Most Memorable Places to Propose

Women dream of it, whole industries are based on it, and some 2 million men a year must think up a way to do it. (And do it right.)

We're talking about the marriage proposal.

And with all the ways to pop the question, what’s a guy -- or gal -- to do to make it memorable? Don't fret, we’ve found 5 of the most romantic destinations to propose.
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New York City

If you’re a classic romantic -- and a fan of such films as An Affair to Remember or Sleepless in Seattle -- you’ve seen some of Hollywood’s dreamiest scenes unfold on the Empire State Building’s observation deck. Whether it’s the incredible architecture, storied history or spectacular view, NYC’s Empire State Building simply inspires. Plus, the observatory is open every day, including weekends and holidays, from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. To set the stage, time your proposal when the observatory’s saxophonist is playing (Thursdays to Saturdays, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.) and request your special song. And because it’s the city that never sleeps, there’s ALWAYS a place to go for a celebratory bite afterward, including The Empire Room on the main level.
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Freed Photography

Middleburg, Virginia

Is “quaint” more your speed? Then consider one of the many inns in Middleburg, VA, for your marriage proposal. An hour’s drive from Washington, DC, Middleburg offers something for every taste, from old-country estates, such as the 265-acre Goodstone Inn, to intimate bed-and-breakfasts, such as the Middleburg Country Inn. Middleburg is a popular romantic weekend getaway -- as well as wedding site -- for DC couples for a reason: This laid-back little town is rife with picturesque back roads offering views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Reserve a room with a fireplace and a view, and pledge your love with a chilled glass of champagne. Afterward, there’s plenty of countryside to stroll or bike through, as well as antique stores to go shopping, fine-dining restaurants in which to celebrate, and surrounding wineries and stables to explore with your intended.
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ThinkStock

Las Vegas

It may seem cliche to suggest Vegas as a place to propose, but what’s often forgotten is this high-rolling entertainment capital’s proximity to the breathtaking Grand Canyon. If you’re the adventurous type (and not afraid of heights), book a twilight helicopter ride from the Strip to the Grand Canyon’s West Rim with one of many local companies, such as Maverick Helicopters, and be sure to include the champagne and picnic dinner option, which you’ll enjoy during your brief touchdown (and proposal?). Else save the question for when you’re in the air over the expansively beautiful Valley of Fire State Park, and savor the memories of “Yes!” later with the tour company’s video of your experience. Then, just before you return to the ground, take in the dancing lights of downtown Vegas ... and its many convenient wedding chapels.
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Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau

Austin, Texas

If live music is ... well, music to your ears, surprise your loved one with a trip to the very affordable -- and temperate -- city of Austin, TX. Time your proposal with one of the city’s many festivals, including Austin City Limits and South by Southwest, or just spontaneously stop by any of Austin’s many bustling venues in the trendy Warehouse District or the hip SoCo (South Congress). If a crowded club doesn’t feel right, during the summer months you can opt for the breathtaking sight of a million Mexican free-tailed bats flying out from under the Congress Street Bridge at sundown. Not a night owl? There’s plenty to do during the day, including hiking on the trails bordering Town Lake or checking out the Texas State Capitol -- billed, in its day, as the “seventh largest building in the world.”
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Auberge du Soleil

Napa, California

In need of a little pampering ... and perhaps a glass of wine? Then there’s no better place to propose than Napa Valley. Famous for its many wineries, Napa also offers luxury spas such as the Milliken Creek Inn and Spa, where you can follow up that sunset wine-and-cheese reception with a couples’ massage, visit to a local tasting room and ... a wedding proposal. Or reserve a table on the outdoor deck of the world-class Auberge du Soleil, and pledge your love in a setting overlooking the valley. Then, when all that quiet and relaxation is just too much to take, there’s everything from hot-air balloons to wildlife preserves in Napa, as well as San Francisco, a mere hour’s drive away.