When you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, head to one of the many quaint cities and towns in the surrounding area. Whether you’re longing for the peace and serenity of a seaside community like Cape May, New Jersey, or the action and excitement that comes with a trip to Boston, Massachusetts, the Northeast has it all. After settling into your New York vacation rental, venture off with your special someone to one of these nearby destinations.

1. Boston, Massachusetts

boston skyline cityAlmost four hours to the northeast of New York City, Beantown is an exciting vacation destination for couples, offering fine-dining opportunities and history-rich museums. Immerse yourself in the culture with a stroll through Boston Common, the 50-acre public park that sits in the heart of Boston and earns the record as the oldest city park in the United States. If you’re visiting in the summer, ride the Swan Boats at the Public Garden, or visit in winter to ice skate on the Boston Common Frog Pond. Set sail with Boston Harbor Cruises to see the famous lighthouses along the coast, or visit the Boston Science Museum to explore exciting exhibits. For dinner, enjoy a romantic dinner at Top of the Hub, an award-winning restaurant with incredible 52nd-floor views of the Boston skyline.

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2. Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania

fall trees lake
Source: Flickr/Ravi Shah

No matter the season, the Pocono Mountains in the Keystone State, just two hours from New York City, is the ideal vacation destination for couples who love outdoor adventure. Visit in the fall to see the incredible foliage aboard a narrated train tour, or hike the trails of Bushkill Falls. If you’re planning a spring getaway, hit the links at Fernwood Resort Golf Course, or plan your trip in May to enjoy the Shawnee Celtic Festival, complete with great food and Irish step dancing. If you both feel the need for speed, get away in the summer to try zip lining at Camelback Mountain Adventures or stock car racing experience at Pocono Raceway. Winter is ski season in the Pocono Mountains, so hit the slopes with your sweetie at Jack Frost Mountain, Big Boulder Ski Area, or Blue Mountain Resort. Surprise your love with a romantic horse-drawn sleigh ride at Daisy Field Farm, then warm up by the fire at your cozy cabin vacation rental.

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3. Cape May, New Jersey

historic homes
Source: Flickr/David

With its historic homes and quaint shops, the seaside city of Cape May, New Jersey, three hours from NYC, is a great way to relax with your significant other while you enjoy the sun, sand, and surf. By day, visit the Cape May County Park & Zoo to see the hundreds of animals that call it home. At night, head to Morey’s Piers to snack on cotton candy, win your sweetie a stuffed prize, and steal a kiss at the top of the Ferris wheel. Snap some photos of the Cape May Lighthouse, and be sure to visit Sunset Beach to check out the remains of the sunken concrete ship. For an upscale dining experience, head to Peter Shields Inn & Restaurant, a beachfront mansion with a to-die-for menu.

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4. Greenwich, Connecticut

connecticut seaside marina
Source: Flickr/Paul Sableman

Whisk your significant other away to Greenwich, Connecticut, for the weekend, only 50 minutes from New York City. Check out the exhibits at the Bruce Museum of Arts and Science, or tour the Bush-Holley House to see historical exhibits and American Impressionist art. Book a sailing excursion with IceFire Charters to explore the Long Island Sound by water; you can choose from a lunch, cocktail, or dinner cruise. Stroll hand-in-hand along Greenwich Avenue, popping in at various shops to browse the goodies there. Treat yourselves to a seafood lunch at Rowayton Seafood, where the lobster roll is a local favorite. Ginger Man, a pub-style restaurant, is an ideal dinner option; the cozy fireplace is perfect during the colder months.

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5. Newport, Rhode Island

downtown historic street
Source: Flickr/Jasperdo

The City by the Sea, Newport, Rhode Island, is just over three hours from New York City. Get out and see all that Newport has to offer along the Cliff Walk; this 3.5-mile-long walk along the eastern shore of the city features incredible shoreline views. Visit the Newport Art Museum, the Museum of Newport History, or the Naval War College Museum, depending on your shared interests. Fort Adams State Park is a great place for picnics. Stroll Thames Street, the center of it all, for interesting shops, lively bars, upscale restaurants, and historic homes. Check the schedule at Bowen’s Wharf, another of Newport’s thriving hubs, to find out if any festivals or celebrations are happening while you’re in town.

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6. Manchester, New Hampshire

art museum
Source: Flickr/Selbe Lynn

Book a vacation rental in Manchester, New Hampshire, four hours from NYC, to explore the bustling urban center with your one and only. Explore the exhibits at the Currier Museum of Art, take in a performance at the Palace Theatre. Take a tour of the Zimmerman House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, or do some shopping at the Mall of New Hampshire. Enjoy the peaceful tranquility of Lake Massabesic, ideal for bird watching, picnicking, boating, hiking, mountain biking, and much more. If you’re a couple who loves geocaching, you can find lots of caches here. For Italian cuisine in a romantic setting, try Campo Enoteca or Mangia.

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7. Montauk, New York

lighthouse seaside beachYou don’t even have to leave The Empire State to enjoy a romantic weekend getaway with that special someone. Travel two and a half hours east to Montauk to enjoy sunset views of the Atlantic Ocean from the Montauk Point Lighthouse. Go horseback riding on the beach when you book an experience with Deep Hollow Ranch, or relax beneath the shade trees at Montauk Brewing Company while you sample some local beers. Grab some takeout sushi from Inlet Seafood Restaurant, then head to Gosman’s Dock to watch the boats sail by as you enjoy your lunch. For dinner options, consider Muse at the End or East by Northeast.

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