There are lots of wonderful date destinations found all around the world, but there seems to be an especially large cluster of them in America’s capital – the one-of-a-kind Washington, D.C. Filled with lots of fabulous places for those in search of fun and romance, it has everything from picturesque national parks to exquisite eateries, cosmopolitan cafes, and a brilliant assortment of bars.
So, fancy treating that special someone the next time you pay a visit? Then here are fourteen fantastic suggestions that are sure to impress…
Dance the night away at Echostage
It might be a little too lively for a first date, but if you and your partner love to dig out your dancing shoes, Echostage is the place to be. This immense dancehall showcases some of the hippest musical acts around, and is widely considered to be one of the best clubs in the whole of America, so you know it won’t disappoint. Hosting everyone from rap artists to hip-hop icons, it’s filled by an exceptionally enthusiastic crowd who have enjoying themselves down to a fine art. Make sure the two of you get in on the fun the next time you’re in the city.
Appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature at the National Arboretum
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If something more organic holds a greater appeal as a date destination, this next idea is one for you: visit the National Arboretum. A 446-acre living museum, this beautiful place is overflowing with exquisite gardens and an abundance of cherry blossom trees, so that it’s like walking through some paradisiacal dream. Also home to the original columns of the US Capitol building, it offers plenty of Instagram-worthy photo ops, so you can create memories that need never fade away. Book yourself onto a full moon hike to see it in all of its glory.
Visit the Tidal Basin and look over to the Jefferson Memorial
Famed for its romantic atmosphere and picturesque scenery, the Tidal Basin is another wonderful place to take your partner when you really want to impress them. Set across the water from the stunning Jefferson Memorial, it’s serene, beautiful, and makes the perfect spot if you fancy watching the sun go down over the city. Take along a picnic blanket, glut yourself on strawberries and chardonnay, and then take a slow stroll through this stunning domed structure to show them you’ve pulled out all the stops.
Join the drum circle at Meridian Hill Park
Even if you’re a Washington native who met your partner on Badoo, the city still has some hidden gems they’re sure to love, like the lovely Meridian Hill. A wonderland of tiered fountains, exquisitely sculpted statues, and soaring outdoor architecture, this modern-day park manages to make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the glory days of old Europe. Why not grab your pooch, take a picnic blanket, and enjoy the vibrant African-style drum circle that gathers there every Sunday?
Take a trip to the Smithsonian National Zoo
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The next pick on our list is ideal for all of the animal lovers out there: the Smithsonian National Zoo. Home to lions, tigers, giraffes, giant pandas, and over 400 other species, this 163-acre compound has around 2,000 beautiful creatures for you to admire up close. Spend the day strolling around it at leisure, stopping for an ice cream or three along the way. Be sure to remember your camera too, as there will be plenty of photo ops for you to take advantage of.
Book yourself onto a walking tour of the capital
If it’s your first time in Washington, booking yourself onto a walking tour of the capital also makes a great day date, and there are plenty of companies who offer what you’re after. They’ll show you around all of the city’s most famous sites, from the National Mall to Georgetown, the U Street Corridor, Capitol Hill, and more. Lots of the tours are entirely free, like the ones that DC by Foot host. Giving you a great dose of culture and something a bit different to do with your significant other, they’re certain to impress.
Journey to Rock Creek Park
If you want the chance to see the best Mother Nature has to offer, another idea is to visit Rock Creek Park. Offering a scenic retreat that’s tucked away from the city, this 2,100-acre reserve has plenty to offer, from an abundance of wildlife all the way through to historical attractions like Peirce Mill. However, one of our favourite bits has to be the planetarium, which is hidden away inside the nature centre. Why not recreate that famous scene from Friends and spend some time stargazing with your love?
Bike along the C&O Canal
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The next pick on our list is an amazing idea for active couples: biking along the C&O Canal. Running alongside the Potomac River, this scenic route extends all the way from gorgeous Georgetown through to Cumberland, Md. Showing off some of the area’s most impressive historic neighborhoods, it’s especially lovely to visit on a sunny afternoon, so be sure to schedule your plans for a day when the weather is on side. Take some snacks along to eat by the water when you’re ready for a break and don’t forget plastic wine glasses and a bottle of rosé too.
Book a table at China Chilcano
Lovely as the great outdoors can be, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s not a problem. If wining and dining is more your thing, there are plenty of amazing eateries in the capital, so perhaps a chance to taste the delights at China Chilcano will appeal. The playground of world-famous chef Jose Andres, this fabulous restaurant serves up a commingling of Chinese, Peruvian, and Japanese cuisine, all cooked to the same exquisite standard. Be sure to leave room for all three courses, as you’ll want to take full advantage of the delicious dishes on offer.
Get a double dose of culture at the National Air and Space Museum
Next up, the National Air and Space Museum. Residing on the scenic National Mall, this amazing place is one of the most visited museums in the whole of America, so you know it will be a hit with your special someone. Taking its visitors on a journey through history, its awe-inspiring artifacts include everything from a 1903 Wright Flyer through to the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia. You’ll learn so many interesting facts that the two of you will still be mulling them over at the end of the day, when you exit the building and find the nearest cocktail bar to complete your cute and highly cultured date.
Go on a treasure hunt through the streets of DC
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If there is one thing DC has in abundance, its brilliantly drawn street murals, so why not use these to create something of a treasure hunt for you and your love? There are unique canvases everywhere you look, so follow the trail they lay to have your eyes delighted at every turn. If you really want to make it a day to remember, be sure to stop at bars and eateries along the way, to taste the very best of what the city has to offer.
Go undercover at the International Spy Museum
Another one for the history nerds and television geeks is a trip to the International Spy Museum, where you can explore the thrilling world of espionage, and discover real-life stories that are 10 times more exciting than the fiction. Stroll through its collections hand-in-hand with your special someone, admiring the extensive hordes of artifacts, from lipstick pistols to cipher machines, before working together on an Operation Spy mission. Once you’re done, pay a visit to the nearby Penn Commons for a glass of wine and the perfect chance to talk about your day.
Book a Segway tour around the city
Washington is a place you could easily explore forever, but if you’re short on time and want to speed things up, another lovely date idea is to book a Segway tour for you and your significant other. Companies like Bike and Roll offer plenty of these for you to pick from, and will send you out with a professional guide who can point out the very best of D.C’s landmarks. Look, laugh, and make some lovely memories to last you a lifetime.
Enjoy the winter wonderland at Washington Harbor
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D.C is an amazing place to visit all year round, but if you happen to be there during the winter months, you really must make your way to Washington Harbor. With its fountain transformed into an amazing ice skating rink, it offers a true winter wonderland for loved-up couples to explore, with dozens of softly flickering fairy lights and the most romantic of atmospheres. Wrap up warm, indulge in a glass or two of mulled wine, and delight in the chance to spend your festive season together.
Where will you choose to take your lucky date the next time you visit?