Planning to pop the question soon? You’ve found the love of your life and you are ready to ask them to marry you. CONGRATULATIONS! This is a huge step!
When planning a surprise proposal in Minnesota, there are endless options for beautiful and memorable locations to propose marriage in the Twin Cities (and beyond). Here is a list of the top public locations for a surprise marriage proposal in Minneapolis, St. Paul and greater Minnesota.
NOTE: Unless it is particularly noteworthy or special/unique, we’ve intentionally left restaurants and sports arenas off of this list.
And now…. in no particular order…. enjoy our list of the best places to propose in MN! BONUS: Many of these locations are also fantastic places to take engagement photos in Minneapolis, St. Paul and beyond!
All photos are copyrighted by Laura Robinson Photography.
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1. Location of Your First Date
Tried and true and sentimental to its core, proposing at the location of your first date is a very sweet idea. Not only does it allow you to reminisce about how far you’ve come together, but now you can start a new chapter, together, at the place it all began. Win/win! Fair warning that your sweetheart might start to get suspicious if you don’t frequent the location often (but that’s ok! The excitement and anticipation will definitely still be there!)
2. Your Favorite Date Spot
There is something so romantic about proposing in your favorite date night spot — it is something uniquely “you two”, and it is also helpful that it actually errs on the side of the ordinary/unexpected. If you’re looking to keep things a surprise, don’t trip the alarm with a new date night spot… your sweetheart just might pick up that something is happening! So enjoy that “typical date night”…. that just might end with some bling!
3. Your Home
One of the most overlooked (yet still wildly popular) locations to propose? Your home! Taking the time to propose in a meaningful way at your home allows you to control the environment (much easier to do than in a public place!) So go ahead, grab the champagne and rose petals and your dog and make your proposal unique and PERSONAL!
4. literally, Any lake or waterfall
It’s Minnesota. Is there really anything more Minnesotan than proposing at the lake (or waterfall)?! Definitely nope. In the land of 10,000 (more like 18,000) lakes, your options are literally endless. Whether a more popular location like Lake Calhoun (Bde Ska Ma, as it is officially titled these days…), the ever-popular Minnehaha Falls, Lake of the Isles, a beautiful resort on Lake Mille Lacs, Gooseberry Falls, the stunning North Shore backdrop of Lake Superior… the options are plentiful. You can plan a lakeside walk, set up a picnic on a beach, or plan a sunset cruise on a boat. Bonus: if you propose at a lake or waterfall, you’ll instantly have a memorable location you can return to throughout your lives. Quintessentially Minnesotan, and very memorable!
5. Stone Arch Bridge
There is a reason that this iconic location is a very popular place to pop the question: with its stunning skyline views of Minneapolis and the mighty Mississippi below, this Minneapolis landmark makes a picture-perfect place to take a knee. Bonus: there are plenty of great restaurants and bars for dinner or drinks before or after the big event at either end of the bridge. Beware the crazy crowds of pedestrians and bikers on this bridge — they’re out full-force literally any time of year, any time of day.
6. minneapolis sculpture garden
For some reason, the iconic “Spoon and Cherry” is a Minneapolis landmark known the world over. But the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden just underwent an extensive renovation and reopened in 2018. Not only does the Sculpture Garden overlook the Minneapolis skyline as well, but you can get in a romantic stroll through the interesting art installations and then head inside the Walker Art Museum or cross the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge (the pretty blue + yellow pedestrian bridge that connects Loring Park and the Sculpture Garden) and walk through Loring Park and maybe a cozy, romantic dinner at Cafe Lurcat.
7. Minnehaha Falls
The most stunning natural backdrop for a proposal within Minneapolis has to be Minnehaha Falls. The stunning 53-foot tall waterfall stands majestic and proud, tucked away inside a bustling hillside in southeast Minneapolis. The fall colors really make this location shine! A crowd favorite any time of year, this popular location also has beautiful hiking trails, a lovely pergola garden, a fun little restaurant (Sea Salt Eatery) and natural beautiful in every direction. Fair warning, if the weather isn’t freezing or storming, chances are you’ll find crowds here, especially on the weekends. Parking can be a challenge, but there are pay lots, free parking, parking meters, and if you’re willing to walk a few blocks, even more free parking which is helpful for those extra busy days.
8. Rice Park
Notably popular in the winter when the Winter Carnival is happening, the bustling St. Paul gem at Rice Park is a longtime favorite for popping the question. Set with thousands of twinkling lights in the trees, it is literally a winter wonderland. It is easily paired with a romantic ice skating date at the Wells Fargo Winterskate and a post-proposal glass of champagne at the St. Paul Hotel. Rice Park is also situated within 1-2 blocks of the Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul RiverCentre, the Landmark Center, and the Ordway Center. Planning to hit an upcoming MN Wild Game or a Minnesota Opera performance? Rice Park would be a perfect location to pop the question without suspicion!
9. Como Conservatory
Known for its tropical climate and impeccable landscapes, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at the Como Zoo in St. Paul is a timeless and utterly romantic choice for a proposal location. While it is free and open to the public, the space is also available for rental after-hours if you really want some privacy. The Sunken Gardens are a perfect choice to ask your beloved to marry you — and it is climate-controlled! Visit during the holiday season for a beautiful annual Poinsettia Holiday Display, or visit any other time of year for a variety of lush foliage that is the closest thing to a tropical location as you’ll find in Minnesota.
