Valentine’s Day is upon us again, so we thought this would be as good a time as any to talk about some of the top romantic spots you could visit with your partner on your next trip to New York City – undoubtedly one of the world’s most glamorous and exciting destinations.
It may be too late for you to book a New York holiday that will get you to the Big Apple on 14 February, but that doesn’t mean you can’t surprise your loved one whenever you do arrive with a day out at any of the beautiful landmarks discussed below. In fact, you’ll probably find that paying a visit when the crowds have died down will be an even more special experience than going there on the day itself!
Often described as the most romantic place in New York, Central Park is just as popular with locals as it is with holidaymakers – or perhaps even more so. A tranquil haven in the middle of what is an undeniably hectic city, the 800-plus acre park boasts a range of attractions that would be perfect for exploring with your special someone.
For a detailed look at the various activities and sights that can be enjoyed within this famous setting, we recommend checking out our recent blog, ‘What to Do in Central Park’. Here, you will find more information about five of the park’s best features, including the zoo, the two ice-skating rinks and, most romantically of all, the picturesque Central Park Lake.
As we mention in our blog, the lake has a particularly loved-up reputation because it has been the scene of many marriage proposals over the years. So, if you think that NYC may be the ideal spot for you to pop the question, why not make your way to Loeb Boathouse, hire yourself a boat, steady your nerves and get ready to go down on one knee? It’ll certainly make this holiday one you’ll always remember!
Empire State Building
Not only is the Empire State Building one of the most famous landmarks in New York, but it would also surely make the top ten in any serious list of the world’s most iconic buildings. If you are somehow unfamiliar with this Art Deco masterpiece, it may surprise you to learn that it has long been thought of as a must-visit by countless couples looking to enjoy a romantic day out in the ‘city that never sleeps’ – something which must be unique among office buildings!
As anyone who has ever seen Sleepless in Seattle will agree, there is a real sense of romance about the Empire State Building and, happily, it is easy to experience this first-hand once you arrive in NYC. You have the choice of either pre-booking your tickets to confirm your visit before you even leave the UK or simply paying for entry when you get there; bear in mind, though, that the latter option will usually mean having to queue for longer.
Even if you end up waiting a few minutes to get inside, however, any delay will have been forgotten by the time you get up to the legendary observation deck on the 102nd floor and start to drink in the extraordinary view it offers of the New York City skyline. There is also another viewing area on the 86th floor which, unlike the higher observatory, has a section that is totally exposed to the elements – and, of course, this was where the timeless characters played by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle finally got together…on Valentine’s Day!
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
If you get a few days into your holiday and find you’d like a little break from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, one place you might want to consider visiting is the beautiful Botanic Garden in Brooklyn, Long Island.
Having been open to the public for over a century, featuring a plethora of themed gardens and being home to more than 14,000 species of plants and flowers, there is no question that ‘BBG’ is one of New York’s must-visit locations for anyone who loves nature almost as much as their partner!
Although you can see loads there during every season, we would recommend trying to make sure your visit to the garden coincides with the annual flowering of the 200-plus cherry trees that must be BBG’s most unique and endearing highlight. Found on the Cherry Esplanade, in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden and elsewhere throughout BBG, these trees are simply breath-taking when in full bloom – and strolling through the pink blossom with your loved one is bound to be a romantic holiday experience like no other you could find in New York.
There can be few more classically romantic activities than taking a ride with your partner on an old-fashioned, ornate and intricately-decorated carousel. You may not have thought, however, that such an opportunity would arise right in the middle of NYC; but head to the Brooklyn Bridge Park and you will find (right under the bridge itself) the wonderful Jane’s Carousel, which is one of the world’s finest remaining examples of this timeless historic amusement.
Built in 1922, the carousel was transported to Brooklyn from its former home of Ohio in the 1980s. Over the following quarter of a century, Jane’s Carousel was painstakingly restored to its original glory and can now be enjoyed throughout the year, with its glass enclosure ensuring a comfortable ride in all weathers.
The Met Cloisters
Finally, we have a choice which may particularly appeal to any couples who love art and are keen to experience a little culture as part of their New York getaway. Owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Met Cloisters is possibly the most romantic museum and art gallery you are ever likely to visit.
Specialising in showcasing some of the world’s greatest works of European medieval art in a truly mesmerising setting, the Cloisters can be found in Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park, giving you both the chance to get away from the urban heart of the city and spend a peaceful few hours exploring such masterpieces as the Unicorn Tapestries (circa 1495-1505) and the Mérode Altarpiece triptych (circa 1422).
Along with the stunning ancient cloisters themselves which the museum is based around, the most romantic aspect of the Cloisters is its three charming gardens. Ingeniously laid out and lovingly maintained, the Judy Black, Bonnefont and Trie Cloisters areas are all designed to recreate how gardens around the world would have looked in previous centuries and are filled with hundreds of plant species that were popularly cultivated in medieval times. And, as you would expect, all three gardens are perfect for enjoying a lovely, relaxing stroll with your partner.