The City That Never Sleeps may be best known as a hard-charging center of global commerce, but it offers plenty of romance for couples looking to connect. The secret to designing the perfect couple’s romantic getaway is to seek out the very best the city has to offer and enjoy it from a vantage point most people never experience.
Picnic by Day
There’s nothing quite like a picnic to carve out your own little world as you sit face-to-face on a cozy blanket sharing a bottle of wine for a private goûte. If you enjoy the thrill of the hunt for a rare vintage, browse the amply stocked shelves at Flatiron Wine and Spirits, an award-winning shop on Broadway between Madison Square Park and Union Square. Fill your picnic basket with sandwiches from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese shop and salted almond croissants from Chanson New York, all in the Flatiron District.
If you’d rather leave the planning to the pros, Perfect Picnic NYC creates catered lunches, perfectly arranged at your picnic spot with sandwiches, cheese platters, and an adorable set-up for two. They also take care of the cleanup so you can move on to your next adventure.
As for where to enjoy your romantic lunch, it’s always worthwhile to choose the road less traveled. Wave Hill in the Bronx has 28 acres of gardens, a stunning glass house and shaded views of the Hudson River. Brooklyn Bridge Park offers something no Manhattan park can: Jane’s Carousel, an authentic 1922 carousel with two chariots and 48 carved horses. Claim a chariot and enjoy the uninterrupted view of the city skyline.
Of course, there’s no more romantic choice for a picnic than the crown jewel of the city: Central Park. If you venture away from the obvious areas, you can find a private retreat. The Arthur Ross Pinetum between 84th and 86th fits the bill, with soaring evergreens creating a shady haven for lovebirds. After your picnic, treat your sweetheart to a luxurious couple’s massage at Guerlain Spa, located in The Plaza, New York’s historic hotel.
City Lights by Night
When the sun sets on New York, the city lights shine. For a romantic evening, choose a spot where you can enjoy all the sparkle the city offers. Start your evening with an afternoon at the Whitney Museum to enjoy the best of contemporary American art, then head to Studio Eight, the rooftop bar, for cocktails to savor as the sun begins to set. The museum is open late on Fridays, so you can sit and sip until the lights wink on one by one across the city.
For dinner, The River Cafe, a Michelin-starred restaurant nestled on the East River at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge is a must. In addition to an eye-level view of the bridge and the entire Manhattan skyline, you’ll be treated to an outstanding wine list, seasonal fare, and the glamorous ambiance.
For a room with a view, Sofitel New York’s Terrace Suites offer a unique look at two of the city’s most famous skyscrapers: the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. While each terrace suite offers spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline, book Suite 2415 to enjoy both buildings from your window. It’s a sight as impressive at night as it is when dawn breaks.
If your romance has you ready to commit, New York offers an incredible backdrop for a memorable proposal. Grand Central Station might not be on anyone’s list of intimate locations, but it contains a hidden acoustic marvel: the Whispering Arch. On the lower level of the busy terminal, these perfectly constructed arches allow even the softest whisper to be heard across the room. A whispered proposal will be a private surprise amid the hustle of the city’s commuters.
For a more public declaration of your love, take advantage of the city’s world-class theatrical talent with a commissioned musical moment. Proposal 007 offers proposal planning services at several locations around the city. You can customize the big question with flashmob performers, original songs and more. Once a month, Your Love, Our Musical turns the personal love story of a couple in the audience into improvised musical theater at Caveat, an independent theater for the smart set in the East Village.
Whether you’re planning your first trip as a couple or celebrating a love that’s lasted for years, New York City is the perfect place to spend time together. The city may be humming with activity, but these special spots will have you feeling like the only two people in the world.
Elizabeth Trach is a professional writer and editor from Newburyport, Massachusetts. Whenever she’s able to step away from her laptop, she’s busy exploring the historic seaports, cities and sights of New England.