Romantic getaways

Grab someone special (or anyone at all, we won't judge) for sexy sleepovers, all accessible from public transportation.

Born Free Motel

Photograph: Jeff Quinn


The retreat:

Steam right through the Hamptons and land at the end of the LIRR line in Montauk (round-trip $33.50--$36). Once a favorite stop for pirates, it now offers even more valuable booty—a calm beach experience. The Born Free Motel (115 South Emerson Ave between S Embassy and S Edgemere Sts, Montauk, L.I.; 631-668-2896,; $90--$405 per night) offers freedom in the form of a kitchen in most rooms. Hit the beach during the week with your own groceries, and you can ramble and dine without encountering another soul.

Do this:

At Lighthouse Weekend, a party sprouts up around the picture-perfect 214-year-old structure (2000 Montauk Highway, Montauk, L.I.; 888-MTK-POINT, Aug 21, 22; $9). Activities include craft sales and knot-tying demonstrations by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary—no one said you had to use those knots in a nautical setting.

Malouf's Mountain


The retreat:

Smooth out the roughing-it experience at Malouf's Mountain Sunset Campground (Sunnyside Road, Beacon, NY; 845-831-6767,; $78 per night), where tents (included) are pitched on private, kitchenette-equipped wooden platforms—more Troop Beverly Hills than Bear Grylls. The hike from near the Beacon Metro-North train station (round-trip train $26--$34.50, shuttle to trailhead $5) to Malouf's ranges from a short ramble to a five-hour trek, and your gear is schlepped in for you. Raw chow—like a ten-ounce piece of salmon ($11.50)—is delivered to the site, where you cook it up yourself.

Do this:

Wander up the Red Overlook trail for a view over the Hudson River; hit it around sunset for a particularly romantic vista.

Litchfield Jazz Festival

Photograph: Antonio Monteiro


The retreat:

Kent is one of those little Connecticut towns defined by its single stoplight and classic fall foliage, but don't let that stop you. The Fife 'n Drum Inn (53 North Main St at Kent Green Blvd, Kent, CT; 860-927-3509,; $135--$150 per night) is just precious enough—some beds have four posts, all quilts are down—but still boasts air-conditioning and cable. Hop off Metro-North at Tenmile River (round-trip $30--$40.50) and take a quick cab ride into town; you won't need a car again.

Do this:

It's a brief stroll from downtown Kent to the Litchfield Jazz Festival (Kent School, One Macedonia Rd, Kent, CT; 860-361-6285,; Aug 6--8, $29--$83). This year's 15th-anniversary fest of groovy, sexy tunes is dedicated to Dave Brubeck, whose famous quartet will perform.

Night Hotel


The retreat:

Sometimes your relationship demands a vacation, but battling through Penn Station would send you straight into couples counseling. Spend all of $2.25 on a subway ride to reach the Night Hotel (132 W 45th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves; 212-835-9600,; $269--299 per night), where the sheets are all 400-thread-count. Skip the room service and try midtown dining that locals never bother to explore, like the Japanese small plates at Sake Bar Hagi (152 W 49th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves, 212-764-8549).

Do this:

Duh, stay in. Fire up the plasma or get inspired by the sleek black-and-white decor and...we don't have to spell it out, do we?

Atlantic City Cruises

Photograph: Shaun Reilly


The retreat:

Romantic two-night, midweek packages are only $138 at the Tropicana Atlantic City (2831 Boardwalk at Brighton Ave, Atlantic City, NJ; 609-340-4000,, where gift cards for local shops, a revue show and 2pm check-out are included; is it fair that the Bad Breakup Recovery Package is a whopping $292 (even if it does include $100 in free bluemercury makeup)? Of course, the Jersey Shore is better known for hooking up than dainty courtship, so come prepared for clubbing (see page 13), not cuddling—or stay in nearby Ventnor City, a $15 cab ride away. Rooms at the antiques-laden Come Wright Inn (5003 Ventnor Ave between North Austin and Oakland Aves, Atlantic City, NJ; 609-822-1927,; $139--$299 per night) are named for locales in Pride and Prejudice.

Do this:

Leave the booze cruises to the Snooki types—a two-hour dolphin-watching outing from Atlantic City Cruises (800 North New Hampshire Ave at Parkside Ave, Atlantic City, NJ; 609-347-7600,; $34) draws fewer partiers, but there are still cocktails available on board. You're on vacation, after all.

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