Pumpkin pie, decorating the tree and sparkly engagement rings are all staples for this time of year.
The holidays are the busiest season for jewelers, as studies show more than a quarter of all proposals happen toward the end of the year.
One of the most popular ways to get engaged is a destination proposal, according to TheKnot.com. A vacation as a couple means quality time together, padded from the busy stress of daily life, as well as new memories and the possibility for a special, fairytale setting that culminates in the Big Q.
There are two types of destination proposals: the trip your partner knows about and possibly helped plan or a surprise whisk-her-away excursion.
No matter which direction you’re taking, here are 10 incredible places to pop the question this winter, from the dramatic to the sweet, from famously romantic to a little more subtle, from international to continental.
The Queen Emma floating bridge in Curacao — Photo courtesy of Diamond PR
On the Queen Emma floating bridge overlooking Curacao’s iconic Handelskade.
Bridges are symbolic for an engagement, a transition from one side of life to another, so a romantic proposal on the Queen Emma floating bridge is more than just stunning. This swinging pontoon bridge overlooks a row of charming, colorful Dutch houses. Curacao, in the southern Caribbean, is a lover’s paradise, with more than 35 secluded, cove-like beaches and year-round sunshine. Plan a celebration of the new union on the uninhabited island of Klein Curacao for the day.
The Eiffel Tower by night, of course. — Photo courtesy of Flickr user mroach
In Cinderella’s carriage in Paris.
For a living fairytale proposal in the most romantic city in the world, arrange for a surprise white-horse-drawn-carriage to pick you and your lover up in Place Vendome in Paris. Inside the carriage awaits champagne, a macaroon, a bouquet of roses and a box that contains a shoe-shaped chocolate. Wrap up the night riding through Paris, including a final stop with a view of the Eiffel Tower. This dreamy experience is arranged by ApoteoSurprise.
The restored Palazzo Victoria in Italy — Photo courtesy of Diamond PR
Near the gate where Romeo wooed Juliet in Verona.
Verona, Italy, is one of the world’s most romantic destinations, from opera to history to Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers. Stroll down the cobblestone streets and hang a love lock on the Porta Borsari gate to symbolize your connection and commitment. Retreat to the luxurious Palazzo Victoria, a restored 14th-century villa, where guests can arrange a champagne bubble bath or in-room opera serenade.
Lake Atitlan in Guatemala — Photo courtesy of Flickr user Francisco Anzola
On a sunset sail on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Lake Atitlan is a hidden gem in Guatemala, surrounded by three volcanoes and 12 indigenous Mayan villages. Stay at the boutique hotel, Casa Palopo, which can arrange a barquito sail over the San Pedro volcano while the sun sets. Celebrate with a candlelit dinner at the on-site restaurant, with romantic lake views. The hotel can even arrange a Mayan shaman to perform a blessing for a happy marriage.
Il Saviatino on the Tuscan hills of Italy — Photo courtesy of Il Saviatino
At a private winery in the Chianti Region of Tuscany, Italy.
Take an exclusive tour of private wineries, such as Colle Bereto, in Tuscany’s wine country. After personal tastings of some of the finest Italian wines, retreat to Il Salviatino, a restored, 15th-century villa in the Tuscan hills that specializes in curated vacations. The resort can arrange a celebratory dinner on the terrace, overlooking gardens with the Duomo on the horizon.
The clocktower in Denver — Photo courtesy of Flickr user Nan Palmero
Above the city in a grand clock tower in Denver.
The Historic Daniels & Fisher Tower hovers high above Downtown Denver as a jewel in the skyline. The original tower, built in 1911, used to be the tallest building west of the Mississippi, and although much of that has since been destroyed, the historical grand clock tower has been preserved. Today, this iconic structure can be rented for special occasions, including a proposal packed with history and stunning city and mountain views.
The Disney Springs bridge and balloon — Photo courtesy of Flickr user M. C. Bob Leonard
In a balloon above Walt Disney World.
Disney World is said to be the happiest place on Earth, and for the eternal fairytale-seekers, it’s also a great backdrop to an engagement. Visitors can book a flight on the world’s biggest, tethered helium balloon that hovers 400 feet above Downtown Disney. High above the theaters, streets and action, and with panoramic views of Disney World and vistas as far as 10 miles away, pop the big question. DisneyWeddings.com arranges the details.
Above the Ithaa restaurant — Photo courtesy of Flickr user Ed Ralph
In an underwater restaurant in the Maldives.
For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, book dinner in the world’s first all-glass underwater restaurant, Ithaa at Conrad Maldives. Tables in this contemporary European restaurant are located in a glass tunnel 16 feet under sea level. Ithaa has been called the “most beautiful restaurant in the world,” with 180-degree views of fish and coral. It quite literally answers the question, “how deep is your love?” Ithaa can even be reserved for private occasions.
Inside the Greenbrier — Photo courtesy of Flickr user David Wilson
On a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snow.
Instead of fleeing the winter, embrace it, on a horse-drawn sleigh ride at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. After dashing through the snow, guests can sit by the fireplace in the Victorian writing room and share handmade chocolates, before returning to a room with a rose petal turndown. The Greenbrier has been named one of the most romantic date destinations in the country.
The Morgan Lewis Windmill — Photo courtesy of Glory Tours
Beneath the Morgan Lewis Windmill in Barbados.
The Morgan Lewis Windmill looks like it’s straight out of a fairytale–your own story. The windmill, in Barbados’ only intact sugar mill, provides panoramic views of the island’s east coast, past blue waters and the wooded ravines of the Scotland District. Stay at the small, adults-only resort, The House, which looks like a fabled castle, with brick walls, arched doorways and the soft glow of tiki torches.