Image by Alan Stark on Flickr
Summer vacation is approaching and wedding season is underway. For Phoenicians, this means the heat is rising and the time window for having an outdoor wedding ceremony or reception is shrinking. Let’s take a few steps back, though. If you’re planning a proposal rather than a wedding, there’s no reason not to brave the dry heat for a bit in the name of popping the question in front of some majestic desert scenery.
For those that do not want to risk sunburn, however, we definitely have some indoor options in our list of the best places to propose in Phoenix:
A well-liked attraction by both tourists and locals, Camelback Mountain is named for its appearance. The western side resembles the head and hump of a camel lying down. There are two main trails to hike on Camelback, called Echo Canyon and Cholla. Both are rated as strenuous due to steep inclines, and Echo Canyon Trail is ranked as more difficult than Cholla. Phoenix Parks and Recreation recommends showing up in the early morning or near dusk, for both heat and crowd reasons. The average hike on Camelback takes about 3 hours round trip, so you and your partner should reach the mountain’s peak after an hour and a half.
What makes Camelback Mountain’s peak so special? Once you reach the top, you will immediately know. From the summit of Camelback, you can look down and see the city of Phoenix stretch out in front of you. At sunset, the city lights against the mountainous desert background produces an especially romantic effect, and a perfect vista for a proposal.
Source: Wrigley Mansion
As one of the most unconventional and historic buildings in Phoenix, Wrigley Mansion is a popular space for weddings and proposals alike. Built in 1932 by chewing gum baron William Wrigley Jr., the house was meant to be a 50th anniversary present to his wife. Situated atop a 100-foot hill, you can get a spectacular view of Phoenix city to the south.
The house is designed mostly in the Spanish Colonial style, with dramatic dark wood furnishings and twisting staircases. The beauty of the house’s furnishings is matched only by its gorgeous grounds, which has a blend of plush green grass and indigenous desert plants. There is also a world class, in-house restaurant named Geordie’s. Whether you pop the question on a tour of the mansion, on a stroll around the mansion’s grounds, or over dinner and drinks, Wrigley Mansion is full of historical romance.
Early summer is the perfect time to propose at the Desert Botanical Gardens, for during the school year large tour groups tend to dominate the park. If you and your significant other love the outdoors, especially desert flora and how humans interact with nature, this is one of the best places to propose in Phoenix. With over 50,000 desert plants on display in artful and eye-catching exhibits, the toughest part of proposing in the Desert Botanical Gardens will be choosing a perfect little place off the trail.
The only downside is how hot it can get in the gardens throughout the day. If you want to beat this heat, the Desert Botanical Gardens offer a unique kind of tour that is also an excellent proposal opportunity. On Thursday and Saturday nights, the DBG provides interesting and intimate flashlight tours so visitors can experience the flora and fauna of the gardens at night. Key to note here is that the tours are self-paced, so you and your special someone can slow down or wander off for a private conversation whenever you want.
While none of the trails in the Phoenix area will pass through a white sand beach, you can still get engaged on a charming horseback ride with your partner in the Valley of the Sun. Ponderosa Stables is a mainstay in the outdoor activities in the Phoenix area, located at the base of South Mountain. With their “everyone can ride” philosophy, Ponderosa Stables has made a tradition of guided horseback tours throughout Phoenix. The tours are offered all day, starting with a breakfast ride and ending with evening dinner tours, and Ponderosa takes care to preserve the natural beauty and health of their trails.
If you are hoping for an intimate proposal, Ponderosa Stables may not be the right place for you. Many of Ponderosa’s rides throughout the day have a 2-person minimum, and since the horses walk in a line quite close together, you can’t hope for much privacy. However, if you sign up for one of the tour-and-meal packages, there will be plenty of opportunities to slip away together. Also, keep in mind that horseback on a desert trail can be one of the ultimate bumpy rides, so make sure the diamond engagement ring is tucked away securely.
With so much golfing, hiking, and shopping to do in the Phoenix metro area, there is no shortage of resorts and high-end desert hotels. The trouble is picking the one with the best mix of hotel service and local flavor for a Phoenix proposal. The Pointe Hilton at Tapatio Cliffs’s Different Pointe of View (get it?) restaurant strikes this balance elegantly. Settled atop North Mountain, Different Pointe of View provides sweeping views of Phoenix with floor-to-ceiling windows.
The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating for its guests; considering Phoenix’s weather, you can enjoy the outdoor seating practically all year. Fans of Different Pointe of View claim that it is at once upscale and approachable, which will surely help with proposal jitters. Locals come here to celebrate graduations, promotions, anniversaries, and more, so a romantic engagement will be nothing new in this restaurant’s atmosphere.
Are you still looking for the ideal ring to accompany your Phoenix proposal? In Phoenix, engagement rings with a solitaire setting are the most sought after lately. Solitaire engagement rings are a timeless choice, often seen as the standard engagement ring style. Endless customization options have helped solitaire rings stand the test of time; depending on the metal and diamond cuts used, you can create a vintage-inspired piece or a modern look.