8 Romantic Things to Do in NYC
8 Romantic Things to Do in NYC
“I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York's skyline.” – Ayn Rand
Let’s be honest, romance isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when we think of New York City. Yes, there are plenty of things to do in NYC at night, and great hotels near Grand Central Station, but it’s also one of the busiest places in the world and the center of commerce. People in New York are known for being notoriously busy and it’s a city where even social interactions are seen as an opportunity to advance one’s career. It doesn’t sound like the most conducive environment for romance, does it?
Well, evidently, beyond the glaring city lights and bustling vibe, life always finds a way because New York has its fair share of cozy, romantic spots - let’s face it, even a date night by the East River or Hudson River to watch the Manhattan skyline or enjoy a good view of the city is enough to make starry eyed couples fall in love with more than just the energy of this city.
Whether you’re going on a Tinder date or looking to ask your crush out on a date, keep reading this handy list of romantic things to do and restaurants in the Big Apple.
Best Romantic Things to Do in NYC
Even if you don’t associate New York with mushy feelings and romance, these spots prove that even a big city like NYC can have a few soft spots for lovers to enjoy themselves. Without further ado, let’s dive into the 8 most romantic things to do in NYC!
1 | Central Park | Boasting 800 acres of green space open to the public, Central Park is one of the few places in New York where you can immerse yourself in nature. Bikers, runners and nature lovers visit the park daily while areas like the Friedsam Memorial Carousel, the Central Park Zoo, and Wollman Rink are all firm favorites among kids young and old. With so much to see and do, Central Park is the perfect place to stroll hand in hand on a date. Whether you end up people watching, feeding zoo animals, or posing for cutesy pics at the botanic garden, the visit is sure to elicit more than a few smiles from your companion. You can spend hours walking through the park’s winding pathways and not feel the passage of time because the ambiance coupled with the sights are enough to sweep anyone off their feet.
WHERE: New York, NY, United States | WHO: 212-310-6600
2 | Grand Central Terminal | Grand Central Terminal is often referred to as the only great gateway left in all of Manhattan. Although the name would have you believe otherwise, Grand Central Terminal isn’t exactly a station but rather a functional art space that’ll steal the heart of any art fundi. It’s home to beautiful artworks such as stately statues of Hercules, Mercury and Minerva. Did we mention that it boasts a Beaux-Arts facade that stretches all throughout 42nd street? Yep, and its interior is just as expansive and impressive as the outside. Visitors are greeted with a fantastic light show that includes the zodiac constellations in all their glory, depicted through high-tech fiber-optic lighting on a blue ceiling backdrop. A level above the terminal’s entrance is a functioning railroad track that transports half a million passengers a day. Although a bit busier than the other spots on this list, it’s still a great place to enjoy a fun yet romantic date. Take your date to this place if you’re still getting a feel for each other but want to let your hair down and show them your fun and quirky side.
WHERE: 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017 | WHO: 212-340-2583
3 | Serendipity 3 | If you or your date love romcoms then you’ll recall that this restaurant was the main setting for the 2001 movie Serendipity, starring Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack. In fact, were it not for the desserts that the main characters share in this restaurant, the movie’s romantic plot wouldn’t have been developed. While sharing frozen hot chocolate, the two swoon over the decadent dessert and each other in an unforgettable scene that’ll forever go down as one of the most romantic moments on the silver screen. As one of New York’s most popular restaurants, Serendipity is often fully booked and you’ll most likely have to wait a while before getting a table. In the meantime, consider splurging on the restaurants signature “Golden Opulence Sundae” which is a delectable sundae that’s smothered in 23-karat edible gold leaf. Costing “just” $1,000, this treat is the ultimate show of affection to anyone with a sweet tooth.
WHERE: 225 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022 | WHO: 212-838-3531
4 | The High Line | The High Line is a true representation of New York. Rising from the ashes like a phoenix, this spot has humble roots and is a testament to how well urban renewal works. Located on what was once an old railroad line, The High Line stretches far and wide, and goes from the Meatpacking District’s Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street in Midtown on the west side. It’s best experienced in balmy summer evenings when you can take slow walks along the stunning outlooks, restaurant pop-ups and food stalls. Although, you might want to keep it safe and not experiment with every food stall you come across, you want to make a good impression, especially if you’re on a first date. Whatever you do, make sure to end your evening at the Terroir wine bar which is conveniently located close to 15th Street. Once you’ve properly lubricated with some fine wine, continue strolling towards the Amateur Astronomers Association where you’ll be able to savor a stunning view of NYC against the night sky in all its glory, through proper telescopes complimented by Cosmos-like explanations of the sky phenomena by professional astronomers.
