The nation’s capital offers a gorgeous setting for that idyllic date night or romantic getaway. From its renowned dining scene and romantic restaurants to its majestic monuments, memorials and world-class hotels, Washington, DC have everything that a couple could want in the perfect evening. Heat things up with the most romantic experiences and date ideas that DC has to offer.
Ice skate as the sun sets over The Wharf
The Southwest Waterfront is the place to be during winter, as one of the District’s most exciting entertainment, dining and shopping destinations feature a skating rink on Transit Pier. Yes, with so many things to see and do at The Wharf you could spend a week here, but gliding across this riverfront ice rink beneath the fiery glow of a sunset is a can’t-miss winter date experience.
Discover pure elegance during an evening at City Center DC
Located near Downtown and Chinatown, the elegant City Center DC mixes shops and restaurants for a vibrant experience in the heart of the nation’s capital. An outstanding meal is available at any of the eateries, including DBGB Kitchen & Bar, Fig & Olive, Momofuku CCDC and Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. A romantic walk down Palmer Alley is a must, and you can peruse high-end fashion at retailers like Paul Stuart, Dior, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Kate Spade New York.
Enjoy romance on the water with an Odyssey Cruise
Reserve a table for two aboard Entertainment Cruises’ Odyssey Dinner Cruise on the Potomac River. The vessel was inspired by famous Parisian dinner boats that sail down the Seine. On the Potomac, you’ll glide by DC landmarks like the Washington Monument and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, providing the perfect romantic setting while you dine.
Reserve a table at 1789 Restaurant, a classic DC date spot
If you’re looking to truly dazzle your date, reserve a fireside table at 1789 Restaurant, specifically in the John Carroll room. Housed in a Federal-style townhouse, 1789 is a favorite for special occasions and romantic evenings, known for its cozy tables, stunning 16th-century antiques and a delectable rack of lamb. The restaurant also sports a delicious tasting menu option.
Enjoy the cozy neighborhood abode that is The Red Hen
A delightfully delicious Bib Gourmand selection in the DC Michelin Guide, The Red Hen features a woodfire-powered kitchen, bucolic decor and a menu filled with Italian favorites near the Shaw neighborhood. You and your sweetheart can fill the appetites with delicious mezze rigatoni with fennel sausage ragu or grilled swordfish along with a perfectly paired bottle of wine.
Sip on hot chocolate with your loved one
Whether you’re in the throes of winter or the weather is warm, hot chocolate is a perfect treat for date night. Fortunately, DC is filled to the brim with great options, from the Nutella hot chocolate at Ice Cream Jubilee to Baked by Yael’s gourmet-style concoction to the Espresso & Gelato Bar at the National Gallery of Art’s East Wing.
Say “PS, I Love You” at the National Postal Museum
The National Postal Museum doesn’t just explain the workings of the U.S. mail: The museum shares many personal American stories, some of which involve the penning of love letters. Explore this fascinating building and before you leave, quit texting, set the phone down and pick up a pen, paper, and stamps in the gift shop. You never know when the opportunity for your own love letter may arise.
Take your date to the sky at the National Air and Space Museum
One of the most visited museums in the country resides on the scenic National Mall. Bring your boo on a journey through space and aviation history at the National Air and Space Museum, which includes awe-inspiring artifacts such as the 1903 Wright Flyer and Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, along with the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall.
Get in touch with nature at Rock Creek Park
Even during the winter, Rock Creek Park serves as a scenic recluse from the city. Put on your winter coat and stroll through the 2,100-acre park, which includes historical attractions like Peirce Mill, as well as a nature center (step in for warmth, if you need to), picnic areas and playing fields. Inside the nature center, there’s also a planetarium, so you and your sweetie can stargaze.
Retreat to The Spa at Mandarin Oriental for sophisticated relaxation
Indulge yourselves with a treatment (or treatments!) at The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental. The luxury hotel and spa offers a variety of services, like the Oriental Harmony massage featuring two masseuses, sure to melt your cares away. Continue the posh getaway with a stay at the hotel, featuring elegant design in a premier location that allows for splendid views of the Southwest Waterfront.
Ride on a Ferris wheel overlooking the Potomac River at sundown
Located just a half-hour south of Washington, DC, National Harbor might as well be called date night adventure-land. One of the star attractions is its Capital Wheel, a towering, 180-foot Ferris wheel with enclosed cabins and awe-inspiring views for your canoodling pleasure.
For more information on Washington, DC, including development highlights, please visit washington.org.
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