It's undeniable that New York City is one of the most exciting places in the world to live and visit.
For that very reason, residents and visitors alike also appreciate romantic weekends away. A change of scenery, fresh air, and the escape from the city's crowds and hectic pace even can revive a relationship on the brink of urban decay.
Two hours north of New York City, the Catskill Mountains area has long drawn Big Apple refugees.
The historic Mohonk Mountain House (pictured) is on 2,200 picturesque acres outside the college town of New Paltz. You don't have to be a hiker to appreciate the scenery; an easy path circles the hotel's small lake, with gazebos along the way that are perfect places to stop for a smooch. The hotel itself is a rambling Victorian structure that's not terribly up-to-date — but that's part of Mohonk's charm.
Couples don't need a car to get to Woodstock, about half an hour north of New Paltz. Shops, restaurants, live music, and an easygoing spirit of the 1960s make Woodstock a favorite day or weekend destination for New York City travelers. Trailways buses leave NYC's Port Authority Terminal frequently for Woodstock and drop off passengers in front of the town square.
If you'd like to combine your weekend romantic trip to the Catskills with some pampering, the Lodge at Emerson Place, 20 minutes from Woodstock (car necessary) is affiliated with the award-winning Emerson Spa.
At the northern end of the Catskills, the Roxbury Motel is a fun-and-funky getaway with fantasy rooms perfect for couples with a sense of humor and the urge to play.