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There always seems to be an undercurrent of sentimentality and romance in the air through the winter months. This may explain why “engagement season,” (yes, it’s a thing) begins on Thanksgiving and lasts through Valentine’s Day.
Not only does the holiday spirit likely contribute to the season’s love spell, but the timing also makes sense from a practical perspective too. Getting engaged in the winter gives you and your sweetheart ample time to plan before the wedding season begins in May and June.
So, if you’re going to pop the question this year, it’s time to put a plan in place. Many couples will choose to have a destination engagement. That means, you ask your significant other to marry you while away from home. Others prefer to use their home base for the big event.
If you do decide to ask him or her to marry you while away from home, just remember that you can’t control all the circumstances. Play it cool, and pop the question whenever and wherever it feels right.
Get a head start with your proposal plans with these romantic destinations around the USA.
1. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (Big Sur, CA)
One of the most breathtaking coastlines in the world, Big Sur is the home to stunning ocean views, cliffs, and even a few waterfalls. Ask for their hand in marriage at Pfeiffer Beach in the sand or overlooking the shore on a steep cliff. Especially for those who live locally in California, Big Sur is a tough place to top.
2. Grand Canyon National Park (Northern AZ)
The Grand Canyon is one of the most spectacular places on Earth. It boasts many opportunities for a proposal both on the ground and in the air. Indulge your special someone in a romantic early morning helicopter ride, or plan a relaxed picnic under the gilded light before you ask for their hand in marriage.
3. LOVE Statue Indianapolis Art Museum (Indianapolis, IN)
BEST FOR SOCIAL MEDIA LOVERS
If you’re S.O. is a social media darling, or just someone who lives for a good photo opp, the LOVE statue outside the Indianapolis Museum of Art is a great proposal spot. Robert Indiana’s iconic public sculpture will win his/her heart over and look great in your unofficial engagement pics on Instagram.
4. Space Needle Observation Desk (Seattle, WA)
The Space Needle Observation Deck stands tall at 520 feet, offering a panoramic view of downtown Seattle, Elliott Bay’s stunning waterfront, Mt. Rainier and endless Douglas Firs. While not the best locale for someone with a fear of heights, those who enjoy a high rise and a killer view will melt at the romantic gesture.
5. The Headlight Lighthouse (Portland, ME)
MOST HISTORIC DESTINATION
The charming town of Portland, Maine has an old-world charm mixed with a nautical, romantic spirit that’s both quaint and relaxing, without feeling isolated. The Headlight (lighthouse) is one of the most photographed lighthouses in America, and it’s also the oldest in Maine. It has a simple, natural ambiance ideal for an intimate proposal.
6. Wayfarers Chapel (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA)
BEST FOR ARCHITECTURE NERDS
Also known as “The Glass Church,” Wayfarers Chapel is located in Rancho Palos Verdes, southwest of Los Angeles. Designed by Lloyd Wright (Frank Lloyd Wright’s son), the beautiful sanctuary offers a dynamic blend of modernist architecture seamlessly merged with natural landscape. Architecture fans will love the location you chose, as will anyone with an eye for natural beauty.
7. Disney World (Orlando, FL)
BEST FOR KIDS AT HEART
Even most adults can’t deny the magic of Disney. Sweep your love off their feet with a romantic and fun proposal at the one of the world’s most enchanting theme parks. Pop the question outside Cinderella’s castle to start your happily ever after.
8. Metropolitan Museum of Art Rooftop Garden (New York, NY)
BEST FOR ART LOVERS
While The Big Apple is full of famous and popular locations to the pop the question, standard proposal spots like Times Square and Central Park have become a little cliché. Opt for a more unique location to ask your sweetheart to marry you, like the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art which offers gorgeous views, especially on a clear day.
9. At Home
BEST FOR COUPLES WHO LIVE TOGETHER
You’ve built a life together, and you’ve built a home together. Celebrate that romantic notion by proposing in the most “you” place possible by popping the question at home. There will be way less pressure, and you can even involve your pets in your plans. If your S.O. isn’t one for the big showy moments, this is definitely the move.
10. Malibu Wine Safari (Malibu, CA)
Set against the backdrop of the Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu, CA (just outside Los Angeles), this immersive safari tour elevates the typical wine tasting experience with the addition of exotic animals. What could be more romantic? If your sweetheart loves animals and fancies a good California Pinot, this spot will make for an experience they will never forget.
11. Rothko Chapel (Houston, TX)
BEST FOR MINIMALISTS
Art lovers and minimalists will revel in the stark beauty of the Rothko Chapel. Located in Houston, TX the chapel is described as a spiritual place “where stillness moves.” The interior features 14 murals by Rothko, along with a sublime outdoor pool and an outdoor sculpture dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. by abstract expressionist Barnett Newman.
12. Taft Point, Yosemite National Park (Central California)
BEST FOR PHOTOGRAPHS
As one of the USA’s oldest national parks, Yosemite is known for its natural beauty. Within the park, you can find many a dramatic viewpoint to pop the question but perhaps none as gorgeous as Taft Point. During President Taft’s 1909 visit to the park, he supposedly stopped for lunch at this point during his descent from Glacier Point. Today, the spot is accessible by a moderate, 2.2-mile hike. If you plan to hire a photographer for your proposal, this is an especially good destination as the photographer can stand inconspicuously on a different cliff facing the point and capture the big moment with the entire valley in the background.
13. Lanikai Beach (Oahu, Hawaii)
BEST FOR BEACH LOVERS
Do you and your partner love long walks on the beach? Then, there’s no better place to propose in the USA than Lanikai Beach in Hawaii. Consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in the United States, this is a destination you’ll never forget, even if you were to simply travel to Lanikai Beach on a normal vacation. Throw in a ring, and you’ve got a winning recipe for an unforgettable proposal.
14. Where You Had Your First Date
Make your proposal destination more than just a romantic backdrop by choosing a place that actually means something to you and your significant other. One idea is to propose in the very place you had your first date. This might mean going back to a long-forgotten bar or restaurant, popping the question in your favorite coffee shop or getting down on one knee in front of the movie theater you took him or her to. Wherever that place is for you two, make it even more memorable by returning there for this special occasion.
15. Mendenhall Glacier Ice Caves (Juneau, Alaska)
After exploring the park’s forest, where lucky visitors can encounter wild black bears (at a distance), continue on your way via kayak to the base of the 12-mile long glacier before heading up on top for a 360-degree view of nature’s masterpiece. Afterwards, head inside the ice caves, where things get really adventurous. Pop the question surrounded by the beautiful turquoise blue ice walls and ceiling. If you are your significant other are the adventurous types, there is no place better than Mendenhall.
16. Bellagio Hotel Fountains (Las Vegas, Nevada)
BEST FOR NIGHTTIME PROPOSALS
Just because Las Vegas is home to excessive nights of partying and shotgun weddings doesn’t mean it isn’t romantic. When it comes to picking out the right place, there are few spots more romantic than the Bellagio’s famous fountain. Imagine standing in front of the fountains with your partner in your arms before seamlessly transitioning onto one knee. From here you deliver the question, coinciding with the grand finale of the water display as it frames this unforgettable moment. And hopefully, you’ll find out that what happens in Vegas… stays with you forever.