Dan and I love New York City and have visited dozens of times, especially while we lived in Philadelphia and Washington DC. Since I’m currently pregnant with our 6th and last baby, and since it had been a few years since we’d visited, Dan planned a whole New York itinerary for us to go on a NYC couple getaway. It ended up being one of the best babymoon destinations!
Here’s our whole NYC itinerary from the best things to do in NYC for couples (including the most romantic things to do in New York), where we ate and more. I hope these NYC couples activities are helpful for you, too!
Where We Stayed in New York City: NYC Couples Hotel
Since this was a New York City couples trip, we knew we wanted to stay in a hotel that was a bit nicer than what we’d normally chose when we stay with all our kids so we could really enjoy staying and relaxing there. We were shocked when we found a deal through our credit card that included flights from San Francisco and 3 nights at The Plaza!
Of all the best New York City hotels for couples, The Plaza might be the very top in my mind. It’s just so iconic and stately! I’m sure others might prefer a more modern vibe (such as at the Lowell, the Beekman, or the Ritz) but we absolutely loved the elaborately and beautifully appointed surroundings at the Plaza. It was absolutely perfect for some New York City romance, and we couldn’t resist ordering a triple scoop of ice cream from room service and eating it in our Plaza robes (just like in Home Alone ;)). It was definitely one of the best NYC luxury hotels.
Couple Things To Do in NYC: Best New York Itinerary
We spent about 3.5 days on our New York City getaway weekend. We took a red eye flight on Friday night arrived Saturday morning. When we arrived, we were fortunately allowed to check in early to our hotel (around noon) and we were SO happy to be able to take a nap at that point.
Here’s are the other couple activities in NYC that we chose to do for the rest of our time!
NYC Itinerary Day 1
We were pretty tired (our flight was delayed and didn’t leave until after midnight, and was a little under 5 hours total – so we didn’t get much sleep that night. So we were thrilled to nap for several hours. We were still feeling a bit drowsy, so we decided to order food on DoorDash for dinner instead of going out. (We ordered food from Parm – I love the eggplant.)
You can’t come to New York without seeing a show of some sort! It’s one of the very best romantic things to do in New York City – snuggling up in a dark theater and enjoying a live performance together. We were lucky enough to get tickets to The Music Man with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster and went to see it our first night. It was SUCH a fun show – largely because the two leads were clearly having the time of their lives!
There are zillions of options for shows at a variety of price points, so choose something that interests you and be sure to make time for this in your 3 day NYC itinerary.
After the show, we were lucky enough to hang out with Daniel’s sister and brother-in-law who happened to be in town also. We just headed back to our hotel (which was an easy walk from the theater) and chatted until the wee hours of the morning. It’s a must do for couple ideas in NYC.
NYC Itinerary Day 2
Between our red eye flight the night before, staying up late chatting, and still being on west coast time (not to mention not having any little people to make noise and wake us), we ended up sleeping in super late in our super comfy hotel. It was delightful! (Except when we woke, we realized we’d unintentionally missed all of the English-speaking services available in the city for our church. Who knew they were all in the morning?)
Bakery + Market + High Line + Little Island
When we finally got up and ready, we headed down to Sullivan Street Bakery. I’ve been a Jim Lahey fan for a long while but we’d never visited his bakery. We stopped in and picked up some delicious breads and pastries.
From there, we headed over to Chelsea Market, where we had the good fortune of seeing my sister and brother-in-law, who came up from Washington DC to meet up. We loved wandering the market and picked up lunch at Very Fresh Noodles (which was so delicious and flavorful).
After the market, we wandered over to the High Line and then to the new-ish park, Little Island. It was a beautiful day out so it was perfect for wandering and exploring this new urban park area built on an artificial island and that’s part of the larger Hudson River Park. It was lovely to walk around (and timed reservations weren’t required in April when we were there).
Evensong + Central Park + Breads Bakery + Dinner
From the park, we took the train back up to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Midtown, where we attended Evensong. It was glorious. Since it was just a week after Easter, the cathedral was still celebrating the 2nd Sunday of Easter with words and song. We absolutely loved being able to join in.
