When you're in the mood for love, there's no American city quite like New York to celebrate or immerse yourself in romance. In fact, the Big Apple is brimming with romantic locales, so much so, that it might seem as if you've been cast in a romcom when stepping out with your date on a Saturday night.
Yes, it's true – filled with idyllic places begging to be discovered, New York City can sometimes feel as if you've set foot on a movie set, and you might even find yourself traipsing through a scene if you're not careful.
If you're looking for romantic things to do in NYC with that special someone, continue reading for nine of New York City's most romantic places for a Valentine's Day celebration or any momentous occasion when love is in the air.
1. The American Museum of Natural History
A museum might not sound romantic, but the Natural History Museum's setting on the Upper West Side is about as bucolic as any you'll find in a major city. The well-kept grounds welcome strolling and people-watching. Inside you'll find the Haydn Planetarium for stargazing (I'm talking the universe and not celebrities), and the Butterfly Conservatory with its tropical temperatures and lush greenery to soothe the senses and warm your bones on chilly days.
2. Grand Central Station
No one can deny the beauty of this classic Midtown landmark, despite its around-the-clock foot traffic. The architecture and history alone make Grand Central a fantastic choice to pass through when you have a hankering for good old-fashioned romance in the "City That Never Sleeps."
3. Bemelmans Bar
A Carlyle Hotel mainstay, Bemelmans isn't the best choice if you're pinching pennies, but if you're in the mood for a more upscale cocktail experience complete with live jazz standards and mood lighting, this lounge should crown your list. A favorite among celebrities, Bemelmans continues to be a hidden yet essential slice of old New York on the Upper East Side.
4. Bow Bridge in Central Park
Let's face it – all of Central Park feels incredibly romantic, but the Bow Bridge is one of the most iconic locations and could be considered one of the most romantic places in New York City. Perfect for proposals, wedding and engagement photos, anytime strolls, and an array of other magical moments waiting to happen, this famed bridge remains an ideal stop before or after a daytime date.
5. Perry Street in the West Village
Sure, we all adore the city's landmarks and attractions, but if you're looking for the not-so-obvious spot to rendezvous, head to the West Village, and specifically, Perry Street. Not only will its brownstones and cobblestones take you back to an earlier era, but the pin-drop quiet can remove you from Manhattan, if only for a few moments.
6. Lincoln Center Plaza
If you're wondering what are romantic things to do in NYC at night, consider the Lincoln Center Plaza. Stunning and cinematic, the open space connecting the Metropolitan Opera House, David H. Koch Theater, and David Geffen Hall is one of Gotham's most photographed scenes, and for good reason. Not only is the chandelier spectacular as you gaze into the Met's windows, but the plaza acts as a gathering place for people before and after performances, as well as passersby who linger for photo ops. Looking to wow your significant other? No worries – the Revson Fountain is truly spectacular.
7. Tiffany & Co
Breakfast at Tiffany's made this Fifth Avenue shop famous, and the brand continues to be associated with romance and love. Can't afford even a trinket at Tiffany & Co? That's okay! Grab a beverage and croissant and nibble on it before browsing inside. Or better yet, reserve your spot to eat at the retailer’s Blue Box cafe, located on the fourth floor of the New York flagship store. Talk about fun date ideas.
8. The River Café
After Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on this famous restaurant a few years back, the River Café was restored to greatness after an in-depth restoration project. The spectacular views this place has to offer should make it to the top of your list for afternoon date ideas. Due to the café's extreme popularity, a table can be tough to come by, so book well in advance for your special occasion.
9. Battery Park
This promenade in Lower Manhattan provides sweeping views of the New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. Awesome for strolling, bike riding, or relaxing on a park bench, Battery Park's solace and beauty give you more than one reason to make the trip way downtown to the island's tip.