north of Ruby Beach, close to La Push. Both Ruby and Rialto are breathtaking, and they each offer their own unique experiences, so you really can’t go wrong choosing either one! While Ruby Beach is probably the most scenic of all the beaches in the area, I’d say Rialto Beach is better if you want to go hiking for your elopement: you can head 1.5 miles up the coast and find the Hole-in-the-Wall, an iconic arch that makes for super pretty elopement photos. However, if you don’t want to hike, you don’t have to—Rialto Beach is very easily accessible by car, as you just have to drive along a road next to the Quillayute River. Keep in mind that Rialto Beach is also usually the foggier of the two beaches, which also makes it extra cold!

3. Cama Beach

Location: Camano Island

Entrance fee: $10

Permit required: None

Cama Beach isn’t quite the same spacious beach away from civilization that Ruby & Rialto are, but it’s beautiful in its own way AND is a lot closer to the Seattle area. Located on the southwest shore of Camano Island, Cama Beach State Park is a gorgeous waterfront area with amazing views of Saratoga Pass & Puget Sound, cozy cedar cabins, and a pretty little forested area. The park is actually an old Native American fishing village, so it’s a super popular spot for fishing—how cute would it be to go fishing on your elopement day and snap some pics while you’re out on the water?! There’s a mile-long trail you can check out that connects to Camano Island State Park, or you can just chill on this beach and stroll along the shore, go swimming, or head out on a boat.

4. Hug Point

Location: Northwest Oregon Coast

Entrance fee: None

Permit required: None for groups of under 50 people

Hug Point is one of the best beaches in the Cannon Beach area, it’s super easy to access and is just 5 miles south of Cannon Beach itself. While I do LOVE Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock (which are coming next on the list), Hug Point is way more diverse in its rugged coastal landscapes: not only does it have a gorgeous shoreline to explore, it also has jagged sandstone cliffs, beautiful sea caves, forested spots full of greenery, tidepools, and even a small waterfall! I recommend visiting at low tide if you can, otherwise you won’t be able to get around the corner that takes you to the iconic waterfall and the caves. You can explore the beach itself, then head into the trees and up the hills to get sweeping views of the ocean—Hug Point honestly has everything you could want out of a beach elopement location.

5. Cannon Beach

Location: Northwest Oregon Coast

Entrance fee: None

Permit required: None for groups of under 50 people

Finally, Cannon Beach is by far the most well-known spot on the Oregon Coast, famous for the iconic Haystack Rock that towers over the shoreline and a collection of other sea stacks that make up the jaw-dropping backdrop. It only takes about 1.5 hours to get to Cannon Beach from Portland so it’s a great day trip if you want to head to Portland from the beach for some city portraits, or vice versa! There are also a ton of great hiking trails along the coastline in Ecola State Park, cute shops to check out in town, and a bunch of beautiful hotels & Airbnb along the water. This is a perf place for your elopement if you want to escape to a cozy little beach town and enjoy some of the best views in the state!

BONUS: Lake Crescent

Location: Olympic Peninsula

Entrance fee: $30

Permit required: ONP Special Use Permit

Okay wait, I’ve got one more before you go! It’s technically not a beach beach, but it IS a stunning body of water with a shore that could count as a small beach. Lake Crescent is a super gorg lake in Olympic National Park with mountain views, nearby waterfalls, surrounding forests, and a rustic lodge right on the shore. If you wanna spend some time on the water but don’t necessarily want to swim in the freezing Pacific Ocean, Lake Crescent is a great alternative with those same beachy vibes.

Here’s a full Lake Crescent Elopement Guide if you’re loving these epic views!!

PNW Beach Elopement Photographer

Now that you know which PNW beach you want to elope at, all you need is a PNW beach elopement photographer to document the occasion 😉 I know all of these beaches SO well and have photographed sooo many couples + beach elopements, so you bet I’ll be there to capture the best lighting, the best angles, and help you have the most epic beach day ever. Here’s some more info about my elopement packages, and here’s my contact form so we can get connected! Cannot wait to plan your best day ever with ya!

Clearly I’m obsessed with the PNW, which is why I have a hella big collection of PNW elopement guides on my blog. Here are some faves that I think you’ll love!

Ultimate San Juan Islands Elopement Guide

How to Plan Your North Cascades Adventure Elopement

Places in the PNW That Look Like Iceland

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