Fall is an excellent time of year to ask for someone’s hand in marriage. The Bay Area offers numerous excellent proposal spots that are sure to guarantee that yes. Here is a list of five of the best options. For even more choices, see our previous article.
Napa Valley Balloons
4086 Byway E.
Napa, CA 94558
For the ultimate in Bay Area proposals, check out Napa Valley Balloons’ private hot air balloon package. For a cool $1,200, this package includes a one-hour tour for two, plus an after-flight champagne breakfast. Add-ons are available as well and include commemorative champagne flutes and in-flight pictures. One can be sure to impress any fiancé-to-be with early morning aerial views of the gorgeous Napa Valley.
The Palace Of Fine Arts
3301 Lyon St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
A favorite spot among locals for engagement photos, the Marina’s Palace of Fine Arts is celebrating its 99th year in 2014. Planning a fall proposal beneath this architectural masterpiece is a sure bet with San Francisco’s year-round mild weather. Erected for the 1915 Pan-Pacific Exhibition, the Palace is surrounded by a reflective man-made lagoon. Come during sunset hours for the most romantic lighting.
86 Canada Road
Woodside, CA 94062
A popular spot for informal photography and artists, Filoli Gardens and Estate is one of the largest extant manors from the 1900s. Despite the drought and dry estate lawns, autumn is a wonderful time to view the gardens in all of their fall finery. Pop the question amid the blooming camellias, or take a romantic walk through one of several orchards. Also worthy of consideration are the native plant garden and bonsai collection. Filoli is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and professional photography shoots are not permitted, so use this scenic locale for a more intimate proposal.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
948 Fort Barry
Sausalito, CA 94965
Just across the bay from the city, the Marin Headlands offer up unparalleled views of the San Francisco skyline. With miles of trails and numerous scenic vista spots, the Headlands holds everything from a 150-year-old lighthouse to a dog-friendly beach. In the fall, couples can enjoy a visit to the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory to learn about the annual autumn migration of over 20,000 birds of prey that pass through the Headlands. Make sure to dress in layers as the weather right on the coastline can change rapidly from warm and sunny to cold, windy or foggy.
Hakone Estate Gardens
21000 Big Basin Way
Saratoga, CA 95070
The 18-acre Hakone is the oldest Japanese garden estate in the country, as well as a part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The tranquil gardens make the perfect romantic backdrop for a proposal. This time of year is particularly beautiful between the bright Japanese Maples and gorgeous fall color. Stroll through the bamboo garden and around the koi pond to soak in the serenity and pick the perfect spot to pop the question.
Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.