It’s nearly impossible not to find love in a state that has served as the backdrop for so many romantic films, spanning “Dirty Dancing” in the Catskills to the countless classics — think “Annie Hall,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “You’ve Got Mail” — set in New York City. In popular sitcom “The Office,” Pam and Jim tie the knot beneath Niagara Falls, otherwise known as the “Honeymoon Capital of the World.”
Even off-screen, romance abounds in New York state’s top destinations, from the Finger Lakes to the Adirondacks. Though the options for a couples vacation in the Empire State may actually be endless, these are some of the best places to spend a romantic weekend (or longer) in New York — including several ideal weekend getaways from New York City.
(Note: Some of the following activities, attractions and locations may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. New policies may be in place, including capacity restrictions, reservation requirements or mask mandates. Check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of State and local tourism boards before traveling.)
Top Romantic Getaways in New York State
— The Inns of Aurora
— Mirbeau Inn & Spa
— Belhurst Castle and Winery
— The Lake House on Canandaigua
— Glenmere Mansion
— Mohonk Mountain House
— The Catskills
— Niagara Falls
— Hutton Brickyards
— New York City
— Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club
— Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa
— North Fork
— Westchester County
— Whiteface Lodge
— The Sagamore Resort
The Inns of Aurora: Aurora
The Inns of Aurora property comprises five historic inns, each with their own distinctive vibe. The Aurora Inn (the site’s original hotel), built in 1833, blends vintage furnishings with modern amenities, while the Rowland House, built in 1903, is a more eclectic option. All guest rooms are equipped with plush bathrobes; some even feature fireplaces and views of Cayuga Lake, perfect for cuddling up to admire the spectacular sunsets.
Lovebirds can enjoy complimentary coffee and homemade granola bars each morning, a glass of local wine in the evenings, and seasonal s’mores by the lakefront fire pit. You’ll also find candlelit dining at the 1833 Kitchen & Bar and culinary classes just down the street from the Aurora Inn. Explore the beauty of the Finger Lakes with complimentary gear such as kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards; bicycles; telescopes for stargazing; bird-watching binoculars; and more.
The highlight of any stay at the Inns of Aurora is its spa, a 15,000-square-foot healing and wellness center less than a mile from the main hotel property. Opened in 2021, the state-of-the-art facility features 10 treatment rooms where you can enjoy a variety of signature and customized treatments, as well as a full-service salon. All spa services come with a seasonal menu of fare at the on-site cafe, six jetted spa pools with optional hydrotherapy circuits, steam rooms, a sauna and fire pits.
Address: 391 Main St., Aurora, NY 13026
Mirbeau Inn & Spa: Skaneateles
The sweet town of Skaneateles — brimming with boutique shops, art galleries and lakefront restaurants — merits a trip to the Finger Lakes. But for the ultimate in romance, book a stay at Mirbeau Inn & Spa. This French-inspired spa resort features an elegant spa, overnight accommodations and on-site dining.
Guests have the option to stay in a traditional guest room or private cottage, all of which come with fireplaces and large bathrooms with soaking tubs. Book the Mirbeau Signature Couples Massage or Art of Living couples experience and enjoy use of a heated foot pool, steam rooms and the outdoor Aqua Terrace — which features a heated spa pool with massage jets and a waterfall, a cozy fireplace, and a private bar where you can order beverages and light fare. Afterward, enjoy lunch or dinner at The Bistro & Wine Bar, where breakfast and Sunday brunch are also served. Previous guests rave about this resort, calling it serene and magical.
Mirbeau Inn & Spa also has locations in Rhinebeck, New York (Hudson River Valley), and Plymouth, Massachusetts (Cape Cod).
Belhurst Castle and Winery: Geneva
In the Finger Lakes, not only can you taste some of the world’s best rieslings, but you can also spend the night in a castle — with a winery. Located on the shores of Seneca Lake, Belhurst Castle and Winery provides the perfect setting for a romantic getaway in New York.
While the property consists of three hotels, the Chambers in the Castle is the most romantic option for couples. Here, 11 Victorian-era guest rooms — each architecturally and stylistically distinct — feature antique furnishings, some with four-poster beds. There are also three cottages available to rent. Guests of the Chambers enjoy cozy fireplaces and complimentary wine from a self-serve wine spigot.
In addition to wine, Belhurst makes its own craft beer and hard cider, which patrons can enjoy at the winery tasting room or two on-site restaurants. The hotel also offers a spa and salon. The hotel reviews of Belhurst Castle are mixed, but most recent guests agree the staff is wonderful and the property is beautiful.
