The Bellingham/North Cascades/Valley area might hold some of my favorite places in Washington, maybe even the world. It's where I grew up going on family road trips, it's the area surrounding where I went to college, and it's the area I found my love and inspiration for my business. So yeah, it's pretty important to me :)
After years of exploring the area, I definitely have some tips and insights on all the best places. So grab your notebook and get ready to add these to your Pinterest board because you're going to want to save allllllll of these ideas!
Larrabee State Park
TRAVEL TIME: From Seattle - 1 hr 26 min + 5 min walk From Bellingham - 12 min + 5 min walk Larrabee State Park is a gorgeous park right on the bay with many options for elopement spots and plenty of parking for anyone who may be attending. If you're looking for a spot to get married with the sunset behind you, this west-facing beach would be beautiful. There's rocks to the left that you could get married on about 15 ft above the water, or a great sized beach to the right. It's about a 5 minute walk along rocky paths to get down to some of the more scenic spots. With the variety of spots and great sunset views, you would not be disappointed eloping here!
TRAVEL TIME: From Seattle - 1 hr 26 min From Bellingham - 10 min The elopement that I shot here was magical! However, it is possible for a train to go by! This happened to the couple I was with, but they got a kick out of it and just kept on with the ceremony. It's accessible as there's not a hike or a very far walk. There's a grassy field overlooking the beach or just a few more steps could take you right to the waterfront. Another great spot for sunset, but this park is smaller than Larrabee so it has the potential to get a little more crowded, especially on the weekends. That's not to say you couldn't find your own private corner for a gorgeous backdrop!
San Juan Island National Historic Park
TRAVEL TIME: From Seattle - 3 hr 20 min (including ferry time) From Bellingham - 2 hr 42 min (including ferry time) This park may be a little bit more of a trek from Bellingham or Seattle, but oh my gosh is it worth it. It's the southernmost tip of San Juan Island and maybe one of my favorite spots on this list. It's an east facing beach, so you wouldn't get the sun setting directly behind you, but it would be a beautiful sunrise spot! And if getting up at 3 am isn't your jam, it's honestly beautiful any time of day. Plus, there's a beautiful lighthouse nearby surrounded by tall grassy fields, and who doesn't love that kind of variety! This beach has it all, and it's not unheard of to see whales if you're lucky!
TRAVEL TIME: From Seattle - 1 hr 23 min + 30-40 min hike From Bellingham - 16 min + 30-40 min hike Fragrance Lake is a short hiking trail in the Chuckanut mountains. It's not steep and if you hike frequently, you won't even break a sweat by the time you reach the lake. It's a decently popular hike in the Bellingham area, but would give you a more secluded elopement spot than one of the popular beaches might. On a still day, the reflections of the trees are mirror-like and there are plenty of small patches clear of trees to get married on.
TRAVEL TIME: From Seattle - 2 hr 38 min From Bellingham - 1 hr 23 min Another one of my all time favorite spots on this list. You get similar vibes as you would from Artist's Point, but it's open longer and not as far up the mountain. It's a short walk from parking around the lake, and there's well maintained trails and boardwalk-type walkways. There's a little dock or two that are accessible in the summer and fall and would be perfect spots to stand on with the breathtaking mountain behind you that will make you swoon any time of year.
TRAVEL TIME: From Seattle - 2 hr 27 min From Bellingham - 1 hr 41 It really doesn't get much more beautiful than Artist's Point. It's pretty much only open in the summertime, and sometimes early fall as well (just as long as there's not too much snow. Check to see if it's open here). There's a good sized parking lot with trails all around to take you to jaw-dropping backdrops. But let's be real - you could stay in the parking lot and get married right there and it would be incredible.
TRAVEL TIME: From Seattle - 1 hr 24 min From Bellingham - 46 min There are SO many beautiful spots at Deception Pass, you seriously cannot go wrong. There's beautiful beaches all around, a gorgeous bridge as your backdrop, and many breathtaking cliff sides that would make for an amazing location. I seriously suggest that you just go here and walk around - it's hard to describe if you haven't been there. Sunset would be a great time for a place like this, but any time of day is beautiful. There's so much variety that if you're unsure of where you want to elope, this would be a happy inbetween to satisfy allllll of your scenic needs.
TRAVEL TIME: From Seattle - 2 hr 22 min From Bellingham - 1 hr 48 min A beautiful destination that makes you feel like you're deep in the mountains without having to hike two hours to get there. There's a great overlook from the parking lot, but if you want to escape concrete and cars, there's a hidden trail to the right of the parking lot that will take you to a flat overlook that would be perfect to elope on. In the summer, the lake turns a beautiful blue-green, but let's be real, this location is beautiful any time of year. The perfect combination of lakeside, overlook and the mountains, another great spot if you're not entirely set on any other location.