Yen Lee is the founder and president of Uptake, a social travel company that pairs personalized recommendations from friends with an extensive, searchable catalog of expert and consumer travel insights.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, check out the world’s most romantic cities — according to Facebook, that is.
My travel planning company dove into Facebook’s vast stream of status updates in order to bring you the top U.S. cities where couples are getting engaged (and subsequently talking about it on Facebook). Perhaps these cities are more romantic than the rest, or maybe they just put something in the drinking water – in any case, check out this list and see if a proposal is more likely to come your way this Valentine’s!
Technology behind the data: My company analyzed over 29 million Facebook status updates in our database for excerpts and phrases related to “engagement.” Then, we created a list of cities by mapping the resulting text to users’ locations. Finally, we ordered this list according to frequency of occurrence.
It’s no surprise that San Francisco made this list. Picture yourself strolling along the coast, hand-in-hand with your loved one, watching the sun cast the entire city in a golden glow as it drops into the Pacific Ocean; all of this, after an enchanting cable car ride past colorful historic buildings and an incredible gourmet dinner.
Now, realize you are not on a romantic getaway because you actually live in San Francisco and can do this any night of the week. That’s why so many San Francisco Facebook users are getting engaged.
Image courtesy Edward, Flickr.
People in Los Angeles always have stars in their eyes. It’s a Hollywood thing. However, L.A. Facebook users are also spending their time pursuing the art of romance.
Long walks along the beach, a night of entertainment at the Hollywood Bowl, or staring up from the grassy fields around Griffith Observatory — there is no end to perfect places to pop the question in Los Angeles. Who can say no to that?
Image courtesy Martinliao, Flickr.
It seems only fair that a city known for bickering politics should have its shot at love and romance. Haven’t they had enough division?
Facebook users may be split over their candidates, but getting engaged in Washington, D.C. wins by a landslide. The hard part is figuring out where to pop the question: a picnic on the National Mall, or somewhere really monumental (Lincoln, Jefferson and Washington)?
No matter the election results, Washington, D.C. has cupid’s vote. Don’t worry, America, politics may have both sides of the aisle, but these happy couples will own the middle.
Image courtesy Ed Yourdon, Flickr.
If you don’t know where Hamilton, Ohio is, then you don’t know where love is — a high number of Facebook users are getting engaged in the industrial suburb of Cincinnati.
Seriously, that last sentence couldn’t have been any more poetic had it been penned by Abraham Lincoln himself, who happened to visit Hamilton in 1859. (He didn’t get engaged there, however.) Hamilton is now hailed as the “City of Sculpture;” therefore, anyone getting down on one knee should keep an eye out for statue-bombing pigeons. That would totally ruin the moment.
Image courtesy Referenceance — Always Learning!, Flickr.
If the windy city doesn’t sound like a great place to get engaged, then you haven’t been on Facebook in awhile. Chicago is lighting up status updates as a popular destination for romance.
People propose at The Bean, on the original ferris wheel, looking over the city from Willis Tower, or gazing across a pizza (and a Goose Island brew) in one of the city’s many fine pie parlors. Next to da Bears, romance is the hottest ticket in Chicago. (The Bulls are pretty popular, too.)
Image courtesy Emery Co Photo, Flickr.
The raven may have said “nevermore,” but soon a lot of Baltimore Facebook users will be vowing “forevermore,” or something a little less archaic. Status updates have it that engagements aplenty are happening in the Baltimore area.
Whether during a romantic walk around Baltimore Harbor, a tour of historic Mt. Vernon architecture, or a reenactment of the Battle of Baltimore (hey, everyone has their own idea of romance), engagements are popping up all over this fair city.
Image courtesy Randy Pertiet, Flickr.
They say everything is bigger in Texas and it would appear that romance is no exception, which is probably why so many Facebook users are hootin’ and hollerin’ about getting hitched in the “Space City.”
Whether locals are admiring the beautiful bayou, the magnificent magnolias, the staggering skyline, or one of the many parks in the metropolitan area, there are plenty of special places to pop the question.
Image courtesy Little black spot on the sun today, Flickr.
Notice how the word “Milwaukee” just rolls off your tongue. Doesn’t the very name make you think of romance. No? Well, us either. But, according to Facebook, many of its citizens are in the mood to snuggle down into domestic bliss.
Maybe it has something to do with its picturesque Lake Michigan shores, numerous art museums and multitude of city parks, perfect for midnight strolls. Or, perhaps it’s due to the fact that its freezing cold winters drive people indoors and under the covers. At any rate, if you are looking to get engaged, your chances are higher in Milwaukee!
Image courtesy Purpleslog, Flickr.
The good part about living beneath a constant drizzle of rain is that nobody will notice a tear or two. Luckily for Facebook users in Seattle they’ll be tears of (engagement) joy.
Few proposal places could match the romance atop (or below) Seattle’s Space Needle, but sending one’s love via a flying fish at Pike’s Place Market is a close second. For total nirvana, consider the Starbucks engagement: Build your moment like you build your grande, skinny, vanilla chai latte with an espresso shot and room for romance.
Image courtesy Dave Morrow’s Custom Creations, Flickr.
Via Mashable: http://www.mashable.com