For some couples, a romantic weekend getaway might mean sightseeing in a new city before retreating to a stylish hotel room for the night. Or craft cocktails and a glamorous view might be required. Whatever your idea of romance, one of the following destinations, on Long Island or easily reached from the Island, will fit the bill:
A Weekend of Wine and Spirits: For convenience as well as romance, you can’t beat a Long Island wine country getaway. Check into the Sound View in Greenport, where every room has a direct and dramatic view of Long Island Sound. Skip the cavernous and sometimes rowdy wine barns that dot the Main Road and check out more intimate tasting rooms instead. Must-visit wineries for romance: cozy Lieb Cellars, rustic McCall Vineyards, and sophisticated Shinn Estate, all in bucolic Cutchogue. Love Lane Kitchen (lovelanekitchencom) in Mattituck is an on-the-nose choice for a couples’ brunch or lunch. Browse handmade jewelry including nontraditional engagement rings made with salt-and-pepper diamonds and other alternative stones at Orenda (orendagreenport.com). Thursday through Saturday, the candlelit Lin Beach House (linbeachhouse.com) serves handcrafted cocktails made with spirits from their own distillery. Brix and Rye (brixandrye.com), a speakeasy/craft pizza bar with low lighting and strong drinks, is a good choice for dinner. Enjoy a nightcap at the Sound View’s retro piano bar, where local musicians tickle the ivories. Sound View Greenport, 58775 County Rd. 48, Greenport, 631-477-1910, soundviewgreenport.com, rooms from $165/night.
Room with a Spectacular View: Stunning Manhattan views are supplemented by smart, sustainable design at this new boutique hotel on the waterfront in Dumbo. Rooms are accented with reclaimed wood, architectural blackened steel, and corrugated leather. Mattresses and sheets are organic cotton. A holistic spa offers couples massages as well as a large menu of body treatments and facials. A rooftop bar with views extending to the Statue of Liberty is the perfect place to watch the sunset. Weather permitting, stroll hand-in-hand across the Brooklyn Bridge. Other nearby attractions include St. Ann’s Warehouse (stannswarehouse.org), the famous avant-garde performing arts institution. Art in General (artingeneral.org), a nonprofit organization providing studios for artists, has exhibition spaces showing new work; entrance is always free. Wander the Time Out Market New York (timeoutmarket.com), an upscale food court where some of Brooklyn’s best chefs dish out their Mexican, Italian, Middle Eastern, and vegetarian, and dessert specialties. Buy chocolates for your love from famed chocolatier Jacques Torres (mrchocolate.com). The Michelin-starred River Café (rivercafe.com), tucked underneath the bridge, has been the setting for countless romantic dinners. Upscale Mediterranean spot Celestine (celestinebk.com) is another great room with a dramatic view. 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, 60 Furman St., Brooklyn, 347-696-2500, hotels.com, rooms from $279/night.
For Food and Nature Lovers: The DeBruce, the most luxurious hostelry in the Foster Supply Hospitality portfolio, is an old-fashioned upstate hunting lodge with 14 updated rooms featuring claw foot tubs, marble showers, European linens, and Willowemoc River Valley views. Gracious public spaces, with amenities like reading lamps and fireplaces, provide plenty of lounging room. If you want to venture off of the grounds for lunch, you might check out the DeBruce’s sister restaurants, the Arnold House Tavern (thearnoldhouse.com), or the Restaurant at the North Branch Inn (northbranchinn.com). The DeBruce, 982 Debruce Rd., Livingston Manor, 845-439-3900, (thedebruce.com), rooms (including breakfast and dinner) from $399/night.
