I heard about the Cloisters from a wedding client and good friend of mine a few years ago. She and her now husband actually got engaged there. It's such a picturesque spot and absolutely perfect for an engagement.
The Cloisters is actually a branch of the Met, focusing on medieval European architecture. It is located north of Manhattan, in Fort Tryon park. It's about 45 minutes on the A train and several large flights of stairs up to the top of the hill that the museum sits on. It was assembled from domestic and religious architectural pieces that date back to the twelfth century.
We spent about 2 hours inside the museum staring at the vaulted ceilings, beautiful stained glass and the jewelry (my favorite). Afterwards, we walked outside to the beautiful lawn, located on the side of the building, that you can picnic on. Dom and I went to Stinky Brooklyn the day before and picked up some local cheese, bread and my absolute favorite jam of the moment: Eat This Blackberry and Rosemary jam. The morning of I chopped and assembled this salad and dressed it when we were ready to eat. All in all it was a pretty perfect meal.
On our way back to the train we walked through the gardens inside the park. Lots of beautiful flowers and great views of the Hudson.
It was amazing how just traveling 45 min on the subway can make you feel like you're worlds away from the hustle and bustle of NYC. We've decided that we need to take advantage of our surroundings more and make these trips as often as we can. Stay tuned for more quick east coast getaways.