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Bow Bridge in Central Park
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Anthony Quintano Bow Bridge in Central Park

The most romantic spots in NYC

Discover ridiculously romantic spots in NYC that are perfect backdrops for special moments with your squeeze

By Time Out editors and Adam Goldman
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New York certainly doesn't lack for gorgeous places to wine and dine—just take a peek at our roundups of romantic restaurants and romantic bars 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 list proves. But you know what's really romantic? NYC's really beautiful, simple treasures. We've mixed classic attractions with lesser-known delights that should set your heart aflutter.  

The most romantic spots in NYC

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Photograph: Joseph O. Holmes/cou

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Attractions Parks and gardens Prospect Park

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 super romantic Rose Garden.

Empire State Building
Photograph: Shutterstock

Top of the Empire State Building

Attractions Monuments and memorials Midtown West

Need a reminder of how damn pretty this town is? There is simply no denying the enduring romance of the Empire State Building's Observation Deck, as celebrated in movie swoonathon Sleepless in Seattle and the epic novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. 

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Ditmas Park
Photograph: Shutterstock

Ditmas Park

The quiet Brooklyn neighborhood is perfect for a crisp-day stroll, boasting the largest collection of Victorian-era houses anywhere in the country. Prepare for geeking out over an architectural feast for the eyes, wondering if you’re still in NYC and, perhaps, talking to your squeeze talk about life and love and moving in together.

Brooklen Heights promenade and views of Manhattan
Photograph: Michael Kirby

Brooklyn Promenade

Attractions Parks and gardens Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Heights has some of the best views in the city—and of the city, for that matter. Manhattan’s skyline really shines from just across the river. And if you get too cold, the surrounding area is chock full of hip coffee spots and great restaurants to duck into.

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Bow Bridge in Central Park
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Anthony Quintano

Bow Bridge in Central Park

Attractions Parks and gardens Central Park

There’s a reason why so many proposals and engagement shoots take place here: It’s ridiculously photogenic. The cast-iron stunner in Central Park (designed by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould) has served as a backdrop for lovers since it unveiled in 1862.  

Grand Central Terminal

Things to do Literary events Midtown East

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.

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best christmas lights nyc
Photograph: Shutterstock

The Fountain at Lincoln Center

Attractions Upper West Side

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.

Fort Greene brownstones
Photograph: Kayla Rice

Fort Greene brownstones

Things to do

Fort Greene has a little something for everyone. The quiet, tree-lined streets are perfect for long, meandering walks when you’re getting to know someone. For beautiful-brownstone overload, we suggest going down South Portland Avenue between DeKalb and Lafayette Avenues. And don’t forget Fort Greene Park, the towering centerpiece of the neighborhood. 

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St. Luke in the Fields Gardens
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

St. Luke in the Fields Gardens

Things to do Harlem

Everyone appreciates a hidden urban oasis, and the St. Luke in the Fields Gardens—just off Hudson Street, between Barrow and Christopher Streets, in the West Village—are some of the best. Picturesque, gorgeous and well-maintained, these tucked-away green spaces will make you feel as if you’re stepping into Narnia. 

Photograph: Time Out / Beth Levendis

Riverside Park 91st Street Garden

Attractions Parks and gardens Upper West Side

For 35 years, a volunteer collective called the Garden People has carefully curated the block-long 91st Street Garden, one of the most colorful corner of Riverside Park. (It’s also one of the park’s more famous locations, having made a cameo in the romantic climax of the 1998 film You’ve Got Mail.) Hundreds of varieties of plants line the asphalt walkway, including rose of Sharon trees and giant hibiscus flowers. During the summer, keep an eye out for monarch and swallowtail butterflies, which are drawn to the aromatic bushes.

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The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
Photograph: Courtesy Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

Museums Art and design Staten Island

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.

RFK Bridge
Photograph: Shutterstock

Astoria Park

Attractions Parks and gardens Astoria

Have you ever had a picnic with the RFK Bridge as your backdrop? How about a sunset? No? You’d better make your way to Astoria Park and fix that ASAP. It’s simply serene.   

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Photograph: Virginia Rollison

The Cloisters

Museums Art and design Washington Heights

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.

Prospect Park Boathouse

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. Another fun fact? It's also ridiculously romantic. 

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