Address: 4069 W. Lake Road, Geneva, NY 14456
The Lake House on Canandaigua: Canandaigua
The Lake House is the first hotel of its kind to open on Canandaigua Lake, the fourth largest of the Finger Lakes. The eco-conscious hotel uses its natural environment to provide holistic luxury to guests — from creekside barrel saunas at the on-site Willowbrook Spa to meals made with local ingredients at the Rose Tavern and Sand Bar. Of course, guests can enjoy Canandaigua Lake via kayak, stand-up paddleboard, private boat charter or even a morning coffee cruise. Light and airy guest rooms and suites feature hand-carved furniture, rain showers, and plush robes and slippers; some first-floor rooms are pet-friendly.
When booking your stay, consider the “Romance at The Lake” package, which includes overnight accommodations, a spa credit and a Rose Tavern credit for a candlelit dinner, as well as wine and chocolate upon arrival.
If you can peel yourself from the property, take time to enjoy the award-winning wines and delicious food on the Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail.
Cooperstown is undeniably family-friendly — it’s home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and Cooperstown Dreams Park, after all. But this central New York village is also ideal for a romantic weekend getaway, whether you and your beau are baseball fans or not.
Nicknamed “America’s Most Perfect Village,” Cooperstown boasts plenty of boutiques, breweries and art galleries, such as the Fenimore Art Museum, located on a property once owned by James Fenimore Cooper, author of “The Last of the Mohicans.” In the winter, you and your partner can also try cross-country skiing or showshoeing at Glimmerglass State Park.
The village’s grand dame, The Otesaga Resort Hotel, features romantic accommodations in which couples can wake up to the sun rising over Otsego Lake. Seasonally, hotel guests can enjoy water sports on the lake and cocktails at the outdoor Fire Bar overlooking the water. The luxury resort also features the Hawkeye Spa and fine dining at 1909 on Friday evenings. Other romantic dining options in Cooperstown include Brewery Ommegang (once famous for its limited-edition “Game of Thrones”-inspired beers); Nicoletta’s Italian Café; and Origins Cafe, a farm-to-table restaurant inside of a greenhouse.
Glenmere Mansion: Chester
You’d never guess that this 150-acre estate is located in the U.S., let alone that it’s only around 70 miles from New York City. Constructed in 1911, the mansion — then the summer home of industrialist Robert Goet — sits in the countryside of the Hudson Valley, intended to resemble the villas of Tuscany at the time. Now a Relais & Châteaux boutique hotel, Glenmere Mansion features more than a dozen guest rooms, each one thoughtfully redesigned and unique. Most rooms have fireplaces, and many offer terraces.
Romantic retreats can (and should) include indulging at the Glenmere spa, which features a tandem suite with side-by-side soaking tubs and treatment tables. Guests of the spa enjoy pre- or post-treatment tapas and access to a variety of amenities, including an herbal steam room, dry heat sauna and a Swiss shower.
Visitors at Glenmere also have access to four fine dining venues and local activities such as historic sightseeing and wine tasting at the award-winning Brotherhood Winery, widely considered the oldest winery in the U.S. Note that Glenmere Mansion is an adults-only resort. Many previous guests praise Glenmere, noting that the food is exceptionally good.
Mohonk Mountain House: New Paltz
Perhaps the grandest of all the mansions and castles in New York (and the U.S.) is Mohonk Mountain House. Founded in 1869, the resort can be found tucked into the Hudson Valley, less than 100 miles from New York City.
Another major draw? It’s one of few all-inclusive resorts in the U.S. Rates include three farm-to-table meals daily plus afternoon tea and cookies; a roster of activities, spanning water sports on Lake Mohonk to 85 scenic miles of hiking trails; wellness offerings such as a spa and fitness classes; nightly entertainment including live music and seasonal campfires; and, for families, additional kid-specific activities. Couples can choose Victorian-style guest room or suite accommodations with wood-burning fireplaces in the Mountain House, or opt to stay in the more private Grove Lodge.
While this National Historic Landmark resort is pricey, previous guests agree the cost is well worth the experience.
While the Catskills may always be synonymous with “Dirty Dancing,” the region looks a bit different than it did when Frances “Baby” Houseman and Johnny Castle fell in love here. A boom in boutique lodging options is once again attracting travelers to an area that saw a period of decline from the 1970s until recent years.
Modern-day Babys and Johnnys can now go glamping in luxury tents and Airstreams at AutoCamp Catskills; spend the night at Wylder Windham, a full-service boutique hotel next to Windham Mountain Resort; relax in rustic-luxe rooms with soaking tubs at Urban Cowboy Lodge; tuck into cozy cabins at Eastwind Windham, which also features standalone saunas in the woods; or even spend the night at a revamped retro motel such as the Starlite Motel, with its outdoor pool. Throughout the region couples will also find breweries and cideries, U-pick farms, and (of course) the outdoor adventures that first put the Catskills on the map: skiing, hiking, biking and more.
[Read: The Top Catskills Resorts.]