After Evensong, we walked just a little ways up to Central Park – it was perfect for a Sunday evening stroll. We stopped to take some photos of the skyline, climb some rocks, and visited the Balto statue. We swung by the UES Breads Bakery for some babka + hot chocolate, then headed down to the Village for dinner at Semma. It’s a newer Indian restaurant from some lauded owners and it was delicious!
NYC Itinerary Day 3
Brunch + The Cloisters
The next morning, we started the day with brunch at Jacob’s Pickles on the UWS. The fried green tomatoes and grits were especially delicious.
After we were done eating, we continued north to one of our favorite museums in the city, the Cloisters. Part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it’s a bit out of the way from other touristy things in the city but is well worth the extra effort to get there. It consists of various sections of medieval monasteries and also has gorgeous stained glass and tapestries (the unicorn ones are the most famous). It’s a smaller museum, so it feels less overwhelming and more intimate than some of the others, and it’s just a delight to visit. It’s also one of the most romantic things to do in New York City!
Afternoon Tea + Spa + Fine Dining Dinner in New York
When we were finished at the museum, we took the train back to The Plaza to head to afternoon tea. It was just as delightful as we’d hoped. The Palm Court is just absolutely stunning and it’s worth having tea there just for the setting. Plus, the food and service were lovely, and I appreciated that there was an option for vegetarian afternoon tea at the Plaza.
After tea, we visited the sauna at the spa for a little bit (turns out there’s actually no swimming pool there, sadly!), and relaxed and watched a show for a bit (part of the luxury of a couples getaway and one of the most romantic things to do in New York). Then we strolled through Madison Square Park for a bit before heading to the fanciest dinner of our NYC couples getaway at Eleven Madison Park.
This tasting menu has won all kinds of awards, and has the distinction of being one of the rare few fine dining restaurants that has moved to be entirely plant-based. This is both extremely ambitious and shows a deep commitment to the environment, and we were excited to experience it and support this mission. The dinner was varied and delicious (the radish tostada and chamomile dessert were my favorites!), and the whole evening was really lovely – add this to your anniversary ideas NYC.
NYC Itinerary Day 4
For our final morning, we slept in and enjoyed the last little while in our beautiful hotel room (hooray for late checkout!). After checking out, we took another stroll through the park to the bridge for some beautiful views of the skyline – it’s a romantic NYC spot and perfect to add to a list of easy couples activities NYC. Then we stopped for a quick breakfast before heading to the New York Public Library to the Treasures exhibit. For history/book nerds like us, it was an absolute delight.
As described by the library, “The treasures in this exhibition tell the stories of people, places, and moments spanning 4,000 years—from the emergence of the written word through to the present day.” I especially loved the insights from the commentary, which called out the impacts of things like colonization, white supremacy, and the messiness of progress in terms of both improvement and, at times, increased oppression. It was fascinating.
After the library, we walked over to the Morgan Library. This has been on our list for a long while, and we were so happy to finally make it happen. The former personal library of J. P. Morgan, it’s now a public institution, historic site, and art museum. It was a delight!
Final New York Food
As our flight didn’t leave until a little after 8pm, we decided to grab an early dinner at Via Carota in the Village. It was absolutely fantastic – one of the best meals we’ve had. Every single thing we had was phenomenal, from the appetizers to the pastas. It’s also great if you’re looking for romantic ideas NYC. We also stopped to grab a hot chocolate on the way at Mah-de-Zahr Bakery, which was rich and delicious.
Finally, we stopped outside the Friends apartment to take a photo (we’ve seen every episode about a dozen times, but had never actually stopped by to see the spot!), popped into Morgenstern’s for some ice cream, and took a taxi to Newark airport to fly home to our babies.
Best New York City Couples Getaway
There are always SO many things to do in New York City for couples and anyone else, so it would be impossible to do it all. It was wonderful to be able to return to a place we love and that’s so familiar to us and focus on spending time together, eating good food, relaxing a bit, and enjoying some favorite stops without feeling any pressure to get tons and tons in. It was the perfect New York couples getaway!
Have you visited New York City before, either on a couples trip or otherwise? What were some of your favorite stops? I’d love to hear!