The 10 Best Places to Propose in the USA
You don’t have to travel too far to find an exciting proposal destination. Here are our choices for the top 10 best places to propose in the USA.
6 Minute Read
New Mexico — Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
The International Balloon Fiesta takes place in early October in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Some claim that it's the most photographed event in the world. The fiesta schedules many different activities all day long — from the Dawn Patrol, when balloons are lit up before sunrise, to the Twilight Twinkle Glow at sunset. In between, you can take balloon rides, enjoy a professional skydiving show, and watch chainsaw carving demonstrations.
Early birds and night owls alike will find many beautiful and photogenic events that make perfect settings for proposals.
South Dakota — 1880 Train
The 1880 Train offers one-way or round-trip excursions between Hill City and Keystone, South Dakota from May through December. The train follows the original routes that serviced local mines in the Black Hills in the 1880s. History buffs may find it particularly interesting. During the ride, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and keep an eye out for local wildlife, like deer and wild turkey.
The train makes multiple trips each day and you can elect to stop at Hill City for dining and shopping. If you're keeping your proposal plans a secret but still want to capture the moment, there are professional photo-taking opportunities at both Hill City and Keystone.
Massachusetts — The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
If you and your partner prefer an indoor setting for your proposal, consider the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. Arguably one of the most beautiful museums in the country, its collections include ancient, medieval, and contemporary art. So, there's sure to be something of interest for everyone. This spectacular location features an indoor courtyard, which stays verdant even during the coldest East Coast winters.
You can keep things private and propose in one of the many intimate corners in the museum. Alternatively, for those who want an extravagant proposal, the Gardner Museum welcomes special events. You can rent parts of the museum and have hundreds of guests. Additionally, the museum can cater for even the largest parties, from hors d'oeuvres to full dinners.
California — Coachella
If you want a big proposal but don't have the budget to reserve or cater a large event, take advantage of an existing party like Coachella. Held in April in Indio, California, Coachella is one of the most famous and popular of all domestic music festivals. Artists representing many different genres give dozens of performances over two consecutive weekends. You and your significant other are sure to find a concert at Coachella that suits your tastes. Proposing during or after a performance by one of your loved one's favorite musicians is a truly epic way to pop the question!
Every year, the Coachella crowd swells into the hundreds of thousands. As a result, there's no shortage of people willing to memorialize your proposal in photos or video recordings and celebrate with you.
Nevada — Las Vegas
Planning a vacation proposal in Las Vegas, Nevada may sound cliché, but people choose the one-and-only Sin City as a US proposal destination for a reason. Namely, Las Vegas can accommodate any and all proposal ideas and themes, no matter how specific. Perhaps you want your partner to let loose? Seek out a fun drag performance for your proposal setting. Or maybe a sophisticated Cirque du Soleil show is more your speed. For the foodies out there, Las Vegas boasts some of the country's most renowned chefs and restaurants. Pairing good food with an engagement proposal is a classic approach.
Of course, there's always the famous Bellagio Hotel Fountain that puts on an incredible free water show, choreographed with lights and music. It replays up to four times per hour, depending on the time of day. The hotel houses a restaurant whose floor-to-ceiling windows provide an uninterrupted view of the performance. Timing your proposal to coincide with the dramatic finale will make for a very grand, romantic moment.
Washington DC — Tidal Basin Trail
Washington DC is smaller than 70 square miles. However, the capital of the United States is home to many beautiful retreats, museums, monuments, and landmarks that are open to the public. It even has some wonderful settings for an outdoor proposal.
The Tidal Basin lake is perfect for a romantic USA-based proposal. The Tidal Basin Loop Trail, just off the Potomac River, leads to a variety of places, including the Japanese Pagoda, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Floral Library. Depending on your loved one's unique interests, one of these stops is sure to make a scenic and memorable proposal setting.
Washington — Sleepless in Seattle filming locations
Quite a few people use elements from their partner's favorite romantic movie to craft a unique marriage proposal. That's a sweet and considerate strategy. One very popular romantic film is 1993's Sleepless in Seattle, starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Many locations featured in the movie are suitable for fun and nostalgic proposals. The historic Gas Works Park is certainly near the top of that list.
Bordering Lake Union, this family-friendly park is perfect for picnics and kite flying. In the film, Hank's character Sam goes to the park to observe celebratory fireworks for New Years. (However, the famous fireworks display actually takes place on the Fourth of July). Beyond the film connection, Gas Works Park is lauded as an example of rehabilitated industrial land. Thus, this location will appeal to fans of the movie as well as those who are passionate about the environment.
Arizona — Dude Ranches
The idea of the desert "Wild West" is an alluring and romantic notion for many. You can still experience remnants of that lifestyle at ranches operating in the American Southwest.
Specifically, the area around Tucson and Phoenix in Arizona hosts many dude ranches that offer accommodations and horseback riding for those fascinated by the Old West. You don't have to be an experienced rider to enjoy this activity. Ranchers are prepared to help anyone, even novices, go on a trail ride to experience the beautiful desert landscape.
Tennessee — The Memphis Zoo
Zoos make great proposal locations, especially for animal lovers. These places not only house incredible animals but also assist in research and conservation efforts. With its grand, Ancient Egyptian-style entrance, the Memphis Zoo is perhaps one of the most picturesque zoos in the country. With beautiful exhibits filled with rare and exotic animals, manicured grounds, and daily events, you can find attractive proposal locations everywhere.
You can keep things intimate and informal, like proposing on bended knee outside a favorite exhibit. Alternatively, like the Gardner Museum, the Memphis Zoo is happy to host and cater large, formal events. You can also add a special "Animal Encounter" activity and hire a DJ to get the party going.
New York — Little Island
The Little Island Pier first opened to the public in May 2021. It's a truly special location unlike anything else in New York City. Designed as an outdoor communal space accessible to all, Little Island has hundreds of plant species spread out on a dynamic, undulating base.
This site also includes multiple locations for performances and gatherings. The spacious amphitheater is a perfect location for a flash mob. The beauty of this unique island makes it a wonderful spot for a romantic proposal any time of year.
Emily Frontiere is a GIA Graduate Gemologist. She is particularly experienced working with estate/antique jewelry.
Hearts and Arrows Diamond: Is it Worth it?
Romantic Proposal Ideas for Everyone
Best Diamond Color for White Gold Rings
The Best Engagement Ring Settings For Every Budget
Gemology Book Reviews: Careers
Augelite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information
Six Famous Aquamarines
Risk Management and Gem Buying for Profit
Never Stop Learning
When you join the IGS community, you get trusted diamond & gemstone information when you need it.
Get Gemology Insights
Get started with the International Gem Society’s free guide to gemstone identification. Join our weekly newsletter & get a free copy of the Gem ID Checklist!