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Throw a Destination Wedding Without Leaving the USA

Get the look and feel of a destination wedding in the United States at these luxe resorts.

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  • The Berkshires, Massachusetts

    The Berkshires, Massachusetts

    The mountainous region in the state’s western corner has long beckoned travelers in search of fresh air, outdoor pursuits and world-class cultural attractions. The Seven Hills Inn is set on 27 acres with a main house that was once a summer mansion of the Gilded Age. Wedding ceremonies at the three-season resort are held on the exquisitely manicured grounds or in the ornate drawing room. Receptions take place in the mansion’s ballroom and windowed music room. All events on the property, which are expertly crafted under the watchful eye of owner Robin Gerson Wong, are personalized and limited to one a day. Read more ►

    Photo Credit: Bryce Vickmark

  • San Juan Islands, Washington

    San Juan Islands, Washington

    Hiking on wildflower-studded trails and whale-watching in Puget Sound are popular activities on this group of pristine Pacific Northwest islands off Washington’s coast. At the 63-room Rosario Resort on Orcas Island, couples can exchange vows on the Point Lawn overlooking Cascade Bay, then sip local Yakima Valley wines and sample Penn Cove mussels and Buck Bay oysters during the alfresco cocktail hour. At the reception — in the Beach House with floor-to-ceiling windows — guests feast on a menu of local seafood, such as wild king salmon, Dungeness crab, and halibut. After, sneak off to the Cliffhouse Honeymoon Suite, a luxe cottage with fireplace and ocean-facing deck. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of Rosario Resort & Spa

  • Lakewood, Washington

    Lakewood, Washington

    In the early 1900s, when the wife of a local businessman, Chester Thorne, expressed a desire for a castle, her doting husband obliged. Built between 1908 and 1911, Thornewood Castle is comprised of original materials shipped from Europe, including red-brick facing from Wales, a grand staircase and oak doors from an Elizabethan mansion, and painted-glass panels from the collection of a duke. The castle can accommodate any celebration, from an intimate elopement to an indoor sit-down dinner for 125 and a 300-plus bash in an outdoor tent. Favorite ceremony sites include the Great Hall and the covered porch, while honeymoons are off to a good start in suites like the Lord Byron, with lake views and a heart-shaped hot tub. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of The Thornewood Castle

  • Sonoma, California

    Sonoma, California

    Set in the heart of northern California’s wine country, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is a popular destination for exploring the wineries. Wedding ceremonies typically take place creekside or on the lawn. Receptions highlight the artful cuisine of the region; couples work closely with the chef to pair signature dishes (like grass-fed beef filet mignon and sea bass with summer corn) with local vintages. It’s not all high-brow, though: One couple requested late night chicken-and-waffles, while others have asked the in-house pastry chef to incorporate photos of their pets or football team mascots into cakes. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

  • Sausalito, California

    Sausalito, California

    The Casa Madrona was originally built in the 1880s as a private home. Today, it houses 11 airy, relaxed-chic guest rooms, many with terraces. The Alexandrite Suite, with perks like a fireplace-equipped terrace with panoramic views of the bay, and the new Junto room are a top pick for wedding ceremonies. Receptions for up to 130 guests can be held in those spaces, as well as in two additional salons or the on-site Poggio restaurant. In addition to serving their signature gourmet, locally sourced cuisine, the hotel can craft any type of event to your specifications. They’ve brought in hay barrels and a mechanical bull for a western-themed wedding, for example, and once seated 100 dinner guests at one table, decorated with over 500 votive candles and thousands of red rose petals. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa

  • Santa Barbara, California

    Santa Barbara, California

    Set in a lush residential neighborhood in the hills with sweeping views across the town to the Pacific Ocean, El Encanto's top event areas include the arbor and lily pond, a romantic trellised garden surrounded by 100-year-old wisteria trees and brick columns with niches for 800 votive candles, and space for 175 seats by a pond. The Riviera Ballroom holds 160 and opens out onto a covered, heated, garden-view patio. While on the top floor of the main building, up to 44 guests can wander among the Channel Islands Room, a spacious foyer and a terrace with the property’s best views of the Pacific. Some couples have even opted for more intimate ceremonies in some of the Mission- or Craftsman-style cottages on the property. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of El Encanto by Orient-Express Hotels, Ltd.

