For some of you, the holiday season means putting a ring on it. And if you're going to do it, it's best to do it right. Here are the best outdoor spots to propose in the Bay Area.
Looking for a beautiful yet secluded spot to pop the question? Head north over the Golden Gate Bridge to Black Sand Beach. Past Hawk Hill and off Conzelman Road, you’ll find the beach’s parking lot; come early, since it can fill up quickly on weekends, or look for parking on the road. From here, you’ll walk about 10 minutes down a set of wooden steps to the beach — just close enough that you can still bring a bottle of champagne with you. Learn more.
Inside Tip: Black Sand Beach is clothing optional, so there's a chance you’ll see a naked body or two...but don't let that scare you off.
There are two ways to get to Mt. Tam’s East Ridge — along Highway 1 or the Panoramic Highways — but either will get you to some of the North Bay’s most scenic views of the Pacific. On a clear day, this is an amazing spot to catch the sunset. Pack a picnic and take your time. Learn more.
Inside Tip: Want to go all the way to the top of Mt. Tam? Continue on the East Ridge until it ends, hop on the 1.2 mile trail, and make your way up to the top of the 2,570-foot peak.
Abbotts Lagoon is an easy, short walk that shows you some of Point Reyes’ most beautiful characteristics. The 2.3-mile roundtrip hike will take you along creek beds and through wildflowers before finally bringing you out onto the sand dunes of the beach. This is one of Point Reyes’ lesser-known spots, so don’t be surprised if you find yourselves entirely alone on the trail. Learn more.
Inside Tip: Stop in Point Reyes Station on your way in and pack yourselves a celebratory picnic for the beach.
Don’t think you have to leave the city to propose — San Francisco is full of incredibly beautiful spots. Head to the Presidio and walk along the Batteries to Bluffs Trail for some of the best the park has to offer, from views of the Golden Gate Bridge to secluded nooks among the trees just big enough for two. Learn more.
Inside Tip: When you’re done with the 1.9-mile out-and-back stroll, head to the Presidio Social Club for lunch and drinks.
Panther Beach is one of those special places that can be so tricky to spot that you might say it can only be found by those who already know where it is. North of Santa Cruz along CA1, keep an eye out for cars parked along the side of the road; park, cross the railroad tracks, and hike down to the beach. The white sand, sandstone cliffs, and clear blue water waiting for you will make the trip worth it. Learn more.
Inside Tip: Looking for more privacy? Once you’ve made it to Panther Beach, continue along to the left, pass under the natural stone arch, and set up camp at the less-populated Hole in the Wall Beach.