Love of your life? Check. Ring? Check. Perfect place to propose? Umm….
Never fear. Patch’s North Shore editors have come up with a great list of suggested spots to pop the question in the area. There are woodsy, secluded venues, romantic restaurants and some off-beat locales that are sure to set the right mood for an emphatic “yes!”
The list is far from complete, of course. Let us know in the comments what your favorite romantic spot is in the area. And, if you got engaged here, please share your story!
Much of Evanston's historic Varsity Theatre is still intact, hidden inside the building that houses the Gap downtown. If you can gain access to the 87-year-old theatre, how can the love of your life say no?
If you’re looking for a spot with a beautiful but quiet view of the lake, it’d be hard to do better than Millard Park. It’s on a bluff with a romantic gazebo. It's hard to reach but worth the effort.
If your intended thinks Italy is dreamy, propose in front of Niles' Leaning Tower of Pisa. It's an authentic half-size replica, with reflecting pools and fountains around the base. Follow with a diamond, dinner at La Tavola restaurant, which has a live band for dancing on some nights, and a honeymoon in Italy.
If you want to be entirely authentic, here's something a lovestruck Italian might say to his intended:
Amore, sei la gioia di mia vita, e non posso imaginare una vita senza te. Vorrei stare con te per sempre. Mi sposerai? (Italian-speaking Niles Editor Pam DeFiglio promises us that it’s very romantic.)
The Glencoe Beach is uniquely ideal for a proposal, with the stone overlooks of the water to the romantic trellis. Plus it's one of the more quiet beaches in the area, so it's the perfect spot for a pre-proposal picnic dinner.
Bring your bride-to-be to a scenic spot in your favorite park — the Buffalo Grove Park District has 51 to choose from — or the village’s Rotary Village Green. Or, follow the example of this creative groom, who sent his bride to be on a sidewalk-chalked treasure hunt that ended with a marriage proposal.
With the quiet patio complete with twinkling lights and a large menu of classic Greek dishes, Avli Estiatorio is the perfect place to pop the question. And, if you're planning a winter proposal, the fireplace in the main dining room also sets a cozy, romantic mood.
The Wilmette Theater is one of the most beloved locations in town — and for good reason. The theater, with the grand marquee and the retro box office, features live shows and film screenings of both major and independent releases. Creative types could have a great time thinking up a clever twist on the classic proposal — whether it’s as dramatic as creating your own proposal movie trailer like this one or a special question written on the bottom of the popcorn tub.
Popping the question in a crowded place might be too nerve wracking for some people. Techny Prairie Park and Fields is huge and people are sparse. A serene evening walk through a one of the town's most beautiful parks could set the stage for an incredibly romantic surprise. Plus, you don't have to worry about offending anyone with your PDA if you feel like kissing (assuming the proposal works out).
There's a bridge that spans the lake at Flick Park surrounded by trees and ducks. It's wooded and rustic, and if you time it just right, you can propose to your sweetheart without worrying about sweaty joggers running through your special moment.
One of the newest additions to Skokie's restaurant scene is Libertad, a Nuevo Latino spot. It's earned a lot of good reviews for fresh, innovative food and an intimate but unfussy atmosphere. Start with the Asian pear cardamom mojito. Prepare to pop the question between small places of ceviche, barramundi, scallops, carne asada with chimichurri or chicken breast with mole, pineapple and coconut rice. Then start on a sweet future together with chocolate cake accompanied by caramelized banana and Nutella ice cream. Talk about perfect pairings.
Reporting by: Pam DeFiglio, Stan Golovchuk, Cristel Mohrman, Steve Sadin, Paula Skaggs and Jenny Fisher.