The Best Places to Propose in All 50 States The Best Places to Propose in All 50 States

The Best Places to Propose in All 50 States

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So you want to stage the best proposal ever — the kind she will describe with teary awe in years to come — but you don’t know where to start. Well, we’ve got some ideas, 50 of ‘em to be exact — one for each of the 50 states in the U.S. But with millions of proposals made each year (2.4 million of which actually lead to weddings), it’s hard to stand out. Sure, Niagara Falls is a safe default when you’re in upstate New York, but do you really want to be the 14th person to get down on one knee on the Maid of the Mists boat tour on your special day?

Of course not! So take a stroll with us through the United States of proposals — the best places to get engaged. 

  • Alabama: Gorham's Bluff

    Gorham's Bluff, AL, USA
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    On that eponymous bluff looking out over a breathtaking view of the Tennessee River hundreds of feet below, this stately lodge in northeast Alabama, a little over an hour due east of Huntsville, is well-known in the Cotton State for both starting and sealing blissfully romantic unions. Try to shell out for a suite, each of which comes with a stone fireplace and whirlpool tubs. The hotel restaurant buys only from sustainable farms and ranches, so you’re covered there, but make sure you bring your own Champagne to celebrate her “yes” — Gorham’s Bluff is in a dry county, so they can’t sell you alcohol, but they will ice and open your wines and beers for you, and won’t even charge a corkage fee. (Photo by @thisisalabama)

  • Alaska: Denali National Park

    Denali National Park and Preserve, AK, USA
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    Whether you still think of it as Mount McKinley or its newly restored name, Denali, the continent’s tallest peak is an insurmountable (get it?) backdrop for any proposal. Assuming, of course, that you’re both the outdoorsy types. You’ll have to take the single road into the national park and then switch to the park’s bus and shuttle system, then hike, hike, hike. For a fantastic view of the mountain to wake up to — and propose beneath — try Wonder Lake Campground. Going in winter, of course, is going to be a bear. (Photo by @allwilderness)

  • Arizona: Toroweap Overlook

    Toroweap Overlook, Littlefield, AZ, USA
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    Everyone heads to the controversial Skywalk these days, but those people would propose at the fake Eiffel Tower in Vegas and say it counted as going to Paris. Instead keep it old-school, and make the 60-mile drive and hike up to one of the most unique and breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon at Toroweap (or Tuweep), a 3,000-foot-high overlook onto the Colorado River. The difficult terrain means you’d be better off avoiding this one in inclement weather. (Photo by@conquerarizona)

  • Arkansas: Garvan Woodland Gardens

    Garvan Woodland Gardens, Arkridge Road, Hot Springs, AR, USA
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    The botanical garden of the University of Arkansas, and part of the school of design and architecture, this whole place looks like history’s most romantic genie snapped his fingers just so you could get your lady to say yes to tying the knot. It’s in Hot Springs National Park, so if you prefer a wilder, more ungroomed look for your proposal, untamed spots lie a short hike away. (Photo by @getaway_couple)

  • California: Solvang’s Mission Drive

    Solvang, CA, USA
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    L.A.’s Hollywood sign? What are you, a tourist? S.F.’s Golden Gate Bridge? Nah, talk about cliché. Instead, get down on one knee in Solvang, the tiny storybook Central California town of vaguely Danish windmills and lingonberry pancakes. If you want a fairytale wedding, start things off right by getting engaged in a fairytale village. It’s fairly temperate  and dry all year round, so there’s not really a bad time to go. (Photo by @seshotts)

  • Colorado: Pagosa Springs

    Pagosa Springs, CO, USA
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    This southwest Colorado town is riddled with romantic hot springs against the backdrop of the San Juan Mountains and national forest, so hide the ring box in under your towel (but don’t lose it!), slip into an empty and secluded spring, and let the water do the work while you work up your courage to pop the question. Go in the winter, when she’ll have to cozy up to you in the water as the snow falls around you. (Photo by @accordingtodes)

  • Connecticut: Saybrook Point

    Saybrook Point, Old Saybrook, CT, USA
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    About 90 minutes outside New York City, Bronx Yankee gives way to New England Yankee on this point overlooking a picturesque stretch of the Long Island Sound. Just tie your V-neck sweater around your shoulders and put on your best Thurston Howell accent when you ask your Lovey if she’d like to combine fortunes.  It’s New England: Go in the summer and avoid the winter. (Photo by @colormyworld7)

