There’s more to the state of New York than its famed city of the same name. The state’s other numerous cities and towns boast remarkable uniqueness and diversity. Whether you prefer the vivacity of the Big Apple itself, or you feel drawn to the quiet ambiance of one of the upstate areas, New York offers the perfect Valentine’s Day destination to suit your interests and lifestyle. After settling into your New York vacation rental, you and your significant other can visit iconic locales from famous romantic films, experience a Broadway production, share a sumptuous meal, and enjoy exciting nightlife and dancing. Here are the top Valentine’s Day getaways in the state of New York.

1. New York City

New York City has been the backdrop in so many films about star-crossed lovers that a visit to these storied locales immediately summons romantic thoughts. For starters, take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage through Central Park while sharing a warming blanket with your partner. Head to the top of the Empire State Building, the site of many famous kisses and movie trysts. Go to Rockefeller Center rink and observe or participate in the ice skating. The great red steps in Times Square are a special place where couples congregate on Valentine’s Day. For a truly cosmic activity, join the gathering at the American Museum of Natural History’s Rose Center for Earth and Space for the Valentine’s Day Romance Under the Stars. The event includes a live jazz band, hors-d’oeuvres, chocolate, an open cocktail bar, and champagne. The restaurants in New York City that offer special Valentine’s Day menus are innumerable but consider feasting on a six-course meal featuring grass-fed rib eye or roasted lobster at The Eddy in the East Village. Alternatively, hop on a moving restaurant and sail up the Hudson River while sharing a four-course meal and champagne on the Fish Bar at North River Landing.

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2. Buffalo

The city of Buffalo, on the western edge of New York State on scenic Lake Erie, offers several special events for Valentine’s Day visitors. Where to go in Buffalo includes Wild About You: Valentine’s Dinner at the Zoo. This unique celebration of romance at the Buffalo Zoo includes live music by a string quartet, a candlelit three-course dinner, wine, gifts, and the opportunity to meet some of the zoo animals. At Canalside by the Buffalo River on Valentine’s Day, the Sweetheart Skating Package provides hot chocolate drinks, chocolate candies, and a couple’s admission to the ice skating rink. The Buffalo Carriage Company takes you on a Valentine’s Day romantic horse-drawn carriage ride along the waterfront and gifts you some long-stemmed roses and a box of chocolates.

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3. Niagara Falls

The name Niagara Falls is synonymous with romantic occasions, and this fabled city provides the perfect Valentine’s Day getaway. Near your Niagara Falls vacation rental are dozens of spas where you can go for relaxing massages, facials, and body treatments. Several area wineries offer special Valentine’s Day Dinners, including the Casablanca Winery Inn, which serves a romantic Valentine’s Dinner for Two in a stunning location overlooking Lake Ontario. For less formal fare, have a heart-shaped Valentine’s Day pizza at Boston Pizza Clifton Hill. Find the ubiquitous holiday dessert at the Fudge Factory, where you can sample its special Valentine’s Day creations. For a wonderful outdoor romantic activity, join the Valentine’s Day Candle Light Walk, which commences at De Veaux Woods State Park north of town and culminates in Niagara Falls with hot chocolate, lantern making, and storytelling.

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4. Rochester

The city of Rochester sits on the southern shore of Lake Ontario surrounded by wine country, and where to go in Rochester for Valentine’s Day includes visits to some of the nearby wineries. For instance, Five Sons Winery and RG Brewery in nearby Brockport hosts a Valentine’s Day party where you sample wines and craft beers while nibbling on sweet and savory snacks. The Casa Larga Vineyards in Fairport has an annual Ice Wine and Culinary Festival, which offers wine tours, live entertainment, and horse-drawn carriage rides. The 2 Vine restaurant in Rochester, which specializes in seafood and steak, has a special five-course Valentine’s Day dinner. If you prefer Italian cuisine, check out the Valentine’s Day menu at Perlo’s in East Rochester.

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5. Syracuse

Steal away to the woodlands near your Syracuse vacation rental with your loved one. The Valentine’s in the Forest event at Highland Forest in Fabius includes a horse-drawn sleigh ride, a buffet dinner, flowers, and live entertainment. Enjoy the special Sweet Treats program at the Buffalo Zoo, where the heart-shaped snacks go not to the human observers but to the animals as part of a nutritional enrichment program. For your Valentine’s Day meal, try the three-course meal with surf or turf option at Maxwell’s in Hanover Square. Alternatively, go for the four-course Valentine’s Day dinner with champagne at the Barnes Hiscock Mansion. If you have kids, there are sitters and a children’s program on site.

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6. Albany

Albany, New York’s state capital, lies on a scenic spot along the Hudson River. For a special excursion, head over to Saratoga Winery in West Saratoga Springs for some Valentine’s Day wine tasting. A renowned spot for a classic Valentine’s Day meal with steak and wine is Angelo’s 677 Prime. If you prefer seafood, check out Jack’s Oyster House, a family-run establishment that has satisfied couples with sumptuous Valentine’s Day dinners for over a century. On the lighter side, the City Beer Hall offers you a more casual Valentine’s Day drinking and dining experience.

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7. Lake George

Lake George is a village on the shore of its namesake lake at the southern end of the Adirondack Mountains. Valentine’s Day coincides with the annual Lake George Winter Carnival. From your Lake George vacation rental, you have easy access to all the events, which include cook-offs, bonfires, ice races, and other activities. Enjoy a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner near a roaring fire at the Log Jam Restaurant. Another great restaurant with a warming fireplace and a superb view of the lake is the Docksider Restaurant.

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