The Most Romantic Anniversary Ideas in New York City

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The iconic Brooklyn Bridge with Lower Manhattan as the backdrop is a romantic sight all by itself.
The iconic Brooklyn Bridge with Lower Manhattan as the backdrop is a romantic sight all by itself. (Image: MIHAI ANDRITOIU/iStock/Getty Images)

New York City is an urban hardscape where glass and steel skyscrapers dominate the landscape and the sounds of honking taxis and massive crowds fill the streets. But in spite of its abrasive reputation, places of quiet grace and romance are strewn throughout this cosmopolitan city, offering up a wealth of ideas for a memorable anniversary. What qualifies as "most romantic ideas" is subject to interpretation, but some places top just about everyone's list.

The Park's the Thing

No matter the season, Central Park exudes a romantic setting. Stroll hand in hand with your sweetie as the leaves change color in the fall or the flowers bloom in the spring. During the summer, you can snuggle with your honey during a production of “Shakespeare in the Park” under the stars, while the winter gives you the chance to dance across the ice at the Wollman Skating Rink. Or take a spin around the historic and ornate 1908 carousel or a boat ride for two on Central Park Lake. Tucked away amid the high rises of Midtown and behind the grand New York Public Library, Bryant Park covers nearly 10 acres. Romantic activities include a ride on its lavish carousel, an afternoon of sketching using the park’s complimentary art materials and a quiet game of chess or backgammon, also available free of charge. Enjoy a picnic on the sprawling green lawns or a leisurely walk through the gardens filled with 20,000 bulbs.

An Arty Affair

Enjoy a night of high-brow culture at Lincoln Center, the city’s preeminent performing arts center. Dress up in your finest duds as you take in an evening with the New York City Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera or the New York Philharmonic. Before the show, take a walk around the complex’s plaza fountain, twinkling at night with lights, or indulge in a gourmet meal at one of the center’s on-site gourmet restaurants. The Empire State Building has developed a reputation as a hot spot for lovers since its prominent role in such romantic films as “An Affair to Remember” and “Sleepless in Seattle.” Head up to the observatory on the 82nd floor or the top deck on the 102nd story of the world-famous Art Deco building and take in the sweeping sights of the city and the surrounding region; make it even more romantic with a sunset visit. For an added bit of romance, a saxophonist is on hand Thursday through Sunday nights.

Cozy Rides

Soak up views of the city from the East and Hudson rivers and New York Harbor as you embark on an excursion aboard an 80-foot yacht. Many of the themed cruises provide a bit of romance, in particular those that include wine-tasting, live jazz, Champagne and fireworks. Some cruises take place at sunset or after dark for added elegance. Snuggle with your significant other under a blanket as you take an old-fashioned carriage ride throughout Central Park. For a special touch, add special amenities to your ride -- flowers, chocolates and a photographer to record your special night.

Luxurious Living

The lavish Plaza Hotel is home to the equally opulent Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa. The high-end spa has couple’s massages, where twosomes can have a soak in an oak barrel tub or unwind in a whirlpool tub infused with grape extracts. The session for two also includes side-by-side massages and leather couches where you can sip on wine. Or make it a date at City Winery, with an accompaniment of acoustic, pop and jazz as you dine on dishes from the attached gourmet restaurant. Or if you don't want a full-on dinner, tour the on-site winery, spend a leisurely evening in the tasting room or sign up for cooking classes.

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