Ten Best Places to Propose in Iowa

We know how stressful planning a big proposal can be. You have to tell your friends and family, shop for an engagement ring they’ll love that is also in your budget, and then you have to figure out where to propose. At this point you’ve probably already completed the first two steps, now you just need to find a location that’ll make her say wow.

Iowa has a lot of spectacular locations that can help keep the big surprise a secret by making it feel like an ordinary day. Here are ten adventurous, photo worthy and will-not-disappoint locations where you should propose in Iowa.

Botanical Gardens – Des Moines, Iowa

Photo from the American Public Gardens Association

This is a popular spot to propose in Iowa, and we can see why! Thousands of spectacular colors from flowers, cacti, succulents and more fill the Botanical Garden. It’s a great escape and a perfect place to set the mood before you ask the big question. Grab a bite of gourmet food at Trellis Café before taking a relaxing walk around the Garden.

World Food Prize Building – Des Moines, Iowa

World Food Prize Bulding's interior design in Des Moines, Iowa
Photo from rdgusa.com

The World Food Prize building is also a popular location for brides-to-be. The inside is filled with hanging lights, a centered stairwell, décor, paintings and murals. The surrounding area even has flowers, trees and a small fountain in the distance. Both inside and outside would make a dreamy location for where to propose in Iowa!

Orpheum Theatre – Sioux City, Iowa

Photo from Travel Iowa

Near the border of Nebraska, this gem is perfect for people who love entertainment! This theatre is a historic venue built in the 1920’s with Italian architecture. The inside of the building is brightly lit with chandeliers, lights on the walls and specks of gold. Forget about Broadway, you’ll be the one in the spotlight!

Santa Maria Vineyard and Winery – Carroll, Iowa

iowa proposal
Photo from SantaMariaWinery.com

Calling all winos – you can have your wine and drink it too. From wine-tasting to their outdoor courtyards, there are plenty of locations that will make her day feel special. You can sample different wines with paired appetizers in the gorgeous taste room, you can take a walk through the vineyard or you could grab a bite to eat at their restaurant. Your options are endless here!

Bayliss Park Proposal – Council Bluffs, Iowa

proposal spot
Photo from the City of Council Bluffs

This unique ‘park’ is part of the town square. It features multiple sculptures and an eye-catching water fountain that has interesting patterns and even a light display at dusk! The plaza area has flower beds and a large green space that each connect to the fountain area. There are so many good spots at this park and each is equally as breathtaking.

Pikes Peak – McGregor, Iowa

Photo from Travel Iowa

Are you and your lover both fitness lovers? If you answered ‘yes,’ then this location might be a dream spot for you. Take a hike up the hills, then relax and enjoy the view overlooking the town. If you time your walk perfectly, you will both be able to enjoy the sunset – a sight that she will never forget!

Propose at The Klokkenspel (and park) – Pella, Iowa

proposal in iowa
Photo from Tarra’s Travels

A walk through Pella looks like it came right out of a fairytale book! It’s a small town that has the tulip festival, large windmills and old-fashioned buildings. There’s so much to do, but we recommend munching on a Dutch letter before wandering around to burn off those calories! There are a bunch of small shops as well as plenty of attractions like The Klokkenspel and park behind it. It’s an eye-catching, quiet location that would be perfect to propose at!

Badger Creek Recreational – Van Meter, Iowa (June-July)

Badger Creek sunflower field in Iowa
Photo taken by Gayle Spidle Ferguson

Visiting this location would be great for family-time or a small picnic! It could seem like an ordinary day, but in the months of June and July, you’re in for a surprise! Be prepared to wow your significant other with the views of a large sunflower field! This view can be the cherry on top to a cheerful, bright day.

Proposing at The Brenton Arboretum – Dallas Center, Iowa

proposal iowa
Photo from WeddingWire

This Arboretum is 141 acres of garden and greenery. The location is simple and sweet! It would make for a great backdrop for when you get on one knee (and of course for the photos that come afterwards.) In the warmer months, there are even crabapple trees to add a pop of color. The Arboretum is a great spot for a little picnic while enjoying nature’s beauty.

Proposing in Iowa at the Salisbury House – Des Moines

Proposal in Iowa
Photo from SalisburyHouse.org

This house is described as a Gothic and Carolean style manor home; it’s surrounded by nine acres of gardens and woodlands. The décor and details both inside and outside are very romantic! It’s a historic building that is filled with history – such as art from Sir Anthony or artifacts signed by Queen Elizabeth I or Abraham Lincoln. The Salisbury House is a great adventure to have before the proposing in Iowa.


It’s never too early to start planning! For next year, plan an idea that’s crazy… like proposing in front of thousands at the Iowa State Fair. It’s filled with deep-fried goodies, livestock and everything in between, but the midway (now Thrill Ville) would be the best spot, especially in front of the giant Ferris wheel! This idea will draw some attention and someone is sure to capture the moment in case you don’t have that covered already.


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