  • Delaware: Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk

    Rehoboth Beach, DE, USA
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    Try to avoid the summer crowds on this popular beachside attraction, instead waiting for a quiet moment where you two can find a relatively secluded spot on the boardwalk at sunset in the fall to pose the question. Alternatively, you can find a restaurant with a great view of the Atlantic. Whether she says yes or no, you can celebrate or drown your sorrows with funnel cake and fudge afterward. (Photo by @boardwalkplazahotel)

  • Florida: St. Augustine Fort

    St. Augustine, Florida, USA
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    Unless your lady love is a Disney fanatic — in which case, you may be getting engaged while wearing mouse ears — go to the oldest town in America, St. Augustine, and get down on one knee by the fort, on George Street or during a serene beach day. You can’t go wrong in this gorgeous, historic town, but avoid the humidity of deep summer. (Photo by @nureveal_yogo_wellness)

  • Georgia: St. Simons Island’s Avenue of the Oaks

    Avenue of the Oaks, Canary Drive, St. Simons, GA, USA
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    Outsiders tend to think of Georgia as being either aristocratic plantation houses or the Coca-Cola Museum, but St. Simons Island is a popular destination for Georgian couples who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Atlanta without going all “Gone With the Wind” — though the island’s Avenue of the Oaks is still a possibility, if that plantation look really is your thing. Try not to go during the hottest part of summer. (Photo by @luvmyssi)

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  • Hawaii: Tantalus Lookout

    Tantalus Lookout - Puu Ualakaa State Park, Nutridge Street, Honolulu, HI, USA
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    With a paradise like Hawaii, winnowing out where NOT to propose is the challenge. Let’s start by crossing off the obvious pics, like anything involving Waikiki — or, in fact, any beach. Instead, make the trip up Mount Tantalus to Tantalus Lookout, day or night, to enjoy a rare urban landscape of Honolulu. (Photo by

  • Idaho: Twin Falls, Twin Falls

    Twin Falls, ID, USA
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    The falls that give the town is name–the gateway to the Snake River Canyon–are so magical they seem to be festooned with rainbows in every Instagram photo. Seriously, tie one into a knot and slide it onto your girlfriend’s finger, and she’ll be yours for sure. (Photo by @visitsouthidaho

  • Illinois: Chicago Water Tower

    Forget getting to the top of Sears Tower (a.k.a. Willis Tower) or the John Hancock Center, iconic as they may be to the Windy City skyline. Instead head to the Water Tower — no, not the mall, but the relatively small historic limestone building that’s too often overshadowed by the skyscraping brutes of the City of Broad Shoulders. The castle-like structure is one of the few buildings to have survived the Great Chicago Fire, and if that’s not a sign that your fairytale marriage is meant to last, what is? Avoid icy, slushy Chicago winters, if possible. (Photo by @thelashe)

  • Indiana: Indiana Dunes

    Indiana Dunes National Park, North State Road 49, Porter, IN, USA
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    You don’t have to be a Hoosier or even a basketball or football fan to find a worthy Indiana location in which to slip in a marriage proposal. The Indiana Dunes in the northern part of the state will make you feel like you’ve transported yourselves out of the Midwest and to one of the coasts, perfect for an otherworldly backdrop. Summers are a great time to go, if you bring sweaters for nighttime. (Photo by @armstrongcreativeimag)

  • Iowa: Winterset’s Covered Bridges

    Winterset, IA, USA
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    You don’t need Meryl Street or Clint Eastwood to do a romantic tour of the bridges of Madison County, and many of the famous, picturesque covered bridges of the county seat provide a perfect spot for a special, all-American, love-of-your-life moment. (Photo by @forgotteniowa)

  • Kansas: Ted Ensley Gardens

    Ted Ensley gardens, Southeast West Edge Road, Topeka, KS, USA
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    Who needs Oz? Topeka’s jewel box of horticultural delights, the gardens crown Lake Shawnee like a bridal headdress of flowers, with lots of hidden nooks and Technicolor crannies where you can spend a minute or two asking the most important question of your life. Spring’s the obvious season to visit here. (Photo by @erinelizabeth1031)

