man proposing to his girlfriend at the goat island lighthouse on the gurneys resort in newport, rhode island

Where to Propose In Rhode Island?

where to propose in rhode island

Where to Propose In Rhode Island?

A Guide to Some of the Best Locations for your Surprise Proposal in the Ocean State

How long is a piece of string?  There are a myriad of places in the OceanState to propose, that said many locations typically selected for a proposal are either

  • Personal to the Couple: somewhere that has a very special meaning


  •  Convenient: if a couple are dressed up to go to dinner while staying in a hotel, it may be more practical to do something local than drive to a more famous location.

Sometimes,  there are no restrictions and I am asked for ideas for a location but even then the final selection will be personal to taste. Here are some of the more popular locations to propose in Rhode Island.  After you have reviewed this article you may want to read “Planning a Proposal in Rhode Island? What you Need to Know

The Castle Hill Inn & Castle Hill Lighthouse, Newport

Castle Hill Inn, Newport there are two points of interest for the proposal photographer. The Lighthouse at Castle  Hill is on the edge of Narragansett Bay. The Castle Hill lighthouse was finished in 1890 on property formerly belonging to the naturalist, oceanographer, and zoologist Alexander Agassiz (Harvard University.)

A primo location for a proposal shoot, is on the lawn at Castle Hill Inn, with the Newport Bridge and Narragansett Bay as a backdrop. After your proposal you can dine at the Castle Hill Inn.

Make a dining reservation


  • Beautiful ocean side location with view of Newport Bridge
  • Lighthouse and the lawn are walking distance (10 mins)
  •  Valet parking
  • Superb location for dinner after the proposal
  • Great reason to ask your partner to dress up (for the proposal)
  • Watch the sun set with a cocktail on the lawn, or at the lighthouse


  • Can be breezy
  •  Can be peopley

Goat Island Lighthouse, Newport

Goat Island Lighthouse, Newport: This lighthouse is on the Gurney’s Resort property and so it is relatively easy to book a table for dinner and take a walk to the lighthouse before dinner. In addition to the lighthouse there are spectacular views of the Newport Bridge.

Make a dining reservation.

Note: Goat Island is private property: weddings and planned engagements organized by the hotel do take place in front of the light. If your proposal clashes with a wedding,  you cannot go to the lighthouse until the wedding ceremony is over. There are, however, other wonderful views of the bay and the Newport bridge on Goat Island.


  • Beautiful ocean side location with view of Newport Bridge
  •  Valet parking and self-parking
  • Superb location for dinner/cocktails after the proposal
  • Great reason to ask your partner to dress up (for the proposal)
  •  Great late afternoon/evening location (for light)


  •  When weddings take place: the lighthouse is out of bounds (see above)
  •  Can be very busy

Beavertail State Park, Jamestown

Beavertail is a public coastal recreation area encompassing 153 acres and the state park’s main attraction, at its southern end, is  Beavertail Lighthouse which, in its current form dates back to  1856. Photographers love Beavertail as a location because depending on the light you can use different parts of the park, surrounded by the ocean. However, it can be windy but there are areas secluded from the ocean breezes.

I have found Beavertail to be a perfect location for couple holidaying with a dog. A great place to walk your dog before dinner before spring a surprise proposal on your partner.


  • Beautiful ocean side location
  • Ease of (free) parking
  • Can always find a quiet spot, even when busy
  • Perfect for couples who travel with dogs or just love the ocean/lighthouses
  • Superb for picnics
  • Popular location to watch the sun set


  • Can be breezy
  • Little shade on hot summer days

Cliff Walk,  Newport

Cliff Walk, Newport: It is very easy to surprise your partner with a proposal on Cliff Walk by asking your partner to go for a walk. Cliff walk is a 3.5-mile public access walkway that borders the shoreline; and was the first  designated  National Recreation Trail in New England.


  • Beautiful ocean side location
  • Famous Newport tourist spot
  • Easy to pull off a surprise when visiting Newport
  • Picturesque walk behind the Newport mansions
  • Beautiful sunrises


  • Parking can be problematic
  • Busy with people all-year-around
  • Not good for sunsets
  • Little shade on hot days
  • Not a good afternoon location (for lighting on bright sunny days)

Rhode Island Beaches

Rhode Island Beaches: where to start, Rhode Island is not called the Ocean State for no reason, it has 384 miles of coastline. There are approximately 40 beaches in Rhode Island, with each offering its own character.


  •  Picturesque
  •  It’s the Ocean State


  •  Can be windy
  •  Can be very busy (all day in summer)
  •  Difficult to isolate my couples
  •  Parking (depending on location)
  •  Light direction can be challenging
  •   Blowing sand and cameras don’t like each other

There are beaches that can avoid some of the cons, call me to discuss.

Brenton Point State Park, Newport

Brenton Point State Park (named after the Colonial Governor, William Brenton) is a beautiful coastal location with typically easy parking. It is one of  Newport’s grandest estates, Brenton Point State Park affords its visitors  spectacular views on the East Coast. The park boasts gardens, walking trails, and picnic tables. There are magnificent bay and ocean views, with access to the rocks at Grave’s Point.

Please note that the park is a favorite place to fly kites and can be breezy.


  •  Oceanside/picturesque
  •  Grassy park
  •  Parking is typically easy
  •  Great place for a picnic
  •  Easy access to rocky shore at Graves point


  •  Can be windy

Rhode Island Vineyards

Vineyards: Rhode Island has many vineyards of which some are listed below. You can enjoy a wine tasting and in some cases have a meal after which you can enjoy a peaceful, serene walk amongst the vines.

a man kneeling foe a surprise proposal at the newport vineyards

Fresh Water Ponds

Freshwater Ponds: For a quiet personal experience, one of Rhode Island’s  237 freshwater lakes, ponds and reservoirs can provide a picturesque backdrop for a proposal. Scattered thoughout the state you will not have to travel to far to find an idyllic spot.

a man kneeling foe a surprise proposal at slacks pond

Roger Williams Park, Providence

Roger Williams’ Park: is a beautiful city park of 427 acres, a very popular spot from the famous black bridge to the carousel to the features listed below:

  • The Roger Williams Park Zoo
  • The Roger Williams Park Museum of Natural History and Planetarium
  • The Roger Williams Park Botanical Center
  • Japanese Gardens
  • Victorian Rose Gardens
  • The Dalrymple Boathouse and boat rentals
  • The Temple to Music

An Evening Cruise

What could be more beautiful than a surprise proposal under a sunset? That said, photographers need light, and so please plan the actual proposal before sunset; afterward, we can cruise into the sunset.

There are many marinas in the Ocean State, with Newport being the largest center for a cruise.

This type of surprise proposal is not easy to pull off, but it can be done with a bit of planning.

an engaged couple on a evening cruise under a sunset in rhode island

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