Northeast

Romantic Getaways in New Jersey: 8 Hideaways for Couples in the Garden State

For intimate and memorable escapes for couples in gorgeous surroundings, New Jersey should be your first choice.

A peaceful garden hidden from public view, tucked behind old chestnut trees and rolling lawns, the Greenwood Gardens in Short Hills offers a romantic respite from the bustle of everyday life – a secret getaway in plain view.

New Jersey is a lot like this hidden suburban treasure. Intimate and memorable escapes for couples are set in gorgeous surroundings, but largely slide under-the-radar in a state not always associated with romance. That’s about to change.

Below, you’ll find inspiration for weekend getaways for two, romantic treasures, and pampering stays where you can reconnect, unwind, and relax together throughout the state to make every day feel like a special couple’s holiday.

Gourmet dining and high design for two on the Jersey Shore

The year-round Jersey Shore destination of Long Branch doesn’t just offer up fun in the sunny summer months. Thanks to 30 sophisticated dining and shopping spots that comprise beachfront Pier Village, there’s a four-season draw for sand-loving duos here. One such draw? A winter wonderland of Ice at the Pier with an outdoor ice skating rink, festive cocktails and delectable holiday treats.

Year round, Avenue is a date night highlight, offering French flair and Parisian bistro favorites with an Atlantic Ocean view. The menu even offers several dishes created to be shared for two, including iced seafood towers filled with crustacean delights; a cote de boeuf dry aged, bone-in rib eye; and a paella royale topped with fresh-from-the-sea clams, mussels, and lobster. In the summer months, Avenue offers a romantic beach option with private cabanas where you can tuck away on luxurious loungers and order everything from champagne to cocktail bites to enjoy a deux.

Hotels & Vacation Rentals - Long Branch

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Design-centric Bungalow Hotel is a chic and modern boutique hideaway a block from the pier. It’s close enough to walk to all the delicious dining options, but on a quieter stretch for maintained privacy. Rooms feel like quirky city lofts with all white bedding and furnishings and bright pops of contemporary art. Suites add lipstick red couches and fireplaces to the mix, perfect for a cozy, cold weather beach getaway. Stay in to experience Bungalounge, the hotel’s guest lounge and rotating art gallery with live music and craft cocktails.

Bungalow Hotel

Long Branch
8.9 Excellent (859 reviews)

Arts for culture-loving couples near NYC

The walkable exurb of Montclair is a magnet for arts lovers, located just 14 miles west of Manhattan. Curating couples should start a town tour at The Montclair Art Museum, a century-old Beaux Arts building with a 12,000 item permanent collection and exciting visiting exhibits, plus a lovely lawn to for relaxing.

Then walk down Bloomfield Avenue to catch a live music concert at the Wellmont Theater, where diverse artists from David Byrne to Fetty Wap perform. On the way you’ll pass Montclair Film, which hosts art-house movies and sponsors a star-studded film festival every year, as well as a buffet’s-worth of international dining options. Try cozy Uncle Momo for Lebanese cuisine, tucked-away Samba for Brazilian specialties, and Mesob for an authentic taste of Ethiopia.

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The art-filled The MC, Autograph Collection is set right in the middle of the action and feels like an extension of the museum, featuring show-stopping canvases from local painters such as Siona Benjamin-Kruge and Ryan Chin, among others. The hotel is stocked with artisanal products made nearby, including beer from Montclair Brewery, fresh elixirs from Juice Basin, and handmade bath products from Montclair favorite Dolly Moo.

After a busy day in town, retreat to Allegory (the hotel’s restaurant) for globally-inspired New American cuisine and a shared bites menu that changes along with the in-season ingredients. Brunch is especially memorable, with weekend delights cut as homemade blueberry acai bowls, rich brioche french toast, and a hold-no-stops smoked pork belly fried egg sandwich. Ascend to the ninth-floor rooftop where you can gaze at sweeping views of the sparkling Manhattan skyline to the east while cozied up around a fire pit sipping craft cocktails at Alto.

The MC, Autograph Collection

Montclair

Beachside elegance made for two in South Jersey

Far from the wild Jersey Shore seaside antics you may have seen on television, the secluded beach town of Stone Harbor is the polar opposite on the same stretch of sand. Nestled on the posh Seven Mile Beach barrier island at the southern end of the state, it seems more like you’re on Martha’s Vineyard than the Jersey Shore.