  • Greenough, Montana

    Greenough, Montana

    The luxury Resort at Paws Up is seeing an increase in elopements and intimate weddings by couples seeking unique locations and customized activities. The popular Elopement Wedding Under the Big Sky package includes lots of fun touches: three nights in a luxury honeymoon cabin (with fireplace and outdoor hot tub) or glam tent (with claw-foot tub and panoramic views); all meals and a private sunset ceremony on the banks of the Blackfoot River or near the Garnet Mountain Range, complete with horseback or carriage arrival and a wildflower-filled bouquet and boutonniere. After the vows, enjoy a private dinner in your accommodations, along with a wedding cake with Western-themed topper. The package also includes a 60-minute couples’ spa treatment in the tented spa and take-home gifts, like his-and-hers champagne flutes. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of The Resort at Paws Up

  • Saratoga, Wyoming

    Saratoga, Wyoming

    Wyoming’s Sierra Madre mountain range, Medicine Bow National Forest, and Platte River Valley come together to create a stunning backdrop for The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, a 15,000 acre upscale all-inclusive resort and working ranch. In season, the 150-room property (whose roots go back to 1877) is home to about 4,000 cattle, so there’s an authentic feeling. A wedding weekend might include a pig-roast welcome dinner with bluegrass music; meals by the river with cooking stations and roping demos; and activities like archery, hiking, fly-fishing and cattle roundups. Ride in a horse-drawn carriage to the ceremony, which can be held on the tiered wedding garden with mountain views; in the hand-hewn loft chapel; or in the cut-hay meadow. Read more ►

    Photo Credit: Dan Hamm

  • Dolores, Colorado

    Dolores, Colorado

    Amidst the Colorado Rockies, an abandoned historic mining town has been brought back to life as Dunton Hot Springs, a luxury, all-inclusive resort. Log cabins are now guest rooms with WiFi, central heating, and touches like wood stoves or fireplaces, while the saloon is a restaurant (with the original bar patronized by Butch Cassidy). Dunton is full of hiking and biking trails, wildflower walks, fly-fishing spots, and mineral-spring baths. Popular wedding events include a clambake or barbecue by the river for the rehearsal dinner; ceremonies in the chapel (there’s a webcam set-up); a multi-course dinner of seasonal signatures like butternut chipotle bisque, bison prime rib or pan-seared boulder trout; dancing in the hall; and after-parties around the fire pits or in the hot springs. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of Dunton Hot Springs 

  • Mackinac Island, Michigan

    Mackinac Island, Michigan

    This charming island in Lake Huron, with no fast-food chains or cars, is the jewel of the Great Lakes, and its landmark lodging, the Grand Hotel, dating from 1887, is this island’s most sought-out wedding venue. There are 385 rooms, a serpentine-shaped pool, tennis, golf, and a spa. Couples can say “I do” on the geranium-lined 660-foot porch or beside a stone fountain in the Tea Garden. After arriving via horse and carriage, enjoy an evening of dinner — pecan-crusted whitefish and pork loin with dried cherry chutney — and dancing to the music of the hotel’s orchestra in the Grand Pavilion. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of Grand Hotel of Mackinac Island

  • Graham, Texas

    Graham, Texas

    Less than two hours from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Wildcatter Ranch is tucked into Young County, home of the famous 19th-century Goodnight-Loving cattle trail that inspired many classic Western movies. Wildcatter can host up to 350 attendees for ceremonies, cocktail hours, and receptions. Following the bride’s arrival in an antique surrey, vows can be exchanged on the property’s main lawn or outdoor pavilion, with views of the North Texas Hill Country and Brazos River. Receptions are held in the grand hall or in the steakhouse restaurant, featuring exposed beams and a large patio; choose from interactive dining options like chuckwagon (frontier-style food truck), barbecue or Tex-Mex buffets, and plated dinners of choice rib-eye, beef filet and chicken-fried steak. Read more ►

