Five scenic locations that will make you question if this is Indiana.
At first thought most people think of Indiana as the land of endless cornfields and cows. But you would be surprised at the hidden gems Indiana hides. I love hiking and exploring, so it was a fun challenge growing up in Indiana to find locations that feel adventurous without actually leaving the state. We actually have a lot more waterfalls than you would expect! Maybe you want to elope or share an intimate wedding with close friends and family, but don’t want to go too far from home. These locations below can give you the adventurous experience while staying within the state and not hurting your budget. We may not have mountains, but you can absolutely elope in Indiana and have an incredible, beautiful experience.
Eloping doesn’t have to just be the two of you at the local courthouse. Times are changing and along with it are weddings and elopements. Couples are focusing more on meaningful and heartfelt experiences over traditions while still including family and friends they love. Eloping could mean getting a cabin with family and friends and dancing around a fire, or it could be a private ceremony just the two of you, and a celebratory picnic. The fun thing about elopements and intimate weddings is that they are yours to mold and create exactly how you want. Below I included five gorgeous locations to elope in Indiana that are real diamonds in the rough.
Indiana Dunes National Park
If you head to the northwest corner of Indiana you’ll find the Indiana Dunes national park. Bordering Lake Michigan, the dunes offer miles and miles of beaches, sandy dunes and swaying sea grass. It’s perfect for an elopement or intimate wedding to have that beach feel without having to travel to either side of the country. The dunes also offer miles of hiking trails, some of which lead to the top of the dunes giving you an incredible view of Lake Michigan. Just imagine a vow exchange on the beach at sunset and then hitting the nearby wineries for a celebration dinner and drinks!
Turkey Run State Park
If you haven’t visited Turkey Run state park yet, it is perfect for an adventurous elopement or wedding while staying within Indiana. Kayak down the creek, cross a suspension bridge or hike up and down steep cliffs, exploring with your boo. Nearby is the Turkey Run Inn, which is also available to rent for weddings, or just for family and friends to stay in. There are also fun options for horseback riding, kayaking, canoeing and camping, for a unique elopement experience if you want more than just hiking.
Lake Wawasee (or any other lake!)
Sarah and Luke held an intimate ceremony in her grandmother’s lake house backyard and it was so sweet and special. Indiana folks love the lake, and there are plenty of lake house Airbnb’s available for rent to host a small wedding or elopement. Imagine close family and friends, grilling out and dancing underneath twinkly lights at the water’s edge. And don’t forget to play cornhole for a true midwestern experience.
Brown County State Park
Brown County State Park is beautiful enough as it is, but in the fall it’s something else entirely magical. There are miles of hiking trails and rolling hills with breathtaking views. Elope in the hills and golden foliage in the fall, or rent a cabin and have a small wedding with a campfire and smores. There is also the Brown County Inn nearby to stay at or have a wedding at as well, if cabins and camping aren’t your thing but you still want the gorgeous views!
You’d be surprised by how many waterfalls there are in Indiana. France Park is a beautiful park with a gorgeous waterfall and pretty cove for a ceremony, and it’s easy to get to as well! There also is a swimming lake with sheer cliffs and hiking trails into the woods. This location offers several pretty spots to elope and explore, and there is a campground within the park too. The waterfall makes for an eye-catching, adventurous scene to elope or have an intimate wedding but offers easy access to the waterfall area for family and friends that aren’t into hiking as well.
Indiana can be pretty scenic after all! The amazing aspect of eloping or having an intimate wedding is the ability to create a day that reflects your relationship without stressful expectations. You can totally elope in Indiana, create a dream wedding day experience and have the time of your life with your new spouse!
All of these locations have different fees and permits so be sure to research all the info and get your ducks in a row when you start planning your wedding. If you are wanting to have a small celebration with family and friends at a cabin or airbnb, make sure to check rules of the house and how many people are permitted on the property as well. For resources and info on Indiana parks I recommend starting out here – https://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/
If you need help crafting a unique experience for your wedding or are wanting to elope in Indiana and need guidance I would be more than happy to help. Intimate weddings and elopements are held near and dear to my heart, and I love documenting meaningful wedding experiences. Contact me below for more information!