As a couple, there are some stories you’ll be telling for the rest of your lives: how you met, how you got married — and in between, how you got engaged.
If you’re looking to pop the question, here are five memorable places in Key West to consider.
Picture this: It’s sunset. You’re sitting in a prime table overlooking the hubbub of Mallory Square. And the server is keeping your secret. Perhaps the ring is part of a flight of chocolate boxes, or maybe it’s lingering in a classic champagne class. “One guy had a conch shell sitting on their table, and the ring was in the conch shell,” says Bill Foster, director of sales and marketing for Ocean Key Resort and Spa, where the restaurant is located. “The lady just thought it was a decoration… The ring fell out while she was playing around with it. She burst into tears. That was cool.” For a spot on “Lover’s Lane” — the row of five two-tops with the best view — make reservations at least a month in advance. Another elegant option is to dine after the sun has set, when the restaurant has quieted down.
If your love is as strong as the walls of a 19th-Century fortress, then consider getting engaged at this national landmark. “It’s an excellent place to view the sunset. We have the whole west end of the park is a good viewing area for that,” says Jayne Blatherwick, assistant park manager. Pack a picnic and cozy up under the shade of the buttonwoods, seagrapes and palm trees. Or head for the secluded butterfly garden, and watch love take flight.
When love leaves you feeling on top of the world, consider proposing at the apex of this 1848 landmark. If climbing the 88 steps doesn’t take your beloved’s breath away, then the view surely will. Building codes dictate that no building in Key West may be higher than 40 feet tall, so on the lighthouse’s 86-foot observation platform, “you’re above everything,” says curator Cori Convertito. Drink in a panorama of the island, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. Staffers will even help you pull off your perfect proposal by keeping other visitors out of the lighthouse for a few minutes while you get down on bended knee. “We’re happy to do it,” Convertito says. “As long as we know ahead of time, we try to accommodate people.”
You can never go wrong with a sunset cruise, but to throw your darling off the scent, think outside the box. Classic Harbor Line offers a morning mimosa cruise. Step aboard a 1920s-era yacht, where you’ll enjoy complimentary pastries — sweets for your sweetie. Even if you don’t spot a dolphin, you’re sure to find your happily ever after.