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The Most Non-Cliché Romantic Spots Across New York City

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn Botanic Garden | © Teri Tynes / Flickr
New York City is a place where dreams come true—and for many people, that means dreams of romance. But if the idea of going to the top of the Empire State Building to declare your love seems just a bit too cheesy, there are plenty of other equally romantic destinations around town. From a ferry with the best views of Manhattan to an ancient Egyptian temple, here are some of the most romantic spots in New York City where you won’t have to fight tourists to get a private moment together.

The Campbell

Bar, American, $$$
The Campbell Apartment
The Campbell Apartment | Courtesy of The Campbell
Bar none, this establishment is one of the sexiest bars in Manhattan. Sneak your date through the main concourse at Grand Central and then up to the hidden bar at The Campbell. For bonus points, sit on the balcony and stare down at everybody else in the bar below.
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The Ramble at Central Park

Park
The Ramble at Central Park
The Ramble at Central Park | © Teri Tynes / Flickr
Everybody has their favorite part of Central Park, but The Ramble just might be the most romantic of all. It’s well off the beaten path, so it will never be crowded with people, and the twists and turns in the lanes make for an incredibly romantic stroll.
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Brooklyn Promenade

Park, Bridge
Brooklyn Promenade
Brooklyn Promenade | Howard Brier/Flickr
On one side you’ve got the beautiful old brownstones of Brooklyn Heights, and on the other side, there’s nothing but magnificent Manhattan skyline. It only takes one long stroll through at sunset to realize why this is one of the most romantic spots in the city.
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Grand Army Plaza

Park
Grand Army Plaza
Grand Army Plaza | mike/Flickr
Those looking for the majesty of Washington Square Park without any of the crowds will find its more romantic twin sister in Brooklyn. Located right across from Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Library, this magnificent arch is best viewed at night when it’s all lit up.
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Gallow Green

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Patisserie, Pub Grub, $$$
Gallow Green
Gallow Green | Courtesy of the McKittrick Hotel
While most rooftops boast their views of the city, Gallow Green is one of the only roofs in the city where it’s possible to forget you’re in New York. From the abundance of greenery to the twinkling lights, this entire bar is enchanting. But, of course, if you just step to the perimeter, there’s a fantastic view of the Empire State Building.
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The River Café

Restaurant, Cafe, American, Fast Food, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
The River Cafe Restaurant, Brooklyn, New York, USA.
The picturesque River Café boasts excellent views | © Dany Creative Design / danycreativedesign.com

The River Café

Although dinner at The River Café will set you back a pretty penny, there’s nothing quite like sitting down to a candlelit al fresco dinner while the lights of Manhattan twinkle on the other side of the river.

The River Cafe, 1 Water St, Brooklyn, NY, USA, +1 718 522 5200

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Revson Fountain at the Lincoln Center

Building
Revson Fountain at Lincoln Center
Revson Fountain at Lincoln Center | © John Wisniewski / Flickr
The water show at the Revson Fountain at the Lincoln Center will never cease to amaze. You could watch it for 20 minutes and never get bored. If you take your date there during certain times in the summer, there may even be free open-air dancing; therefore, you can get a free two-for-one deal.
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The Wonder Wheel

Amusement Park
Wonder Wheel
Wonder Wheel | Shinya Suzuki/Flickr
For couples who are willing to take a bit of a field trip, board the train and ride it all the way to Coney Island. Once you’re there, meander up and down the boardwalk. But then be sure to wait in line for the Wonder Wheel and look out over the whole neighborhood while you’re at the top (or make out—whatever feels right).
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Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Botanical Garden, Museum, Park, Forest
Bonsai and rock display in glass roofed Steinhardt Conservatory of Brooklyn Botanic Botanical Garden in Brooklyn, New York.
Bonsai and a rock display are on view in the glass-roofed Steinhardt Conservatory of the Brooklyn Botanic Botanical Garden in Brooklyn, New York | © Dorothy Alexander / Alamy Stock Photo
There are plenty of winding alleys, charming gardens and greenhouses to get lost in at this expansive park. The Japanese Garden is especially romantic (whenever it’s not crowded), and the greenhouses, especially the heated rooms with tropical plants, are also incredible.
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The Little Red Lighthouse in Fort Washington Park

Bridge, Park
George Washington Bride | olekinderhook/WikiCommons
George Washington Bride | olekinderhook/WikiCommons
Wander up to Fort Washington Park and take a few minutes to relax underneath the George Washington Bridge. The red lighthouse has become an iconic staple of uptown New York life and is a pretty excellent backdrop for any couple’s photos you may wish to take.
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Freemans Restaurant

Restaurant, Diner, American, $$$
Freemans
Freemans | Photography by Daniel Krieger, 2015
Freemans is a hidden restaurant that remains one of New York’s coolest secrets. When you wander upon the tiny little restaurant terrace (hidden in an alleyway), you’ll wonder how you ever walked past it before. And when you’re sharing dinner with your other half, you’ll be glad that everybody else walking by is missing this charming little spot.
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