It's undeniable that New York City is one of the most exciting places in the world to live and visit.
For that very reason, residents and visitors alike also appreciate romantic weekends away. A change of scenery, fresh air, and the escape from the city's crowds and hectic pace even can revive a relationship on the brink of urban decay. Read on to discover dreamy escapes just a short trip away from NYC.
A Weekend Getaway Northwest of New York: The Catskills
Two hours north of New York City, the Catskill Mountains area has long drawn Big Apple refugees.
The historic Mohonk Mountain House is on 2,200 picturesque acres outside the college town of New Paltz. You don't have to be a hiker to appreciate the scenery; an easy path circles the hotel's small lake, with gazebos along the way that are perfect places to stop for a smooch. The hotel itself is a rambling Victorian structure that's not terribly up-to-date — but that's part of Mohonk's charm.
Couples don't need a car to get to Woodstock, about half an hour north of New Paltz. Shops, restaurants, live music, and an easygoing spirit of the 1960s make Woodstock a favorite day or weekend destination for New York City travelers. Trailways buses leave NYC's Port Authority Terminal frequently for Woodstock and drop off passengers in front of the town square.
If you'd like to combine your weekend romantic trip to the Catskills with some pampering, the Lodge at Emerson Place, 20 minutes from Woodstock (car necessary) is affiliated with the award-winning Emerson Spa.
At the northern end of the Catskills, the Roxbury Motel is a fun-and-funky getaway with fantasy rooms perfect for couples with a sense of humor and the urge to play.
A Weekend Getaway Northwest of New York: The Finger Lakes
At the center of New York State and approximately a five-hour drive from New York City, the scenic Finger Lakes point a beckoning digit to romantics, luring them to a getaway filled with picturesque country roads, wineries that welcome, small and intimate lodgings, and a world-class museum.
The latter is the Corning Museum of Glass — and if you never believed there was much to know about glass or its beauty in the hands of artists, you will be delightfully surprised here. Leave yourselves several hours to change that opinion — and learn to blow glass and take the souvenir you craft home.
Where to Stay in the Finger Lakes
- A romantic 1914 Italianate-style villa on Seneca Lake, Geneva on the Lake is an AAA Four-Diamond inn where each room is decorated differently and few children are seen or heard.
- At the southern tip of Seneca Lake, Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel is an AAA Four-Diamond hotel with bathtubs big enough for two in its suites. Pack bubble bath.
- Close to several award-winning wineries, the Aurora Inn is a 10-bedroom hotel that sits beside the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes, Cayuga.
- Mirbeau—an inn, spa, and restaurant—brings Claude Monet’s Giverny garden to life in Skaneateles, a five-hour drive from New York City and a half hour south of Syracuse.
- Want to relive college days? Prestigious Cornell University is located on a lovely 745-acre campus in Ithaca. From a hilltop, it overlooks 40-mile-long Cayuga Lake, largest of the Finger Lakes. Its Statler Hotel is staffed by students from the university's School of Hotel Administration.
If you don't feel like driving quite as far and think there's nothing more romantic than catching a baseball game together, you can always make Cooperstown your weekend getaway destination. It's about an hour closer to New York City than the Finger Lakes.
A Weekend Getaway South of New York: Pennsylvania Dutch Country
Four hours south of New York City, the country lanes and Amish farms on the rolling hillsides of Pennsylvania Dutch Country are the antithesis of hip, high-powered city living. And that may be just what you need for a revitalizing romantic weekend getaway. Besides, what's not to love about a region that has towns named Blue Ball, Bird-in-Hand, Lititz, and Intercourse?
Here in Lancaster County, some residents still travel by horse and buggy and live and work in tight-knit religious communities.
While there are no first-class lodgings in the area, there are clean and affordable motels. And what Pennsylvania Dutch Country lacks in hotels, it more than makes up for in restaurants.
Even if you're not a couple who ordinarily relishes buffets, the ones here are different: Their country settings are immaculately clean and the food is made with farm-fresh ingredients from local growers.
Do I need to mention it's not uncommon to find at least half a dozen kinds of pudding to choose from, and an equal number of pies — including the area's coveted shoo-fly variety?
Although there are plenty of outlet malls in the surrounding areas, the real buys in Pennsylvania Dutch country are its country crafts, still made the old-fashioned ways. Whether you decide to pick up a handmade hex sign or an intricate quilt, it will long serve as a reminder of your romantic weekend here.
A Weekend Getaway North of New York: Mont Tremblant, Canada
A storybook village when dusted with snow, Mont Tremblant is a direct, one-hour flight from Newark Airport on Continental Airlines.
The destination's Gallic charm is evident the moment one enters the airport. It's designed to resemble a ski lodge, complete with glowing fireplace and welcoming upholstered couches.
Before going on a Mont Tremblant getaway, visit the Tremblant Activities Center if you'd like to make reservations for snowmobiling, dog sledding, winter horseback riding, and even acrobalance, a snowy version of zip lining. The ski mountain is easily accessible from the hotels and condos surrounding it.
In addition to the winter sports, couples have a good selection of restaurants and shops within walking distance of the mountain's base.
A Weekend Getaway North of New York: Adirondacks
Encompassing 6 million acres, New York's Adirondack State Park is the largest in the country. Although there are few towns in the vast Adirondacks, Lake Placid draws visitors in all four seasons.
In summer, there's boating and a small beach around Lake Placid. Fall brings with it a gorgeous show of foliage. At Whiteface Mountain, home to the 1980 Winter Olympics, skiers can schuss down the same slopes where gold medalers once triumphed. Gore Mountain is also nearby. And the town of Lake Placid has ample restaurants where you can have a hot chocolate or a hearty meal after a day outdoors.
Lake Placid is home to the Mirror Lake Inn, a cozy and comfortable property with a spectacular restaurant that overlooks the lake. Despite its name, the Colonial House is among the newest additions to the inn, and its huge bathtubs and balconies over the lake are exceptional.
A historic hotel by an even bigger lake in the Adirondacks, The Sagamore first opened in 1883. The sprawling, seventy-acre resort stands on a private island on Lake George sixty miles north of Albany, the New York state capital.