The 12 Best Places to Propose in Seattle

April 9, 2024

So you’ve decided to pop the question! Now you’re wondering how to go about doing it. As a Seattle wedding photographer, I have had the privilege of witnessing countless love stories unfold against the stunning backdrop of Seattle’s diverse landscapes. In this guide, I’ll share with you the best places to propose in Seattle.

Choosing a Place to Propose in Seattle 

When my partner and I got engaged, we went to a small overlook near our house with a pleasant view of the sound and mountains. There wasn’t another person in sight, it wasn’t epic, but it was meaningful and it felt like home. Now we have the pleasure of walking past it on our daily walks with our dog and our daughter. When choosing a location to propose, consider where your future fiancé will feel most comfortable. Will it be public or secluded, bustling or quiet or somewhere in between? Will they want to share the moment with you privately, or will they want their friends and family waiting in the wings? Or be at a landmark location that treats the senses. You know best, that’s why you two are soon to be life partners. This guide skews toward the places to get the best pictures, the prettiest ones. Maybe you’ll pick someplace on the list. Maybe it will spark an idea for the best place to propose to your partner that only you know.

Best Seattle Proposal Locations

1. Kerry Park

Perched on the south face of Queen Anne Hill, Kerry Park provides the most iconic view of the Seattle skyline. It is extremely popular, but for good reason. While the sunsets and afternoon light on the skyline can be breathtaking, if you come here on an evening or weekend you will be up to your elbows in fellow gawkers. And even a weekday morning could be shared with a van-load of tourists. Here is my recommendation: Start at Kerry Park, take in the views, and if it feels right, propose there with a dramatic skyline behind you. If it feels a bit too crowded, suggest walking down to Parsons Gardens (read on).

2. Parsons Gardens

This urban oasis used to the the private garden of Reginald and Maude Parsons until it donated it to the city of Seattle in 1956 by their children. It is a pleasant residential stroll from Kerry Park along the south slope of Queen Anne hill. I’ve never found more than a few people in it, if any. I can always count to this park to be beautiful, what ever is blooming. I’ve photographed lots of engagement and family session here, and even a few weddings. The adjacent overlook boasts views of the Puget Sound and Olympic mountains. If your better half is game, walk back to Kerry Park for a little post-proposal photo shoot.

Bonus: you can rent out Parsons Gardens for weddings if you want a small ceremony at the same place you proposed.

3. Discovery Park

Discovery Park is a sprawling 534 acre park relatively close to the city center, full of big grassy fields, a few historic buildings, and wandering paths through the woods. For the best photos, park yourself in the the tall grass just west of the main fields, or just above the sandy bluff. There will be people around, but likely out of earshot and out of the frame. Evening golden light is your friend here.

4. Ballard Locks and The Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden

Want to celebrate your engagement amongst the hustle and bustle of Seattle’s maritime heritage? The Ballard locks are a perfect choice. Watch the boats make their way through the locks and then duck into one of the many little spots in the beautiful botanical gardens to find a private place to propose. The locks give you the best of both worlds, you get a vibrant historical landmark and with plenty of secluded spots with lush garden backgrounds. Weekdays offer a more relaxed atmosphere for a proposal, while weekends can be busier with visitors.

5. Kubota Gardens

This hidden jewel of Rainer beach is the former estate of master landscaper Fujitaro Kubota. Started as a display garden in 1927, this tranquil Japanese garden is a spectacular setting of hills and valleys, interlaced with streams, waterfalls, ponds, bridges, and rock outcroppings with a rich array of plants. This hidden oasis is perfect for a peaceful and private proposal surrounded by cultivated nature.

6. Washington Park Arboretum

The Washington Park Arboretum is a floral paradise that changes with the seasons. Wander through blooming cherry blossoms or find a quiet spot by the water for a romantic proposal. Weekdays are less crowded but you should be able to find a quiet corner any day of the week.

