Despite some of New York’s less love-inspiring qualities, there are a lot of beautiful, heart-stopping spots that set the right tone for romance, even if you have to contend with yellow snow on your way home. We’ve rounded up some of the most romantic hidden spots in NYC that’ll inspire butterflies right away. Check out one of these under-the-radar romantic spots in New York City that offer much more than a prix fixe menu and wine-paired buzz.
St. Luke’s Community Garden
If you want to dip out of the crowds in the West Village, this hidden urban oasis is just off Hudson Street, between Barrow and Christopher Streets. Picturesque, gorgeous, and well-maintained, this tucked-away green space will make you feel as if you’re stepping into Narnia.
Central Park’s Hidden Spots
Central Park is so big that it has multiple spots just out of view from the general public. Its serene meadows, secret paths, and long-forgotten landmarks are just waiting to be discovered by you and your loved one. The Whispering Bench in Shakespeare Garden, a four-acre expanse planted with flowers and plants mentioned in the playwright’s works, there’s a one-of-a-kind curved granite bench. If you sit at one end and whisper, a friend sitting at the other end will be able to hear you, loud and clear. Bank Rock Bay is a bird watchers’ paradise at the north end of the lake and the Hallett Nature Sanctuary is a short jaunt in the woods to beautiful views.
There’s nothing more romantic than gazing up at the stars together but that’s pretty impossible here in the city unless you are in the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. It’s not exactly hidden, but probably not the first idea that pops into your mind when it comes to romantic spots in NYC. This planetarium is known for dazzling multimedia presentations such as Worlds beyond Earth and a series of exhibits and lectures about the cosmos that will dazzle your date.
The Butterfly Conservatory at AMNH
Butterfly Conservatory inside AMNH feels like a makeshift rain forest, a winding path leads you through an enchanted landscape where you’ll marvel at 500 vibrant butterflies fluttering in the air. Plus, you can reconnect with nature while staying nice and cozy in the temperature-controlled exhibition room, set to a balmy 80°F to protect these winged beauties.
The Strand Bookstore
Get lost in the stacks if they love books. Downstairs in the basement, the Strand can be the perfect setting for a romance between two bibliophiles. Not far from Union Square, this bookstore is truly a bibliophile’s happy place. With more than 2.5 million books–used, new and rare–stacking up the Strand’s four floors, the selections are purely mind-blowing. From architecture to travel guides, browsing for the right book will be just as fun as buying it. Strand also has some cool totes, calendars, and NYC souvenirs, along with audiobooks, CDs, and DVDs.
The Morgan Library & Museum
At the Morgan Library and Museum, the private library of financier J. Pierpont Morgan will take your breath away. Building on the collection Morgan amassed in his lifetime, the museum houses first-rate works on paper, including drawings by Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Picasso; three Gutenberg Bibles; a copy of Frankenstein annotated by Mary Shelley; manuscripts by Dickens, Poe, Twain, Steinbeck, and Wilde; sheet music handwritten by Beethoven and Mozart; and an original edition of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol that’s displayed every yuletide.