Keeping Portland weird might be a local tradition, but don’t make it weird when asking your significant other the most important question in your life. This is the Rose City after all, and romance should naturally flow like the Willamette River. If you need a memorable proposal place that’s romantic, here are our five favorite places to propose in Portland:
Portland Japanese Garden
Located inside the West Hill’s Washington Park, the Portland Japanese Garden remains one of the city’s best-kept romantic secrets. This five-acre area is divided into five placid and serene gardens: Flat Garden, Tea Garden, Natural Garden, Sand and Stone Garden and the Strolling Pond Garden. The Moon Bridge in the Strolling Pond Garden is the most popular scenic attraction, so unless you’re visiting on the weekday it’s unlikely that you’ll have this stunning proposal location to yourself.
Fortunately there are ample moss-covered places for private discussions. There is also an impressive view of the city behind the Flat Garden pavilion. The park is open until 7:00 PM throughout the spring and summer. If having more space and fewer people is your highest priority here, buy an annual membership and you can access the garden two hours before it opens to the public.
Willamette Wine Country
If you prefer wine over craft brews in Oregon’s “Beervana”, pack up your corkscrew with your diamond engagement ring and take your partner south to the two hundred wineries located in the Willamette Valley. You could tour wineries based on wine magazine reviews, but you will not find the venues with patios, vistas and romantic spots. The Willamette Valley Vineyards Winery in Turner features an observation tower and outdoor patio that offer extensive views of the countryside. If it’s rainy, stay indoors next to the fire pit and savor small plates with Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay and award-winning Pinot Noir.
If you like Pinots with an authentic French influence, check out Domaine Drouhin in Dayton. Founded in 1980, the 225-acre estate is an extension of the highly regarded Joseph Drouhin wines in Burgundy, France. Sip handcrafted wines in the intimate farmhouse-style tasting room or out on the deck overlooking the hilltop vineyards. If Tuscan architecture is more your theme, nearby Domaine Serene offers a touch of Italy. A spacious patio promises seclusion on warm days but the large indoor fireplace is just as welcoming and accessible on chilly weekday afternoons.
For more than a century, thousands of couples have made the half-hour drive east from Portland to the Benson Footbridge below Multnomah Falls. Proposals are almost as commonplace as the photographers. Parking spaces in the winter months are plentiful but you might need to hike to the trails if you are arriving on a summer weekend. Because the Benson Footbridge is so close to the highway, anticipate big crowds and dozens of kids here on sunny days. Bringing along practical shoes or hiking boots gives you access to a network of steep trails connecting the Multnomah Falls Lodge to other nearby waterfalls. Pack a light meal with your unique engagement ring and you’re bound to find a scenic and intimate place to rest before popping the question.
International Rose Test Garden
While there are other rose gardens at Peninsula Park and Ladd’s Addition, the International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park remains the oldest and most popular. The park offers exceptional views of Mount Hood and the Cascade Range, as well. June is the peak bloom time and crowds blossom right along with the roses. Keep in mind that there will be plenty of color through October and fewer visitors on weekdays. The Gold Medal Garden and larger Shakespeare Garden are available for wedding rentals, which sometimes crowds out the seclusion normally found in other nearby garden spaces.
The International Rose Test Garden is only open until 9:00 PM in the summer months, so if you’re in need of a romantic rose garden that’s available after a late dinner, Ladd’s Addition and Peninsula Park offer ample illumination and remain open until midnight.
Mount Tabor Park
While many Portlandians assume that Mount Hood is the closest volcano, there are actually four ancient cinder cones in the metro area, including Mount Tabor Park in Southeast Portland. If you prefer to talk and think on your feet, this greenspace is a perfect proposal spot. There are nearly 200 acres of parkland laced with paved and unpaved paths that wind between evergreens and perennials. When you run out of words, the 636-foot summit offers an assortment of views of Mount Hood and the city.
This park is a favorite space for athletes seeking personal bests on stairs and steep slopes, but there is more than enough space for seclusion among the trails. Wednesdays are closed to all motor traffic, so you won’t encounter cars on the roads either. The only times you might find a crowd here are during concerts or the adult soapbox derby races, so check the online parks calendar while planning your outing.
Are you still hunting for the perfect engagement ring for your Portland proposal? In Portland, engagement rings with a timeless appeal have been the most on-trend recently. Classic engagement rings encompass a wide range of styles, including but not limited to those with diamond bands, solitaire settings, and round cut diamonds.
If you are searching for the ideal ring in the Portland area, you can take advantage of Ritani’s free in-store preview. Design your own custom ring, have it shipped to a local Portland jeweler, and see it in person before you commit to buying. That way, you can make sure the ring is as perfect as the one you love.