Proposing in the Emerald City lends itself to a multitude of creative and romantic opportunities, especially if you’re good with details and don’t mind a little planning. While the Pacific Northwest offers plenty of scenic spaces and breathtaking views, the weather doesn’t always cooperate. Just keep in mind that even if you don’t catch a break from the rain, the scenery rarely matters once your significant other sees their dazzling engagement ring.
Aqua by El Gaucho
This award-winning waterfront seafood restaurant boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and exquisite food to chow down on before you propose. Popular with Seattle locals and tourists alike, this fine dining restaurant has views of Elliott Bay to create an atmosphere fit for a wedding proposal. Situated on Pier 70, Aqua offers a quintessential fine dining experience with an award-winning wine list, fresh wild-caught seafood preparations, and Aged Niman Ranch All-Natural Certified Angus Beef® Prime Steaks. Make it a complete date night by hopping on the nearby Great Wheel.
The Great Wheel
This ferris wheel is a new addition to the Seattle waterfront skyline on Pier 57 and, on a clear day, provides breathtaking views of the Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains and Mt. Rainier. Clocking in at 157 feet tall, the Seattle Great Wheel is the tallest ferris wheel on the entire West Coast.
Tickets can be purchased online but it’s important to note that they cannot guarantee a private gondola ride, so your intimate engagement might have an audience. If you’re loving the idea of proposing over the Puget Sound, consider a VIP gondola ticket. VIP gondolas are decked out with four bucket seats, a stereo system and a glass floor–they also provide a champagne toast at nearby Fisherman’s Restaurant.
Pike Place Market
You can’t think of Seattle without thinking of Pike Place Market. Seattle’s original farmers market was established in 1907 and still has the same turn-of-the-century charm. You’ll be charmed by cobblestone streets and intricate arrangements of flowers, along with local produce purveyors and quirky boutiques that create an ambiance unlike any other market. Though the main market is packed with tourists (except first thing in the morning), you’ll have luck finding an intimate alcove as you traverse deeper into the belly of the market.
Though the market is busy all year, spring is by far the best time to visit Pike Place Market–the rain has slowed, the flowers are in bloom, and the produce bursts with color. We recommend buying a bouquet of fresh, local flowers for your bride-to-be and finding a quiet place to get down one knee, or surprise her at the market with a photographer to capture the moment like this Pike Place proposal, or plan a detailed, public proposal with the help of family and friends (much like the red umbrella proposal above).
Zig Zag Cafe
If you’re looking for an intimate bar to propose in, then keep making your way through the market, just off the Harbor Steps, to the unassuming Zig Zag Cafe, which can also be the perfect place for after-proposal cocktails. Known for their knock-your-socks-off specialty craft cocktails, gourmet snacks, and superb ambiance, this discreet bar can make you and your amor the best damn cocktail you’ve ever had–they did win the braggable title of Best Cocktail Bar in America (a la GQ in 2010) after all.
It’s hard to resist the ambiance, history and service at one of Seattle’s most iconic fine dining establishments. They’re known for their service; even down to details like the valet pulling your car up to the door as you exit the restaurant, without you telling a soul who you are or what car you drive (seriously, it’s like magic).
A reservation is required in the main dining room, though their award-winning bar has a more casual menu. Canlis offers two dining options: A four course menu which each diner selects from the menu, or a nine-course preset tasting menu. If vino is your thing, Canlis recently won a prestigious James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Program.
If you’d prefer a more intimate proposal, The Caché is an entirely private room on the 2nd floor with spectacular views across Lake Union and the Cascade Mountains. Originally built as the owner’s office, this treetop niche is the most exclusive table in Seattle and would make for an excellent proposal spot. A room rental charge of $150 applies.
Canlis is a dressy, fine dining restaurant and asks that you dress the part–gentlemen must wear a suit or sport coat. Make sure you have a reservation and do tell the host you’re planning to propose–they’ll make your night even more memorable.
Top of Columbia Center
While some consider Seattle’s tallest building a symbol of ’80s excess, the 76-story Columbia Tower is an ideal proposal location for anyone seeking to impress. You could propose to your partner with a 360-degree view of the city as your backdrop on the Sky View observation deck floor. Also, if you want more privacy and already work downtown, consider applying for membership at the Columbia Tower Club. They offer discounted membership rates for young professionals, which include social events, business networking opportunities, and access to the exclusive Harvest Dining Room and adjacent private dining rooms. These intimate rooms are also ideal for popping the question and presenting an engagement ring. Not to mention, with a membership you will also have access to one of the best wedding reception spaces in Washington State, including skilled wedding planners who can assist with all aspects of your wedding day.
