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Storm King
Photograph: Jerry L. Thompson, courtesy The Alexander Liberman Trust

10 romantic day trips from NYC

Instead of buying the usual flowers and chocolates, take your sweetheart on one of these romantic day trips.

Written by
Annalise Mantz
Keith Flanagan
Shaye Weaver

What’s the most romantic thing you can say to your partner this year? It sounds something like this: Let’s get out of town. For a truly memorable celebration, skip the chocolates or flowers and surprise your significant other with one of these romantic day trips. Down to splurge? Head out of the city for a weekend-long romantic getaway in NY state or book a suite in one of the most romantic hotels in NYC. If you really have to stay local, try out one of these unique date ideas or cuddle up in one of the coziest restaurants and bars in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to day trips from NYC

Romantic day trips near NYC

1. Hunter Mountain

Just two and a half hours outside of the city, Hunter Mountain is a convenient place to get your skiing or snowboarding fix. Its 67 trails offer something for everyone: bunny hills, steep downhill runs, moguls, jumps, boxes, and rails (there’s even a nearly 1,000-foot-long snow tubing hill). To make planning your ski trip a breeze, take advantage of this deal to get transportation to and from the mountain plus your lift ticket all in one go.

2. Washington, D.C.

What’s more romantic than civic engagement? We don’t usually recommend talking politics on a date, but you can at least admire some of the most iconic D.C. landmarks together on this tour of our nation’s Capitol. Get up early to catch the 7am bus, then snooze until you arrive at Arlington National Cemetery, the first stop of the day. You’ll also hit the Capitol, White House, Lincoln Memorial and Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum before heading back to New York City. If you book a trip for this spring, you might just be lucky enough to witness the blooming cherry blossoms!


3. Delaware River Kayaking

Some couples need a little adventure, and to that, we say: whatever floats your boat. If you’re looking for an active getaway, head upstate on this guided tour of the Delaware River via kayak. Opt for the tandem kayak if you want to stay close, and paddle together as you explore the scenic river. And, as if the scenery isn’t enough, you’ll also stop by the historic Warwick Valley Winery for a proper wine tasting before heading back to the city.

4. The Hamptons and Sag Harbor

Explore New York's favorite summer getaway on this daylong tour of the Hamptons. The first stop is in Southampton, where you’ll stroll down the picturesque main street lined with gift shops and boutiques. Then, you’ll wander through Sag Harbor, where you’ll stop for lunch after admiring the yachts bobbing in the marina. There’s even enough time to make a pit stop at the outlets on the way home, in case you need to get some shopping in.


5. Philadelphia and Amish Country

Fall deeper in love while walking the streets of the City of Brotherly Love. It’s a mere 100 miles from NYC, and it’s full of history. You’ll visit the Liberty Bell, Constitution Center and Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest inhabited street in the country. The next stop is Lancaster County, home to America’s oldest Amish settlement. Take a ride in a buggy as you learn about the Amish lifestyle: no electricity, cell phones, internet or modern conveniences of any kind.

6. Storm King Art Center

A stroll through Storm King Art Center is one of the most quintessential day trips for every New Yorker, and the 500-acre outdoor museum is a perfect setting for budding romance. The rolling landscape is studded with more than 100 outdoor sculptures by the likes of Isamu Noguchi, Alexander Calder, and Sol LeWitt. Couples can make a day of it by packing a picnic, posing for photos alongside massive artworks, and renting bikes from the museum to round out the adventure. And, to make getting there a breeze, book this package for a roundtrip bus from NYC that includes admission to the museum.


7. Pollepel Island

Nothing spells romance like an abandoned castle, right? It may not be straight out of a fairytale, but the ruins of Bannerman Castle, located on the 6.5-acre Pollepel Island in the Hudson River (if you’ve ever taken Metro-North’s Hudson Line, you’ve likely seen it from your window), will still leave you both spellbound. Once a military surplus warehouse that was built to look like a Scottish castle, you can see the ruins up close by booking a 2.5-hour cruise and guided walking tour that departs from Beacon, NY.

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  • Washington Heights
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It’s not technically outside of NYC, but the Met’s Cloisters can be an all-day excursion and a romantic one at that. 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. (It was built less than 100 years ago, using material from five medieval French cloisters.) Be sure to check out the famous Unicorn Tapestries, the 12th-century Fuentidueña Chapel and the Annunciation Triptych by Robert Campin. You’ll feel like royalty overlooking your gorgeous castle.

  • Attractions
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  • Long Island

Completed in 1906, this historic mansion has 200 acres of gardens, landscaped grounds, woodlands, ponds and lakes. Their daily calendar includes a mix of educational tours, yoga and tai chi, and even a summer classical concert series, making this the perfect destination to feel like you've been transported into a Jane Austin novel, via the LIRR. 

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Driving up a curving mountain road after passing through a manned checkpoint, you emerge from a forested land and catch sight of a grand, castle-like resort astride a picturesque glacial lake. It’s the Mohonk Mountain House. Over the years, the resort has garnered a number of accolades—including “Best Historic Resort” by Historic Hotels of America and as a National Historic Landmark site by the federal government—that attest to its longstanding presence. Here, you can hike, boat, golf, play tennis and wander through gardens at other resorts, but here you’re able to take in over a hundred years of history while doing so, through informative signs, ancient structures and a few quirky traditions. Outside of the resort, it’s hard to overstate just how astounding the views are. Whether you’re looking out from a rowboat in the middle of the lake or staring down at the resort and surrounding mountains from the 85 miles of trails provided for hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, you feel like you’re standing in the middle of a Hudson River School painting.

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