Whether you want to keep that amazing first date going longer or you're looking for a budget-friendly romantic afternoon, New York's parks and gardens provide some of the best places for an afternoon shooting the breeze. Cuddle up for a foliage-full stroll at these fall walks about NYC.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in the fall in NYC
1. Central Park, North Woods and Conservatory Gardens
While Central Park's 843 acres are overflowing with lovely spots for picnics and scenic views, if you're looking for changing trees, stick to the northern portions of the park for a hike through the North Woods, where you might just forget you're in the city completely with its babbling brook, small waterfall and stone arch hidden among the tall trees. Before you exit onto East 106th Street, walk through the Conservatory Garden to see the orange, red and yellow autumn mums.
Enter at West 81st and head slightly south toward the middle of the park for the North Ramble where you'll find Red Oaks, purple-hued Sweet Gums and russet Pin Oaks before heading to the Ramble's south side for even taller versions of these mighty American trees. For an even more breathtaking view of these wonders, however, walk those legs over to the Loeb Boathouse and enjoy the view from a paddleboat on the lake ($15 an hour).
Though the hills of this Washington Heights park make for more of a workout than other spots on this list, Fort Tryon Park is well worth the extra effort not only for its fiery elms but for its staggering vistas overlooking the Hudson River and the changing colors of New Jersey's Palisades. The seasonal flowers and shrubs in the Heather Garden, the city's largest public garden, might inspire you to buy the perfect autumn bouquet for your special somebody.
Plan on spending a full day exploring the idyllic paths of this Brooklyn park. Start at the Boathouse on the Lullwater, the historic, century-old structure framed by foliage and the reflective orange hues in the water, then head to the Ravine, Brooklyn's last remaining old-growth forest, before heading back to the water to see the Peninsula. Along your wanderings, you'll see elms, black cherries, sassafras, weeping willows, beech trees and more.
Nestled in the far reaches of Queens is this massive bucolic public space, the borough's second-biggest park. Here, trails lead you through native forests, natural wet lands, ponds and streams. We particularly suggest taking your love on a trip down the Tulip Tree Trail to see the largest tullip poplar in the city, the 133.8-foot Alley Pond Giant.
You'd probably need multiple visits to see the estimated 80,000 trees here, but luckily, the one-and-a-half-mile Putnam Trail will only take you and you love a breezy 30 minutes to hike—longer if you're stopping to take Instagrams the path might inspire. The trail not only takes you through the native woods, which feature oaks, hickories, maples, but also a tall bridge over the Bronx's largest freshwater lake.
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