What could be more romantic than a midnight carriage ride through Central Park, snuggling with your sweetheart? Maybe a moonlit boat ride below Bow Bridge, to Belvedere Castle and the Conservatory Garden. Or a luminescent stroll by the Lincoln Center Fountain. Truth is, for the starry-eyed, the Big Apple is the ultimate romantic destination, with its endless variety of historic landmarks, world class dining and drinking venues, and a cornucopia of entertainments.

 But before we hit the jingle and twinkle of the New York night, let’s start Valentine’s Day with a morning climb to that old standby, the Empire State Building, and a view that always gets the blood rising. Or pretend you’re Holly Golightly and beau, grab yourself a pastry and a latte, and window shop at Tiffany’s. And if you’re feeling fearless, head inside. If you emerge with your wallet too lightened, try ice skating at Rockefeller Center for an inexpensive blast of fun. An hour or two holding hands and twirling around on the ice is sure to stir the passions. And art is an aphrodisiac, did you know? If so, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and its bevy of masterpieces will bring a flush to the coolest cheeks. And if things get too hot with the Picassos and Van Goghs, cool off with cocktails at the Balcony Bar, overlooking the Great Hall.

For a lunch that defines romance, go no further than the upstairs dining room in New York’s landmark ‘21’ Club on 21 West 52nd Street, the site of numerous wedding proposals. After lunch, a jaunt out to Brooklyn might be the ticket. New York City looks even more beautiful from a distance. The Brooklyn Promenade offers visitors a splendid view of lower Manhattan, as well as delicious nearby options like the famed River Cafe, Grimaldi’s and Jacque Torres chocolate shop.

 A dinner reservation at one of New York’s most romantic restaurants is in order. Housed in a former carriage house, One if By Land, Two If By Sea (17 Barrow Street) features nightly live piano music, exposed brick, candlelight, and roaring fireplaces.

What could be more New York than after-dinner cocktails at one of the city’s famous bars? Bemelmans (35 East 76th Street) a classic piano bar, clad in gold leaf and black granite, is named after Ludwig Bemelmans, who created the Madeline books and painted the bar’s famous murals. Perhaps after a few Manhattans you’ll be ready for that carriage ride through Central Park. For info call 347-868-7692.

WHERE TO STAY: A place to spice up the romance is the 5 star Surrey Hotel. This Upper East Side property is New York City’s only Relais & Chateaux affliated hotel and  is steps away from Central Park.

Towering over Central Park lies The Pierre, a historic 5 star hotel on the famed 5th Avenue. Experience their elegant Afternoon Tea at Two E or enjoy a romantic meal for two in the property’s fine dining restaurant, Le Caprice.

For the stylish and sophisticated, have a SoHo stay at the Trump SoHo New York. This 46 storey building towers over the SoHo neighborhood surrounded by quirky galleries and upscale boutiques. Stay by March 31st and the upgrade is on us.


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