25 Romantic Places to Propose in California

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Welcome to the Golden State, the West Coast's crown jewel.

California boasts some of the most breathtaking and awe-inspiring backdrops for a proposal in the whole of the US! 

Now all that’s left is to find the one that speaks to your heart so you can make it a moment to cherish forever.

From San Francisco's glittering skyline to Napa Valley's sprawling vineyards - where better to let love shine than along these sun-kissed shores? 

Read on to discover 25 of California's most romantic spots to pop the question.

First Things First

Before you dive headlong into your Californian quest, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Your Partner's Happy Place: Where do they seem most content? Out in nature or the throes of a bustling city? 
  2. Timing is Everything: Some locations shine brightest in the early morning, while others come to life once the sun sets. 
  3. Privacy vs Public: A grand display of affection isn’t for everyone. It’s all about striking the right balance.
  4. The finer details: We get it. Logistics are unlikely to set anyone’s heart aflutter. But taking the time to research permits, parking, and accessibility and check the weather will ensure everything goes off without a hitch.
  5. Preserve the Memory: Moments don’t get more special than this! If you don’t have the budget for a professional photographer, enlist a friend to snap a sneaky pic.

So that’s the sensible part out of the way, now onto the good bit! 

California's boundless beauty awaits.


25 Romantic Places to Propose in California

1. The Golden Gate Bridge: 

Journey together across one of the world’s most iconic structures and into your next chapter.

You’ve seen it on the big screen - now it’s time to letyourlove story play out.

We recommend visiting as the sun sets and the cerulean San Francisco Bay is bathed in gold. 

2. Yosemite National Park: 

Stand hand-in-hand beside thundering waterfalls, take in the sights along the granite cliffs of El Capitan, and let love soar atop Half Dome.

With over 740,000 acres to explore, you won’t be short of awe-inspiring spots to pop the big question!

3. Napa Valley: 

Everything's better with wine, and these rolling hills and lush vineyards are perfect for a leisurely stroll.

Sample the region’s many incredible blends, and enjoy an elegant train ride in an observation-style dining car to really set the wheels in motion.

4. Santa Barbara: 

The American Riviera is home to countless pristine beaches and hidden coves, and the gentle sea breeze and swaying palm trees are sure to calm even the most severe bout of nervous butterflies!

The sound of crashing waves will forever remind you of when they said ‘Yes!’

5. Big Sur: 

One of life’s most unforgettable moments calls for one of the world’s most unforgettable stretches of coastline.

Where better for two hearts to meet than where the rugged cliffs of Big Sur greet the mighty Pacific?

The panoramic views will take their breath away! 

6. Lake Tahoe: 

Fall deeply in love with one of the deepest lakes in North America!

Glide across the lake in a private boat surrounded by sapphire waters and snow-capped mountains, or take your time together up a gear by hitting the perfectly powdered slopes.

7. Carmel-by-the-Sea: 

This historic, artsy village is the perfect place to escape for a day or two. The cobblestone streets, endless nooks, and crannies are straight out of a storybook.

Be sure to book your spot on the official wine walk by the sea - yes, that’s a real thing!

8. San Diego: 

Whether you explore the thriving city or the 70-plus miles of coastline, the sun will almost certainly shine in San Diego.

Highlights include the zoo, the lovingly restored Gaslamp Quarter, and the friendly local seals. 

9. Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles: 

Come together as the stars align, and share an unforgettable glimpse into the mysteries of the universe.

Don’t be fooled - while the displays and exhibitions are super modern, the building itself is an art deco gem, and on clear days you’ll be able to gaze upon the entire LA basin!

10. Half Moon Bay: 

You can’t help but fall in love with this quaint bay.

Work up an appetite exploring the dramatic coastal cliffs and picturesque downtown area on foot or by bike, and tuck into a delicious seafood dinner.

Other popular activities include glass blowing and goat tours - don’t say we don’t give you range!

11. Joshua Tree National Park: 

This surreal desert landscape is perfect for lovestruck adventurers, and as an International Dark Sky Park, it’s one of the best places in the world for star-gazing!

The ancient trees have a twisted, otherworldly beauty, and the sunsets are some of the fiercest around. 

12. Catalina Island:

Seafood, watersports, windswept peaks, and a seriously seductive and secluded beach - yep, Catalina Island has it all!

Sweep them off their feet with a private helicopter tour or spot of parasailing.

13. Point Reyes National Seashore: 

Venture to the edge of the earth at the beautifully untamed Point Reyes. If your partner is an animal lover, book a dolphin and whale spotting trip!

The Point Reyes lighthouse is the perfect spot for an adorable photoshoot - Wes Anderson, eat your heart out! 

14. Hearst Castle: 

Step into a bygone era of opulence and grandeur at the magnificent Hearst Castle.

The historic estate's lavish gardens are the ideal stage for a fairytale proposal.

Make them feel like the King or Queen they are!

15. Mammoth Lakes: 

Whether blanketed in snow or summer's glow, the Mammoth Lakes are truly majestic.

Stay in a cozy cabin and celebrate by the light of the fire, or get out amongst the action on the award-winning ski slopes nearby.

16. Huntington Beach: 

Perfect for beach bums and laidback characters.

Embrace the endless summer spirit of ‘Surf City USA’ where a seriously spectacular sunset is guaranteed, or ditch the outdoors altogether and escape the hustle and bustle in one of the trendy hotels.

17. The Getty Center in Los Angeles: 

Head into the heart of the City of Angels and explore the museum’s awe-inspiring architecture.

The lush gardens are a welcome spot of calm amongst the chaos, and the ever-changing exhibitions will delight art lovers and culture vultures alike.