  • Kentucky: Bardstown’s Distilleries

    Bardstown, Kentucky, USA
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    If your lucky lady loves the hooch as much as you do — and you’re not in Kentucky for the horses — then what better place to propose than the mecca of bourbon, Bardstown? Have a shot, agree to get hitched, follow with another shot (probably on the house). Or pop the question among the parchment-colored aging barrels of a distillery like Heaven Hill. Go in spring or fall to avoid the town’s less pleasant temperatures. (Photo by @thedanboulianne)

  • Louisiana: Mardi Gras World

    Mardi Gras World, Port of New Orleans Place, New Orleans, LA, USA
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    No, not Mardi Gras or Bourbon Street — you might as well propose at a frat house party, if that’s what you have in mind. We mean Mardi Gras World, a warehouse that’s home to several of New Orleans’ parade floats in the off-season, and kind of an adult funhouse all year round. You won’t be disturbed by coeds lifting their shirts in this wacky, fun museum one of America’s favorite local festivals. (Photo by @sammienole)

  • Maine: Boothbay Harbor’s Waterfront

    Boothbay Harbor, ME, USA
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    “Quaint” doesn’t do justice to this lovely seaside town , which somehow turns commercial fishing into something out of a Hallmark Channel movie (as opposed to “A Perfect Storm”). Go in the summer or early autumn, when you can walk along the pier or the picture-perfect bridges without having to search in 20 different parka pockets to find the ring. (Photo by @davidlong3653)

  • Maryland: Woodend Nature Sanctuary

    Woodend Sanctuary, Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA
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    Just outside Washington, D.C., the Woodend Nature Sanctuary and Mansion in Chevy Chase are maintained by the Audubon Society and are open to the public. If you live in the capital or Baltimore, the Sanctuary is a great change of scenery for the big day. Spring’s a wonderful time to visit. (Photo by @bentufts)

  • Massachusetts: Skywalk Observatory

    Skywalk Observatory, Boylston Street, Boston, MA, USA
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    Leave Boston Common, Faneuil Hall and the harbor for the guys wearing tricorn hats, and Fenway for the Sox fanatics. The Skywalk Observatory, at the top of the Prudential building, offers the city’s only 360-degree views and lets you get a bird’s-eye perspective of your relationship, Beantown, the Patriots at Deflategate …. It’s a refreshing take on a city whose people have their noses buried in work and study–a perfect break in which to try something big and new. (Photo by @pupkinapproved)

  • Michigan: Mackinac Island

    Mackinac Island, MI, USA
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    Michigan’s little secret, Mackinac’s a mostly automobile-free vacation community on Lake Michigan that’s remained as pretty as a postcard since its late 19th century heyday as a holiday spot for the wealthy. It’s quite popular for Michigan weddings, but the same elements that make it perfect for nuptials — beautiful, Victorian buildings in a splendid natural setting, and a visitor-friendly business network — make it ideal for engagements, too. Go in the warmer months. (Photo by @nivenweddings)

  • Minnesota: Split Rock Lighthouse

    Split Rock Lighthouse, Two Harbors, MN, USA
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    Whether you hike up to the lighthouse itself for the view of Lake Superior or stay down at the lake for the view of the lighthouse, you’ve got a pretty background for your proposal (it was a postage stamp and in the movie “The Great Gatsby.”) Spend the day on the 12 miles of hiking trails or several miles of bike trails and roads in the surrounding state park to build up to the big moment at sunset. We’re talking Minnesota here, of course, so save this trip for late spring, summer or early autumn. (Photo by @kmf_116)

  • Mississippi: Mynelle Gardens

    Mynelle Gardens Arboretum & Botanical Center, Clinton Boulevard, Jackson, MS, USA
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    Jackson’s public botanical center has enough winding paths and photogenic bridges for you both to get lost in while you mentally settle on how, exactly, you’re going to phrase your proposal. Plus, there’s no Wi-Fi on the site, so you won’t get derailed by her best friend’s sudden need to share that video of her new puppy discovering cupcakes. Avoid the humidity and stifling heat of summer. (Photo by @mviron)

