romantic spots in california

Best 15 Romantic Spots to Propose in California (updated)

California is known for its beautiful scenery, but the state also features many romantic spots perfect for popping the big question. Whether you’re interested in a scenic beach or an iconic landmark, there’s bound to be a place near you that will set the mood just right.

The following list of 15 locations includes some of California’s most well-known romantic spots as well as lesser-known gems that would make excellent proposals if you know your partner’s favorite places. But, of course, no matter what kind of proposal spot you choose, your girlfriend or boyfriend will agree it was one they’ll never forget!

1. Sierra Point, Santa Cruz

Sierra Point, Santa Cruz

If you live in or near the Bay Area and your partner is an enormous outdoor enthusiast with a thrill-seeking streak, propose to them on Sierra Point. This extreme sports mecca features a variety of zip lines that send visitors above the treetops. Once there, ask your girlfriend or boyfriend to meet you atop the mountain before taking off down one of its many runs together.

There are many different times to propose in Sierra Point. One of the best times to propose is after 6 pm when the sun has gone down, and the park is open till 10 pm. You can also go on a weekday or get there early in the morning when the sun is rising.

2. Naples Island, San Diego

Naples Island, San Diego

Proposing in California doesn’t always have to be about the great outdoors; some of the state’s most romantic spots are indoors too. If you and your girlfriend or boyfriend like fancy restaurants and upscale resorts, consider asking him or her to marry you at Naples Island on Shelter Island. This is one of the few places in San Diego where you can get married inside a historic castle!  

You can also propose while walking on the beach below this iconic landmark during sunset (the perfect time to pop the question!) or make reservations for dinner there on Valentine’s Day.  

3. Venice Beach, Los Angeles

Los Angeles’ famous Venice Beach is an art mecca with its vibrant street performers and creative vendors. Along Venice Beach, you can find several different scenic spots perfect for proposals, such as the pier and the colorful beach-side gazebo.

You don’t have to go very far from those popular sites to find even more intimate spots either – a walk along the beach or a short bike ride will lead you to other secluded areas perfect for asking your girlfriend or boyfriend to marry you.  

4. Bixby Bridge, Big Sur

Big Sur is known for being one of California’s most beautiful vacation destinations – which also makes it an ideal location for proposing! One of Big Sur’s most famous tourist attractions is the Bixby Bridge, which spans about 160 feet above sea level over the Big Sur River.

You can propose to your girlfriend or boyfriend during sunset when the entire bridge is lit up against the backdrop of a gorgeous, orange sky.

5. The Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles’ Hollywood Hills is one of California’s most famous landmarks and a terrific location for popping the big question! From there, you can get a stunning view of downtown LA while also catching a glimpse of the state’s iconic sun setting over the Pacific Ocean.

If you’re lucky, you might even spot a celebrity or two on your way out from seeing the solar system!

6. San Diego Harbor Cruise at Night

If your partner loves being around water and taking romantic boat rides, consider proposing to any one of them on a San Diego harbor cruise at night. These cruises feature romantic views of the city’s skyline and even more beautiful sunsets over the ocean!

You can also propose while cruising under the famous Coronado Bridge or in front of the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier, docked in San Diego Harbor.  

7. Solstice Canyon, Big Sur

Solstice Canyon is one of California’s less-famous natural wonders with stunning views and unbelievable greenery. As such, this state park is often overlooked by most tourists – making it an ideal place for popping the question!  

Propose to your girlfriend or boyfriend during sunset when nearby Moss Beach overlook is lit up against a gorgeous orange sky (or later when twinkling lights illuminate the beach).

8. The Getty Center, Los Angeles

The Getty Center in LA’s affluent Brentwood neighborhood is one of the city’s most famous attractions and art museums. It features incredible views and lush gardens, making it an excellent place for proposing to your girlfriend or boyfriend!   

For instance, you can pick any romantic spots:

  • Near the museum fountain
  • Inside the Central Garden
  • Next to the Central Garden waterfall
  • Outside at the Museum Entrance Terrace

You could also propose after eating dinner at their upscale restaurant or catching an exhibit together during sunset hours.  

9. San Francisco City Hall Rotunda

Not all proposals have to be exclusive and extravagant – even proposing at a place as iconic as City Hall makes for a memorable moment. Propose under the rotunda’s stunning dome with its gorgeous blue sky view and moving artwork.

You can also propose during evening hours when it is illuminated by twinkling lights against the backdrop of an orange sky.  

10. Santa Barbara Courthouse Steps

For a Christmas-themed proposal, consider proposing at the Santa Barbara Courthouse Steps during the holiday season.

The steps are filled with bright lights and wreaths – making it a perfect backdrop for popping the question! Also, note that this is also an excellent location for proposing during Valentine’s Day and on Easter Sunday.  

11. Palomar Observatory

At nearly 6,000 feet above sea level in Southern California’s Cleveland National Forest lies one of California’s most scenic parks: Palomar Mountain State Park. In addition to camping grounds and hiking trails, you can visit the state park’s famous observatory – which holds some of Cali.’s most powerful telescopes!   

Propose under its iconic dome with views of the surrounding mountains.

12. The Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles

Of course, you can’t propose in LA without proposing underneath the Hollywood sign! Only proposal at this iconic landmark during sunset hours is most lit up against a gorgeous orange sky.  

You can also propose on top of Mt Lee (where the “H” sits) and next to any one of its towers: East or West! So use your creativity and get out there and find the most romantic spot for popping that big question!  

13. Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is California’s largest lake and one of the most scenic, so you’ll want to go here when proposing at sunset or during sunrise. Propose underneath its beautiful “glass-like” water in an incredibly romantic spot.  

You can also propose next to its natural shoreline with mountains in the background. And if you’re looking for an out-of-this-world proposal location, visit Lake Tahoe during a meteor shower!    

 14. Lake Merritt Park in Oakland/Berkeley

Lake Merritt is situated in the heart of Oakland and is known as “the jewel of Oakland” (thus its nickname: The Lake). As such, it has long been a popular spot for locals to picnic, jog, or bike around – making it the perfect setting for a surprise proposal!  

Propose underneath its beautiful waterfalls and flowery bridges along Lakeside Drive.  

15. Frank Ghery’s Millenium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles

If you’re looking for something spectacular and unique, consider getting engaged inside Frank Gehry’s iconic Millennium Biltmore Hotel – which lies amidst lush gardens and immaculate architecture! This hotel offers incredible views throughout its rooms and hallways – so propose at your favorite spot!

Conclusion

While there are countless proposals to do in California, hopefully, these will get you started thinking about where to propose.

So please don’t wait! Contact them today and start planning for what could be the most romantic moment of your life.

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