These six Central New York hidden gems are great for both proposal AND engagement locations. Tell your photographer ASAP! I moved to the Syracuse area in 2021 and have spent the past few years scouting out these locations so you don't have to.
GO AHEAD … FORWARD THIS BLOG POST TO YOUR HONEY TO SHARE THESE BEST SYRACUSE PROPOSAL LOCATION IDEAS! (;
I moved to Syracuse in 2021 to marry my now husband, and I’ve had so much fun discovering the beauty behind the cloud-filled and snow-guaranteed city.
With a population of almost 150,000 residents in the city alone, it’s no surprise the high need for special locations to capture proposals, engagements and/or just-because photos. I have had so much fun meeting and photographing couples from around the Central New York region that have chosen a hometown-vibe to pop the question. From the old brick buildings downtown to the low country hayfields views, from Flordia-esque beach town to rustic picnics with blue waters, there is a perfect proposal spot for everyone! Who said you have to travel out of state to have variety?!
Note to the guys: My biggest advice for planning a proposal is: Hire a photographer who will plan the proposal! Yes, that’s a real thing! I can coordinate all the details from a simple bended knee moment, to a styled picnic proposal overflowing with flowers. Why stress over the planning and details?? From a sample timeline to dinner reservations after, I’ve got you covered. Trust me, your soon-to-be bride (or groom!) will thank you!
1. Green Lakes State Park Engagement Location
First on the list of my Syracuse engagement location ideas is Green Lakes State Park. Located east of Syracuse in the Town of Manlius, this small park is just far enough away from the city to feel like an Adirondack sanctuary. Though not technically located in Syracuse, it’s as “Central New York” as it gets! The park boasts varying landscapes, from pine trees growing in aesthetically pleasing formation to a sandy beach backed by a blue, green lake. (Did you know the oldest Tulip trees in New York State are found on the property?!) The glacial lake remains crystal clear year round because it doesn’t “turnover” the decayed leaves that settle on the bottom.
The big takeaway? The lake pops in every photo. For the adventurous couple, I recommend hiking around both Green Lake and Round Lake (2.9 miles) while your photographer follows you around. More crunched on time? Golden hour here is dreamy, plus you can expect fewer people and pups.
Reservations not required, but be prepared to pay an entry fee between May-September!
2. Woznica Orchards, Cicero Engagement Location
A hidden gem north of Syracuse just off of Route 31, Woznica Orchards is a small, locally owned you–pick apple orchard surrounded by wide-open hayfields and woods. If a public proposal isn’t for you, then Woznica Orchards is! For this location, expect complete solitude with your significant other plus photographer! Spend the evening strolling between the apple trees. Pro tip: May, June, September and August are prime time! In the early months, apple blossoms are in full swing. Towards autumn, varying hues of red apples will serve as your background. Both times also just so happen to make a gorgeous proposal location! If you want a 1:1 experience without crowds, this is the spot for you. Whether you choose to go down on bended knee in the wildflowers or within the orchard, you just can’t go wrong!
If you want to take the engagement to the next level, pre-plan a light picnic (think: charcuterie board, champagne pop and chocolate!) that your engagement photographer can have set up beforehand! Woznica Orchards is a great proposal spot for the farm loving couples! To reserve a spot, coordinate with the owners!
3. Franklin Square, Downtown Syracuse Engagement Location
I love Syracuse proposal locations that are off the beaten path, but hiding in plain sight. Franklin Square is great for the couple that wants a city vibe with classic brick buildings and shrubbery. This vicinity is quiet, tucked away, and a short walk from a few fabulous hotels (stay-cation at Hotel Syracuse anyone?!). From a photographer’s perspective, this is one of the easier locations to coordinate a surprise moment, since hiding in plain sight is easy!
This has a classic downtown city feel without a lot of foot traffic! Parking is free on weekends, and after 6pm weekdays... an added bonus.
4. Chimney Bluffs State Park Engagement Location
Chimney Bluffs State Park is a perfect engagement spot and guaranteed to be a surprise! While not technically in Syracuse, this location is a perfect Sunday afternoon drive. It’s absolutely worth a visit! Tucked away on the shores of Lake Ontario, the short wooded pathway to the water give off Taylor Swift’s Folklore vibes. Once you arrive at the lake, the experience is almost other-wordly. Large sandy spires shooting from the lakeshore boast magnificent views, and they offer countless spots to pop the question! If you’re hiring a photographer, plan where exactly you will go down on one knee ahead of time so that the perfect engagement shot is captured. This location is easy to find on the map. The best part about getting engaged at Chimney Bluffs is you’ll always have a specific spot to tell your kids, “This is where we got engaged!”
No reservations needed, no fees! Early mornings or late evenings are best to avoid crowds. Be prepared to climb a bit!
5. Sylvan Beach, Vernon Engagement Location
Sylvan Beach is such an iconic spot for Central New York summer visitors. There are so many options as far as photos can happen, too! One of my favorite proposals happened on the beach during golden hour. Afterwards, we ventured to the neighboring amusement park and got creative. After the proposal, there’s always the opportunity for a quick session along some of the most beautiful Florida-inspired streets. With 20 restaurants nearby, this spot is great for a private proposal followed by a family celebration afterwards. Sound ideal? Don’t forget to call ahead to the restaurant of choice for a reservation! We suggest Harpoon Eddies for chicken wing lovers or The Lake House for classy vibes. Both are on the water and guarantee a sunset view! Admission to the beach itself is free, but be prepared to pay for metered parking ($1/hour).
Pro tip: To find a more secluded engagement location, walk further down the beach! Most people stay near the main parking area, but a quick 15 minute walk offers an intimate sunset view of Oneida Lake.
6. Upper Onondaga Park Engagement Location
The Upper Onondaga Park is just southwest of Syracuse University, and gives off Central Park vibes with a manicured lawn and gorgeous oak groves. To access the fountain, Upper Onondaga Park itself is situated on the shores of Lake Hiawatha, an old reservoir. There is the main pathway that takes you out over the bridge to a gazebo, but there’s also a narrow grassy path that takes you along the water. If you don’t mind a few onlookers, you can guarantee a personal cheer after popping the question or going in for the big dip and kiss! Admission is free, no reservations required.
Did you know I offer a complimentary engagement session with every wedding package? Click here to learn about packages.
Have questions?! Contact me directly!