Ready to pop the question to your partner? While NYC is not the city of love, there are still tons of beautiful destinations to get down on one knee at. This city is full of romantic, and quiet spots that are just waiting for a couple to propose. If you and your partner have decided on a no-flash-mob, private proposal, consider one of these destinations to ask for their hand in marriage.
Places to Propose in Manhattan
Four Freedoms Park
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is located on Roosevelt Island. The park is a memorial to this famous influential, historical figure. Whether or not you and your partner are fans of FDR, you can still appreciate the beauty of this park. Sprawling across four acres, there are plenty of areas in this park where you can pop the question. This location provides a wonderful view of the Manhattan skyline, especially in the evening. The park is closed on Tuesdays and is usually less busy early mornings or evenings after 3 pm.
Named after the famous Beatles song, this Central Park destination is a memorial to John Lennon. It’s located just inside the park gates and opposite West 72nd Street. On the corner of West 72nd Street and Central Park West sits the Dakota Building which was the home of Lennon. He was shot right outside his home in 1980. Sad things aside, if you and your partner are big Beatles fans, proposing at a sentimental and historical place like Strawberry Fields might be the move. The location is always blooming with flowers, serene and peaceful, and you and your soon-to-be wife/husband can place a flower on the memorial too.
Central Park Lake
Are you and your partner a fan of the water? Propose while boating on the Central Park lake. You can either rent out your own boat ($12 for the first hour and then $2.50 each additional 15 minutes, $20 cash deposit required) or get a gondola ride for $30 per half hour at the Loeb Boathouse. Note, the gondola rides are only available during summer from 5 pm to 9 pm Monday through Friday and 2 pm to 9 pm Saturday through Sunday. No reservations so make sure to get there early to line up!
Central Park Conservatory Garden
Suppose you want an even more peaceful proposal, head over to Central Park’s Conservatory Garden on the east side between 104th and 106th. The garden is six acres that are well-known for planting lilies, tulips, lilacs, crabapple trees, and chrysanthemums. The garden opened up in 1937 and is named after the glass conservatory that was built in the same location in 1899. The Conservatory Garden is made up of three areas: the French-style North Garden, the English-style South Garden, and the Italianate Center Garden. Surrounded by distinct garden designs and beautiful flowers, this would be the perfect place to propose if your partner adores flowers. The garden is open every day and busiest during the afternoon.
Top of The Rock
If you want to propose at the top of a building that is not the Empire State, Top of the Rock is a great alternative that is less popular, and less crowded. You do have to buy tickets to get to the viewing decks, which range from $34-$40. The name comes from being on top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, and the place is not surprisingly the busiest during the early evenings when the sun is about to set. Get there earlier to propose without a crowd and if you pull this off, just know that getting engaged at the top of the Rockefeller is definitely a bragging right!
One of Midtown’s best secret parks, Greenacre Park was designed by Sasaki, Dawson, DeMay Associates with Masao Kinoshita as lead designer. The park opened up in 1971 and was intended to offer New Yorkers an “intimate urban park experience.” One of the features is the 25-foot-waterfall in the rear of the garden. The park was also listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018. As a place for most locals to chill out, this park is usually busy between lunch hours from 12 pm to 3 pm.
Grand Central Station
Before you go protesting that Grand Central Station is super busy and always full of tourists, the station does have its fair share of quieter hours. The station starts slowing down after 7 pm, and while there will definitely still be commuters, you can get a better view of the grand station without the massive crowds. Get on one knee and propose to your partner in one of NYC’s most iconic stations.
The High Line
This Chelsea attraction takes you on a walk through an elevated park that used to be train tracks. Although the crowds can reach great proportions during the day, early mornings and evenings are less crowded and freer for the perfect proposal. Take your partner on a walk and propose to them either as the sun comes up or when the sun goes down. The High Line provides beautiful skyline and Hudson River views and is very close to nice restaurants and the Chelsea Market, in case you intend to celebrate after with some good food.
Looking to propose under the stars? Seeing a sky full of stars can be a little difficult sometimes in the city due to the light pollution, but it doesn’t mean the option is impossible! Hayden Planetarium located at the American Museum of Natural History has The Star Theater, which uses a customized Zeiss Star Projector system to replicate a starry night sky. Surprise your significant other with a trip under the stars and a replicated night that they will never forget. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and are busiest during noon.
The Met Cloisters
Although there is more foot traffic at the Cloisters, the museum itself is so beautiful, that it would be a shame to not mention it. With impressive columns and a garden, it’s like you and your significant other are walking through an old European castle. This building opened up in 1938 and is the only museum in the country dedicated to the art of the Middle Ages. The Met Cloisters are closed on Wednesdays and is busiest 1 pm to 3 pm.
Fort Washington Park
Located along the Hudson River, Fort Washington Park offers impressive views of the George Washington Bridge. This Washington Heights park is full of history and beauty. A great feature of this park is the Little Red Lighthouse. Once a functioning lighthouse, now a quaint structure that holds decades of history. Early evening is usually the most popular time, so either propose early afternoon or at sunset, the most romantic time of the day, and when the George Washington Bridge’s lights turn on.