Urban Chic in the Hudson Valley: Once a decrepit factory town, Hudson has been elegantly transformed over the past 20 years into a chic little metropolis of galleries, antiques shops, and organic eateries. Stately Greek Revival, Italianate, and Queen Anne homes on Warren Street alternate with attractive restaurants, including Fish & Game, helmed by James Beard Award winner Zakary Pelaccio (fishandgamehudson.com), concert venues like Hudson Hall (hudsonhall.org), and galleries such as Ornamentum (ornamentumgallery.com), whose jewelry artists are represented in design museums around the world. Sprinkled into the mix are eccentric gems like MOTO Coffee Machine (motocoffeemachine.com), a combination motorcycle and coffee shop. Outside of town, tour Olana (olana.org), the grand and fabulously decorated home of Hudson River School painter Frederic Church. If you bundle up, you can take the Hudson River Skywalk from Olana to painter Thomas Cole’s house across the river in Catskill. Rooms at in-town Wm. Farmer and Sons are furnished in high eclectic style: old-fashioned cast-iron four-poster beds, Tivoli radios, cowhide-covered chairs, mini bars stocked with local craft beer. The Mercantile, a coffee shop by day, Willy’s Rum Room by night, is adjacent to the hotel’s highly regarded restaurant on the ground floor. Wm. Farmer and Sons, 20 South Front St., Hudson, , wmfarmerandsons.com, rooms from $229/night.
Farmhouse Dream: No kids are allowed at this luxe Connecticut retreat, just one reason to choose GrayBarns for a romantic getaway. The six-suite inn has been a glamorous hostelry for decades (Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher honeymooned here). The current owners have renovated the spaces and decorated them in high modern farmhouse style. Black Windsor chairs, reclaimed barn board paneling, whitewashed brick fireplaces, and soothing neutral fabrics give the place a sleek but countrified look. Breakfast and mini bar treats and drinks are included in the room rate. Spa treatments as well as yoga and personal training are available in room. Area attractions include the Philip Johnson Glass House (theglasshouse.org) and the Silvermine Arts Center (silvermineart.org). GrayBarns, 194 Perry Ave., Norwalk, Connecticut, 203-489-9000, graybarns.com, rooms from $600/night.
Live Like a Local Old City Philly: In one of the most charming historic neighborhoods of Philadelphia, the Lokal Hotel has six spacious, stylish loft-style rooms with industrial chic décor, well-stocked kitchens, Apple TVs, and claw foot bathtubs, designed to make you feel like a well-heeled and sophisticated local. It also offers the ultimate in privacy: “Invisible Service” means that there is no front desk. Check-in is automated and coded. There is no on-site staff (although real people are always on call), but plenty of amenities you can order up on your in-room I-pad including food from nearby restaurants, wine from the corner wine shop, and curated playlists. In walking distance are big tourist sites like the Liberty Bell and the U.S. Mint. But take some time to wander in and out of Old City’s many independent shops for a taste of Philadelphia culture. Highlights: Art in the Age (artintheage.com) for locally distilled spirits and home bar supplies; Sugarcube (sugarcube.us.), which sells men’s and women’s clothing and accessories as well as works by local artists, and Philadelphia Independents (Philadelphiaindependents.com), which stocks Philly-made souvenirs including 3D printed replicas of Robert Indiana’s famous LOVE sculpture and Ben Franklin-themed throw pillows. The Old City restaurant scene includes acclaimed spots like Zahav (zahavrestaurant.com), the Israeli eatery helmed by Michael Solomonov, and Top Chef winner Nick Elmi’s French brasserie Royal Boucherie (royalboucherie.com). Sonny’s Famous (sonnyscheesesteaks.com) sells cheesesteaks until 3 a.m. on weekends, if you and your love are craving a late-night snack. Lokal Hotel, 267-702-4345), 139 N. 3rd. St., Philadelphia, staylokal.com, rooms starting at $258/night.
Charm City Delight: An inexpensive flight from MacArthur Airport will get you to Baltimore in less than an hour. If you think that Baltimore is lacking in romance, you haven’t stayed at the Ivy, a lavishly restored Gilded Age mansion with 18 sumptuous guest rooms. The room rate at the Relais & Chateaux property includes daily breakfast, afternoon tea, cocktails at the hotel’s snazzy honor bar, and a private car (that looks like a British black cab) to take you to any city destination you desire, including the Walters Art Museum (thewalters.org), which has a collection of 36,000 objects spanning seven millennia. The Ivy Hotel, 205 E. Biddle St., Baltimore, 410-514-6500, theivybaltimore.com, rooms from $395/night.