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20 Romantic Date Ideas in Washington, DC

Couple viewing Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party at The Phillips Collection - Museums and Date Spots in Washington, DC

For Valentine's Day or whenever, woo your boo with these charming ideas sure to conjure romance.

The nation’s capital is the picture-perfect 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 has 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.


1 Discover pure elegance during an evening at CityCenterDC

@kalikay81 - Nighttime at CityCenterDC's Palmer Alley - Romantic things to do in Washington, DC

Located near Downtown and Chinatown, the elegant CityCenterDC mixes shops and restaurants for a vibrant experience in the heart of 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.

2 Enjoy romance on the water with an Odyssey Cruise

Evening boat cruise on the Potomac River - Romantic activities in Washington, DC

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.

Do date night right with our ultimate guide to romance in Washington, DC

3 Reserve a table at 1789 Restaurant, a classic DC date spot
Reserve a table at 1789 Restaurant, a classic DC date spot 1789 Restaurant

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.

4 Enjoy the cozy neighborhood abode that is The Red Hen

@theplaceiwastellingyouabout - Dinner at The Red Hen in Bloomingdale - Bib Gourmand Restaurant in Washington, DC

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.

5 Dine on a Michelin-approved meal at Plume, then head to your room at the historic Jefferson Hotel

Plume - Michelin-Starred Restaurant in the Jefferson Hotel - Washington, DC

Classically trained chef Ralf Schlegel executes European-inspired dishes to perfection at the Michelin-starred Plume, which is best experienced by ordering from the restaurant’s prix-fixe menu. Once your meal is through, spend the night upstairs at the The Jefferson, one of DC’s most elegant boutique properties, housed in a historic apartment building that dates to 1923.

6 Heat things up in a hotel room with a fireplace

Suite with fireplace at the St. Gregory Hotel - Romantic Washington, DC hotels with fireplaces

Sparks can fly when you can warm up by a fire without leaving the comfort of your room. Numerous DC hotels offer fireplaces in their suites, making for the perfect romantic vibe before or after a night on the town. The recently renovated St. Gregory Hotel and the Presidential Suite at Rosewood Washington, D.C. are great options, as are the three-bedroom Presidential Suites at The Watergate Hotel, the Royal Potomac Suite at the Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C. and the Royal Suite at the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, D.C.

7 Feel the AMOR at the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden

@docrox6 - Robert Indiana's AMOR sculpture at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden - Romantic spots in Washington, DC

The National Gallery of Art presents some of the world’s finest works of art, while its sculpture garden serves as an ideal romantic rendezvous. Walk by Robert Indiana’s famed AMOR (which is Spanish for “love”) sculpture, a play on the artist's iconic LOVE works.

8 Get cozy by an outdoor fire pit

Farmers Fishers Bakers Winter Lounge Outdoor Dining with Fireplace in Georgetown - Cozy Restaurants with Fireplaces in Washington, DC

Many bars and restaurants in the District can help you get cozy with your boo as you shake off the brr of winter and warm up by a fire. Savor the bonfire vibe at spots like Dirty Habit in Chinatown, Top of the Gate at The Watergate Hotel, Bourbon Steak and Farmers Fishers Bakers in Georgetown and Barcelona on 14th Street.

9 Be romanticized by the wondrous art at The Phillips Collection

@dcjnell - Couple viewing art at The Phillips Collection - Modern art museum in Washington, DC

You and your date can be transported to Paris without leaving DC by visiting The Phillips Collection, which features an expansive collection of French impressionism from artists like Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh. Be sure and see Auguste Renoir's famous masterpiece, Luncheon of the Boating Party.

10 Observe the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial by moonlight

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall - Monument in Washington, DC

This Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall is truly epic under moonlight. Any nighttime stroll along the Mall will be memorable, but the this memorial is particularly stunning, as King’s statue emerges from the Stone of Hope with words from the iconic “I Have A Dream” speech etched into its side.