7. Lincoln Park

Escape to West Seattle’s Lincoln Park for a proposal by the waterfront. The lush greenery and stunning views of the Olympic Mountains provide a peaceful setting for a romantic moment. Pick either the less-traveled forested section above the bluff, or the more popular path along the beach. With a backdrop of the Olympics and Washingtons State Ferries coming and going your proposal will be a postcard of the PNW!

8. Snoqualmie Falls

This is the most epic location on the list but it also requires the most planning. You could propose on one of the public platforms overlooking the falls if you don’t mind the crowds, but in this section we are talking about proposing at the base of Snoqualmie falls, which requires a permit and a hike. To get to it you need to hike across private property owned by Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater. Please be respectful of private property and only hike to the base of the falls if you have a permit. Here’s a quick rundown on the steps:

  1. Obtain an annual membership from the Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater which allows you to access the trail to the base of the falls.
  2. Drive to the trailhead, which requires you to swipe a keycard at the gate (it will be provided with your membership).
  3. Allow 30-45 minutes to hike down to the base of the falls. The first section of the trail is flat and easy, but once you get into the river gorge you will have to climb down steep rocks, walk on loose logs and driftwood, and navigate mud and downed branches. The shore at the base of the falls is also uneven and rocky, so bring good shoes and a sense of balance. You will need good agility but no technical skills.
  4. If you can manage that, the payoff will be worth it. Your engagement pictures will be about as epic as they get, at least within a 45 minute drive of Seattle.
  5. In terms of privacy, you might meet other hikers or a few fishermen at the location, but it is generally pretty quiet. The tourists will also be able to see you from the lower observation deck. So you might get a round of applause, but won’t be able to hear it over the roar of the falls; They are easy to tune out, and will feel kind of small in the background, but they will definitely be looking your way.

9. Aboard A Washington State Ferry

Get the full skyline and waterfront of Seattle up close from a Washington State Ferry.  When the ferry leaves and comes in to the Seattle dock you get epic shots of the Seattle skyline. Position yourself of the passenger deck just after the ferry leaves the dock. Crowds can gather before docking. You will be surrounded by cars on the car deck and surrounded by passengers on the passenger deck. You’ll have to be ok with having people around.

10. University of Washington Campus (During Cherry Blossom Season)

When spring blooms with cherry blossoms, the University of Washington campus transforms into a romantic wonderland. The vibrant hues of pink and white blossoms create a breathtaking canopy backed by the iconic gothic architecture of the UW Quad, providing an ethereal backdrop for a romantic proposal. Weekdays are the ideal time for a dreamy proposal surrounded by blossoms.

11. On a Boat on Lake Union

Take your love to the water with a proposal on Lake Union. Charter a private boat for a secluded experience on a crowded lake with unparalleled views of the Space Needle, historic Seattle houseboats, and Gasworks Park as your backdrop. Here are a few ways to get out on the water:

  1. The Center for Wooden Boats – Rent an elegant historic row boat and support an awesome nonprofit. It’s the most work and the least comfort, but I think it also has the most charm.
  2. The Electric Boat Company – All boats are covered so you can go or rain or shine, you must be over 25 to drive.
  3. Hot Tub Boats – It’s a hot tub, it’s a boat! It is luxurious and the boats are really cute. Bonus: you will be warm in any weather in the hot tub.

Stay out of the seaplane lanes on the southwest side of the lake and don’t go on Tuesday afternoons in the summer unless you want to be swarmed by sailboats participating in the Duck Dodge sailboat race.

12. Pike Place Market

Immerse yourselves in Pike Place Market’s vibrant energy for a uniquely Seattle proposal. Buy your partner some flowers, eat some snacks, and if you two need a caffeine fix to get you going, coffee is only a really long line away. The market will pretty much always be bustling, but one advantage is that you can have your friends and family emerge from the crowd to congratulate you on the next chapter of our life. For the classic shot, position yourself in front of the “Public Market” sign at the intersection of Pike Street and Pike Place, and have your photographer set up a little closer to 1st ave. 

Now that you’ve got some ideas for where to propose in Seattle, you might be looking to hire a photographer to capture the magic of the occasion! As a Seattle wedding photographer, I’d love to help! Get in touch here.

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