Guide to the Best Places To Propose
Angelica Frey | September 7, 2023
Angelica Frey | September 7, 2023
Proposing is, in itself, one of the most romantic acts one could ever perform, but the actual place of your choice is as important as the emotionally charged moment itself. If you want to complement your proposal with a visually stunning backdrop, there are plenty of locations in the world that can make the act of popping the question utterly cinematic—regardless of whether or not you want to add a candid proposal photoshoot or to wow your social-media followers.
Cliffs, parks, beaches, mountains, cityscapes, and wineries can make your proposal even more special. If you’re the adventurous or the thrill-seeking type, the summit of a hike, a theme park with high-adrenaline rides, and even some dramatic seascapes will ensure your proposal aligns with your personality. A word of caution for the most adventurous locations, though: consider making that proposal with a stand-in ring, lest the actual engagement ring gets lost or damaged.
10 Most Romantic Places to Propose Around the World
From dramatic cliffs and mountainside vistas to the timeless architecture of past civilizations, the world is full of wonders that can heighten the experience of your proposal. Please do note that this list is not a ranking.
1. The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
The Cliffs of Moher are Europe’s western frontier, with unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean. With more than 11 miles of hiking trails, you are bound to find a spot where to pop the question. And while sunsets are certainly beautiful, some rain and mist actually enhance the unique scenery of the Cliffs of Moher.
2. By the Opera House in Sydney, Australia
The Sydney Opera House is a masterpiece of expressionist architecture, with a series of shells giving it a futuristic look. Located at Bennelong Point in Sydney, it hosts more than 1500 performances each year, from opera to contemporary musical theater, and seats are available at all price points.
3. Table Mountain, South Africa
Table Mountain owes its name to its flat top, which makes for the perfect overlook for the city of Cape Town and its unobstructed views of the ocean. Hike or take the cable car: the breathtaking views are guaranteed.
4. Haleakala Crater, Maui, Hawaii, US
Standing 10,023 feet above the Pacific Ocean, the Haleakala Crater offers spectacular views of the sunrise, one of the best places to stargaze and study astronomical wonders, and more endangered species than any other US National Park. Just beware: if you choose to propose at sunrise, you’re going to have an audience.
5. Kyoto, Japan
Temples, shrines, winding roads, pedestrian alleys, and gardens make Kyoto one of the most romantic cities to propose in. If you want some privacy, consider getting down one one knee after nightfall. Places like Gion Shirakawa, Nene-No-Michi lane, or any street with a view of the Yasaka-no-To Pagoda.
6. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century, medieval-style castle that inspired the architecture of Disney’s Cinderella and Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. It’s immersed in an idyllic alpine scenery, so even if you propose in the surrounding areas, you will still be immersed in beauty.
7. Niagara Falls, USA and Canada
Niagara Falls State Park boasts three waterfalls that make for a dramatic backdrop to any proposal. One of them is even called Bridal Veil Falls. Recommended locations include the Maid of the Mist boat, the (relatively) dry Three Sisters Island, and the cave of the Winds, which takes you as close as 20 feet away from Bridal Veil Falls.
8. Paris, France
Paris is the city of love, and backdrops featuring the Trocadero esplanade and the Eiffel Tower or the Sacre Coeur are the ultimate romantic fantasy. This means, however, that these locations will be uniquely crowded. There’s hardly a spot that is not scenic, though, so any alley, square, and neighborhood park will do the trick.
9. Venice, Italy
Much like Paris, Venice has plenty of locations, such as the Rialto Bridge, the Canal Grande, and Piazza San Marco that are iconic backgrounds for proposal. If you’re crowd averse, you can opt for the Lido, the setting of Death in Venice, the Biennale gardens, and the countless back alleys that lead to hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
10. Barcelona, Spain
Art, beaches, nightlife, hills, decadent food: Barcelona has all of that. Consider climbing up to the top of Park Guëll, the picturesque charm of Plaça Sant Felip Neri, or the spectacular steps of the Museu Nacional de l’Art Catalunya.
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5 Best Places to Propose in California
Cliffs, Desert, Forests, Beaches and sprawling (but historical) metropolitan areas: California has a lot of different sceneries to offer. Let the beauty of nature at its finest heighten your proposal. The places below are listed in no particular order.
- Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles
The Griffith Observatory has one of the most breathtaking vistas you can ask for: it offers a great view of the Los Angeles Basin including Downtown Los Angeles to the southeast, Hollywood to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest.
- Napa Valley
The Idyllic landscapes, rolling hills, and plenty of decadent food and beverage offerings of Napa Valley will make it easy for you to pop the question. Hop on a balloon ride, visit the French-inspired chateau Domaine Carneros, or the Jarvis estate if you want a fairytale-like backdrop for a resounding “yes!”
