Romantic Winter Weekend Getaways On A Budget
Whether you’re planning ahead for Valentine’s Day, or just need a change of scenery to get you through the winter months, there’s no shortage of romantic getaways outside of NYC. Budget friendly romantic getaways, however, require a bit more research. Lucky for you, we’re avid fans of getting out of the city on the weekends, so below we’ve detailed two of our favorite spots to weekend in the winter that will still leave you with enough cash to take that big trip to Italy later this year. You’re welcome!
Option 1: The Berkshires
Distance From NYC: 3 hours
Head north of the city to the western corner of Massachusetts for a beautiful weekend filled with culture, food, and yes, lots of snow. The Peter Pan bus will get you here should you want to take public transportation, but since you’ll need to easily get around once there, a rental car would be your best bet.
Rent a room at the Briarcliff Motel, and please don’t be scared by the word “motel”…it’s cool enough for any Brooklyn hipster but clean enough for your mother-in-law, we promise. Rates for the winter season go for $90–$155 a night per room, and includes a breakfast of home-made granola, farm yogurt, fruit, home-made scones and muffins, hard-boiled farm eggs, locally-roasted coffee, and tasty teas. And yes, there’s Wi-Fi, and it’s free.
Once you’re settled in, grab lunch at The Brick House, which serves up a build-your-own burger for $11, and large pizza pies with crust made exclusively at the Berkshire Mountain Bakery for $15. It’s a locals’ favorite, with a soft spot for visitors. Make sure you check out the live music lineup, as they have shows every Saturday night.
Assuming it’s pretty freezing outside (because if it’s winter, it certainly will be!), head to the quaint and adorable Norman Rockwell Museum for some art that will rival the best you’ve seen in NYC’s the MET and MOMA. Entrance is $18 for adults, and free for active military.
After your culture, drive about a mile down the road to The Red Lion Inn for cocktails, bar nibbles, and live music. Yes, they have very fancy dining options too (think farm to table, candle light, and a big bill to boot), but since you’re on a budget we suggest heading downstairs to The Lions Den (established in 1937!), and requesting a romantic table by the fireplace. You can enjoy traditional pub fare at very good prices (a local cheese plate goes for $9, and a variety of sandwiches for $12), and they have live music 7 nights a week with no cover charge.
Finally, wake up on Sunday, bundle into your finest winter garments, and head to Butternut. Like anywhere, skiing plus rentals will cost you a pretty penny, but we suggest going snow tubing together, instead. Not only is it super fun (and dare we say romantic?), but a two hour time slot will only set you back $20 a person.
Option #2: Nyack
Distance From The City: 45 minutes
Much closer to the city, we love this idea because at just 20 miles outside Manhattan, it’s close enough where you can drive up (or take a train) on a Saturday morning, meaning you only need to splurge one night on lodging. And since you’re saving there, you can afford to get fancy and stay at stay at The Time Nyack, which has been described as the “art and soul on the Hudson”. Winter rates start at $95, and if you book within 10 days of travel (all you last minute folks out there!), you get an extra 20% off. Score! The hotel has a modern vibe, is quite gorgeous, and is a short walk from the riverwalk for sunset strolls.
Once you’re settled, grab a late brunch at the locally loved Art Cafe of Nyack coffee shop, featuring juice, breakfast cocktail, eggs and Israeli salad for $15, or a goat cheese toastini for $11.
You’ll be geared up to check out the Edward Hopper House Art Center, where the famous artist Mr. Hopper himself lived until 1910. Admission is $7 for adults, or free the first Friday of the month.
Dinner is at Velo, a locally praised French wine bar oozing romance and coziness, with bleu cheese sliders for $13, roasted beet salad for $11, and wine that flows like water. Make sure you’re in bed early(ish), to leave plenty of time for shopping on Sunday. Nyack is filled with tiny boutiques and shops selling locally made designs, there’s truly something for everyone, and it’s a pleasure to talk with the designers and shop owners. A roundup of shops can be found here.
All in all, you’re looking at a wonderful winter weekend for either of these trips, coming in at under $500 (assuming you go with the Kia and not the Mercedes for your car rental, that is.)