I was inspired to write a blog post about the best places to elope in Maine last winter after a fun conversation with a 2023 couple about all the places we've photographed elopements before. I've slowly tinkered away since then, keeping it in the drafts while focusing on building a new website and a few other things, but now that those are complete, I'm excited to share some of my favorite spots!
While elopements have always been a thing, we noticed a considerable increase in couples choosing to plan an elopement instead of a big wedding after the pandemic hit. Some couples were excited and didn't want to wait for a big wedding, while others just liked the idea of something spontaneous and intimate. Either way, we were and still very much are here for it.
I'm biased, but Maine is among the best places to elope. You can't miss here with miles of coastline, wooded hiking trails, mountaintop views, and delicious food and drinks.
Here are the best places to elope in Maine, according to us.
Acadia National Park is a popular elopement destination in Maine for good reason. The park offers diverse backdrops for stunning wedding photos, including rocky beaches, sandy beaches, cliffs, ponds, and mountaintops. Acadia has everything, whether you prefer a rustic wooded setting or a dramatic ocean view. A park pass is required to enter Acadia, but this can be easily obtained online, at the visitor's center, or at a booth inside the park. In addition, a wedding permit is required for ceremonies with more than ten people present. If you plan to elope on Cadillac Mountain, be sure to make a reservation in advance, as spots can fill up quickly.
After your ceremony, head into the charming town of Bar Harbor for a celebratory meal at one of the many delicious restaurants. Some of our favorites in the area include Salt & Steel, Abel's Lobster Pond, Havana, and Sweet Pea's Cafe, which is also home to Bar Harbor Cellars if you want to try some local wine. Grab a lobster roll, blueberry pie, and a Blueberry Jam Mojito at Stewman's Lobster Pound if you're looking for something that screams coastal Maine. If you're a beer drinker, check out Atlantic Brewing.
The Bar Harbor area offers lots of great options for accommodations. Still, it is a very popular destination from May through October, so I recommend booking your stay as soon as possible.
Lubec is a perfect spot for couples seeking gorgeous views and plenty of opportunities for adventure. West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, perched on the easternmost point of the continental United States, provides a stunning backdrop for exchanging vows. You can even see the cliffs of Grand Manan, Canada in the distance! The rugged coastline offers endless photo opportunities, and adventurous couples can take advantage of nearby hiking trails to further explore the area. Lubec provides a variety of short hikes perfect for elopements, but you can also visit the Bold Coast Trail in nearby Cutler if you're looking to enjoy a long hike in the days before or after your elopement.
After the ceremony, head to downtown Lubec to grab a beer at Lubec Brewing (Joel often helps them brew!), gourmet pizza from Morano's Authentic Pizza (we recommend the Bianco!), and cocktails and/or dinner at either Cohill's (they have one of my favorite margaritas) or the Water Street Tavern, both of which have yummy seafood options and more. If you have your passport, you can also make a day trip to Campobello Island, which is just over the bridge in Canada.
The best time to elope in Lubec is between Memorial Day weekend and mid-October, as most of the town closes up in the off-season.
You're missing out if you've never been to Stonington or Deer Isle. This part of Maine is one of our favorites and is a little slept on. This duo is located about ten minutes apart by car on the coast. They offer quaint downtowns, hiking trails, preserves, and stunning beaches.
Stonington is the largest lobster port in Maine, and we love grabbing a lobster roll at Stonington Seafood and looking out at the harbor or heading to the beach nearby, which I think is one of the prettiest in the state. Check out Fin & Fern in Stonington or Aragosta in Deer Isle if a sit-down dinner is more your style.
I love Schoodic Point and the Schoodic Peninsula. Schoodic Point is located in a smaller portion of Acadia National Park, which can confuse visitors as it's about an hour's drive from the central part of the park in Bar Harbor. Because of this, Schoodic Point is much quieter. It offers beautiful cliffs that are easily accessible, a rocky beach, and endless views. It's also one of the best places to see giant waves crashing against the cliffs. You'll still need a park pass to access Schoodic Point, and wedding permits are required for ceremonies with more than ten people present.
Camden is a beautiful town in midcoast Maine that feels romantic and intimate. It's incredibly special to us because that's where we got married. If you're a fan of mountain views, you can elope on top of Mount Battie in Camden Hills State Park overlooking downtown Camden and Penobscot Bay. You can also do a private boat charter and get married on the water! We're big fans of the Schooner Olad. If you'd like to keep things simple, we recommend renting the amphitheater at the Camden Public Library. It's directly across from the harbor, making it incredibly easy to wander for portraits after the ceremony, and it gives off some secret garden vibes. We had our ceremony there, and it was stunning.
For dinner and drinks, we recommend starting at 40 Paper for cocktails and appetizers. From there, you can walk to Long Grain for some of the best Thai food, grab some pizza at Wolfpeach, or drive down the coast to Nina June in Rockport or Primo in Rockland. If you're in the area on a Sunday, please treat yourself to a fried chicken sandwich from Ancho Honey in Tenants Harbor. It's worth the 30-minute drive. I promise you won't regret it.
If you're more of a city person looking to keep things simple but timeless, Portland City Hall is the perfect spot. The inside holds a gorgeous spiral staircase, and the outside is striking yet clean in its architecture. It's ideal for portraits. City Hall is just steps away from the Press Hotel and a five-minute walk from the old port and endless options for dinner and drinks. We recommend Central Provisions, Blyth & Burrows, The Portland Hunt & Alpine Club, Fore Street, and Eventide Oyster Co., to name a few within walking distance.
If you still want to be close to the city but want something more adventurous, we recommend taking things offshore and setting up a private charter through Portland Schooner Co. Bonus points for planning it for sunset.
Another favorite lighthouse of mine is Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. It's located in New Harbor, Maine, and has an incredible cliff line below the lighthouse. So if you think of lighthouses, cliffs, and ocean views when you think of Maine, this spot is perfect. There is an entrance fee of $3 per adult to enter the lighthouse park. You can also rent out the lighthouse keeper's apartment if you want to stay on-site. How cool is that?
The Bradley Inn is within walking distance if you're looking for someplace to stay that offers breakfast and dinner. They're also open to the public for dinner. If you're up for a small drive, head to The Contented Sole in New Harbor and grab dinner and drinks on their dock (one of my favorite spots!). If you're a history buff, you can explore Fort William Henry while you're there.
Now that you've read through some of the best places to elope in Maine, you may be wondering what the steps are to plan your Maine elopement. Luckily, we have a blog post on that as well! Check that out by clicking the button below.
Share this story