10. Lyndale Rose Garden
A picturesque backdrop awaits you at the Lyndale Rose Garden (Minneapolis Peace Gardens) on the north side of Lake Harriet. Landscaped with acres of blooming flowers, hedges and tranquil rock gardens, this is the perfect place to spend a lazy weekend with a romantic picnic under the trees. If you catch the right timeframe in the spring, you might even capture the blooming trees, which is a sight to behold and SUPER ROMANTIC!
11. Mill Ruins Park
With Minneapolis’ historical ties to the flour milling industry along the mighty Mississippi River, the Mill Ruins Park provides a unique, history-filled location perfect for popping the question. It is a hidden little gem with unique architectural ruins as a backdrop, along with the Stone Arch Bridge, and the Mississippi River. The location really shines closer to sunset, as the sun dips behind the Minneapolis skyline and the soft glow of the evening sun creates a warm light that fills the ravine area where the ruins are.
12. Carriage Ride Along St. Anthony Main
If “old-world” romance is more your style, a classic horse-drawn carriage ride is just the ticket to provide the ideal ambiance for your proposal. In your very own carriage, you will see the sights of old St. Anthony Main Street and Stone Arch Bridge areas as the two of you snuggle under a blanket, lulled by the clip-clop of the horse.
13. Loring Park
One of the prettiest areas near downtown Minneapolis is surely Loring Park and the nearby vicinity. Not only does the park feature lots of paved walking paths, fountains and lovely gardens, but it is also connected by footbridge to the iconic Minneapolis Sculpture Gardens. And if that wasn’t enough, the little alley tucked between 4Bells and Cafe Lurcat is taken straight out of the streets of Europe, with its “cobblestone”-style brick alley path, brick buildings and vibrant trim and flower boxes.
14. Walker Art Center
If you’re into art, the Walker Art Center is the perfect date day excursion… top it off with a little Skyline mini golf on the terrace and you have a built-in date AND proposal location — complete with views of the Minneapolis skyline from the terrace! Cross the street and you can also walk through the Minneapolis Sculpture Gardens or even cross the footbridge over to Loring Park and Cafe Lurcat (perhaps for some celebratory champagne?!)
15. Minnesota Helicopters
The sky is the limit when it comes to where you can propose in Minnesota! Quite literally. Minnesota Helicopters offers fantastic aerial views of iconic Minnesota locations, like downtown Minneapolis, St. Paul, and beyond. Not only is it a once-in-a-lifetime view (you definitely can’t get that close in a commercial aircraft!), but it will be a once-in-a-lifetime ride when you propose in the air or on the ground. Take off from downtown St. Paul or from the Anoka County airport in Blaine.
For the sentimental types thinking of proposing close to the holidays, the Holidazzle festival is held in Loring Park and features live music, tasty food, outdoor movies, and an ice skating rink, to name a few. If your idea of “It’s a Wonderful Life” includes your sweetheart by your side forever… consider proposing under the THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of twinkling Christmas lights!
17. Foshay Tower
Once the tallest tower in Minneapolis, the historic Foshay Tower at the now W Hotel in downtown Minneapolis features an observation deck with views for miles and miles. You’ll surely be on top of the world when you propose to your sweetheart (or at least, on top of Minneapolis!) Stop off at the Prohibition Bar inside the hotel for a tasty craft cocktail!
18. Guthrie Theater
The Guthrie Theater is a Twin Cities gem — and not just for the theater! The Endless Bridge features stunning views of the Mississippi River and St. Anthony Main, while the Minneapolis Boardwalk along the riverfront behind the Guthrie are both great places to pop the question.
19. SEALIFE AQUARIUM AT MALL OF AMERICA
If you can’t get to an ocean, the Sea Life Aquarium at Mall of America is the next best thing. With cavernous underground glass tunnels showcasing ocean and freshwater sea life, it is one of the more unique locations in the Twin Cities to propose!
20. Irvine Park
With a nod to the fountains of Central Park in NYC, the beautiful fountain and grounds of Irvine Park are nestled right outside downtown St. Paul. Go for a walk in the park and pop the question with the fountain in the background.
Dubbed one of the most romantic towns in America, the Stillwater riverfront is a picturesque option complete with an array of tasty restaurants, bars and small shops / antiquing. Take in the views and pop the question along the riverfront or at Pioneer Park if you want a more aerial view of the St. Croix River.
Minnesota State Fair
Where else can you eat exotic foods on a stick, ride in a Sky Glider above the crowds, indulge in some Sweet Martha’s cookies AND ask your sweetheart to spend forever with you?! The Minnesota State Fair is an annual tradition for many Minnesotans and for good reason — the variety of foods, people watching, and entertainment make this a fun choice with a very sly cover for a date day adventure!
Taylors Falls / Interstate State Park
Filled with unbelievably scenic views from atop the St. Croix River bluffs, Interstate State Park is one of the most beautiful locations in all of Minnesota to visit (or propose!). A short drive from the city, you can take part in an afternoon of hiking around the natural potholes left over from the ice age or even take in a Paddleboat ride down the river!
Boom Island Park
With large open spaces, picnic areas and a beautiful view of the Minneapolis skyline, Boom Island Park makes a great choice of location to propose.
There are endless other beautiful locations around Minnesota to propose! Whether you decide to pop the question on a Saturday afternoon hike at Gooseberry Falls or at your cabin near Brainerd, there are beautiful and meaningful locations all around this great state to ask your sweetheart to marry you.
All photos are copyrighted by Laura Robinson Photography.
So…. where will you propose?!
If you’re already engaged/married… where did you propose (or were proposed to)? If we forgot any big locations, drop a comment below!