My wife-to-be and I walked hand in hand on the beach at Megan’s Bay in St. Thomas, USVI. Frequently rated as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, this horseshoe cove is salve for the eyes and soul. Framed between two green mountains and palm trees fringing the surf, the calm shallow water appears a purer green than a million dollar emerald.
I’d spent the first six days of our Caribbean cruise hiding an engagement ring, and now at Magen’s Bay it was time. As we meandered along the lapping surf, I suddenly stopped across from a group of coconut trees. I turned to her and held out a small black felt box.
“A pair of diamond earrings for you, sweetheart,” said I.
She smiled and then opened the box, her lips parting as she gasped. Beneath the dark sunglasses a twin stream of tears slid down her cheeks. I knelt, she said yes, and here we are happily married two years later.
Romantic? Darn straight. And it got me to thinking about other destinations that merit the perfect setting to pop the question. Here’s my magnifique list of five.
1. Megan’s Bay — see above.
2. Huahine, Society Islands, French Polynesia. The first moment we sailed to this idyllic island from Tahiti, I wish we’d stayed forever. The variety of hillside trees, the sweeping crests of vanilla trees and the exotic South Pacific setting rivals any vista on earth. You say you’ve been to Hawaii, Fiji, Bora Bora, the Philippines and numerous islands in between? So have I – and nothing compares with Huahine (pronounced Who-Uh-Heeny). She’ll conclude that a proposal while ensconced in a bungalow over the water at Te Tiare Beach Resort will be pretty hard to top.
3. Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands. Yes, it’s darn near within sight of St. Thomas, but this location is so special it’s impossible not to include. Go to the south end of the island, wind your way through the massive granite boulders and sea pools, and come out onto a cozy little cove called Devil’s Bay Beach. Shallow, sandy, sparkling waters, remote – all the ingredients to melt her heart when you ask those four magic words.
4. Harbour Island, Eleuthera, Bahamas. Go to the pink beach and sort out your psyche, because this isn’t Kansas, baby. You won’t see many other people on this wondrous three-mile stretch of fine pink sand, and that’s the whole idea. While frolicking sans swimwear might be a tempting thought, remember that a pocket will be de rigeur or you might need a metal detector to find the ring.
5. Pelican, Alaska. Who says you have to propose on a beach? Hidden about 100 miles west of Juneau on an inlet leading to the Sea of Alaska and accessible only by boat or plane, this indescribably picturesque town and harbor hammers the summer senses. The lodges, restaurants and shops dot a high boardwalk, and you’ll never forget the frontier saloon of Rose’s Bar and Grill. An inlet tour begs endless picture-taking, and Capt. Dennis Hay — a mountain man if there ever was — will take you salmon fishing and sightseeing with your future bride.
If those five marriage proposal sites doesn’t flip your wig and hers, mon ami, take thee to a MacDonald’s parking lot and present the rock in a French fries cup.