9 Incredible Places to Elope

Planning on running away together to get hitched? From a fairytale castle and an African safari to a romantic vineyard and a white-sand beach -- here are 9 places for the two of you to tie the knot. And if all else fails, there's always Vegas.
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Planning on running away together to get hitched? From a fairytale castle and an African safari to a romantic vineyard and a white-sand beach -- here are 9 places for the two of you to tie the knot. And if all else fails, there's always Vegas.

1. For the fairytale obsessed: Say "I do" at an enchanting castle in Scotland

Wed like royalty at the Dalhousie Castle Hotel and Spa, located on the banks of the River Esk on the outskirts of Edinburgh. This 13th century fortress-turned-hotel has hosted it fair share of distinguished royals, including Oliver Cromwell and Queen Victoria. To make your big day extra special, ask the hotel's wedding planner to organize an owl ring delivery. Yes, that's right: a live owl will swoop in and bring you your wedding bands, providing a built-in good omen for your days to come.

2. For the starry-eyed romantics: Declare your eternal love on the island of Bora Bora

Nothing says romance like Robinson Caruso-style thatched bungalows hovering over aquamarine waters in the South Seas. Escape to the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora and experience an island wedding led by a Polynesian priest. Then go for a swim in the brilliantly blue lagoon. Or you could skip the land ceremony and exchange vows under the sea.

3. For the historians and traditionalists: Wed at a 15th century chapel in Portugal

Just because you're going to run away together, doesn't mean you couldn't do it at church. Since the 15th century, travelers have chosen what's now known as the Convento do Espinheiro, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa as a European spiritual retreat. Dripping with a storied history, the gardens surrounding the chapel have been producing exceptional extra-virgin olive oil since 1098. Cook up a little romance and start your life together amongst the age-old olive trees and Manueline style cloisters.

4. For the tropically adventurous: Hide away in a volcanic rainforest in Costa Rica

Nestled in the heart of a tropical rainforest in Costa Rica, Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort is located at the base of the majestic Arenal Volcano. Wade through tranquil thermal springs warmed year round by the active volcano. Your ceremony backdrop will include cascading waterfalls, lush tropical scenery and maybe even a few monkeys.

5. For the equestrian couple: Gallop away via horseback in the Dominican Republic

Nestled in a romantic resort town called La Romana on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic, Casa de Campo is a 7,000-acre Caribbean resort favored by sporting enthusiasts of all kinds, including equestrians. Escape just the two of you on horseback and explore the trails on the lush property. Then experience the posh world of polo ponies. Matches are played every week during the polo season (November to May).

Photo courtesy of Casa de Campo

6. For the adventurous explorers: Include a giraffe in your wedding party on an African safari

Nothing says adventure like an African safari at the Mara Serena Safari Lodge in Kenya. With a few animal friends as your invited wedding guests, declare your undying love with panoramic views across the Mara plains or the hippo-filled Mara River. Spot more than 95 mammal species including the big five: elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and rhinoceros.

Photo courtesy of Mara Serena Safari Lodge

7. For the wine enthusiasts: Toast to your new life together in a California vineyard.

Imagine a romantic Napa Valley vineyard featuring rows and rows of rich soil and grape-bearing vines. Experience wine country's only private wedding chapel, Our Lady of the Grapes, at the Meritage Resort and Spa Napa -- perfect for intimate ceremonies. Toast to a life together filled with happiness and, well...lots of wine.

Photo courtesy of The Meritage Resort and Spa

8. For the beach babes: Escape to a pristine stretch of white sand in Florida

Peek through the coral colored archways of the Loews Don CeSar Hotel, a.k.a. the Pink Palace, and imagine a barefoot beach wedding on a perfect stretch of white sand on Florida's Gulf Coast. Situated on the shores of St. Pete Beach, The Don offers a wide array of ceremony options combined with an elegant backdrop; this historic hotel dates back to 1928.

Photo courtesy of Kara Franker

9. For those who want to elope the old fashioned way: Go to Las Vegas

It's Vegas, baby, and there's nowhere else like it. Skip the drive-thru chapels near the strip and instead ascend up the Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower to the Level 112 observation deck and Chapel in the Clouds. Nearly 1,200 feet above the slot machines and star-studded shows, say "I do" with quite an impressive view.