5 Places to Propose

Romantic, Things to Do — By Sarah Sekula on October 20, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Photo by Sarah Sekula.

If you’re ready to ask that special someone that special question, better do your research first. Never fear, there are some excellent choices and many of them are free.

1. Harry P. Leu Gardens
This 50-acre botanical garden is Orlando’s equivalent to The Secret Garden: a maze bursting with color and unusual greenery. At Leu Gardens, you’ll have a photo-worthy backdrop for photos of you and your loved one. The southern-styled grounds boast giant bamboo stalks, hyper-manicured lawns and Camellias (they have the world’s largest collection). Better yet, its location on the shores of Lake Rowena affords a fitting view of the sunset.

2.The Nature Conservancy’s The Disney Wilderness Preserve
Located just south of Orlando in Osceola and Polk counties, this little-known getaway protects the headwaters of the Everglades ecosystem. Its 12,000 acres provide a cozy home for hundreds of wildlife species, including bald eagles, snakes, bobcats, Florida scrub-jays, sandhill cranes and gopher tortoises. If you’re wife-to-be loves nature, this spot is just right.

3. Lake Eola
There’s a perfect little pagoda in this centrally located park that would make a nice proposal spot. The ambiance is perfect, too — white swans waddling by, cute bridges, a beautiful water fountain.

4. DeLeon Springs State Park
For a more adventurous option, try hitting the water at DeLeon Springs State Park, load up on carbs at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill & Griddle House — an all-day breakfast joint inside the park where you cook flapjacks at your table. From there, hop into the 72-degree water for a 9 ½-mile jaunt via kayak, canoe or paddle boat. Then, all that’s left is to pop the question.

5. Winter Park Scenic Boat Ride
The lakes are so charming, it’s no wonder all the Winter Park Scenic Boat Ride made the list. Glide by towering cypress, tropical birds and magnificent mansions, including the residence of a former world champion whistler. She’ll be mesmerized.