    Photo Credit: Andrew Slanton 

  • Mount Desert Island, Maine

    Mount Desert Island, Maine

    With its charming harbor, quaint downtown, and spectacular scenery in Acadia National Park, it’s easy to see why America’s wealthiest families (including the Rockefellers, Fords and Astors) once summered on this laid-back, yet sophisticated Maine island. After a sunset ceremony on the lawn overlooking Frenchman Bay, enjoy blueberry martinis and mini lobster rolls during cocktail hour on the patio outfitted with a stone fireplace. Then make your way to the historic 1929 ballroom at The Harborside Hotel for a dinner of stone-crab claws, steak and lobster tails —by the end of your fairytale wedding, you’ll feel like a Rockefeller yourself. Read more ►

     Photo courtesy of Harborside Hotel

  • Cape Elizabeth, Maine

    Cape Elizabeth, Maine

    Following a multi-million-dollar renovation completed in 2012 at the Inn by the Sea, this idyllic, eco- and pet-friendly hotel overlooking Maine’s Crescent Beach is now home to 61 plush rooms, suites and cottages. The lush front lawn overlooking the Atlantic Ocean is the most popular site for ceremonies. Receptions often take place in tents on the waterview side lawn. Outdoor events can accommodate up to 150 guests, while about 70 guests are hosted comfortably inside. Planned elopements (celebrations of less than 10 guests) are gaining popularity at the inn, as is the inclusion of the couples’ dogs as ring bearers or flower girls. Given the New England setting, dishes like the Maine lobster bake and Gulf of Maine sea- food and lobster paella are popular meal selections. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of Inn by the Sea

  • Key West, Florida

    Key West, Florida

    Begin your wedding weekend at Ocean Key Resort & Spa, where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Atlantic Ocean at the southernmost point of the continental U.S. The resort offers exquisite waterfront wedding ceremony and reception locations in the heart of vibrant downtown Key West. Surrounded by water on three sides, the Sunset Pier, just steps from the Ocean Key Resort, offers breathtaking views for your ceremony and reception. You can also choose to hold only one part of your celebration on the pier and the other at one of the resort’s other magnificent on-site locations. Whatever you choose, including the sunset pier in your celebration is sure to make it a memorable occasion full of breathtaking views and a color-rich sunset. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of Ocean Key Resort & Spa

  • Boston, Massachusetts

    Boston, Massachusetts

    The upscale Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center is an anchor of the city’s revitalized waterfront district, offering sweeping views from its 813 rooms. Couples here can choose among five grand ballrooms for receptions. The Harborview Room, with its adjacent canopied deck, affords uninterrupted vistas and can accommodate up to 190 guests. The bi-level Lighthouse Room is a more modern option with a specialized LED-lit wall. If you have an intimate number of guests, consider a private dining room. Or opt for one of the suites, which can hold eight for a formal dinner. For a special treat, ask the concierge to arrange a private cruise and picnic to a small harbor island. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center

  • Brewster, Massachusetts

    Brewster, Massachusetts

    The sprawling Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club has all the expected beachy amenities, along with multiple pools, tennis courts, four restaurants, a newly revamped golf course, and a variety of options for where to host your wedding. There’s the new Linx Pavilion, a transparent structure set on the golf course’s 18th hole. The rambling lawn fronting the mansion can host more than 300 guests; smaller affairs can be celebrated inside the coffered rooms or at the romantic Carriage House. Cosmopolitan brides who desire a sea view can book the chic Ocean Terrace, with its panoramic vistas of Cape Cod Bay. Ceremonies can be held throughout the property or on the resort’s beach. Additional sense-of-place touches include traditional lobster bakes and s’mores bonfires on the sand. Read more ►

