When, Where, and How to Plan a Romantic Hawaii Proposal

Cascading waterfalls and beach sunsets make proposing in Hawaii an experience like no other.
Couple swimming in Hawaii
Photo: Digital Vision | Getty Images
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Kim Griffin
kim griffin headshot
Kim Griffin
The Knot Contributor
  • Kim writes for The Knot Worldwide, particularly about picking wedding venues and planning proposals.
  • Over the years, she has helped plan a wedding or two and briefly considered it as a career.
  • Kim has been putting words together and editing works for over a decade, covering a variety of subjects from entertainment and nature to finance and most things in between.
Updated Jan 04, 2024

Unlock the secrets to a romantic Hawaii proposal, where the charm of Oahu's beaches and the allure of Maui's gardens set the stage for an enchanting moment in paradise. No matter where you choose to pledge your love, the islands' natural beauty is sure to enhance the romance. Capture the magic that is Hawaii by picking the perfect place and time to pop the question, creating a memory that will last a lifetime.

For some first-hand guidance in gathering the best places to propose in Hawaii, we spoke to wedding photography experts Victoria and Joseph Felt of Knots in the Pines. With their years of experience in photography and the Hawaiian islands, they shared a lot of ideas about where to ask that all-important question and some tips about proposing in that part of the world. The best part is, if one of these places speaks to you, that's one more thing to check off your to-do list.

In this story:

How to Decide Where to Propose in Hawaii

No matter where you look on every island in America's 50th state, beauty abounds. So, how do you decide where to propose in Hawaii? A good place to start is to pick a place with special meaning to you both. If you want someplace new, consider your personalities. Adventurers might want to take a helicopter ride to the rim of a volcano or waterfall, while others might prefer Hawaii's luscious gardens or a sandy beach in front of crashing waves at sunset. Proposal photographers like the Felts are a great resource for suggestions to help narrow your choice.

That said, Victoria wanted lovebirds to know that culture and spirituality are very important to those who live on the Hawaiian islands, and some places are forbidden to visit. Look for signs that say Kapu—forbidden—and listen to the locals if they say a location is off-limits.

The Best Time of the Year to Propose in Hawaii

Victoria said summer is probably the best time to propose in Hawaii, as winter can be rainy. Still, rain brings the foliage to life, so that season isn't completely out of the question. In fact, it can be quite beautiful. Interestingly, the photographer did warn that the eastern side of the islands is typically more rainy than the western side—even in the summer—so prepare accordingly. May through October is a popular time to pop the question or say "I do."

Couple getting engaged in Hawaii
Photo: Vanessa Hicks Photography,,Planner: Tropical Moon Events

The Best Places to Propose in Hawaii

Hawaii's most enchanting settings, from lush gardens to coastal cliffs, beckon for uniquely romantic proposals, creating timeless moments amidst the diverse and mesmerizing landscapes of the islands.

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens at Onomea Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii

Seal your love amidst the rare beauty of the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens at Onomea Bay. This location has over 2,000 plant species, streams, a waterfall, an orchid garden and an aviary. If you and your partner love nature, this spot could provide the perfect setting for your proposal.

Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on Kauai

Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on Kauai is home to diverse wildlife combined with a rich history and a landmark lighthouse on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Another nature lover's dream, Victoria said those who love observing the local animal population might find this location to be just the right fit.

Kilauea Rim on the Big Island of Hawaii

One of the more adventurous and popular ways to propose in Hawaii is by air while touring all that the islands have to offer. Kilauea Rim is one of those places. While you can hike or bike to pick a spot along the volcano, a helicopter ride can provide an exciting backdrop for your moment. That way, you can see the lava flows, the crater and the surrounding landscapes from the air.

Thurston Lava Tube on the Big Island of Hawaii

Proposing inside the Thurston Lava Tube (Nāhuku) would be truly unique. Located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, this beautiful and ancient geological formation with its dimly lit pathways creates a mystical ambiance. The lovely rainforest leading up to the tube is rich with ferns, native birds, flowers and ohia trees—a memorable backdrop for you both.

Kualoa Ranch on Oahu

Kualoa Ranch is an unparalleled venue, situated at the base of the Kanehoalani Mountain Peak and surrounded by lush valleys and towering cliffs. Movie-buff couples might recognize the setting from "LOST" or "Jurassic Park." Those seeking a blend of natural beauty, romance and culture in the heart of Hawaii should consider proposing here.