  • Missouri: Gateway Arch

    Gateway Arch, St. Louis, MO, USA
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    Is it the gateway to the West, or the gateway to your future with your wife-to-be (assuming she says yes)? The Gateway Arch is Missouri’s most recognizable monument, but it’s never really swamped with visitors, which is a shame, because it’s a beautiful structure (with lots of Instagram-worthy engagement-announcement possibilities) and the park is a pleasant place to spend an afternoon. Plus, it’s right in St. Louis, so you can go get messy with barbecue right after she says yes. (Photo by @stlthetruth)

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  • Montana: The Ranch at Rock Creek

    The Ranch at Rock Creek, Carriage House Lane, Philipsburg, MT, USA
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    Giddyup! This ranch-turned-couples getaway outside Whitefish and about 60 miles from Butte distills the romance of the Old West and Montana into a single 6,600-acre property where the proposal spots are endless: after a horseback ride, under the mountains, by a roaring fireplace surrounded by snow… There isn’t a bad time of year to make the trip here. (Photo by @jackiegreaney)

  • Nebraska: Lincoln’s Sunken Gardens

    Sunken Gardens, Lincoln, NE, USA
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    Where do you propose if you’re in Nebraska but aren’t a Cornhusker? These public gardens date back to the 1930s, are now easily one of the prettiest spots on the prairie. They’re perfect for a casual stroll before going out to grab a runza for dinner — oh, and what’s this in my pocket? (Photo by @moxiemitsubishi)

  • Nevada: Hot Air Balloon Over the Mojave Desert

    Mojave Desert, California, USA
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    Yeah, we know, we know: You go to Vegas for the quickie wedding and Reno for the quickie divorce. But where can you quickie propose, besides in the buffet line at Circus Circus? How about getting out of Sin City (or Reno) altogether and taking a hot-air balloon ride over the desert, far from the cha-ching of the slots? Rides over the Mojave are easily arranged from inside Vegas (or Reno) for a perfect day in which to propose. (Photo by @renoballoon)

  • New Hampshire: Cathedral Ledge

    Cathedral Lodge, West Side Road, North Conway, New Hampshire, USA
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    You can hike or drive up to this scenic overlook in the White Mountains near North Conway — it’s real popular with climbers, but you can park and take a couple reasonable trails up there instead. Once you get to the top, with its stunning views (go in the fall for the foliage!), she’ll be too stunned by the beauty to realize she’s consenting to spend the next several decades listening to you snore at night. (Photo by @abcnews)

  • New Jersey: Peter Shields Inn & Restaurant

    Peter Shields Inn & Restaurant, Beach Avenue, Cape May, NJ, USA
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    Long considered one of the most romantic establishments in the Garden State, Cape May’s Peter Shields looks out on the water, is steps from the beach, and yet offers fine dining in a Victorian mansion. It happens to be a perennially booked wedding venue for this reason — but you don’t need to book the place to propose, now, do you? (Photo by @petershieldsinnandrestaurant)

  • New Mexico: Sandia Peak Tramway

    Sandia Peak Tramway, Tramway Road Northeast, Albuquerque, NM, USA
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    It’s not cheating to take the tram to the top if it’s the fastest way to her heart. The Sandia Mountains just outside Albuquerque offer amazing views of both the city and the desert, especially at sunrise or sunset, but once you get down to ask her to marry you, you can tell her the most amazing sight of all was her saying yes. (Photo by @vmsnm)

  • New York: The Cloisters

    Fort Tryon Park, Dr To Broadway, New York, NY, USA
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    In a city as big as New York, what counts as romantic depends a lot on the peculiarities for your relationship. We’ll skip the many obvious choices (Empire State Building, Times Square, Statue of Liberty, Bow Bridge in Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge) and suggest the Cloisters, the Met’s  medieval museum in Fort Tryon Park all the way up in Washington Heights. Be a knight to your lady’s princess. (Photo by @janellewyutong)

  • North Carolina: Biltmore Rose Garden

    Biltmore Rose Garden, The Glen Rd, Asheville, NC, USA
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    Asheville’s already arguably North Carolina’s prettiest town, but the 30-acre rose garden designed by Frederic Law Olmsted at the Biltmore ratchets things up a considerable notch. The perfumed blossoms and dazzling colors (especially if you go in late May) will make your proposal go as smoothly as possible. Now it’s all on you, buddy. (Photo by @betothebee)