18. Lake Arrowhead: 

Breathtaking vistas, forested trails, and crisp, alpine air surround this tranquil mountain town.

End your trip cuddled up by a roaring fire in one of the many idyllic, private vacation homes, and let cupid fire his arrow of love all over again!

19. Balboa Park: 

This vibrant spot has art, history, nature, and architecture!

Stroll through the enchanting gardens, pause beneath the ornate Spanish Colonial Revival archways, and make some new four-legged friends at San Diego Zoo.

20. Paso Robles Wine Country: 

An oasis for wine connoisseurs.

Celebrate by opening a bottle of something special and toasting to the future, or sink into the rejuvenating embrace of the hot springs.

Novices and self-proclaimed sommeliers alike are welcome here.

21. Disneyland: 

AKA the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’.

You’re never too old for the magic of Disney! Pop the question as fireworks illuminate the sky above Sleeping Beauty's Castle, or let your love story take center stage beside your partner’s favorite attraction. 

22. Santa Monica Pier: 

Take in the spectacular ocean views as the Ferris wheel casts a kaleidoscope of colors across the evening sky.

You can’t help but get swept up in the festivities, nostalgia, and twinkling lights, and the local aquarium will transport you to another world. 

23. Red Rock Canyon State Park: 

Surprise them with an adventure to the heart of the Mojave Desert.

The ancient rock formations, fiery sunsets, and raw natural beauty will set their heart ablaze.

Rock their world on one of the many trails leading through this spectacular park. 

24. Hollywood Sign: 

Pose beside the legendary Hollywood Sign, and take in the seriously impressive views of Los Angeles.

What could be more glamorous?

How about a private helicopter ride or a visit from the paparazzi? 

25. Pfeiffer Beach: 

This ethereal beach is covered in sparkling sand and majestic rock formations.

When it rains, manganese garnet erodes from the nearby hills turning the beach purple, so grab your umbrella, and let the magic of Pfeiffer Beach weave its spell around you as you utter those all-important words.

Choosing the Perfect Engagement Ring

So you’ve found the perfect place to propose. Now all that’s left is to select the perfect symbol of your commitment!

Like the love it represents, an engagement ring should be timeless. Here are some tips from our knowledgeable experts:

  1. Your Partner's Style: An engagement ring should reflect your loved one’s tastes and complement their existing wardrobe. Let the jewelry they typically wear guide you, taking note of their preferred shapes and designs. 
  2. Budget: It’s not about how much you spend but the thought behind it. Set a limit you're comfortable with before hitting the shops.
  3. The 4 Cs: Carat weight, cut, color, and clarity contribute to a diamond's beauty and value. Familiarize yourself with these four simple factors and shop with confidence.
  4. Choose the Metal: Whether your partner adores the classic elegance of gold, the timeless allure of platinum, or the unique charm of rose gold, the ring's metal will play a significant role in the overall design. 
  5. Select the Setting: From solitaire settings that showcase a single diamond, to intricate halo settings that encircle the center stone with a dazzling array of smaller diamonds, the setting sets the tone for the ring. 
  6. Enlist Expert Help: A trusted jeweler, like Ben Garelick, can guide you through the process. Pick their brains and use their expertise to help you find a ring that symbolizes the love and commitment you share.

Fancy having a browse now?

Check out some of our favorites:

Noam Carver Hidden Halo Emerald Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

Kirk Kara Dahlia Marquise-Cut Vintage Amethyst Diamond Engagement Ring

Noam Carver Compass Set Princess Cut Diamond Cluster Engagement Ring

The Golden Gift of a Promise

Opting for a promise ring as an alternative to an engagement ring is a poignant and significant way to convey your dedication, embodying the evolving narrative of your love. 

A promise ring represents two individuals' unwavering loyalty and affection, commemorating an important chapter in your relationship and symbolizing the love uniting you.

In your search for the ideal promise ring, consider your partner's tastes and personal style. Promise rings are available in a diverse array of designs, from minimalist bands to elaborate creations adorned with gemstones or complex patterns. 

Featured Promise Rings


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The selection of metal, be it yellow, white, rose gold, or even sterling silver, should mirror your partner's preferences and lifestyle.

Promise rings offer a versatile canvas to experiment with various designs and gemstones, from sophisticated diamonds to radiant birthstones, each with unique meaning and symbolism. 

Remember that a promise ring should genuinely encapsulate your distinct bond and shared experiences.

Turn to a reputable jeweler, such as Ben Garelick, who can guide you through the realm of promise rings and help you uncover the perfect expression of your love. 

Treasure the importance of this sentimental gesture, and let it serve as an enduring emblem of the steadfast connection between you and your beloved.

The Golden State

No two couples are the same, but California's diverse and enchanting landscapes are a veritable treasure trove of romantic locations. 

Whether it’s the sprawling beaches of Santa Monica or the ethereal beauty of Yosemite National Park, there’s truly somewhere for everyone to say ‘Yes’. 

We hope you’ve found your perfect Californian proposal spot - and who knows, maybe you’ll be back for your honeymoon!

Visit us at our Buffalo, NY store today. Not nearby? Not to worry - chat with our engagement experts online 24/7, call us on (716) 631-1584, or text (716) 574-0966. Let’s find the perfect engagement ring for the love of your life!

Peter Manka Jr

Peter Manka Jr. - Owner at Ben Garelick

Peter Manka Jr. is a passionate member of the family business who joined Ben Garelick in the early 2000s after working in product licensing for Sesame Workshop & The Jim Henson Company for many years. He obtained a degree in diamonds and jewelry from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in order to sharpen his jewelry skills. He takes great pride in providing exceptional customer service and helping clients find the perfect piece of jewelry.

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