Where’s the best place for a proposal? Well, it’s very much a personal choice, but we can help you out. We’ve found a selection of the most romantic, unusual and beautiful places in the US, the UK and Europe in which to pop the question
The perfect proposal location very much depends on you and your partner. Are you looking for somewhere Insta-worthy, somewhere recognizable? Or would you prefer to be away from the crowds, simply sharing the moment? However you plan to propose, we’re sure these places will give you some ideas.
The best places to propose in the US
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
The Rockies are a great choice because they’re a) beautiful, b) relatively easy to get to, and c) not too crowded, even at the busiest times. Walk, take a picnic, find a secluded spot with a stunning mountain backdrop, and there you have it.
Base yourself in one of the nearby towns — Estes Park, Boulder, Hot Sulphur Springs — and you’ll also have the option of proposing over a wonderful dinner or in a boutique hotel, meaning that however you want to propose, you’ll find a suitable place.
Santa Ynez Valley, California
The wine regions of California are a great place for a proposal. Gentle hills, quaint, small-town vibes, and cozy bed-and-breakfasts set the mood perfectly. A cycling tour of the local vineyards is a lovely way to spend time with your loved one while also getting to try the local produce.
To make the whole trip extra-special, many of the wine cellars in the region will be able to make you a specially-labeled bottle of wine, so how’s that for a unique way to propose, and a lovely memento of the day?
New York City, New York
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A bit of a no-brainer? Well, maybe, but there are certain corners of this mighty city that are perfect for getting down on one knee. There are even packages you can buy that include such clichés as a horse-drawn carriage ride, but let’s keep it simple.
Central Park is the obvious one, lying on the grass in the sun, or, for a picture-perfect moment, perhaps on Gapstow Bridge or Gothic Bridge? The cherry esplanade at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is also worth a mention, as are Sutton Place Park with its night-time views of the city lights, and Brooklyn Promenade.
St. Augustine, Florida
If you’re thinking about a beach proposal, Florida has a million to choose from. How about combining that with a city that lays claim to being the oldest in the United States? Dating from 1565, St. Augustine combines wonderfully tranquil beaches with Spanish colonial architecture and stunning food and drink.
See the Bridge of Lions lit up at night, its reflection glittering in the water. Explore the Colonial Quarter, the fortifications and castles dating back to the 1700s, and the seasonal local markets at the Plaza de la Constitución. Dine on local seafood and sample local beers at one of the independent taprooms. It’s a side of Florida you don’t often see.
A lighthouse, Maine
We’re not going for a specific place here, but more of a vibe. Romantic, wild and windswept are the watchwords, and the rugged Maine coast is where you’ll find the whole lot.
There are 65 lighthouses dotted along its 3,478 miles of coastline, many of which date back centuries and provide the perfect setting for a romantic proposal. Try the Portland Head Light at Cape Elizabeth, Owl’s Head Lighthouse perched one hundred feet above the crashing waves of Penobscot Bay, or Seguin Island Lighthouse, dating from 1795. Some of the lighthouses may even let you spend the night there, which would be the perfect end to your romantic trip.
The best places to propose in the UK and Europe
There are more famous places — Florence, Rome, Naples and so forth — but good luck finding any space at romantic locations in those cities. There’ll constantly be people getting in the way, and anyway, doesn’t it all seem a bit it’s-been-done? No, Siena might be the answer.
The city lies in Tuscany, not far from Florence, and while it doesn’t get the visitor numbers its neighbor does, it’s still a fine and romantic spot. The Piazza del Campo is the focal point, a sloped semi-circle of finery with romantic wine bars and trattorias on the streets surrounding it. Perhaps climb the 14th-century Torre del Mangia for stunning views over the city and the Tuscan countryside beyond… There are few better places to ask an eye-opening question.
Fairy Pools, Skye, Scotland
Scotland is a great place for a proposal against some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe — forests, mountains, cliffs and glades are all present and correct — but for something truly magical, head to the Isle of Skye. Around 40 minutes’ walk from the western village of Carbost, you’ll find the River Brittle and these stunning pools.
The crystal-clear water comes cascading down the rocks, crashing into a series of beautiful, mysterious pools that have given rise to many local legends. The Fairy Pools are a wonderful place for a proposal, and if all goes well, you might feel spontaneous enough to leap into the freezing water as a second, shocking memento!
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Away from the crowds of places like Split and Dubrovnik, this majestic resort town is a collection of grand, 19th-century villas all spilling down the hillside to the Lungomare promenade. The promenade, the small, neat beaches, or one of the local islands would all make a lovely spot for a proposal.
It’s also home to a number of luxurious hotels and spa resorts, so if you don’t want your proposal to be so public, you can wait until your candlelit dinner of fresh, local food, or until you’re both utterly pampered and feeling wonderful.
River Cam, Cambridge, England
Ancient buildings, a romantic ride on a boat, wonderful food, the Bridge of Sighs… no, not Venice, but Cambridge. The history of the city, its beautiful stone buildings, the elegant riverside parks and gardens, and the sheer calm of gently floating down the river on a punt for hours make this a wonderful choice for a proposal.
Stock up on local artisan produce — bread, cheese, wine, olives et cetera — and take a picnic. What could be more classically English than a bulging picnic hamper, a checkered rug on which to lie, the soft breeze through the willow trees, and the gentle lapping of the water? Perfect.
Capela do Senhor da Pedra, Portugal
Located on the coast at Miramar, just south of Porto, this stunning stone chapel on the rocks dates from 1686 and is located right on the seashore, with views of endless crashing waves and miles of beautiful beach to enjoy as the sun sets.
This destination gives you the best of both worlds, in that the actual proposal site itself is an absolute dream, but you also get to spend your days exploring Porto, a fantastic city in itself. For a romantic city getaway with the added twist of a fairytale surprise, you can’t get much better than this.
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