  • North Dakota: International Peace Garden

    International Peace Garden, U.S. 281, Dunseith, ND, USA
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    Built as a tribute to the friendly relationship between the U.S. and its northern neighbor the garden sits on the border with Manitoba and earns extra points if you happen to be marrying a Canadian. Remember to bring required documentation, if you’re passing to the other side, of course. (Photo by @northdakotalegendary)

  • Ohio: The Farm at Walnut Creek

    The Farm At Walnut Creek, County Road 114, Sugarcreek, OH, USA
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    Live the Amish country lifestyle for a weekend while you plot the perfect time to propose. The Farm at Walnut Creek is a working farm but also home to enough exotic animals (giraffes, camels, kangaroos) to make it special even for a farm gal. It’s just over an hour and a half from both Cleveland and Columbus, and you’ll want to go in spring, when there are plenty of  baby farm animals to coo at. (Photo by @sandramcosgrove)

  • Oklahoma: Broken Bow Lake

    Broken Bow Lake, Oklahoma, USA
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    A pristine reservoir in eastern Oklahoma surrounded by woods and wildlife and the kind of natural beauty that make your social-media followers weep with joy? It’s about three and a half hours from Oklahoma and two hours and 45 minutes from Dallas, but a weekend in the wilderness with a wedding date at the end is worth the trip, no? (Photo by @beaversbendluxurycabinrentals)

  • Oregon: Haystack Rock

    Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, OR, USA
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    Cannon Beach is a 9-mile stretch on the northern Oregon coast, about a 90-minute drive from Portland. The beach itself is beautiful, but it’s the dramatic 235 foot sea-stack known as Haystack Rock that really makes this an ideal proposal spot. . Go from spring to mid-summer to see the puffins all over the monolith like peeping little candy corns. (Photo by @abovethenorthwest)

  • Pennsylvania: Love Park

    Love Park, Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA, USA
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    OK, OK, it’s actually called John F. Kennedy Plaza, but Philadelphians still call this square in downtown Philly Love Park after the iconic sculpture by Robert Indiana (it’s the City of Brotherly Love, get it?). Can’t find the words to tell your partner how you want to spend the rest of your life with her? Let the city spell it out for you. (Photo by @_anna_new_)

  • Rhode Island: Green Animals Topiary Garden

    Green Animals Topiary Gardens, Corys Lane, Portsmouth, RI, USA
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    No, it’s not a Stephen King novel come to life: Newport’s magic topiary garden is guaranteed to bring out the childlike wonder in both of you as you ask her to contemplate the next big adult step in your lives together. Obviously, you want to go when the weather lets you enjoy the garden, in spring or summer, preferably. (Photo by @poppiesflowerdesign)

  • South Carolina: Savannah’s Historic District

    Savannah Historic District, Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, Savannah, GA, USA
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    Nearly all of old Savannah makes for a romance-steeped stroll when you’re with the right person, and there are too many painting-like spots for you to take a solemn minute to stop and ask her what you want to ask. If you go between March and June, it won’t be too crowded and the flowers will be in bloom. Fall’s also a good time to go to avoid the tourists. (Photo by @itsmemikepe)

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  • South Dakota: Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway

    Spearfish Canyon, SD, USA
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    Nineteen miles of driving heaven, the byway cuts through mountains and past waterfalls, gentle slopes of foliage and striking landscapes. It’s a low-speed road, so there are plenty of opportunities to stop safely and find an excuse to ask your girlfriend to join you for “some sightseeing” ending in an engagement. You could also park and hike the Devil’s Bathtub Trail. If it’s warm, bring bathing suits. Go up to when the autumn colors are at their peak. (Photo by @flyingarnolds)

  • Tennessee: The Grand Ole Opry, Nashville

    Grand Ole Opry, Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN, USA
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    You thought we’d say Graceland, right? Though the King’s home is your go-to if you’re going for that late-’60s living-room vibe, the true musical heart of the state is the Grand Ole Opry, which is a no-brainer pilgrimage-slash-proposal site for a country-music-lovin’ couple. What fan wouldn’t want to get engaged under a giant acoustic guitar? Try to avoid big show nights, of course. (Photo by annsong_)

