When it comes to proposal locales, the more stunning, the better—and, if you ask us, few places on Earth are as swoon-worthy as the Golden State. From the rolling hills of romantic wineries to the muted magic of the Northern California coastline, this iconic western state offers up countless envy-worthy spots to pop that all-important question. Today, then, we’re breaking down seven magical spots for an incredible California proposal. Read on for our top picks.
With rolling hills, lush landscapes, and stunning, saturated sunsets—a winery is the perfect spot for your California proposal. If your partner goes weak in the knees for European charm and a great glass of vino, we recommend heading to Napa, Sonomoa, or Temecula for the magic moment. You can even plan a tasting with family and friends waiting afterward, or book a room for the two of you to extend the magic moment into a romantic weekend getaway. Not sure where to start? Check out Genevieve and Kevin’s Napa proposal for inspiration.
From the wonder of Yosemite and the striking Sierras of Lake Tahoe to the rushing waterfalls of Malibu Canyon, California offers up plenty of pretty places for a peak proposal. If your partner loves the great outdoors and isn’t afraid of a little adventure, we recommend proposing on a hike. Have your speech (and, for bonus points, a romantic picnic) planned for the summit or the area with the best view, and then pop the question with a jaw-dropping backdrop. One of our all-time favorite California hike proposals? Allison and Mike’s stunning yosemite engagement.
If there’s one thing California knows well, it’s a great rooftop. Oceans, wineries, and mountains are all stunning options for a California proposal—but we also love the idea of something a little more buttoned-up as well. A great city- or oceanside-rooftop proposal will offer some seriously striking views of the surrounding city. Plus, you can stick around afterward for a rooftop champagne toast (yes, please). If your partner loves sweeping views, a good night out, and will likely want to be a little more “dressed up” (as opposed to in hiking clothes) when you take a knee, a California rooftop spot might just be your best bet. We especially love Lucas and Sean’s sunset proposal on top of the U.S. Bank building.
This one goes without saying—but a beach engagement is one of the most tried-and-true California proposal ideas of all. If your partner is all about fresh-air feels, barefeet, and effortless beach hair, popping the question oceanside is sure to earn you some serious future-spouse points. Our favorite locales include Laguna Beach in Orange County, Ocean Beach in San Francisco, Torrey Pines in San Diego, and the iconic Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles. Looking for a little inspo to help you out? Ivy and Alexander’s San Diego sunset sandollar proposal should do the trick.
Anyone who’s been to Northern California knows—The Golden State isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. If you’re looking for dreamy muted hues, lazy overcast days, and year-round sweatshirt weather, you’ll find all three in spades in Northern California. We love the idea up heading up North for rugged beaches and lingering fog—both of which can make for some seriously stunning proposal photographs. Some of our favorite spots include Cambria, Carmel by the Sea, Big Sur, Pacifica, and Half Moon Bay. (Psst…check out Anthony and Claire’s Northern California proposal for inspo.)
If you’re seeking an enchanted, playful proposal, Disneyland might just be your best bet. Perfect for the fun-loving partner who’s always willing to bust out their Mickey ears, Disneyland proposals tend to be at the top of the California-proposal-location list (and for good reason). From blooming gardens to thrilling rides to—yes—Cinderella’s Castle, this iconic (and pretty darn magical) theme park is chock-full of fairytale-worthy proposal spots. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite Disneyland proposal spots here—and we especially love Cynthia and Ricky’s Disneyland proposal.
From the crystal-clear water of Emerald Bay to the towering, snowbrush-laden Sierras, Lake Tahoe offers up some undeniably stunning spots for a once-in-a-lifetime proposal. Our favorite spots on the California side of the lake include Squaw Valley, Emerald Bay, Eagle Rock Hike, and Rubicon Point & Lighthouse. If your partner loves the great outdoors, sweeping water views, and maybe even a little snow-blanketed sand, consider opting for this iconic lake for an unforgettable engagement. One of our all-time favorite Lake Tahoe proposals? Danielle and Kevin’s sunrise hike proposal.