- World Peace Rose Garden, Sacramento
The World Peace Rose Garden is a sanctuary of peace for people of all creeds, nationalities, and cultures. The rose is the symbolic flower of the United States, and the garden houses more than 650 roses with more than 153 varieties.
- Marin Headlands
The Marin Headlands feature a unique geology, with cliffs of oceanic rock and rolling hills of coyote brush and sage framing a stunning view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Big Sur
Big Sur offers plenty of natural wonders, including dramatic cliffs, hiking trails, and beaches that are a surfer’s paradise. Consider Pfeiffer State Park and its beach, McWay Falls, and Point Lobos reserve.
5 Best Places to Propose in NYC
Most guides will tell you that Central Park, the neon lights of Times Square, and the Brooklyn Bridge provide the most stunning scenery when it’s time for you to pop the question. While that might be true in theory, the truth is that their popularity as tourist destinations will make them extremely crowded at most hours of the day.
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Brookyn Botanic Garden is famous for its cherry-blossom esplanade and for its Japanese-inspired garden. While the location is stunning year round, you might want to time your proposal when the cherry blossoms reach peak blooming (it varies by year, but there’s a live tracking device) or peak foliage in the fall.
- Brooklyn Bridge Park
If you choose Brooklyn Bridge Park, you can have unobstructed views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, and the dramatic Manhattan Skyline without being confined to the Brooklyn Bridge and its unrelenting foot traffic.
- The High Line
What were once abandoned, elevated train tracks now constitute a valuable space of urban greenery. On the High Line, the contrast between the metal, concrete, and glass structure and the landscape design, inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew wild for 25 years after the trains stopped running, makes for a stunning, dramatic backdrop.
- The Metropolitan Museum Museum of Art
If your proposal is meant to take place in the height of summer or the middle of the winter, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a (thermo-regulated), art-filled venue. The Temple of Dendur room is certainly a memorable location.
- The Staten Island Ferry
Staten Island has plenty of beaches, nature, and delicious food, but the Staten Island Ferry ride is as memorable as the destination itself, especially around sunset.
5 Best Places to Propose in Chicago
The Windy City is known for its Art Deco architecture, lakeshore views, its eclectic food scene, and its robust sports scene. Ideal proposal locations abound there, but if you choose to propose in the winter, please be aware of the extremely rigid temperatures.
- Lincoln Park Conservatory
The Lincoln Park Conservatory showcases tropical plants and ancient ferns inside scenic glass domes in the heart of Lincoln Park. Any time of the year, something is always green or blooming.
- North Avenue Beach
North Avenue Beach alternates grass, sands, a lakeview and an unobstructed view of the skyline. Locals swear that it’s gorgeous even during foggy days, and it’s easily accessible by public transportation.
- Adler Planetarium
The Adler Planetarium is America’s first planetarium, and has the stately grandeur of an ancient temple. Propose on its steps while riding on the high of a hyper realistic and immersive deep-space exploration.
- Buckingham Fountain
The Buckingham Fountain is one of the largest fountains in the world. It was inaugurated in 1927 and donated to the city by philanthropist Kate S. Buckingham. It’s located inside Grant Park.
- Chinatown’s Ping Tom Park
The Ping Tom Memorial Park used to be a Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad yard, but has been transformed into a verdant space complete with a children's playground, community gathering areas and Chinese landscape design elements. It’s one of the most tranquil spots, ideal for those who prefer discreet proposals.
Unique Places to Propose
When it comes to places, unique can mean many things: it can be a locale that has flora or fauna not seen anywhere else, or architecture that is particular to that place only. It is also something that holds special significance to you as a couple, and that is more than enough to make it unique for the two of you.
- Where You Had Your First Date
Go back to that bistro, that charming café, or that cocktail bar where you had your first official date. Back when you first met, you did not realize the significance that those four walls held. Revisiting them now will bring back memories and remind you how far you’ve come.
- For the Romantics: Night Lights
Nothing is more romantic or awe-inspiring than natural lights. This can take the form of a swarm of fireflies (say, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park), bioluminescent waters (Mosquito Bay in Puerto Rico) and even the Northern Lights (Alaska). Timing it in advance can be an issue, but all of the areas have plenty of other activities to offer.
- For the Thrillseekers: Rollercoasters at Amusement Park
If you like roller coasters and other thrill-inducing rides, amusement parks like Six Flags, Disneyland, Disney World, and Universal Studios will be the perfect place to add loop-induced adrenaline thrills to an equally emotionally charged moment.
- For the Outdoors Fanatics: At the Top of a Hike
From the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona to Acadia National Park, from Zion National Park in Utah to the Appalachian Trail, from the Badlands to Yellowstone, national parks offer plenty of hiking trails for all types of hikers.
- Your Home
The central lesson of The Wizard of Oz reads “There’s no place like home.” In the case of proposal locations, your home is the physical manifestation of the future you’re building together, and that makes it the perfect place to propose.
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