WHERE: New York, NY 10011 | WHO: 212-500-6035
5 | Dyker Heights Light Show | As the name implies, the Dyker Heights Light Show is a seasonal display of holiday cheer that sets the neighborhood alight in a romantic display. The theme each year is “go big or go home” as the displays and decorations all seem to be in a competition to outdo one another. The best time to visit this romantic spot is around mid-December and you’ll want to take your own car so you don’t freeze while walking along the dazzling streets. Besides, all the best displays are a few miles north of the subway and you wouldn’t want your significant other to miss out on any of the displays.
WHERE: 11th Avenue to 13th Avenue and from 83rd to 86th Street | WHO: N/A
6 | Empire State Building | The Empire State Building needs no introduction. This popular tourist spot juts out into the night sky with a sleek facade that has become an indelible part of the city’s iconic skyline. Initially opened in 1931, the Empire State Building is one of the most romantic spots in New York City and for good reason. A view from the top of this building will have you feeling on top of the world, which may explain why it has seen so many marriage proposals. In addition to the breathtaking views of Manhattan (including the iconic Statue of Liberty), what can be better than popping the question in such an unforgettable setting? For best results, we highly recommend you visit the Empire State Building for an evening date. Although it’s less crowded in the mornings, you simply cannot beat its nighttime views. The best days to visit are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays around 10 PM to 1 AM. This is usually when the building’s resident saxophonist takes pride of place on the 86th floor to serenade lovers and creates the perfect ambiance for a proposal.
WHERE: 20 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001 | WHO: 212-736-3100
7 | Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts | If you consider yourself and your date a pair of history buffs then you’ll love getting your dose of culture at the Lincoln Center for The Performing Arts. The center hosts numerous arts festivals annually, including the Chamber Music Society and the New York Philharmonic to name but a few. On account of that fact alone, it’s one of the most romantic places in the city and people often go on dates here to commemorate certain relationship milestones such as anniversaries. Being a popular romantic spot and all, it might be a good idea to book well in advance for any show that you’d like to see. Check their website to see if there’s anything that you’d particularly enjoy and avoid disappointment by booking as soon as shows are announced.
WHERE: Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023 | WHO: 212-875-5456
8 | Fifth Avenue | Fifth Avenue is a premier tourist destination where visitors go to enjoy the mesmerizing displays of stores like Macy’s Bloomingdale’s, Barney’s and Saks to name but a few. Each year, these stores go out of their way to create stunning displays that have become a part of the city’s DNA, especially during the holiday season - and what’s more romantic than getting your first kiss of the season under a glamorous mistletoe? Up the stakes by visiting the city’s premier jewelry stores - all of which are located in the same spot. This includes De Beers, Tiffany’s Harry Winston, and Cartier. Whether you surprise your significant other with an unexpected gift or simply pass by to view the sparkly wares, this part of the trip will add an element of charm and romance to your date.
WHERE: 5th Ave, New York, NY | WHO: N/A
Use Our Handy Map to Find Your Way Around!
Last Tips on Romantic Things to Do in NYC
It doesn’t matter where you are in New York, you’re bound to come across a romantic spot that offers the perfect setting to pop the question or just make a good first impression.
From the rooftop bars near Grand Central Station and the grandiose beauty of the Empire State Building to the lush green setting of Central Park and the stunning High Line views, there is plenty to do and see in the city that never sleeps.
Just make sure to plan your date in advance and take your date’s preferences into consideration so you can take them to the perfect spot.
And if you’ve already experienced the home of Lady Liberty, take a look at our Travel Blog for romantic places in Orlando and the best vacation spots to try this year.
At Westgate Resorts, when you Check-In, there’s a LOT to Check-Out! Your New York City vacation awaits! Explore our New York City hotel today or talk with a vacation planner at 888-852-2959 or 407-355-2690.
* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.
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