New York is a perfect city for romantic getaways. It is nearly impossible to run out of things to do in the city that never sleeps. In fact, New York offers so many activities that it might be overwhelming to plan your amorous adventure. No worries though, New York is actually quite easy to navigate once you get a hang of the pace, that and decide what you want to do. Another hurdle to tackle in planning your lover’s escape is finding off the beaten path treasures, which fill the city, without missing out on the quintessential romantic experiences New York City has to offer.
Whether you are traveling on a tight budget, or have a lot to spend, New York has the perfect activities to offer for a sweetheart’s excursion. From the bright lights of Broadway to the hipster haunches of Brooklyn, you are certain to find just the right activities to create a memorable trip for you and your partner.
Central Park Picnic
Central Park is the stuff romantic comedies were made of, and for good reason. Amidst the hustle and bustle of midtown Manhattan lies a tranquil natural paradise. It only lends itself to hand-holding strolls and picnics with your sweetheart. Of course, you could go to the quintessential photo opp locations in the park, but for an afternoon date, something a little more private may be better suited.
Start by picking up your picnic supplies. I recommend Vintner’s Wine Market. Here, besides wine, you can find a host of quality cheese and other gourmet foods. Of course, you’re bound to find something delicious to bring for your lunch if you amble through the city, so don’t ever be afraid to walk aimlessly to find food in the Big Apple. This is New York, after all, a true foodie mecca.
Once you have your picnic supplies head to Loeb’s Boathouse for an ultimate NYC date. From here you can rent a rowboat and enjoy some time on the lake from 10 am-7 pm. This is a great way to escape the frenetic pace of the city, and enjoy a little one on one time. After returning your boat you will find your selves perfectly placed to begin a picturesque stroll through The Ramble. Designed as a nature walk, the Ramble was made for meandering. Wander through the greenery and enjoy a quiet conversation, or find a secluded corner to picnic away from the crowds.
Date Night Dinner
It can’t really be explained, the romance of sharing a delicious meal. Whether you seek a candlelit steak dinner, hip foodie delights, or a quality budget treat New York City truly will not disappoint. At any time of night, any type of cuisine, in any budget range will be available to you. We have a few recommendations, but don’t be afraid to go looking for something that strikes your fancy.
In Manhattan, there are loads of high-quality date night restaurants. Although it can be a budget breaker, this may be the place to bust out and spend the extra bucks. Manhattan boasts world-class food, so if you can afford we highly recommend. For a classic NYC steakhouse experience try Keens. It has been dubbed the granddaddy of all New York steakhouses, even the late Anthony Bourdain felt that it deserved mention on his show. If carbs and wine is more your speed then go ahead and try one of Manhattan’s many Italian restaurants. There really are so many, suiting so many tastes. Personally, I love Gradisca in the West Village. Boasting authentic dishes and a very romantic ambiance, you are sure to please your partner with this choice. Not only is the pasta amazing, but you won’t deal with the overcrowding of some of the more hip midtown locations.
Although dining in Manhattan is classic, Brooklyn truly has become a mecca of food in its own right. With their creative foodie concoctions and a hip youthful scene, many Brooklyn neighborhoods are giving Manhattan a run for its money. One neighborhood in Brooklyn you may want to try is Williamsburg. It is a quick stop away from Manhattan with a plethora of upscale restaurants and craft cocktail bars for you to try. Although Brooklyn is now crawling with hip farm-to-table establishments, Marlow & Sons have been open since the trend began.
Once you have finished your meal you could catch an Uber to Metropolitan Ave and explore the bar scene. Of course, a foodie exploration through hipster Brooklyn can’t be complete without a trip to Bushwick. Recently gentrified, Bushwick gives you a taste of Brooklyn, as well as a lively youth culture and incredible food at reasonable prices. Hands down, Mominette is the best date night spot I have found in the area. A classic French restaurant, with an outstanding cheese and charcuterie board, Mominette features a great wine selection and awesome happy hour deals.
Want to surprise your lover with a decadent treat? Why not book a massage? Although this sounds like an upscale luxury, getting an affordable and quality massage is possible in NYC. Although a Chinatown massage can be a dodgy, low quality, or downright criminal experience, there are some gems in the rough. Personally, I swear by Zuyuan massage in Chinatown. I discovered this hidden treasure through a simple yelp search. Upon walking in I discovered an extremely diverse crowd awaiting their treatment, spanning the entirety of NYC demographics. I also discovered that an appointment is necessary as they are booked up every day, and for good reason. Each and every masseuse in this place is some sort of gifted healer. I have had the best massages of my life in this establishment. Plus, at $40 for an hour-long full body massage, and just $20 for a half hour foot and leg massage, this place truly can’t be beaten.
An added benefit of getting a massage at Zuyuan is that you are now right in the heart of Chinatown. Whether or not Chinatown peaks your curiosity, which it certainly does mine, it is a great place to get a budget lunch. Head to Vanessa’s Dumplings for a citywide favorite. An order of four dumplings costs just $2.50 and makes a great lunch. Eldridge Street is the original, yet it has become so popular it now has three locations. Get your order to go and stroll the interesting street it lies on, with cute coffee shops and even an Avocado themed restaurant. You will save money on lunch, try a local favorite, and get a chance to poke around Chinatown. This is a fun date in its own right for the adventurous couple.
A date idea you probably haven’t thought about is heading to a hookah bar. Often featuring dimly lit and private enclaves, exotic ambiance, and Mediterranean finger foods, what better way could you end a date night? Hookah bars in New York range from the hip club environment to genuine middle eastern hangouts for neighborhood men. Personally, I know where I would take my date if I wanted to go to a hookah bar in NYC.
Alphabet City in Manhattan’s lower east side used to be famous for starving artists, punk rock and drug deals. These days a bit of the old bohemian vibe still remains but is a place any caliber of traveler would feel safe walking around at night. On Avenue A there are a host of bars and a lively late night crowd. Head here to find Kazuza Hookah Lounge. This place really creates the ultimate in a romantic atmosphere. Red lights, private seating, and sumptuous draping cloth create a perfect little nook for you and your partner to tuck in, soaking up the end of a romantic evening. There is a great menu of Mediterranean appetizers, their boasted house sangria, as well as a full bar. Not to mention you’ll be placed perfectly to go out and keep drinking if you decide you aren’t ready for your night to end.
If you are looking to add a little lust to your holiday, look no further than the Museum of Sex. This is not just some perverse, gross, or dingy little corner. This is a full-blown gallery aimed, as their website states, to “preserve and present the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality.” The Museum of Sex has a constantly shifting array of exhibits. Some will feature the history of sexuality, some current topics, some erotic, and others will be just downright fun. Currently, there is a breast laden bounce house where you can jump like a child amongst a plethora of different shaped and sized bosoms. Although this is an academic and cultural museum, it will be sure to get some juices flowing which you can take back to your hotel room later. Be sure to check their site and see what exhibits are currently featured, or what events will be occurring during your trip. Maybe there will be something that strikes you and your partner’s fancy. There are hours of exploration inside this offbeat museum, and with an entrance fee of only $17.50, it won’t break the bank.