Best Place to Propose (2015)


Few moments in life can match the romance surrounding a proposal, and that's why we set out to find the best places on the planet to pop the question. For the last four weeks, USA TODAY 10Best readers have been voting daily in the category Best Place to Propose, and the results are in.

  • Empire State Building

    Empire State Building
    New York

    Mention New York City and the Empire State Building is sure to spring to mind. Since its inauguration on May 1, 1931 it has been toured by millions of visitors and has been the scene of hundreds of weddings, as well as the site of scores of movie and TV scenes. The wrap-around outdoor observatory on the 86th floor offers scintillating views of Central Park, the Hudson and East Rivers, the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and beyond.  For a bird's eye view of up to 80 miles beyond the Big Apple, the manually operated elevator takes visitors to the 102nd floor.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • LOVE Sculpture

    LOVE Sculpture
    Indianapolis Museum of Art

    A popular site for marriage proposals, the Love Sculpture sits outside of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Created in 1970 by artist Robert Indiana, it was obtained by IMA in 1975. Consisting of the letters LO over the letters VE, the original image, with green and blue spaces backing red lettering, served as a print image for a Museum of Modern Art Christmas card in 1964. Although the words "peace and love" were especially significant in 1960s culture, the artist has said that his creation was inspired by the words, "God is Love," based on the Christian Science church services he attended as a child.
    Photo courtesy of Kevin Foster

  • London Eye

    London Eye

    To kick off the millennium, architects David Marks and Julia Barfield designed a giant observation wheel in London to show off the English capital. The cantilevered observation wheel allows viewers a breathtaking view of the city from the safety of an enclosed capsule suspended over the Thames. The rotation takes 30 minutes and refreshments are served. Trips can be customized in private capsules and tailored for special occasions.
    Photo courtesy of Dan Kitwood / Thinkstock

  • Eiffel Tower

    Eiffel Tower

    The magic of the Eiffel Tower has been legendary since its silhouette debuted over Paris in 1889. Designed by Gustave Eiffel to celebrate the Centennial of the French Revolution, it has drawn millions of visitors from all over the world. The iconic landmark offers plenty of places in which to propose - without having to scale to the top to do it. The first floor offers a breath-taking transparent floor with stunning views of what lies below, while the second floor has panoramic views as well as glass elevators to take visitors to the top of the tower. Two restaurants offer a chic ambiance as well as haute cuisine and a champagne bar at the top serves a variety of wines with which to toast any occasion.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Motu Picnic

    Motu Picnic
    Bora Bora

    Think of Bora Bora and visions of soft, sandy beaches, rippling turquoise seas and aqua-centric luxury resorts undoubtedly spring to mind. Probably the most celebrated island in French Polynesia, it is a favorite honeymoon destination. The perfect romantic escape can be planned via local tour companies for a picnic outing to one of the many small islands, or "motus" surrounding the peaceful lagoon. Along the way, activities may include shark and sting ray feeding, snorkeling around a coral garden, followed by a delectable lunch prepared by guides on a charcoal barbeque and served in a romantic setting.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Grand Canyon

    Grand Canyon

    The steep, 277- mile-long canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona mesmerizes roughly five million visitors a year and can be accessed via two main points - the South Rim and the North Rim. The more frequently visited South Rim is easier to navigate and has more facilities, such as Grand Canyon Village and most of the park's lodging and camping services. Also located here are restaurants, stores and museums, along with a small nearby airport and railroad depot. The North Rim, at 1,000 feet higher has a more alpine feel and fewer facilities, yet boasts the more spectacular views. The canyon can be visited by hiking, riding a mule, bike, rafting on the Colorado river, or flying over it, which offers the most comprehensive, as well as spectacular, views.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Rocky Mountain Hike

