11 Most Romantic Places to Get Engaged in California (PHOTOS)

Alesandra Dubin | Aug 17, 2015 Love & Sex

couple Golden Gate Bridge San FranciscoThat moment when he gets down on one knee, asks that spine-tingling question, and slides the ring over a trembling finger is one of the most wondrous experiences in a lifetime -- even if it happens in otherwise ordinary surroundings. But set it against a spectacular backdrop and you have an engagement story to die for.

With its world-class natural landscapes, urban landmarks, and cultural monuments, California is full of unforgettable places to put a ring on it. Whether you prefer solitude or public displays of affection, check out these eye-popping options for diverse proposal locations all around the state.


Image via Maridav/Shutterstock

  • Golden Gate Bridge



    Is there a more iconic urban landmark in the whole state of California than the Golden Gate Bridge? Take a breezy walk over pedestrian section of the San Francisco span and seal the deal amid breathtaking views over the bay. 

  • Hollywood Sign


    David Lobos/Shutterstock

    Recently reopened, the trail to the Hollywood Sign is the perfect place for a proposal. Bring sturdy shoes (and maybe some champers!) for the ascent to the top, which affords glorious views from behind the sign over the city in all directions.

  • “Urban Light” at LACMA


    Natta Ang/Shutterstock.com

    For the magical moment, get lost in the maze of lampposts -- and selfie snappers -- at Chris Burden’s “Urban Light” installation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, surely the most-photographed piece of art around. (Then come back with a pro photog for your real engagement session, and join crowds of other excited couples doing the same!)

  • Yosemite


    Francesco Ferrarini/Shutterstock

    The documentarian Ken Burns called our national parks “America’s best idea” -- and with one look at the majesty of Yosemite, it’s clear he was onto something. Get engaged amid the splendor of the valley’s granite peaks, waterfalls, and wildlife -- and spend your first night as spouses-to-be snuggling inside a cozy tent. (Or, if camping’s not your thing, try the historic Awahnee Hotel!)

    More from The Stir: 12 Spectacular Destination Wedding Locales in California (PHOTOS) 

  • Big Sur


    Doug Meek/Shutterstock

    Boasting one of the only waterfalls to drop into the Pacific Ocean along the California coast, Big Sur is a world-class tourist destination -- and an impeccable place to seal the deal with a sparkler. See how she shines against those miraculous sea views?!

  • Santa Monica Pier


    Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

    A proposal atop any ferris wheel makes for a showstopper of a how-he-did-it story. But the Pacific Park wheel at Santa Monica Pier, with its color-changing LED lights and sweeping ocean views, makes for an especially wow-worthy proposal tale -- not to mention killer pictures!

  • Lake Tahoe



    The unrivaled natural beauty of Lake Tahoe makes it a striking place for a proposal at any time of year: Share the precious moment on a horse-drawn carriage ride or ski lift chair in the wintertime or on an impeccable sandy beach or kayak when the weather is warm.

  • Palm Springs Aerial Tramway


    Ritu Manoj Jethani/Shutterstock

    For the sheer drama of it, get engaged midway up a white-knuckle ride on a 360-degree rotating car on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. (There’ll be plenty of other people on board to snap epic photos!) Or, share the moment on the way down and celebrate right away with a couple’s plunge into one of Palm Springs’s signature fabulous swimming pools.

  • Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner Train


    Loco Steve/Flickr

    If you’re a sucker for old-school-style romance, you’d love getting engaged on a train. One of the most unique and beautiful ways to travel the California coast, Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner train connects San Luis Obispo and San Diego through Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, with killer views of the ocean. Bonus: Special racks allow you to bring your surfboard along, so you can hit the waves to celebrate.

  • Wine Country


    Jared Ropelato/Shutterstock

    California’s Wine Country is the envy of the nation -- and a spectacular place to get engaged amid rolling hills, tidily arranged vineyards, and even high art at several wineries with impressive collections. An engagement-night blowout dinner at The French Laundry -- commonly regarded as one of the world’s finest restaurants -- would cap off a day for the history books.

  • Balboa Park



    With its 1,200 acres, San Diego’s Balboa Park offers plenty of room to spread out for a private proposal experience amid gardens and walking paths -- or opt for something more spectator friendly at one of the many museums.

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