Known as the “Honeymoon Capital of the World,” Niagara Falls is the original romantic getaway in New York. Couples in search of romance have been visiting the region since the 1800s, particularly after the Erie Canal opened. Connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean via the Hudson River, the canal — along with railroad expansions — made Niagara Falls a more accessible vacation destination for honeymooners.
Today, couples who want to experience the beauty of this natural wonder can hike or bike scenic trails at Niagara Falls State Park, which recently expanded with 140 acres of recreational space and unparalleled views of the Niagara Gorge. You and your sweetheart can also watch a nightly illumination of the falls from a cozy blanket in the park, which is an especially colorful spectacle during Pride Month. Of course, there are plenty of guided tours in Niagara Falls, including the iconic Maid of the Mist (where Pam and Jim said their vows).
The New York side of Niagara Falls is home to a large wine region, with the Niagara Wine Trail offering more than a dozen wineries. For romantic accommodations, look to The Giacomo in the heart of downtown. Built in 1929 as the United Office Building, The Giacomo is now a luxury boutique hotel with architecture that blends art deco and Mayan Revival styles. In-room amenities include a nightly cookie delivery and panoramic views; select rooms have whirlpool baths and fireplaces. Duos can grab cocktails at the Giacomo Lounge before taking advantage of the “A Night of Romance Package,” complete with a bottle of wine, locally made chocolates and complimentary late checkout.
Hutton Brickyards: Kingston
The Hudson Valley’s last architecturally intact brick manufactory, Hutton Brickyards, sits on more than 70 lush acres overlooking the Hudson River. Here, lovebirds can hide out in waterfront cabins and luxurious suites designed to optimize privacy, then enjoy on-site activities such as spa treatments, yoga, sip-and-paint sessions, archery, kayaking and nature walks. The property’s alfresco waterfront restaurant, The River Pavilion, serves elevated wood-fired cuisine alongside the fireplaces. Other upscale eateries as well as boutiques can be found in downtown Kingston.
Within view of the Rhinecliff Amtrak station, Hutton Brickyards is an easy trip for New Yorkers seeking some respite from the busy city. Previous guests can’t say enough good things about this seemingly hidden gem, noting that the cabins are especially cozy.
Address: 200 North St., Kingston, NY 12401
New York City
Reenact your favorite rom-com moment in New York City, where there are endless places to fall in love — from world-class museums and award-winning restaurants to studio tours, skyline views and some of the country’s best Pride events. Following prolonged COVID-19 shutdowns, Broadway is back, and in the architecturally awe-inspiring Hudson Yards neighborhood, which officially opened in 2019, lovers will find shopping, dining, special events and an on-site hotel.
Speaking of hotels, while the city may never sleep, you probably will, and there’s no shortage of romantic lodging options in New York City. At The James New York — NoMad, which sits just steps from the Museum of Sex, curious couples can participate in intimacy workshops that teach you and your partner how to connect breath, emotions and sensations. Another potential accommodation choice is The High Line Hotel, a Parisian-style property whose Remote View garden serves extrasensory cocktails inspired by Ingo Swann, known as a pioneering psychic. At the TWA Hotel, meanwhile, guests enjoy the glamour of 1960s travel (think “Mad Men”) as you sip martinis by a rooftop pool that overlooks the runways of John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club: Sloatsburg
A fitness-focused resort, the Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club is ideal for active couples in search of a romantic weekend getaway in New York. The sprawling resort — a popular destination for weddings and other events — is surrounded by 70,000 scenic acres that afford myriad activities, including guided hiking, biking and kayaking tours. The resort also features an expansive fitness center, a variety of fitness and wellness programs, and a 75-foot outdoor swimming pool. Romantic activities include browsing the hotel’s organic market and art gallery with its bookstore, cozying up by the outdoor fire pits, enjoying in-room spa treatments and dining at farm-to-table restaurants.
The four historic guesthouses are each equipped with three to five luxurious bedrooms and porches — perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning. The Farm House and Twin Peaks allow you to book only one bedroom and enjoy exclusive use of the home during your stay, making them ideal for a couples weekend.
The Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club is about an hour’s ride from New York City via the ShortLine Hudson bus from Manhattan; the resort is conveniently located next to the bus stop and train station in Sloatsburg.
Address: 27 Mill St., Sloatsburg, NY 10974
Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa: Montauk
An icon in the Hamptons, Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa is situated on Montauk’s picturesque stretch of oceanfront real estate. Hotel patrons enjoy access to a private beach and ocean views from luxury rooms, suites and beachfront cottages. In-room amenities include wet bars, Nespresso machines, and cozy robes and slippers. Couples can also take in the ocean vistas hand in hand from the Firepit outdoor lounge or relax at The Beach Club. Following a $20 million renovation, the resort’s Seawater Spa features new indoor-outdoor spa suites with private soaking tubs, perfect for couples.
