Barring a few outliers, if you’ve ever watched a romantic comedy, it was more than likely set in New York City or Los Angeles. So one could argue that these are the two most romantic cities in the United States. Now, which sounds even more romantic? A dusk-lit stroll through a snow-covered Central Park, holding hands with your sweetie? Or sitting beside your love in a sedan, stuck in traffic on the 405, eyes watering from smog? So there you have it, there’s no more romantic place than New York City, and there’s no more romantic holiday than Valentine’s Day. You really can’t go wrong when combining the two, so we’ve picked out a few of our favorite date night ideas, for that mushiest of February days, to ensure you have the best Valentine’s Day in NYC. (Note: you’ll want to make reservations for most restaurants!)
Upper West Side
The Upper West Side, as far as neighborhoods go, is essentially made for date night. Historic architecture, a slightly less boisterous but not less delicious restaurant scene, and convenient access to some of the city’s most iconic parklands all meet at the confluence of what we’ll call the classic Valentine’s date. Amsterdam Avenue between 79th and 86th streets, is lined with neighborhood eateries like Jacob’s Pickles (top notch soul food) and Luke’s Lobster (lobster, of course). These are comfortable, cozy, and a short stroll away from Central Park’s famed reservoir, which might be the City’s best locale for a moonlight walk.
High line and 14th Street
So maybe you’re one of those elusive folks who just aren’t into movies like “You’ve Got Mail.” Worry not, we’ve got a Valentine’s Day in NYC for you as well, that veers away from the more traditional feel of the Upper West Side. Head south about four miles to the vicinity of the famous High Line and 14th Street, where you’ll find an abundance of chic bars and upscale dining, plus plenty of great views, since we feel all proper dates should include taking in the sights. Start the night with a German beer at The Standard Biergarten, a bustling hall perfect for such an occasion, then grab a romantic dinner at an upscale eatery like Scarpetta, known for their handmade pastas. Cap it all off with a quick visit to the High Line, and voila! A perfect date night for an NYC Valentine’s Day celebration.
Concert & Comfort Food
Suppose drinks and dinner isn’t your thing. Well, this is New York so there’s never a shortage of alternatives. Might we suggest taking things in an especially non-traditional route, with a concert followed by some greasy late night eats? A pre-cursory perusal of show listings suggests Valentine’s Day events taking place at some of Brooklyn’s most unique and exciting venues, like Baby’s All Right, Union Pool, and Music Hall of Williamsburg, all in — well — Williamsburg, as well as The Bell House in Gowanus. Plus, each space is within easy walking distance of many a dive bar and late night slice shops, should the night dictate a beer and some pizza after the show.
Private, Quiet Night Out
For those who cringe at the pomp and circumstance of the holiday, this one might just be for you. It’s an option favoring peace, quiet, and a simple night out, and it’s as easy as looking at a happening neighborhood on a map, finding its central hub of activity, then scrolling a few blocks in any direction to locate a more isolated restaurant. For instance, Cafe Rue Dix in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood offers incredible Senegalese cuisine, without the controlled chaos of nearby Franklin Avenue’s concentration of bars and restaurants. Perfect for a quiet, intimate evening.
Plan an Entire Romantic Weekend
If you’re really looking to go all out for Valentine’s Day in NYC, plan a weekend full of romantic activities with your significant other. Hiring a pro is definitely recommended for this option because they can craft the perfect experience catered specifically to things you enjoy.
- Friday Afternoon
- Look your best: A Couple’s Styling Session to determine which style is the most flattering for each of you, then go Shopping for the perfect new look in Designer Showrooms (not open to the public)
- Friday Evening
- Romantic Dinner: Divine dinner in a historic Town House with a bottle of champagne
- Saturday Morning
- Feel your best: Enjoy a personalized spa appointment, followed by hair and make-up/grooming lesson
- Celebrity photo shoot: Private photo shoot with a celebrity photographer to capture your new look
- Saturday Evening
- Dinner: Enjoy a pre-theatre dinner with your favorite cocktails then catch a Broadway, Cabaret or Jazz show
- Sunday Morning
- Brunch cruise: Enjoy a delicious brunch as you leisurely cruise around Manhattan and take in the skyline
- Private pedicab tour of Central Park: Enjoy the beauty of Central Park with hot cocoa and a blanket as your guide provides the perfect views of the park
As you can see, there is no shortage of things to do on Valentine’s Day in NYC. You can even enjoy a dusk-lit horse and carriage ride through Central Park with hot chocolate and cookies included. Isn’t that romantic? But remember, even if gushy romance isn’t your thing, Valentine’s Day in NYC can be anything you want it to be. If you have any questions or would like to speak to a pro about your next trip to New York City, please contact us today.