11 Ice skate as the sun sets over The Wharf

@oshannon21 - Ice Skating at the The Wharf on the Southwest Waterfront - The Best Places to Ice Skate in Washington, DC

The Southwest Waterfront is the place to be during winter, as one of the District’s most exciting entertainment, dining and shopping destinations features 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.

12 Confess your love at Union Market’s Heart Wall

@deercher - Couple holding hands at Union Market Heart Wall mural - Attractions in Washington, DC

Union Market is one of the most buzzworthy spots in DC, filled with outstanding food experiences and artisan-made arts and crafts. There’s also the famous Heart Wall, a mural created by L.A.-based graffiti artist Mr. Brainwash for International Women’s Day in 2015. Hold your boo tight in front of this Instagrammable artwork before or after you explore the wonders of the market.

13 Take your date back to a bygone era at Blues Alley

@shullman - Patrons at the historic Blues Alley Jazz Club in Georgetown - Where to see jazz and live music in Washington, DC

The nation’s oldest continuously operating jazz supper club, Blues Alley is a laid-back sanctuary tucked into an alleyway in Georgetown. Revel in an ambiance reminiscent of the dawn of the Jazz Age for the perfect date night inside this converted carriage house.

14 Attend a play inspired by the all-time romantic, William Shakespeare
Attend a play inspired by the all-time romantic, William Shakespeare Scott Suchman / Shakespeare Theatre Company

Shakespeare Theatre Company stages the best of Shakespeare’s plays, as well as contemporary productions inspired by the ultimate wordsmith’s work. Even though the Bard of Avon has been dead for centuries, his influence can still rock a date night today.

15 Stay in style at the Willard InterContinental Washington

@michi_bigbear - The Willard InterContinental Hotel at night during the holidays - Hotel in Washington, DC

The Willard InterContinental Washington is one of DC’s grandest hotels, residing on Pennsylvania Avenue since 1850. Spend an evening at this posh locale, and in the morning, head to Café du Parc for coffee and crepes. Then, it’s time to walk just two blocks and wander through stunning scenery along the National Mall.

16 Sip on hot chocolate with your boo

@icecreamjubilee - Nutella Hot Chocolate from Ice Cream Jubilee - Where to Find the Best Hot Chocolate in Washington, DC

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.

17 Share a wine flight at ENO Wine Bar

Wine and food at ENO Wine Bar in Georgetown - Romantic date idea in Washington, DC

ENO Wine Bar is a two-story outpost on M Street in historic Georgetown. The intimate and sophisticated spot has all the ingredients for a date night done right. ENO specializes in three-glass wine flights and pairings with locally sourced cheeses, charcuterie and chocolate. The Four Seasons Hotel is right next door, if you want to close out the night in style.

18 Cozy it up at La Chaumière


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Savor the atmosphere of a French country inn in the heart of Georgetown. A central stone fireplace La Chaumière channels the romantic vibes at this must-visit for those who enjoy a rustic and cozy setting. The menu is filled with French specialties and a variety of red and white wines. It all adds up to refined coziness in one of the city’s most historic neighborhoods.

19 Speak the language of love at Rouge Hotel

Diners at the Kimpton Rouge Hotel - Romantic date spots in Washington, DC

Retire to the red-hot Kimpton Rouge Hotel in Dupont Circle, where a romantic rose petal-strewn (upon request) room awaits. Even before you settle in for the night, you can relax at the intimate Bar Rouge, which sports creative cocktails and lipstick red walls, two features sure to set the mood.

20 Find bliss at Art and Soul and The Liaison on Capitol Hill

Couple dining at Art and Soul on Capitol Hill - Can't-fail first date idea in Washington, DC

Spending the night in the center of one of the most powerful neighborhoods on planet earth adds a special flair to date night. The Liaison Capitol Hill is one of the chicest hotels in the District, residing in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol Building with boutique rooms and suites sure to satisfy any city-trotting couple. Downstairs, Art and Soul will have you falling in love with Southern cuisine before you retire to your room.

Discover entertainment and nightlife hot spots in Washington, DC