While many local hotels close for the winter, Gurney’s Montauk is open year-round, so lovebirds can visit whenever the mood strikes. Reviewers say the resort is top-notch, with some noting it’s just as good — and less crowded — in the offseason.
[Read: The Top Things to Do in Long Island.]
While the Hamptons remains an elite vacation spot on Long Island, the North Fork has been giving that resort destination a run for its money — especially in recent years. Thanks to an ideal terroir for growing grapes, Long Island has an established wine scene, with most of the vineyards and wineries located on the North Fork. You’ll find many of the region’s wineries along Route 25 (the main thoroughfare); guided wine tours with a personal driver are a popular way to taste the region’s signature wines, which include merlot, cabernet franc and chardonnay. In June, many of the wineries celebrate Pride Month.
The area is also dotted with U-pick farms and farmers markets, some of which sell another local delicacy: oysters. For an essential North Fork experience, pair your oysters with wine at places such as Terra Vite North Fork Winery & Vineyard and Peconic Bay Vineyards — the latter offers oyster happy hours seasonally.
Couples can relax by the seaside in Orient Beach State Park, where beachgoers enjoy kayaking, windsurfing, fishing and other opportunities for outdoor recreation. Round out your romantic getaway in Long Island with a game of golf and some upscale dining, then check into one of the North Fork’s boutique hotels or bed-and-breakfasts.
Often considered New York City’s sixth borough, Westchester County is perfect for a weekend getaway with your partner. Just north of Manhattan, set between the Hudson River and Long Island Sound, Westchester County offers a little bit of everything: quaint river towns (including the legendary Sleepy Hollow), beaches, historic landmarks, seasonal events, and hiking and biking trails galore. You can also traverse the Westchester Farm Trail, which encompasses 13 farms and orchards with markets, U-pick options and more.
Romantic accommodations in Westchester County include the Bedford Post Inn, a Relais & Châteaux property with just eight rooms (many with fireplaces) and two highly rated farm-to-table restaurants. The Abbey Inn and Spa, which overlooks the Hudson River, is another lovely lodging option: Once a convent, the stunning building now houses luxurious guest rooms and suites, a restaurant, and a full-service spa where you and your lover can unwind with a lava stone couples massage.
Whiteface Lodge: Lake Placid
It doesn’t get more romantic than Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid. The AAA Four Diamond resort boasts a variety of rustic-luxe suites (including one-bedroom options), most with cast-iron fireplaces, jetted tubs, and patios or balconies. Romantic on-site amenities and activities include evening drinks under the stars in a private lean-to; a spa with hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas; ice skating in the winter; and fine dining at Kanu, where guests say the atmosphere alone is worth a dinner reservation.
A two-time host of the Winter Olympics, Lake Placid offers a variety of Olympics-inspired museums and experiences, with unique winter activities including bobsledding at Mount Van Hoevenberg and dog-sledding on frozen Mirror Lake. Of course, there’s also skiing, snowboarding and the like at Whiteface Mountain. While you’re visiting, take time for a romantic stroll along Lake Placid’s Main Street, which looks like a Norman Rockwell painting. Previous guests adore Whiteface Lodge, noting that it’s ideal for both couples and families.
The Sagamore Resort: Bolton Landing
There are plenty of vacation rentals on Lake George, but if you’re looking for the ultimate escape with your partner, book a stay at The Sagamore Resort (part of the Opal Collection). Located on a 70-acre private island in the Adirondacks, the hotel features award-winning dining, an 18-hole golf course, a full-service spa, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Especially unique is the annual Glacier Ice Bar & Lounge, where 18,000 pounds of crystal-clear ice are transformed to create an Antarctic setting overlooking Lake George.
If you’re seeking a private outdoor space and/or fireplace, a spacious option is a two-bedroom condo (or perhaps a four-room condo or house if you’re traveling with other couples). Otherwise, you’ll be perfectly comfortable in a lodge room or suite, some of which also come with fireplaces or balconies. Previous guests say this historic resort — first opened in 1883 and even considered by some to be a haunted hotel — is absolutely majestic.
Tuck into Troutbeck, a historic estate hotel whose most famous guests include Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Located in the Hudson Valley, the hotel features field-to-fork dining led by Michelin-starred chef Gabe McMackin, as well as The Barns, a new wellness facility featuring yoga, meditation and Kinesoma classes (dance-based movement). The wellness offerings also include services such as acupuncture and massages. An outdoor swimming pool and grill, hammock and picnic sites, tennis courts, and free bike rentals complement the serene setting.
For an especially romantic lodging option, book the Dunham Suite, named for its lovely view of the nearby creek. The suite features a king-size, four-poster bed; a gas fireplace; a wet bar with a minifridge; heated bathroom flooring; and a standalone soaking tub and separate rain shower. Recent guests say they enjoyed the beauty and history of this hotel from the 1700s.
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