There’s something about the bustle of New York City that makes cozying up with your significant other feel especially romantic. Perhaps it’s the combination of dining on fabulous food, exploring cultural gems, and watching the stars – both the ones on stage and the ones twinkling above the skyscrapers.
Find out what ignites your heart with this day-by-day guide to romantic things to do in New York City:
Start your Big Apple sojourn by checking into the Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, New York City, right in the heart of Midtown South.
Lively Bryant Park is just a few blocks north, an easy stroll to catch a few rays with views of the Empire State Building and the grand New York Public Library. (Enjoy movies under the stars each summer or seasonal ice-skating without the crowds in the winter).
For lunch, amble on to the Morgan Library and Museum, a jewel box that was once the private home of Wall Street tycoon J. Pierpont Morgan. The house is filled with exquisite tapestries, mosaics, and art that will transport you to the city’s Gilded Age. The permanent collections here are always a delight, and the two restaurants — a casual bites spot in a sunny, glass-enclosed atrium, and an elegant option in the original Morgan dining room, complete with opulent fireplace — feature menus from “Top Chef’ judge Tom Colicchio.
Afterwards, head north to the rolling greens of Central Park. See the park with a private pedicab tour, which can include stops at the Bow Bridge, a staple in romantic movies, and the Loeb Boathouse, where you can rent a rowboat for a private moment for two in one of the busiest cities in the world.
Finish up the afternoon with a stroll through the majestic Metropolitan Museum of Art; lose the crowds with a quiet walk through the stunning ancient Egyptian Temple of Dendur.
Head back to your home-away-from-home to get ready for the evening: A performance at the spectacular Lincoln Center is an occasion to dress up. Come early for the pre-theater prix-fixe at Boulud Sud, a chic Mediterranean small-plates restaurant across from the arts complex. Or head directly to Lincoln Center for a champagne toast and to people watch from the soaring windows. A Broadway show is another way to go, with most theaters within walking distance.
Wrap up the evening with some of the best views in the city from the rooftop bar at Top of the Strand, conveniently located at your home base, the Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, New York City. The retractable roof makes it an unparalleled spot to watch the lights of the city twinkle, while you sip creative cocktails and share late night bites with your sweetheart.
Rise and shine (or laze about in bed, you’re on vacation after all). Then head downtown for brunch in the cobblestone streets of the charming West Village at Buvette, a French bistro that will transport you to the boulevards of Paris with decadent croissants and cozy tables for two.
Continue west to the Meatpacking District and the sleek Whitney Museum of American Art, where contemporary artwork fills the galleries and the views of the Hudson River from the sculpture terraces and top floor café make it seem as if you’re floating on the water.
Next to the museum is the entrance to The High Line, an elevated park on a former rail line that’s perfect for a leisurely stroll or to perch on recliners for some top-notch people watching. Along the landscaped path, you’ll spy art installations and be able to get refreshments at carts and cafes.
The High Line ends at the new Hudson Yards shopping-dining complex. You can climb the twisted arms of the futuristic Vessel if you’re feeling adventurous, or stop for tapas and wine at Mercado Little Spain, a market and food hall created by celebrity chef José Andrés.
Later in the evening, dine at cozy Il Buco, known for Mediterranean small plates and soft candlelight on a quiet street in the East Village.
After dinner, turn the corner and head to the Public Theater to wrap up the night at Joe’s Pub, where live jazz and cabaret fill this mood-lit club every evening.
Stroll the Brooklyn Bridge hand-in-hand this morning; it’s a picture-perfect setting as the sunlight dapples the waters of the East River. Instead of trying to get the ultimate selfie, though, the two of you can get your best couple photo taken during a private walking tour; your photographer-guide will lead you to the perfect posing spot while sharing New York history (and let you choose your favorite landmarks to include).
After crossing the bridge, you’ll come to one of New York’s most romantic, white tablecloth restaurants, The River Café. Beloved by generations of locals for special-occasion dinners, the café also serves an elegant breakfast and brunch. The lovely, mimosa-filled morning is the perfect way to wrap up a trip for two to one of the greatest — and most romantic — cities in the world.
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