January 5, 2020
Baker Beach, Palace of Fine Arts, Lovers’ Lane, Lands End, Pier 7, Battery Spencer, Kirby Cove
Don’t forget to BOOKMARK this page to revisit it in the future! I often get asked for recommendations for the best marriage proposal locations in San Francisco, and thought I would help you out! SF is one of the best places to have your marriage proposal in Northern California, offering many different scenic locations and iconic views to choose from. As a San Francisco native, I love exploring new places to shoot in the City, but also love revisiting familiar locations and welcome the challenge of giving my Couples unique and creative images. Whether you have lived in San Francisco for many years, or are traveling here for vacation, the list below will help introduce you to the most popular marriage proposal locations in San Francisco to help make your marriage proposal a success!
I have listed them in order of popularity, ending with Napa Valley since wineries and vineyards are a very popular choice for out-of-towners, and is relatively close to San Francisco. Whether you are looking for common or uncommon marriage proposal locations in San Francisco, hopefully, this blog will give you a base of where to start looking for your big surprise!
Baker Beach is the most common marriage proposal location I photograph in San Francisco. Unparalleled views of the Golden Gate Bridge and free easy parking make it an easy choice, whether you live here or are visiting from out of town. FYI it is nude friendly closer to the Bridge but is never an issue.
If the beach is crowded, the area above it offers a cleaner view of the Bridge (though not as nice a view)
The views of the Golden Gate Bridge at Baker Beach are second to none in San Francisco!
The Palace of Fine Arts is the second most popular location I photograph marriage proposals. The Dome, the architecture, and the general elegance of this location makes it ideal for a surprise engagement!
Lovers’ Lane is a gorgeous hidden trail many people ignore, since it is nestled at the edge of the Presidio and is often overlooked as you manage the winding roads of adjacent Presidio Blvd. As the name implies, it is a romantic and secluded wooded location and offers enchanting light when the sun pokes through the trees at every hour of the day. Add in the snake-like trail of logs, Lovers Lane provides the perfect outdoor setting for those who love nature and earth tones.
To narrow down locations for the 3.4 miles of Lands End, I’m going to separate it into 3 places – Sutro Baths, Point Lobos, and Lands End Labyrinth.
Sutro Baths is the area at the bottom of the Lands End Parking Lot, known for the ruins of the old swimming house.
Point Lobos offers a stand of trees in addition to the ocean view, and overlooks Sutro Baths from above.
Lands End Labyrinth is a few minutes drive away from the others with a 20 mins hike to. Because of the hike, it is the most isolated location amongst the three.
Situated across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, Battery Spencer is the panoramic view one would see on a postcard at Pier 39 with its incomparable “eye-level” view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the City of San Francisco in the background. When a little fog rolls in this place is the spot to be, and when a lot of fog rolls in you cannot see the Bridge! 😀
If you decide to come here, be prepared to arrive early to accommodate for parking at the lot 100 yards away and walking up the hill to get to the lookout. This place is always crowded (most Instagrammed view of the Bridge?) and takes a little luck to maneuver around other people because of the limited area, but rewards those who are patient.
Pier 7 is perfect for those who enjoy open skies, the high rise views of downtown San Francisco, or the lesser photographed Bay Bridge. With its attractive wooden planks and row of street lights, I personally love the symmetry at Pier 7. The sky seems to burst in vibrancy here, which makes it a great sunset location.
Pro tip : this area gets more sun compared to other parts of the City, so it is not uncommon to see blue skies around this area when others are overcast.
Golden Gate Park offers numerous locations to propose, but the most common ones are Stow Lake and the Japanese Tea Garden. Stow Lake is known for its mini waterfall and stone bridges that are popular backdrops for photos. The Japanese Tea Garden requires an entrance fee ($5-$7/person) but has a unique wheel bridge that everyone loves!
For nature lovers or those who take walks GGP is a great disguise for your marriage proposal!
For those who enjoy a short easy hike, (20-30 mins downhill to the beach) Kirby Cove offers a secluded view of the Golden Gate Bridge. To be honest, there is nothing much to the beach aside from the Bridge view (they cut down the swing), but if you are wanting a more unique view of the Bridge and want to take in the fresh air, this is the spot to go to!
Let’s be honest…ANY winery and vineyard in the Napa Valley region is going to offer a stunning view. Mountains, fields of grapes, and plenty of green lend their beauty for your marriage proposal. A 45 – 60 minute drive from San Francisco, Napa is considered the more touristy city with more wineries to choose from, but locals tend to visit Sonoma to avoid more crowds.
Pro tip : contact the winery ahead of time to coordinate special services to make your marriage proposal even more discreet and special!