You’ll be telling the story of your marriage proposal for the rest of your lives. You want to make sure that everything is perfect. One of the most important elements to consider is where you’re going to pop the question. Choosing a great location is one way to make sure that the story gets requested over and over again. It will be one of the most memorable days of your life. Make sure you choose the right location.
What are the most romantic places in California to propose? California is the third-largest state in the United States, and it has amazing coastlines, mountains, and so much more. It has amazing cultural centers and hosts great events. With all of those options, there are plenty of great choices. Choose one that is special to the two of you and that’s even better.
It’s always tricky to give advice on something as personal as a marriage proposal. You want to choose someplace special, but at the same time, it’s important to make sure that it is someplace that will be meaningful to the two of you. With all that California has to offer, it’s impossible to list all of the good ideas that you can make happen. Hopefully, our list will give you some good ideas but don’t be afraid to get creative on your own.
What Makes a Place Good for a Romantic Proposal?
Because California is such a big place with so many different things going on and so many different people, it is tough to narrow down the list of good proposal spots to just 19. In order to do so, we need to take care of some general ideas that apply to hundreds or even thousands of different spots in the state. Once we’ve done that, we can focus in on specific spots that stand out against the rest enough that they deserve special consideration.
Whether you’re thinking of beaches or cliffs, there’s no denying that a proposal spot that looks out over the Pacific Ocean is a great way to make sure you pop the question somewhere that is both romantic and memorable. Since there are hundreds of miles of coastline in the Golden State, it’s impossible to list all of the candidates that fit the bill.
If you’re thinking about a coastline proposal, don’t forget to take the sunset into consideration when you plan the details and timeline of your special moment.
Colleges and Universities
If the two of you met while you were in school, maybe there is a special place on campus that means a lot to you. Whether you’re Trojans, Bruins, or Bears, don’t shy away from going back to where it all began to find a special spot for your special moment. Maybe something to do with homecoming weekend at your alma mater?
Sports Arenas and Events
In addition to all of the colleges and universities that you find in California, there are numerous professional sports teams. That means that there are a lot of great venues and a lot of memorable events for you to choose from. If you’re both big fans of a particular sport or a particular team, then this might be the right option for you.
Between Los Angeles and San Francisco, there are plenty of famous venues for musical performances. Depending on what type of music the two of you have in common, you’re sure to find an event that will fit the bill. Maybe you want to pop the question at the Walt Disney Concert Hall during a performance of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Maybe the Whiskey, Viper Room, or Rainbow Room is more your speed. How about the Fillmore West in San Francisco?
The Most Romantic Places in California to Propose
Okay, now that we’ve given you some helpful suggestions to help you pinpoint a spot if you’re looking to ad-lib, we need to turn our attention to the best of the best. These are the spots in California that go the extra mile when it comes to being perfect spots to propose.
#19 – Joshua Tree
With amazing daytime views and unbelievable nighttime skies, Joshua Tree National Park is a great spot to consider for your proposal. There are plenty of hiking trails that offer great options for the exact spot. If you’ve spent time in the park, choose a spot that is special to the two of you. If you’ve never been before, consider the Cholla Cactus Garden or the Barker Dam.
#18 – Hearst Castle
The outdoor Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle is famous for its oil-burning heating system that evokes ancient Greece and Rome. It also features marble statues and refracts light to create an amazing turquoise hue.
#17 – Dodger Stadium
We know we mentioned sports stadiums in general in the previous section, but we felt that Dodger Stadium deserved special mention. Obviously, it won’t seem as deserving to folks with San Francisco or San Diego roots, but there is something undeniably special about Chavez Ravine.
There is a trail running along the ridge between Sunset Blvd. and the stadium parking lot that affords a view down into the stadium. If you’d prefer to pop the question inside the stadium, we would suggest the top level behind home plate.
#16 – Griffith Observatory
Stroll around the grounds and take in the amazing views of the surrounding city. You’ll find a spot with the perfect view and the right amount of privacy. This is another good spot to take advantage of the sunset or the night sky, and you should plan accordingly.
#15 – Coronado Cays
Why not pop the question during a romantic gondola ride? You can have all of the ambiance of Venice, Italy, without the international flight. If you decide to go this route, we’d suggest some romantic music to set the mood.
#14 – Sunset Cliffs
Of all the great spots along the California coast where you can take advantage of the ocean views, the sounds of the waves, and maybe even a dazzling sunset—Sunset Cliffs is probably the very best. It even beat out Pointe Dume, and that’s saying something! Sunset Cliffs has the most incredible views. If you’re lucky, you’ll have the place all to yourself for a brief window of time.
#13 – Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon is one of the simplest but most lovely spots in California. The way the sunlight plays on the rocks makes it seem like they change colors as the day progresses. If the two of you enjoy nature, a hike through this area is sure to provide you with a perfect moment in a perfect place for you to seal the deal.
#12 – Big Bear
The beautiful mountain resort town is a great place for romance at any time of the year. During the winter months, you can rent a cabin, build a fire, and wait for the perfect moment. In summer months, there are great hiking trails and other outdoor activities that will help you get that special someone to the spot you’ve chosen for the big question. Either way, you can’t go wrong with making Big Bear a partner in your plan.
#11 – Balboa Park
The views from Balboa Park are amazing, and there are plenty of special spots on the grounds. The amazing architecture and gorgeous marble make any of the buildings a great spot. If you prefer more privacy or more natural scenery, simply wander around the grounds until you find a spot that feels right to you.