Stroll down 96th Street and you’ll find fine art galleries, tasteful clothing boutiques, and upscale dining options. Try the lovely outdoor patio at Jay’s on Third, where the bougainvillea draped dining area creates a secret garden dining experience. Nearby is Ocean Galleries, for works by both local and nationally known artists.

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Just across the street is The Reeds at Shelter Haven, an upscale waterfront retreat nestled on the bay. Rooms are reminiscent of an elegant beach home with white oak floors, a coastal sea palette, and expansive picture windows facing towards the town, over the ocean, or directly out at the calm bay. All have balconies, so you can sip your morning coffee while the sun comes up or share a toast while the sun sets into a cotton candy sky in front of you.

Spend some time together enjoying the two-story, luxury Salt Spa with couples’ massages, a Himalayan salt and light lounge, flotation therapy, or, most uniquely, a private session just for the two of you in the steam-filled marble Turkish bath.

After you’ve detoxed, retreat to the roof deck of the hotel’s Water Star Grille for a prime cocktail sun downer setting. Then head inside to cuddle by the fireplace at the Sax at the Reeds restaurant.

The Reeds At Shelter Haven

Top rated
Stone Harbor
8.8 Excellent (326 reviews)

Step back in time at a Victorian resort hideaway

Walking through the cobblestone streets of Cape May feels like you’ve been transported back in time to a genteel age of exquisite homes. Painted Ladies (gloriously gem-hued Victorian houses) offer intricate wood work and wide porches perfect for people watching. The whole town is a National Historic Landmark, and the twisting lanes leading down to golden sand feel made for romance – especially if you explore the town in a horse-drawn carriage.

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To immerse yourself in turn-of-the-century elegance, spend the night at the circa 1860s The Southern Mansion. The luxurious B&B offers every comfort for couples, including fireplaces, four-poster beds, and claw-footed tubs in addition to opulently carved woodwork and lush fabrics.

The decadent breakfast menu is included in your stay, so the two of you can start your day with fluffy pancakes filled with Jersey fresh blueberries or poached eggs with a homemade sun-dried tomato sauce, gratis, plus fresh baked pastries, juice, and coffee.

You may need to head back to the comfy beds after that; better yet, go lay on the golden Cape May beach – the Mansion will give you chairs and towels.

Not a beach day? Southern Mansion even has its own Willow Creek winery nearby, with tastings, 50 acres of vines, and a villa tasting room for sipping varietals such as pinot noir, cabernet franc, and sauvignon blanc.

The Southern Mansion

Top rated
Cape May
8.7 Excellent (68 reviews)

A transporting romantic journey to a magical sculpture park

The magical Grounds for Sculpture outdoor sculpture park in Hamilton is a fairytale setting for couples. The immersive art park, conceived by founder Seward Johnson, mixes whimsy into the tree-filled setting.

One highlight is a life-size version of George Seurat’s Sunday in the Park picnic painting lolling in the grass, complete with a wrought iron table tucked by a lake, a fully-imagined sculpted picnic and even a sail boat in direct sightline. There are more traditional sculptures here, too, along with plenty of spots to hold hands and steal kisses as you explore the creative nooks and crannies around the grounds.

Make a reservation for the oddly named Rats Restaurant (after the character in the children’s classic The Wind in the Willows). The entire dining space is designed to look like a Monet lily-pond. It’s been named the most romantic restaurant in the state for several years and creates the illusion of dining in the French countryside of Giverny, right down to dishes such as charcuterie, steak frites, and crème brulee.

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On the grounds of the sculpture park, you’ll also spot gentle peacocks strolling and posing for photos. Their namesake inn is where to spend the night after your art experience.

The luxe 19th-century Peacock Inn offers 16 posh modern rooms in a 19th-century mansion. High end touches include heated marble bathroom floors, rain head showers, and decadently thick down comforters. Suites also have whirlpool tubs for two and king size beds.

There’s no need to leave the serene property for dinner; the Perch at Peacock serves seasonal local produce and fish in elegant surroundings, with dishes such as Cape May Salt Oysters and New Jersey Line Caught Black Bass alongside pickled heirloom spring onions and charred fairy tale eggplant. Not full yet? There’s also a decadent high tea and brunch on offer in the charming inn.

