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A love affair with: New York

24 April 2015

In this series we will look at some of the most romantic cities in the world and how they earned the title. From Paris to Marrakech, love-locks to gondolas - love makes the world go round, and we're going round the world looking for love.

This time we're focused on the Big Apple. Also known as the city that never sleeps, New York can be a wonderful place for lovers. It is an amazing city to visit, and should be on the itinerary of your holiday in the USA. With a wealth of night spots, galleries and restaurants, it could feel like there is simply too much to do. On east coast USA tours, if you begin to feel overwhelmed by the constant hum of activity, there are still oases of calm in the city. Escape the busy streets into some of New York's most romantic settings and fall in love with the city from a different angle.

Central Park
Central Park

Arguably New York's most famous location, Central Park covers eight hundred and forty-three acres of land in the middle of the sprawling metropolis. There are so many romantic things to keep you busy in Central Park, in fact it might be New York's most romantic place. Being in love means having fun together, so entertain your inner child by riding the Central Park Carousel. There has been a carousel in the park since 1871, the original was powered by a blind horse and a mule. Today's incarnation has been in situ since 1950, features the largest hand carved figures ever made and it's entirely hand painted.

For the couples who'd like a slower pace, row boats can be rented from Loeb Boathouse. Located on the Lake, the parks second largest body of water, boats are available from April until September. For something a tad more indulgent Gondola rides are available, but need to be booked in advance. Don't have any sea legs? Stroll towards Conservatory Water on the east side of the park, to watch the miniature sailing boats in action.

But maybe the most romantic thing to do is simply stroll arm in arm around the beautiful park and make getting lost part of your plan.

The top of the Empire State Building
Empire State Building

Make the journey one hundred and two stories above the city with your amore. For the best views of the city, visit at night to see the city sparkling below you. The Empire State Building is open until 2am every night, which leaves plenty of time to ascend to the top after a romantic dinner. If you choose to visit during the day, views can be as far as eighty miles to New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts on a clear day.

As well as feeling on top of the world, lovers at the top of the Empire State Building will get a shock when they share a kiss - literally. The static electricity at the top of the building is so great that sharing a kiss causes sparks. 

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

Another beautiful oasis in the city, the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens plays host to a huge variety of specialist plants and flowers, plus a cute little café too. As well as various specialist areas, such as a herb garden and beautiful bluebell wood, there are educational areas and exhibits to explore. 

All the individual gardens are stunning - if you have time to explore it all you will not be disappointed. But some of them simply have to be experienced. Opened in 1955, the Fragrance Garden was the first garden in the US designed for the visually impaired. Designed to indulge all the senses, visitors are encouraged to touch and smell the plants. This peaceful, intimate garden radiates romance, so don't be surprised if time slips by quicker than you think while you indulge in the beauty of this space.

The Conservatory is another must-visit location within the gardens. Housing wonderful examples of plants in various habitats, including a tropical pavilion, desert pavilion and aquatic house. The Aquatic House is home to a beautiful array of orchids, including a specially-built cold case that displays some of the more hardy orchid varieties.

The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens is a wonderful place to lose yourselves for a few hours, or even a whole day. After a morning exploring, have a leisurely lunch in the café, then continue your journey around the gardens. If you time your visit just right during spring, you'll be right on time to witness the cherry blossoms in all their glory.

American railway holidays and all inclusive USA tours are available with Great Rail Journeys, and are undoubtedly one of the most romantic ways to explore America.