Whether it’s at the top of a mountain or the bottom of a national monument, where you choose to pop the question will forever be a part of your engagement story. It could be the city of your first date, where you took your first trip, or someplace new that becomes the next chapter of your journey together. Just make sure it’s meaningful to both of you. To get your creative juices flowing and give you a head-start, we’ve compiled the best places to propose in the United States, along with fun ideas for popping the question, that’ll inspire your romantic side.
Epic Proposal Spots
New York City’s Central Park is arguably one of the most classic and iconic places to get engaged. There’s even a Central Park Proposals section on the website listing top proposal locations within the park, as well as packages you can buy such as Surprise Proposal or Carriage Ride. While you can’t go wrong with a horse-drawn carriage, you can also go simple and prepare a sweet, homemade picnic on the picturesque grass.
Creative Proposal Idea: Hire a musician to stroll by and stop to play “your song.” Then, pull a customized engagement ring cookie from the picnic basket and reveal your question.
For the couple who loves spectacular events, what could be more exciting than a proposal on the Fourth of July at the nation’s capital? National Mall is home to awe-inspiring monuments, and a fireworks display could be the perfect backdrop for your big ask. Look online to see where and when to secure the perfect spot for a romantic proposal that lights up the sky.
Creative Proposal Idea: As the fireworks start, ask a friend, family member, or friendly onlooker to take a few photos, and then drop to one knee.
A garden is one of the most romantic places to propose on earth. Beautifully-landscaped pathways invite couples to stroll, sit, and daydream among whimsical flora. With 66 acres of diverse gardens, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a gorgeous setting for a surprise proposal any time of year. But if both of you enjoy autumn or Halloween, take your soon-to-be betrothed to the garden’s nationally-acclaimed Pumpkin Village which features more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds, and squash in the fall.
Creative Proposal Idea: While you’re exploring the garden, gift your beloved a mini pumpkin from your pocket, with an engagement ring stenciled into it. Make sure to hire a photographer who’ll pose as a garden employee to take photos of the happy scene.
Travel Destinations with the Perfect Proposal Backdrop
Want a uniquely-enchanting experience? With some planning and luck, you’ll win two highly-coveted passes to the synchronous firefly summer ritual in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains—one of the best places to propose in the US. In the black forest, you’ll both be spellbound by the flashing mating dance of thousands of fireflies. It’s a magical moment that few couples will ever experience.
Creative Proposal Idea: After the light show, slip a temporary glow ring onto your date’s finger while sharing a sweet sentiment about how you’ve finally found The One.
For a romantic road trip proposal, consider Vermont’s Route 100. Not only is it one of the best places to propose in the US, but it’s also one of the best scenic drives in New England—especially in autumn. Imagine a road trip with spontaneous stops to explore quaint farms, bridges, country stores, fall foliage, and sugar maple, Vermont’s state tree. Ideal for the carefree couple, you can be spontaneous and propose wherever the scenery inspires you.
Creative Proposal Idea: Pretend to find an interesting leaf and then drop to one knee with a maple leaf ornament, customized with the current year, as a memento from your engagement trip.
If the peaceful desert is your idea of the perfect proposal backdrop, explore the breathtaking scenery of New Mexico’s White Sands National Monument. Hike, photograph, or camp in over 275 square miles of dazzling sand dunes, then cuddle up as you watch the sunrise, sunset, or twinkling stars. This is a less-visited destination than other monuments or national parks, such as the Grand Canyon, and it sets the stage for a particularly special proposal.
Creative Proposal Idea: During a reflective moment on the white sands, express how you feel about your sweetheart becoming your spouse, and seal the deal with a kiss.
The wilderness frontier of Glacier Bay National Park beckons adventurers with rugged mountains, jaw-dropping glaciers, and wildlife—and is considered one of the best places to propose in the US. Although you could savor your engagement on a private hike, the adventurous couple might enjoy sharing this moment during a sporting activity, such as a fishing or kayaking tour. Plus, the tour guide could play photographer, but just be sure to arrange it with them before your trip.
Creative Proposal Idea: While the fishing guide is taking your photos against the spectacular view, hand your partner a tiny tackle box with Be my catch forever written on the inside.
Why not plan a Napa Valley trip and book a romantic day at Raymond Vineyards? Start with the Winemaker for a Day class where you and other guests blend a bottle of red wine to take home. You can then enjoy a private winery tour and tasting for two where the tour guide leads you to the pre-determined proposal spot—such as the vineyards or the swanky Red Room—and leaves you with a gift box.
Creative Proposal Idea: Prior to your trip, customize a wine label with your names, the date, a photo of you together, and your proposal message. Arrange a time to meet with the guide, prior to your private tour, and slip the label inside the gift box.
Looking for an extraordinary experience in the Hawaiian Islands? At Four Seasons in Maui, you can custom design your proposal adventure or choose a grand package such as A Taste of Island Life. In this exclusive culinary expedition, you and your beloved will tour a volcano from a helicopter, get a private tour of Hana Ranch, experience an island activity, enjoy fine dining with a personalized dinner and wine, and adjourn to the resort by helicopter.
Creative Proposal Idea: Have your proposal question scripted in chocolate sauce on the dessert plate, and pre-arrange to have your resort room decorated upon your return.
Offbeat Places to Pop the Question
Calling all artists and unconventional couples. For an eccentric proposal, look no further than the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. Also known as the Neon Boneyard, this outdoor attraction is where giant neon signs go to die or live on, depending on your point of view. If your significant other would enjoy a styled photo shoot to remember your Vegas vacation, hire a professional or bring a tripod to capture your artsy poses—and surprise proposal.
Creative Proposal Idea: Use the tie-my-shoe trick to kneel down and present a candy ring pop, superhero ring, or any other fun temporary ring that suits the scene.
Combine history and romance with a visit to Hammond Castle, built in the late-1920s by the scientist, inventor, and art collector John Hays Hammond, Jr—and considered one of the best places to propose in the US. Take a tour to hear the castle’s story and scout locations that make the perfect spot for your proposal. The historic drawbridge or stone archways overlooking the Atlantic Ocean are particularly photo- and video-worthy.
Creative Proposal Idea: Pretend to set up a camera to take your photo, but instead, record the moment. You can use the clip in your social media engagement announcement, on your wedding website, or in your wedding video.
For the book lover, teacher, or nerdy soulmate in your life, a proposal at the stunning George Peabody Library is as dreamy as a novel. Enjoy your own walking tour to appreciate the architecture, and look for a private nook that you’ll revisit for the big moment.
Creative Proposal Idea: In a quiet corner, hand your soulmate a gift: a customized book about your love story that ends with your proposal question.
Are you and your partner into cosplay, video games, or fantasy? If so, explore Utah’s Evermore Park for the experience of a lifetime. An immersive fantasy village with changing story themes and open seasonally, it’s an insanely-cool setting to bend the knee and offer your hand in marriage.
Creative Proposal Idea: Hire a hidden photographer to capture the moment, village scenery, and any characters who spontaneously become a part of your fairytale engagement story.
Catherine Seda is a marketing strategist, author and freelance writer. In the wedding industry, she has worked with invitation brands, bridal salons and bridal gown designers. Catherine discovered her love for weddings while planning her own—a DIY “Pirates of the Caribbean” destination wedding in a Napa Valley wine cave, and a swanky 1960’s local reception with a band and “Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin” impersonators.
You can find Catherine Seda on LinkedIn.