When you step onto Governor’s Island, you can immediately feel like you’re not in the city. If you decide to propose here, make a day out of it by visiting Fort Jay, watching live music at a lawn party, learning about climate change from a marine biologist, or relaxing with your significant other at the Hammock Grove. The island also offers overnight accommodations on its green lawns. Consider a proposal away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and enjoying the community and lifestyle on Governor’s Island.
It’s almost impossible to not know Liberty Island if you’re a native New Yorker or even if you’re visiting. The Statue of Liberty stands here and is an important part of U.S. history. While you cannot propose up at the crown of the statue with the ring, you can still do it without. You can even propose at the base of the statue, looking at the NYC skyline. Just be aware that you need to book in advance if this is your move because the number of visitors is limited daily. On the plus side, with the limit, you might just snag a time where there are fewer visitors, so you can propose at the perfect time.
Beautiful Places to Propose in Queens
Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
If you’re looking for a historical and serene location to propose in Queens then you can’t miss out on the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. Built in 1836, this landmark-designated Greek-Revival mansion in Pelham Bay Park is perfect for an intimate proposal. Better yet, after you’re done, you can even schedule a photoshoot in both the garden and interior of the mansion.
Socrates Sculpture Park
A lover of art and the Manhattan skyline? Plan a romantic proposal at the Socrates Sculpture Park after a day of perusing contemporary public art exhibits. Found in 1986 by visionary sculptor Mark di Suvero, the park faces the gorgeous Manhattan skyline. The skyline is great to look at any time of the day, but sunset is especially romantic. Weekdays are the best days to stop by if you want less foot traffic.
Gantry Plaza State Park
Take a stroll by the Gantry Plaza State Park for your perfect proposal. Located in Long Island City, this is a 12-acre state park most famous for its landmark-designated Pepsi-Cola Sign. There are plenty of picnic benches around the park so plan a romantic picnic and get ready to propose to the love of your life.
Romantic Places to Propose in Brooklyn
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Nothing beats the views you can get at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Located in Brooklyn (as the name implies), you’re able to see the Manhattan skyline as well as the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. The park snakes around the waterfront, and there are plenty of private spaces and benches where you can pop the question. Saturdays are usually the popular days, but the park is quite large, so finding a private space should be easy.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Want to be surrounded by greenery and flowers when you propose, but not have to pay for the set-up? The Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers just that. With acres of blooming flowers, a Japanese zen garden, and a lily pond, this garden offers a quiet, romantic spot to ask the question. They’re not open Mondays, but weekdays are considerably less busy than weekends.
Prospect Park Boathouse
One of the most beautiful buildings in the park is the Art-Beaux Prospect Park Boathouse. Built in 1905, Brooklyn locals almost lost this boathouse due to years and years of neglect. Luckily, the community decided to step in and save the boathouse from being demolished. It was eventually repaired and added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Audubon Center is inside the boathouse and is used for learning and immersive programs about nature. Set up a picnic or make it seem like a normal walk in the park. Make sure to get some photos right by Lullwater of your proposal.
Coney Island Boardwalk
Unless you and your partner are not amusement park fans, the Coney Island Boardwalk is actually a great place to get on the knee. Spend the day at the beach or on the amusement park rides. Once evening starts coming around, the tired families start leaving and going home, which is the perfect time to walk to the end of the boardwalk to propose. You could even propose right before the fireworks start and stay watching the sky light up with colors. Another private option could be to propose on the Ferris wheel.
Best Proposal Spots in the Bronx
If your partner loves animals, then you definitely can’t miss out on a proposal at the Bronx Zoo. The Bronx Zoo first opened up in 1899 and is one of the largest wildlife conservation parks in the US. There are currently over 4000 animals in the Zoo with more than 650 species. Mondays and Tuesdays appear to be the least busy so if you want a more intimate proposal then you should aim for these days.
Wave Hill Public Garden
Flowers are a sure way to set up a romantic environment and you can find a lot of them at the Wave Hill public garden and cultural center in Riverdale. There are beautiful serene paths that wind across a field of wildflowers in springtime and a pool with water lilies and lotus flowers throughout the summer and fall. Tuesday and Wednesday are the least trafficked days making them great days to stop by the garden for your proposal.
Staten Island Locations to Get Engaged
The Staten Island Ferry
This might be a stranger option, but if you’re looking to propose on the water without paying a hefty price to rent a boat, the Staten Island Ferry could be perfect. Note that since the ferry is also used as a commuter method for New Yorkers, going on during rush hours might not be the best time of the day. Instead, try going in the afternoon, or even at night. You can head up the stairs/ramp and propose on the deck as the ferry skirts past the Statue of Liberty. Plus, it’s free!
The Chinese Scholar’s Garden
Staten Island has a lot more to offer than the Staten Island Ferry. A great underrated attraction is the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden. It’s one of the two authentic classical outdoor Chinese gardens built in the United States. The garden itself is a compilation of different gardens from China. According to the site, it is based on the Ming Dynasty gardens (1368-1644 AD). All of the architectural components were fabricated in Suzhou, China. There are eight pavilions that you and your partner are able to explore, including a bamboo forest path, a koi pond, and waterfalls. The entrance fee is five dollars per adult, and free on the first Friday of each month with the proof of residency. If you’re not already a Staten Island resident, take the ferry over with your partner, explore all the pavilions, and propose in this beautiful setting. They are closed Mondays and Tuesdays and are busiest on Saturdays. The weekdays seem to be the least busy or not even busy at all.