    Photo Credit: Virtual Visit

  • Newport, Rhode Island

    Newport, Rhode Island

    Castle Hill Inn was originally a family summer home; later, it became a resort favored by celebrities like Grace Kelly. Couples typically say “I do” on the beach, near the Lighthouse, or on the main lawn overlooking Narragansett Bay and the Newport Bridge, then host a reception with dancing under a custom sailcloth tent on the water-facing Chalet Terrace. The hotel can accommodate up to 250 guests for a seated dinner and, with 40 private acres, can organize clambake rehearsal dinners, beachfront bonfires with s’mores, late-night bocce ball and more. The popular buy-out package gives you the run of the place and includes extras like bike and kayak rentals and afternoon tea service. No matter the party size, the on-site team works to customize every event; they’ve re-created a musical moment from the movie Love, Actually, organized a ballet performance bringing to life the couple’s love story, and — in summer — incorporated cruises on the hotel’s motorboat. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of Castle Hill Inn

  • Washington, Connecticut

    Washington, Connecticut

    Fifty-eight acres of woodlands and gardens surround the serene Mayflower Grace, which has lured privacy-seeking celebrities, CEOs and even ex-Presidents to head two hours out of New York City and into rural Connecticut. Though a short drive from noted shopping and dining, the Mayflower Grace is a destination of its own, with an award-winning spa, gourmet restaurant and accommodations so cozy and comfortable, it’s hard to leave them. With few rooms, the property does get bought out for larger weddings, but it’s even more perfect for a small one, since you always feel like you’re at a private home — and there will never be too many other hotel guests around to intrude. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of Grace Hotels

  • Lake Placid, New York

    Lake Placid, New York

    This Adirondack resort — the only one on Lake Placid — mixes a rustic vibe of the great camps of the early 20th-century with plenty of plush amenities and top-of-the-line details. Couples opting for the Elopement Package at Lake Placid Lodge will enjoy a five-course tasting menu with sommelier-paired wines served in one of the private dining areas, along with the services of a wedding coordinator, ceremony setup and service, a wedding cake and champagne toast. Choose from scenic ceremony locations like the Lodge dock or Water’s edge — with can’t-be-beat views — or the Moose room or Fire cove, cozy spaces with wood-burning fireplaces. (Other locations are available for an additional fee.) In the warmer months, the package also includes a 20-minute. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of Lake Placid Lodge

  • Finger Lakes, New York

    Finger Lakes, New York

    Praised by those-in-the-know as one of the country’s best up-and-coming (and most affordable) wine regions, northern New York’s beautiful Finger Lakes region boasts over 100 wineries around Keuka, Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. Set near it all, the 104-room Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel, opened in 2008, is perfectly situated for a wine-themed wedding. Ceremonies may take place under a trellis on the patio, overlooking the lake and boats. Receptions move inside for dinners featuring local wines and fun extras like candy buffet. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of Dylan Buyskes

  • Bedford, New York

    Bedford, New York

    Set in the picturesque Hudson Valley, about an hour north of New York City, the Bedford Post Inn has won fans with its serene vibe, gourmet food and perks, like complimentary yoga and wine-and-cheese hours. Wedding events can take place in several areas around the 14-acre property: smaller ceremonies are often by the Reflecting Pool, with its tall hedges (and roaring fireplace), while the Zen Garden and Farmhouse Patio — the latter with a rock wall and bubbling water — can seat up to 80 and 120, respectively. And in the A-frame Yoga Loft with private garden, 120 can be hosted. In addition to offering signature dishes, like Kobe beef pigs-in-a-blanket hors d’oeuvres, fagotelli pasta, and prosecco-and-elderflower cocktails, the kitchen can whip up unique bites — one couple wanted a NYC street-food theme with hot dog and pretzel carts — and late-night snacks to enjoy around the fire pit. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of Bedford Post Inn

  • New York City, New York

    New York City, New York

    With its tucked away location on the Upper East Side near Central Park, The Surrey enjoys a more residential and intimate vibe, so it’s become a favorite for small, truly customized weddings. Ceremonies and receptions can take place on the lovely Rooftop Terrace (for up to 50 guests), or in one of the two homey balconied suites (in which you can stay after). The 17th-floor Penthouse Suite has a 1,000-square-foot terrace, full kitchen and living and dining rooms, while the Presidential Suite has a formal dining area, a baby grand piano and a bar; both can host about 20 guests for a seated dinner or up to 75 for cocktails and canapés. The hotel bar is a popular choice for wedding party photo shoots, as is Central Park. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of The Surrey Hotel