Man proposing on Hawaii beach
Photo: DaniRae Dunn

Beautiful Beaches for a Hawaii Proposal

Some of the finest beaches in the world are in Hawaii. Victoria from Knots in the Pines said all the beaches on the islands, from the treeline to the water, are public land. So, as long as the locals and signs are respected, proposing on a lovely Hawaiian beach should be a snap.

Nā Pali Coast State Park on Kauai

Nā Pali Coast State Park is where you'll find dramatic sea cliffs and hidden beaches—including the renowned Hanakapiai Falls and beach. The park's secluded allure and enchanting beauty make this beachy location the perfect atmosphere to declare your love amidst the splendor of Kauai's landscapes. Your proposal planner can help you set the stage.

Tunnels Beach on Kauai

Joseph mentioned that Tunnels Beach could also be the perfect proposal spot, with its crystal-clear waters, lush surroundings and iconic coral formations. Renowned for its underwater caverns and vibrant marine life, this beach offers a visually stunning setting that guarantees memorable moments and amazing proposal pics.

Moana Beachfront Estate on Oahu

Private beaches with soft sand and a host of outdoor amenities like paddleboarding and surfing make Moana Beachfront Estate a fun and romantic choice to ask for their hand. Secured through the proposal planning experts at Oahu Wedding Villas & Venues, the estate has a lovely backyard where you can relax, enjoy the breeze coming off the water and have your moment.

The Royal Sonesta Kaua'i Resort Lihue on Kauai

Located on Kalapaki Beach, the Royal Sonesta Kaua'i Resort in Lihue is a seaside oasis, boasting a stunning beachfront, an opulent pool and a weekly luau. Speak to the concierge about proposal packages and service ideas, including rose petals, candles or a bottle of bubbly to toast the new happy couple.

Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui

Along the sun-kissed shores of Maui, Fairmont Kea Lani private villas, beautiful gardens and picture-perfect backdrops for a one-of-a-kind proposal. Its seamless blend of Hawaiian hospitality and breathtaking ocean views at Polo Beach make it the ideal place to plan a romantic and unforgettable proposal experience.

Papa Kona Events on the Big Island of Hawaii

Create a distinctive proposal at Magic Sands Beach through Papa Kona Events on the Big Island, with personalized touches and guidance from the group of professionals you can find on The Knot Vendor Marketplace. The beach is called magic because the sand can disappear into the ocean at low tide or during high winter surf, leaving behind lava rocks and coral.

Ko Olina Resort & Marina on Oahu

On the island of Oahu, Ko Olina Resort & Marina sets itself apart with its unique charm, showcasing man-made lagoons that provide a distinctive beach experience. The resort's blend of luxury, exclusive amenities and the clear water off Kalapaki Beach makes it the ideal locale to commit yourself to your loved one.

Couple after getting engaged on the beach in Hawaii
Photo: The Beach House

Romantic Places for a Hawaii Proposal

Let's be honest—anywhere you propose in Hawaii is going to be romantic. Still, you might find these picks have a little something extra special sprinkling an air of romance against the backdrop of vibrant sunsets and soothing ocean sounds. Don't forget to bring your proposal photographer to capture the moment.

Four Seasons Resorts Lanai on Lanai

Four Seasons Resorts Lanai stands as the epitome of romance, offering an idyllic setting for a proposal with its secluded beaches, lush gardens, elegant spaces and stunning ocean views. The resort also has a state-of-the-art marina where you could go sailing or whale watching and propose on the open water as the sun disappears under the horizon.

The Beach House on Kauai

At The Beach House, romance takes center stage with its beachfront spot offering panoramic ocean views and coastal charm. You and your loved one could enjoy delicious Hawaiian cuisine at this oceanfront restaurant as the sky turns an array of colors, and you ask them to walk with you forever underneath a blanket of stars.

South Maui Gardens on Maui

South Maui Gardens is a distinctive and enchanting garden haven that offers a romantic oasis and out-of-this-world views. The community garden offers peace and tranquility, while the flowers all around make it easy to find a cozy spot to bend your knee. What could be more romantic than that?

Waimea Valley on Oahu

Standing out as a romantically captivating proposal locale is Waimea Valley. Hike to the cascading waterfalls or meander through the captivating botanical gardens to start your life's journey with the one you love. The rich cultural ambiance adds a special touch to a serene atmosphere, accentuated by vibrant colors and the soothing sounds of water.

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