New York certainly doesn't lack for gorgeous places to wine and dine—just take a peek at our roundup of romantic restaurants for the most delicious examples. And you don't need to be a big spender to see Gotham at her finest, as our best cheap dates redux proves. But you know what's really romantic? NYC's really beautiful, simple treasures. We've mixed in classic attractions, like the view from the Empire State Building, with lesser-known delights such as the Butterfly Conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History. Whichever spot you decide to visit, we're sure it'll set your heart aflutter.
This peaceful oasis hits its fairytale peak in spring, for the Sakura Matsuri festival, during which more than 70 trees blossom along the Cherry Esplanade. But at any time of year you'll find some real beauty spots, from the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden to the romantic Rose Garden.
If you're feeling the chill in the colder months, head to this tropical paradise at the American Museum of Natural History, where temperatures soar to a delicious 80 degrees. Let yourself be enchanted by the sight—and feel—of monarchs, zebra longwings and iridescent blue morpho butterflies fluttering around you.
Breathtaking. There is simply no other word for the view of the inside of Grand Central Station, wherever you're standing. The architecture is 1913 Beaux Arts and its vaulted ceiling, painted with the planets, is spectacular. Don't be surprised if you see a proposal happen—to crowd applause—while you're there. And do swing by the old-fashioned Oyster Bar for a slurp or two.
A romantic spot for those in search of tranquility and natural beauty, this tiny museum on Staten Island was built in 1947 and is the only Himalayan-temple-style building in the United States, complete with pretty meditation gardens. Take a deep breath of clean air, and relax.
Sure, you can head to a world-class ballet, play or opera at Lincoln Center, but you know what we're crazy about? The lovely Revson Fountain at Josie Robertson Plaza. Seeing it lit up at night is always pretty, but there are also five-minute water shows throughout the evening (check the Lincoln Center for times).
Built on an abandoned railway track, this wildflower-festooned pathway has become one of the city's best-loved (and strolled) attractions. Romantic types will love the High Line's Star Gazing evenings, where local astronomers let you peek through their telescopes at the cosmos.
Set in a lovely park overlooking the Hudson River, the Cloisters houses the Met’s medieval art and architecture collections. A path winds through the peaceful grounds to a castle that seems to have survived from the Middle Ages, but was in fact built less than 100 years ago, using material from five medieval French cloisters. Tres romantique.
Back in 1817 it cost 25 cents to cross the harbor between Staten Island and lower Manhattan; today, it’s free. This 24-hour ferry is a lifeline for commuters, but it’s also a boat trip affording some of the most romantic views in the world: Lady Liberty and the Manhattan skyline among them.
Built in 1905, Prospect Park’s Beaux Arts–style boathouse was one of the first buildings in New York City to be declared a landmark. In 2002, it became the home to a state-of-the-art facility that allows visitors to virtually explore the great outdoors. A fine thing, but we'll happily stay outside and gaze at the real deal.