Kerry Park on Lower Queen Anne Hill
When it comes to places to propose in Seattle with perfect views, Kerry Park is it. Finding time for a private perspective of the city and mountains is possible, if you are willing to make minor scheduling compromises. Kerry Park gets crowded around sunset, especially during the summer months when Mt. Rainier is in view. One of the best solutions for early risers and active couples is to incorporate this park stop into a running/jogging route shortly after dawn.
While there will still be a few photographers along the park wall, even in the early mornings, you are less likely to be interrupted and you can look forward to having the rest of your magical day to enjoy together. If waking up early is unappealing or causes too many curious questions from your bride-to-be, consider larger or less crowded open spaces with similar viewpoints. A great example is nearby Centennial Park on the waterfront.
Be warned though–even though Kerry Park looks close to Seattle Center on the map, it sits atop a steep incline on Queen Anne Hill, which is quite a hike.
Snoqualmie Falls / the Salish Lodge and Spa
Snoqualmie Falls isn’t exactly inside Seattle’s city limits. However, if you’re looking for a scenic and spiritual place for a proposal and/or a wedding ceremony, this stunning site located thirty miles east of the Emerald City is a perfect solution. The adjacent Salish Lodge and Spa offers wedding facilities with a wide range of packages and features. You may also recognize Snoqualmie Falls from David Lynch’s surreal crime drama, Twin Peaks. If you and your significant other are Twin Peaks fans, this could be the spot for you.
Keep in mind that the falls receive almost two million visitors each year. So, finding proposal privacy at any of the viewpoints along the ridge will be next to impossible on a sunny summer day. If you’re tired of the tourists and you’re both wearing practical outdoor shoes, take a hike down the steep trail into the river canyon below, where the waterfall views remain impressive without the persistent jostling of tourists.
Top deck of the Bainbridge Island Ferry
In theory, the idea of proposing on the top deck of the Bainbridge Island Ferry sounds simple. Timing and execution are essential, though, especially if you intend on savoring the moment and the Seattle waterfront views after presenting the ring. If you want the city waterfront as your backdrop, propose early on the voyage as you depart from the Colman Dock in Seattle. This gives you and your significant other more than 30 minutes on the top deck to enjoy one of the most important moments in your lifetime.
If you try proposing with the city as your backdrop just before the ferry arrives, any lingering to enjoy your magic moment will be short-lived. This is because you’ll need to choose between popping the question and quickly returning to the car deck to depart, or enduring the blare of the recorded mandatory disembarkment guidelines if you’re a walk-on passenger. Other tricky factors to consider on the top deck are weather conditions. Chilly breezes can whip across Elliott Bay even on the sunniest days and these large ferries cruise at almost twenty miles per hour. Because Puget Sound water temperatures only vary between 45F and 53F, it can feel ten to twenty degrees cooler on the exposed ferry decks than it does in the city. If this is the case, be resourceful and take along a blanket large enough to accommodate both of you.
Most moviegoers recognize Alki Beach from the scene in Sleepless in Seattle where Annie follows Sam and Jonah to the seashore. Although any local knows that it’s impossible to tail a boat from Lake Union to West Seattle in a rental car, movie continuity concerns should be the last thing on your mind before a proposal. In fact, your only worry about proposing at Alki Beach should be the weather. When it rains, this exposed beachside burg is buffeted by blustery breezes. On the other hand, if it’s warm and sunny out, parking spaces are tougher to find than a short line at a gelato shop. To avoid the parking conundrum, consider taking the water taxi from Colman Dock to the West Seattle dock, and enjoy a scenic hour-long walk over to Alki before popping the question.
If intimacy is the most important factor in your beach proposal plan, wait for moderate weather and avoid the summertime congestion. The city view side of Alki is also less crowded than the Olympic Mountain side. Plus, you can grab a bite to eat at the relaxed, Hawaiian-inspired Marination Ma’Kai.
Since its opening as the centerpiece of the World’s Fair in 1962, the Space Needle and SkyCity restaurant remain popular as timeless and traditional places to propose in Seattle. While comparisons are made between the Space Needle and New York City’s Empire State Building, the former generally enjoys smaller crowds and you can always find privacy by making reservations at the restaurant. Also, unlike most of the other Seattle destinations we’ve mentioned here, weather won’t ruin your plans. If you need help pulling off your proposal between or after dinner courses, many of the SkyCity restaurant staff have experience with these situations and can help you with important details, such as topping off a delicious dessert dish with a classic engagement ring.
Are you still seeking the perfect ring to accompany your Seattle proposal? In Seattle, engagement rings with a diamond or gemstone halo have been on-trend recently. Halo engagement rings are beloved both for their vintage style and their extra sparkle.
If you are in the market for an engagement ring in Seattle, you can take advantage of Ritani’s free in-store preview program. The free in-store preview allows you to design your own custom ring, then have the ring you created shipped to a local Seattle jeweler. There, you can ask the jeweler any questions you might have, as well as see and try on the ring in person.