Picturesque Romantic Locations Within the Northeast
Waterside views and lush forests, sandy beaches and wide-open spaces. The northeastern part of the United States offers so many locales for romantic weekends that part of the fun lies simply in the choosing. And if a getaway for two isn't possible, you'll find plenty of places to entertain your kids where you can split family fun time and some romantic "sneak-aways"—with a little help from a babysitter. So, start making your choices.
Lake George, New York
This upstate New York area is a double-duty possibility. If a babysitter is around, a couple can find plenty of romantic getaways here, but in the daytime, they can keep kids busy with immersive, seasonal-offered amusements. To truly experience Lake George, take a seasonal sightseeing trip or dinner cruise, or take a free hike up the Pinnacle Hiking Trail, a short climb which leads up to the summit of the Pinnacle for breathtaking views of Lake George. Just don't forget to sign in at the trailhead. Take the perfect panoramic couples selfie after driving—for a $10-per-carload fee—or hiking to reach the top of Prospect Mountain. Back on level ground, sip on locally-produced wines at Adirondack Winery's tasting room (285 Canada St., Lake George, NY), which offers special packages for two, but not before treating yourselves to fine dining at water's edge in the Boathouse Restaurant (3210 Lake Shore Dr., Lake George, NY), a former estate turned upscale establishment with steak and seafood entrees ranging from filet mignon to grilled Atlantic salmon. When the kids are along, take them to enjoy a friendly round of mini-golf at Around the World (53 Westbrook Rd., Lake George, NY), or jump into the excitement of Six Flags Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom (1172 State Route 9, Queensbury, NY), which offers easy-moving or thrill rides plus a water park.
This seaside community can also do double duty if you have to take the kids along, but want some couples alone time. Satisfy the young ones during the day at Mystic Seaport (75 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic, CT), a recreated seafaring village for observing historic demonstrations, or for taking one of their seasonal charter cruises along the Mystic River. Save a small percentage on general admission tickets by purchasing online in advance. Then take them to Mystic Pizza (56 W. Main St., Mystic, CT) for the kick of experiencing the real-life eatery made famous by the movie. Another spot, while offering little romantic ambiance, still tips its hat to one of the most romantic movies ever: The Somewhere in Time Cafe (3175 Gold Star Highway, Mystic, CT), is a cash only, breakfast/lunch spot where the two of you can get away and dream about the beloved film. Keep that babysitter handy and have a dinner date at Red 36 (2 Washington St., Mystic, CT), a waterfront restaurant with a seasonal American menu and raw bar.
The Berkshires, Massachusetts
A visit to the rural setting of the Berkshires, located in Western Massachusetts, lets you connect with culture and stimulating escape. Tanglewood (297 West St., Lenox, MA) is for music lovers. It's the summer residence of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and hosts performances at its Symphony Hall. Try to catch one while you're there. Share some quiet time at the 15-acre Berkshire Botanical Garden (5 W. Stockbridge Rd., Stockbridge, MA), or enjoy a taste of nature at Hilltop Orchards (508 Canaan Rd./Route 295, Richmond, MA), where you can sample hard cider and wines or pick your own apples from a number of varieties at costs ranging from $7 per half peck to $20 per half bushel. Register in advance for a full-moon hike or wintertime snowshoe trek for $14 per person. Sneak off to dinner at the charming bistro, Once Upon a Table (36 Main St., Stockbridge, MA) or eat tapas at Brava (27 Housatonic St., Lenox, MA).
Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Graced with outdoor discoveries and small-town finds, Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley lets you find a blend of activities to suit your pace and interests. Pick up ingredients for a special dinner for two at the Easton Farmers’ Market (325 Northampton St., Easton, PA). Travel the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail to find family-owned wineries and vineyards that produce wines made from the region’s Chambourcin grapes. Sample reds, whites and fruit wines at Vynecrest Vineyard & Winery (172 Arrowhead Ln., Breinigsville, PA), where you can enjoy a complimentary tasting, then head to Pinnacle Ridge Winery (407 Old 22, Kutztown, PA). Housed in a 19th-century barn with the Appalachian Mountains as its backdrop, it offers tastings of six wines for $5. Take a leisurely drive along The Lehigh Valley Covered Bridge Tour, a 50-mile-long route featuring seven bridges dating back to the 19th century. Or, relax over dinner at Henry’s Salt of the Sea (1926 W. Allen St., Allentown, PA), noted for French-inspired seafood dishes. Plan a special overnight stay at Glasbern Inn (2141 Packhouse Rd., Fogelsville, PA).
Cape May, New Jersey
Known as America’s first seaside resort, this southern New Jersey gem will take you back to another era with Victorian homes and lodging from yesteryear, while catering to modern-day interests. Cape May has many sandy spots to choose from such as the more laid-back Poverty Beach, where beach tag fees start at $10 daily. For the same price, go to Sunset Beach in Cape May Point to discover Cape May diamonds—clear quartz sand crystals. At Cape May Point State Park (Light House Ave., Cape May Point, NJ), challenge each other, or the whole family, on a climb up 199 steps to the top of Cape May Lighthouse, where children 3 and under are admitted free. The adult charge is $8 and children ages 3 to 12 get in for $5. A romantic horse-drawn carriage ride whisks you through the beauty of Victorian Cape May, and a stroll along the outdoor Washington Street Mall (401 Washington St., Cape May, NJ) leads to cafes and restaurants. After your meal, toast to romance at Cape May Winery (711 Town Bank Rd., Cape May, NJ), which produces 16 varietals and offers tastings at $8 per person, or visit the 50-acre Willow Creek Winery (168 Stevens St., Cape May, NJ), where offerings include dries to semi-sweets with tastings starting at $10 per person. For a special evening, book reservations at the Peter Shields Inn & Restaurant (1301 Beach Ave., Cape May, NJ), housed inside a 1907 beachfront mansion and noted for its fine American fare. Or, visit the Brown Room at Congress Hall (200 Congress Pl., Cape May, NJ) for its classic cocktails and live music.
- Around the World Golf - Lake George, NY
- Six Flags Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom - Lake George, NY
- Lake George Shoreline Cruises - Lake George, NY
- Pinnacle Hiking Trail - Lake George, NY
- Prospect Mountain - Lake George, NY
- Adirondack Winery - Lake George, NY
- Adirondack Pub & Brewery - Lake George, NY
- The Boathouse Restaurant - Lake George, NY
- Mystic Seaport - Mystic, CT
- Mystic Pizza - Mystic, CT
- Somewhere in Time Cafe- Mystic, CT
- Red 36 - Mystic, CT
- Tanglewood - The Berkshires, MA
- Berkshire Botanical Garden - The Berkshires, MA
- Hilltop Orchards - The Berkshires, MA
- Once Upon a Table - The Berkshires, MA
- Brava - The Berkshires, MA
- Easton Farmers’ Market - Lehigh Valley, PA
- Lehigh Valley Wine Trail - Lehigh Valley, PA
- Vynecrest Vineyard & Winery - Lehigh Valley, PA
- The Lehigh Valley Covered Bridge Tour - Lehigh Valley, PA
- Henry’s Salt of the Sea - Lehigh Valley, PA
- Glasbern Inn - Lehigh Valley, PA
- Beaches - Cape May, NJ
- Cape May Carriage Company - Cape May, NJ
- Cape May Point State Park - Cape May, NJ
- Pinnacle Ridge Winery - Cape May, NJ
- Washington Street Mall - Cape May, NJ
- Cape May Winery - Cape May, NJ
- Willow Creek Winery - Cape May, NJ
- Peter Shields Inn & Restaurant - Cape May, NJ
- The Brown Room at Congress Hall - Cape May, NJ