Hotel The Peacock Inn

Top rated
Princeton
8.9 Excellent (257 reviews)

Glorious hidden gardens made for romance

Once a private estate, Greenwood Gardens is like a slice of Europe transported to suburban Union County. The terraced gardens, tucked-away grottoes, and splashing fountains are all perfect for strolling hand-in-hand, and the secret tea house and secluded stone “folly” buildings might just be the perfect spot to pop the question. Even if you’re already betrothed, the 18th-century grounds make for a memorable setting to celebrate your romance any day.

For an even more special outing, sign up in advance for one of Greenwood’s special evening events to watch the twilight descend on the 28 acres of serene outdoor space accompanied by wine and cheese, or try your hand at a painting or photography excursion offered “en plein air” .

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After the sun sets, head to the nearby Hilton Short Hills where you can watch the twinkling lights of Manhattan from the rooftop bar while you sip some bubbly. Then head indoors to the sybaritic spa where you take a dip in the indoor or outdoor (summer only) pools.

In warm weather, volley on the hotel’s tennis courts, too. Then relax in the crisply decorated rooms that combine plush beds with sleek furnishings for a modern stay.

Hotel Hilton Short Hills

Short Hills
8.2 Very good (1044 reviews)

A rustically elegant romantic retreat in a bucolic mountain town

Nestled in the rolling farmland of Sussex County in mountainous northwest New Jersey, Hardyston is where to head for a full resort R&R getaway. There are four golf courses within a few miles surrounded by fabulous country scenery, including the award-winning Ballyowen Golf Course. There’s also skiing in the winter at Mountain Creek Resort, just a mile away in Vernon, NJ.

In fall and spring, there are farm stands and fields full of sunflowers to pick, too. Fall is an especially gorgeous season to plan a visit, when the towering trees that fill the fields glow with autumnal colors and you can jump into piles of burgundy, gold, and copper leaves… or just enjoy the peace and quiet of the forest.

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Grand Cascades Lodge, a contemporary resort property, excels at using natural materials to create luxurious indoor spaces that give you a continued sense of the natural world, even when you’re safely tucked inside.

Many rooms sport indoor fireplaces, too, plus gourmet kitchens, so you’ll truly never want to leave your private space. Suites even have gas fireplaces on outdoor decks for a private glamping experience with all the comforts of a well-appointed hotel.

It’s easy to stay in your room, but make a plan to pull yourself out of your nest for two to experience Latour Restaurant, considered by many to be the best restaurant in the entire state. Prix fix dinners include local produce and artisan makers, plus indulgent ingredients from wagyu beef to Ossetra caviar. The 1-acre wine cellar is truly a treat for oenophiles, with 6,000 labels of the world’s finest vintages and the Wine Spectator Grand Award for every year it’s been open (yup, one of the best wine cellars in the country is right in rural New Jersey).

Grand Cascades Lodge

Hardyston
8.7 Excellent (125 reviews)

A romantic riverside getaway in western New Jersey

For couples who love to immerse themselves in the great outdoors, Stockton is a New Jersey nature highlight. The scenic spot along the Delaware River in Hunterdon County offers easy access to nature areas, hikes, and water activities for adventurous couples in every season.

The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park is where to launch for the tiny forested and pedestrian only Bull’s Island, an ideal spot for a romantic picnic. Canoe or kayak to the secluded island, or walk the pedestrian bridge. Bring a blanket and lay in the grass to watch the rapids (or you can ride them with rafting or water tubing). Not content to see the area on the ground? Lift up, up, and away for a sunrise or sunset hot air balloon ride for the two you.

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Another Delaware River Town with great appeal for couples is quaint Lambertville, the setting for a relaxing stay at historic Lambertville House. The 26 rooms are all uniquely decorated and include pampering amenities such as four-poster beds, gas fireplaces, and jetted tubs for two where you can enjoy a bubble bath with glasses of bubbly.

The inn is well-known for its exceptional on-site restaurant, ideal for a romantic dinner “in” after outdoor explorations. Extend your weekend stay to a Monday, and you can try the “Locals Love” prix fix menu that offers three courses of delights for a very affordable price. Of course, any day is a good day to trythe Mediterranean-inspired dishes including grilled artichokes, braised octopus, and burrata-filled ravioli.

The Lambertville House

Top rated
Lambertville
8.7 Excellent (576 reviews)