Remote, relaxed, and romantic — find a special vacation for you and your sweetheart in beautiful Upstate New York. Away from the restless bustle of New York City, the northern stretch of New York State opens up into the sprawling Adirondack Mountains, dramatic waterfalls, and quaint rural towns bespeckled with streams, lakes, and rivers. Follow the Hudson Valley up for a perfect romantic getaway, with year-round adventure opportunities like canoeing the tranquil waters of Lake Placid, wine tasting along the Finger Lakes, grabbing some fresh air on hiking trails, or simply savoring down time in a cozy cabin for just the two of you.
Spanning more than 6 million acres, the Adirondack Mountains are the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States—known mainly for its cluster of lakefront towns, old-fashioned log cabins, brilliant fall foliage, and laidback atmosphere. Take your pick of a lake house or mountain view cabin, then hit hiking trails like Mount Severance in Schroon Lake, Buttermilk Falls in Long Lake, or Jay Mountain near Lake Placid, and stop to take in unbelievable views once you reach the top.
Pack a picnic while you explore the lakes and islands by kayak or stick to small-town thrills, like historic museums, antique stores, and down-home eateries. The Adirondacks’ peaceful seclusion and swoon-worthy scenic drives make it one of the most romantic getaways in Upstate New York.
West of the Adirondack Mountains, the Finger Lakes region comprises eleven long and narrow lakes between Syracuse and Buffalo. Here, the atmosphere shifts from elevated adventure to culinary delights and lakefront leisure. Time your romantic weekend getaway just right for the Finger Lakes Wine Festival in July. Sightsee one vineyard at a time in Seneca Lake or catch a glimpse of beautiful white Seneca deer at Deer Haven Park.
For an experience you won’t forget, follow the Taughannock Falls State Park hiking trails hand in hand for views of its namesake waterfall, a jaw-dropping 215-foot cascade that stands three stories taller than Niagara Falls. South of Cayuga Lake, peruse Ithaca's farmers markets or stroll the Cornell Botanical Gardens. After a long day, unwind with a soak in the hot tub with views of the lake.
Whether sunshine or snowfall, Gore Mountain’s expansive scenery doesn’t disappoint. Located in North Creek, Gore Mountain is the largest ski resort in New York State, featuring uncrowded slopes and year-round events, like Harvest Fest and Music Fest. Even if you’re set for a weekend of secluded peace and quiet, it’s worth stopping in town for lunch by the Hudson River. Revel in the summer’s lush green forest or vivid fall foliage with a scenic Skyride up the lift, or rev up your adventure with hiking trails, mountain biking, and white-water rafting.
Feel the romance and lapping waves on the shores of Lake George. Set about an hour and a half drive north of Mirror Lake and Lake Placid, this idyllic lakefront town is a great destination for a couples retreat. Serene and breezy Million Dollar Beach, conveniently located a short walk from town, is a favorite spot for swimming, kayaking, picnics, and savoring mountain views. Indulge in a day of shopping along the cute storefronts, set out for a hike to Shelving Rock Falls, and make reservations to dine al fresco with views of the lake. Take advantage of this outdoor playground, from steamboat or sailing tours at sunset to mini-golf dates and ice cream.
Lake George also makes for a prime home base for exploring other mountain towns in the Adirondacks, with Glens Falls just twenty minutes away and Saratoga Springs a half-hour drive away.