#10 – Wine Country
There are vineyards and wineries all over the country, but none compare to California’s. They’re a great place to get engaged. Consider the rolling hills, the views of perfectly parallel vineyards, and the amazing accommodations at the region’s wineries and Bed and Breakfast spots. This is a great place to start with lots of unbelievable spots to land on as the exact place to pop the question.
#9 – Pacific Surfliner
There’s something classic about the idea of proposing on a moving train. There’s no better train for the job than Amtrak’s luxury liner that offers amazing views of the coast as it runs from San Luis Obispo through San Diego and Los Angeles up to Santa Barbara. If you think driving the PCH is great, you’ll love the scenery on this romantic train ride.
#8 – Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
When it comes to views, there might not be a better one in the state than the 360-degree rotating cars on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. If privacy is a concern, this might not be the best option for you, but sharing the car with other people means there will be someone there to snap a photo of the special moment. If you wait to share the special moment on the ride down, you’ll be able to take a dip in one of Palm Spring’s famous swimming pools afterward.
#7 – Lake Tahoe
Much like Big Bear, Lake Tahoe offers unbeatable options all year. In the winter, you can take a horse-drawn carriage ride or take advantage of a quiet moment on a ski lift. In the summertime, you can take a hike or wait for the right time while enjoying time on the beach or paddling around in a kayak.
#6 – Santa Monica Pier
There are a lot of great restaurants and special spots along the edges of the world-famous Santa Monica Pier. Maybe you’re looking for something a little more low-key, and a quiet walk to the end of the pier suits you more. Of course, there is always the Ferris Wheel if you want great views and complete privacy.
#5 – Big Sur
Gosh, this place is beautiful and definitely worthy to be considered one of the most romantic places in California to propose! Whether you’re a fan of Jack Kerouac or just love amazing views, there’s a lot to love about Big Sur. It’s where you’ll find a waterfall that drops straight into the Pacific Ocean. The rocks and greenery add to the majesty of the cliffs and the surf. If you time it right, you’ll be able to find a private spot and make the most of the natural beauty.
#4 – Yosemite
America’s National Parks are truly a treasure. Among them, Yosemite stands out for its majestic peaks and waterfalls and breathtaking wild beauty. If you’ve been there before, you probably don’t have any trouble thinking of a specific spot that would be perfect for the big moment. If you’ve never been there before, don’t let that stop you. There really isn’t a bad place to pop the question anywhere in the park.
#3 – Urban Light at LACMA
You’ll probably have to search around for a bit to find a spot that isn’t occupied by other couples doing the same thing, but that’s because “Urban Light” by Chris Burden is one of the most-visited and most-photographed art installations in the state. Needless to say, many people consider this one of the most romantic places in California to propose and take engagement photos! The interplay of bright light, various shades, and rows of columns make for an almost magical experience.
#2 – The Hollywood Sign
Until recently, the trail that leads to the sign was closed. Now that it is reopened, the only thing separating you and your special someone from a view of the whole city and one of the most recognizable spots in the world is a pair of comfortable shoes and a bit of a hike.
#1 – Golden Gate Bridge
There may not be any single landmark in the state that can compare to the Golden Gate Bridge. Depending on your personal taste, you can try to shoot for a foggy evening or a sunny afternoon. From the inland side of the bridge, you get great views of San Francisco and the bay. Maybe after the special moment, you can dip down into the city for a special dinner.
Choosing the Right Spot for the Magic Moment
There’s a lot more to making a proposal memorable than just the location. First and foremost, you need to make sure that you’re proposing to the right special someone—that’s more important than anything else. The right music, the right words, the right time, the right reason – all of these things come into play when you’re planning your proposal. The right spot is only part of the equation.
As we said at the outset of this article, finding a place that is meaningful to the two of you might be the right way to go. If, on the other hand, you want to find someplace that is special on its own, then the places on our list are all great options. If you’re lucky enough that one of the great places on our list is also special to the two of you, well then, the choice is easy.
Like everything else that goes into your wedding, you’ll want your proposal to be perfect. But we would caution you to make sure that you don’t let worrying about the perfect moment get in the way of your enjoyment of the proposal. Yes, it’s going to be something that you remember for the rest of your life. At the same time, you’ll never be able to enjoy it more than you will if you’re truly present in the moment when it happens.
A marriage proposal is also one of the most personal events in a lifetime. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the places, events, and moments that you find cool—especially when they’re things you enjoy together or that mean a lot to you. After all, it’s more important that the moment is great for the two of you than for it to be impressive to other people. When you get it right, the story will make other people understand why you chose to do it where and when you did.
In this article, we’ve tried to give you some helpful suggestions on where, when, and how to pop the question to that special someone. We started out by going over some general ideas that you can find all over the state. Any one of these general ideas might seem like a good one to you. If so, work from the general to the specific that will work best for the two of you and go for it.
We also reviewed 19 of the best spots in the state for a romantic marriage proposal. Our list included natural beauty, cultural landmarks, and more. Depending on what the two of you enjoy most, you’re sure to find something on the list that will work for you. Whether you’re more into the scenic beauty of a place like Joshua Tree or Big Sur or would rather make plans for a recognizable spot like the Golden Gate Bridge or Hollywood Sign, we think you’ll agree that it’s pretty incredible to have all of these options in one state.
Well, that’s all we have for you on romantic proposal spots in California. We wish you the very best of luck in planning your proposal, and we hope you get a “yes” (and maybe even a few tears of joy). Even more important than a great marriage proposal is a happy life together. More than anything, we wish you a happy and loving marriage that lasts forever!