    Rocky Mountain Hike

    A perennial favorite with nature lovers and outdoors enthusiasts, Colorado's Rocky Mountains (known also as the Rockies) offer rugged mountains showcasing magnificent landscapes, roaring rivers and twisting trails, perfect for nature lovers. Horseback riding presents yet another adventure as horses can travel distances which would be too much of a challenge for hikers. With 54 peaks to explore, there are other ways to get to the summit and get that "Rocky Mountain high." Free gondolas glide between Telluride and Mountain Village and offer breathtaking views. Visitors can also drive to top of Mount Evans and Pikes Peak, or board Pikes Peak Cog Railway to the summit. Winters promise a chilling scene, beckoning skiers and snowboarders to its majestic snow capped peaks, champagne powder and exhilarating downhill runs.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Trevi Fountain

    Trevi Fountain

    Eventually, all roads will lead to the Fontana di Trevi in Rome and no matter how old a person is, the soundtrack from the movie, "Three Coins in a Fountain," may come to mind. The Eternal City lives up to its romantic image in this fountain which dates to 19 BC as the Aqua Virgo (Virgin Water) aqueduct. According to legend, it was named in honor of a young Roman girl who led thirsty soldiers to this spring. Today, the impressive travertine monument lures visitors from all over the world to toss a coin in the fountain. Every evening, approximately $4,000 is collected and given to charity. According to tradition, if you turn your back and toss a coin over your shoulder, it will ensure a return to Rome. Throw a second coin if you're in search of love and a third one if you're hoping to get married. 
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Canals of Venice

    Canals of Venice
    Venice, Italy

    Nothing spells amore like the romantic, shimmering canals of Venice with its majestic piazzas, palaces and historic churches. Visitors can book a gondola for two and glide along the Grand Canal past colorful mansions, medieval villas and historic landmarks, while embracing the beauty of this storied city. As couples sit back and take it all in, they can allow themselves to get lost in dreamy Italian love songs as the gondolier serenades them with perennial Italian favorites.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Magic Kingdom

    Magic Kingdom

    Fairytales do come true for visitors at Orlando's internationally renowned Magic Kingdom. Six whimsical "lands" offer plenty to do with classic attractions, magical fireworks and colorful parades with beloved Disney characters cavorting throughout. Places to pop the question abound, including Cinderella's Castle or, for the more daring, just before the plunge on Splash Mountain.
    Photo courtesy of Kent Phillips/Disney


It was a tight race between the top two finishers – both in the U.S., proving you needn't fly overseas to find romance – but in the end the Empire State Building took home the title. This Big Apple icon is no stranger to romantic gestures, both in reality and in fiction (think Sleepless in Seattle and Gossip Girl), so it's no surprise our readers picked it as the best place to get down on one knee.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Place to Propose are as follows:

  1. Empire State Building - New York
  2. LOVE Sculpture - Indianapolis Museum of Art
  3. London Eye - London
  4. Eiffel Tower - Paris
  5. Motu Picnic - Bora Bora
  6. Grand Canyon - Arizona
  7. Rocky Mountain Hike - Colorado
  8. Trevi Fountain - Rome
  9. Canals of Venice - Venice
  10. Magic Kingdom - Orlando

A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Ivy Jacobson (, Susan Moynihan (The Honeymoonist), Michelle da Silva Richmond (10Best Travel Expert) and Lydia Schrandt (10Best Editor) were chosen based on their extensive knowledge of romance travel.

Additional nominees for Best Place to Propose included a sunset cruise in Key West; balloon flight in Napa Valley; Santorini, Greece; Tulum in Riviera Maya; Golden Gate Park in San Francisco; Inspiration Point in Grand Teton National Park; Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil; above Las Vegas; Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington and the Getty Center Gardens in Los Angeles.

10Best and USA TODAY extend their congratulations to all the winners.


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Ivy Jacobson

Ivy Jacobson

Ivy Jacobson

Susan Moynihan

Susan Moynihan

Susan Moynihan

Michelle da Silva Richmond

Michelle da Silva Richmond

Michelle da Silva Richmond

Lydia Schrandt

Lydia Schrandt

Lydia Schrandt