  • Texas: San Antonio Riverwalk

    San Antonio River Walk, East Commerce Street, San Antonio, TX, USA
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    Texas is big. Real big. Which makes it hard to pick a single anything in the famously independent former republic. But even a Texan can’t complain about going with the city that’s home to the Alamo. And a cozy stroll of restaurants and shops, the Riverwalk’s most romantic spot is arguably the Selena Bridge, named after the Tejana singer. (Photo by @withlove_alina)

  • Utah: Sundance Mountain Resort

    Sundance Mountain Resort, Alpine Loop Scenic Byway, Sundance, UT, USA
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    You don’t have to be a movie star for this one: Before there was Robert Redford’s pet film festival, there was his resort, which covers over 5,000 beautiful acres of the slopes of Mount Timpanogos near Provo. (The film festival is in Park City, 30 miles to the north.) It was already known for its crisscrossing hiking trails and skiing, and now it can be known as the spot where you and your wife-to-be got engaged. (Photo by @littlefamilygarden)

  • Vermont: A Stroll Anywhere in Woodstock

    Woodstock, VT, USA
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    When you think quaint New England towns, you’re basically thinking of this community of under 3,000 four and a half hours from New York City. We don’t have a particular location in Woodstock to recommend except to say that if you take a stroll anywhere — whether it’s to the local sugar bush (maple syrup farm) to the picturesque covered Middle Bridge or just to see the fall colors and then back to your B&B for hot cider — you’ll probably find the perfect moment to get on a knee. (Photo by @travelzoo)

  • Virginia: Jones Point Park

    Jones Point Park, Jones Point Drive, Alexandria, VA, USA
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    They do boast that Virginia is for lovers, don’t they? And it’s true, there are a lot of romantic places that’d be idea to propose in. But we like Jones Point Park, just south of Old Town, with its unconventional lighthouse, wooded paths and the waterside walkway under the yawning George Washington Memorial Parkway — a juxtaposition of man against nature that somehow works. (Photo by @visitalexva)

  • Washington: Alki Beach

    Alki Beach, Seattle, WA, USA
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    Don’t bother with the overpriced Space Needle and its so-so restaurant, or the mobs at Pike Place Market. Instead, walk along uncrowded Seattle’s Alki Beach, where you can gaze at the downtown Seattle skyline hand in hand on the black-sand beach, then walk up to the street and over a block or two for … why pretend? It’s Seattle. You’re going for coffee. (Photo by @megletha)

  • West Virginia: Seneca Rocks

    Seneca Rocks, WV, USA
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    Whether you propose under Seneca Rocks or on Seneca Rocks in the Eastern Panhandle is, of course, dependant on your particular skill level and fear of dying, but either way you’re going to get one of nature’s best backgrounds for a proposal. (Do not drop the ring up there!) It’s about 125 miles from Washington, D.C., but you definitely don’t want to make the trek if there’s bad weather or you’re not a skilled climber. (Photo by @hikingwithheels)

  • Wisconsin: Apostle Islands

    Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Russell, WI, USA
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    These 21 islands in Lake Superior are at an otherworldly level of beautiful. You can camp on 19 of the islands most of the year, or you can stay in an island town like Bayfield, but you’re going to want to explore and find your own moment of perfection to ask your girlfriend the question — and there will be plenty of those here. Unless you’re prepared for winter hiking and camping, this may be one for the warmer months. (Photo by @forwardappareico)

  • Wyoming: Phelps Lake

    Phelps Lake, Wyoming, USA
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    Jackson Hole and Yellowstone are obvious choices in the Cowboy State, but take the 40-minute drive outside Jackson Hole to the brilliantly clear waters of Phelps Lake. The hiking loop is just over 7 miles long and climbs up to 500 feet, but you’ll be rewarded with many views of the lake that are perfect for a proposal. You can always drive back to Jackson Hole after to celebrate afterward with a nice (expensive) dinner, but hiking Phelps Lake itself is free. Don’t go in when it’s snowbound, which will turn the moderately difficult hike into a more challenging one. (Photo by @alicaseface)