  • Montauk, New York

    Montauk, New York

    Affectionately called “The End,” thanks to its location on the easternmost tip of Long Island, Montauk is a laid-back alternative to the area’s tony beach scene in the Hamptons. Yet Montauk still offers an upscale appeal that’s revered by New York couples. The Montauk Yacht Club, which fronts a marina and private beach, encapsulates that kick-off-your-shoes-meets-luxury appeal. You can get hitched in the hotel’s luxe-rustic Farmhouse Ballroom (up to 160 guests) or in tents on the Great Lawn (up to 1,000). Some guests opt to wed in town at the Montauk village chapel before partying at the property. Menus are customized for each event and often feature fresh, local seafood — clam chowder and lobster bakes are top picks. Fun add-ons include dim sum stations, s’mores bonfires and sunset cruises. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of Montauk Yacht Club

  • Bradford, Pennsylvania

    Bradford, Pennsylvania

    Family is at the heart of this lush property, set next to Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest. Onsite activities at The Lodge at Glendorn include kayaking, canoeing, paddle boating, bonfires, croquet, Jeep tours, snowshoeing and fly fishing. Favorite ceremony and reception sites (accommodating up to 60 guests) include the on-site Bondieu and Skipper Lakes, picturesque courtyards, the sun porch and in front of the main house’s two-story stone fireplace. The festivities are always personalized and are often playful and relaxed: the staff once re-created the entire living area of the main lodge on the terrace — complete with rugs, furniture and artwork hanging from the trees. Other events have included fireworks, pig roasts and fishing tournaments. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of The Lodge at Glendorn

  • Chesapeake Bay, Virginia

    Chesapeake Bay, Virginia

    Vineyards have been a part of Virginia’s landscape since the Jamestown settlers first planted grapes more than 400 years ago. Today, you can find wineries all over the state, including along the Chesapeake Bay, home to the lovely 64-year-old Tides Inn. With just 106 rooms, the waterside hotel feels intimate and quaint, but offers big-ticket amenities like golf, tennis, a private beach and canoes and paddleboats. Weddings here embody the location’s relaxed vibe: ceremonies on the beach, marina dock or croquet lawn; cocktails and oyster roasts on the terrace; plated dinners and dancing inside; then maybe a late-night beach bonfire with platters of s’mores. Signature dishes like crab cakes can be paired with one of the over 500 wines stocked in the cellars. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of Tides Inn

  • Asheville, North Carolina

    Asheville, North Carolina

    Opened in 1895 and modeled after a 16th-century French chateau, The Biltmore was originally the home of George Vanderbilt — grandson of Cornelius — who spent his time here indulging his passions for art and horticulture. The Biltmore's property features a historic 250-room main house, a working winery, walled gardens, vast parks and the 290-room Inn on Biltmore Estate. Weddings can be held anywhere except inside the main house; popular ceremony spots include the front lawn and the Lioncrest Courtyard or Veranda, which overlook the woodlands. Reception meals, featuring produce from local farms and on-site gardens, may be held in the rustic Antler Hill barn, the intimate Champagne Cellar, the Grand Ballroom or in outdoor tents. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of The Biltmore Company

  • Miami, Florida

    Miami, Florida

    When the iconic Fontainebleau resort opened in 1954, it was the place to be for celebs of the moment like Elvis Presley and Judy Garland. Today, the list of the hotel’s bold-face fans range from Lady Gaga to President Obama. Since the Fontainebleau’s 22 acres of grounds house 1,504 rooms, 10 restaurants and bars, a spa, two nightclubs and more, you can host a multi-event wedding weekend and never repeat a venue. Have a rehearsal dinner at Gotham Steak, post-ceremony cocktails at the oceanside La Côte and the reception in the historic Fontaine/ Fleur de Lis ballroom. Follow with an after-party at hip LIV and a day-after brunch at Italian eatery Scarpetta. The most popular ceremony setting is the candle-lit “floating” cabana in the Oasis pool. Read more ►

    Photo courtesy of Fontainebleau

Throw a Destination Wedding Without Leaving the USA

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