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Where to propose in Hawaii
Scouting locations across Hawaii to pop the question
Trying to figure out the perfect spot to propose is next to impossible. When the time came for me to propose to Tawny, my wife, I already had spent a year stressing out over what kind of ring she’d want and where to spend the honeymoon. Trying to find the perfect location on top of this was daunting. Would she want a public proposal or a private setting to consider my offer? Would she want a sweeping romantic vista or a grand gesture? Thankfully, I nailed it. I had considered Hawaii for most of my potential locations. For any of you thinking about taking a knee in the future, here are my best recommendations for proposing on the islands of Hawaii and Oahu in Hawaii.
One of the most commanding vistas on Oahu is the Pali Lookout. While it was once the location for the decisive battle of King Kamehameha’s reign (the battle that led to him uniting the Hawaiian Islands), it’s now the perfect spot to take in all of Oahu. The area is located close to a lot of celebratory restaurants and hotels, too. The wind on the peak usually borders on gale-force. It can punctuate your big moment by literally taking her breath away.
If you’re craving a location with a touch more zen, Byodo-In Temple, also on Oahu, is a serene spot. The temple is a smaller-scale replica of the original Byodo-In Temple in Japan. You can buy little packets of food to feed the koi and swans. The soft percussion of bamboo in the wind could underscore your moment. The temple grounds often are used for weddings. It’s difficult to find a spot more romantic this one.
If your love is more of the action type, consider the ultimate arena for forever: off the coast of Hawaii Island, where you can go diving with manta rays. In the middle of the night you dive or snorkel a few yards down and a guide will turn on a giant underwater spot light. The light attracts tiny plankton; these microscopic critters, in turn summon a current of gentle shadows—manta rays that feed on the plankton and often slide along your body as they do so. With a wingspan of up to 20 feet, the rays are a commanding sight. Imagine pulling out a ring out as a company of rays swirl around you and your special someone. This is an excellent option for those who might not be sure what to say, since you’ll have a regulator in your mouth (don’t worry you can use a white board to ask her to marry you).
A lot of people think about proposing on the beach, but if you want to take it to the next level, consider a waterfall. A lot of tour operators in Hawaii (on just about every island) offer horseback rides to waterfalls. From there you can jump in—literally and figuratively. Nothing screams, “I’m totally the one for you!” like pulling out a ring in the middle of a tropical waterfall.
Viewfinder Tip: Renting a car in Oahu can give you access to a lot of more secluded spots on the island that only the locals visit, such as uber-romantic Waimanalo Beach Park.
Another thought would be to consider the local canals. On Hawaii (and Kauai), these tunnels were dug through solid rock long ago to irrigate the sugar cane. Today they generally are off-limits, though you can join a guide and take a kayak or inner-tube down some of them on organized trips. Imagine asking her to marry you as you guide your kayak along a flume, perched above a waterfall, with plumeria flowers drifting alongside you. That’s pretty much a guaranteed win.
There is a lot of pressure that goes into making a proposal. The islands of Hawaii comprise a natural setting that offers plenty of romance and several unique stages. The good news is, if your partner says, “yes,” you can celebrate with Mai Tais. If she says, “no,” well, you’re still in paradise.
What do you think makes a proposal perfect?
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Chris and Tawny have had articles and videos published on USA TODAY TRAVEL, BBC Travel, Matador Network, as well as appeared as guest stars on TLC Asia's Fun Taiwan television series. When not on the road, you can find Chris and Tawny nestled in their home in Tacoma, Washington fueling up on coffee and cat cuddles while planning their future adventures. You can follow their travels on their blog, Instagram, and YouTube