Downtown Washington DC may be famous for its association with the White House (it is the capital of the United States, after all). But its perks don’t end with esteemed national monuments, it’s also the perfect place to treat your partner (and yourself) to a romantic outing.
From planning your first date to carefully curating plans for an upcoming anniversary, there are plenty of swoon-worthy activities that make for the ultimate date night, Washington in DC-style. Whether you feel like keeping it casual and cozy or going all out with a fancy night of fun, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite romantic things to do in Washington DC that are sure to elicit butterflies and heart eyes for your partner and your city.
#1 Keep it Classy at a Glam Date Night Restaurant
Taking your date to a fancy restaurant is a tried-and-true date night choice for a reason. The prep work is minimal on your end and you can enjoy one another’s company while also savoring delicately made—and downright delicious—bites. All the more reason to gussy up and give some of these classy eateries in DC a try:
- 1789 – Dressing to the nines at this historic federal building turned fine dining establishment is optional but feels oh-so-right. If you reserve a table in advance, you may even be able to score crème de la crème seating arrangements at a fireside table. Oh la la. No matter where you sit, you’ll delight in contemporary American fares like the braised wagyu short rib or roasted sable.1 Yes, please!
- Tail Up Goat – If you’re looking for an upscale experience (and don’t mind spending upwards of $100 per person), we recommend trying the four-course Mediterranean-inspired meal at Tail Up Goat. While you’re nibbling on cheese and onion tarts followed by yellowfin tuna crudo (or whichever delicacies your heart desires from the menu),2 you can soak in the restaurant’s relaxed, dimly-lit ambience. The toughest choice you’ll make all night? Deciding whether or not to offer your significant other the last bite of chocolate budino.
#2 Bask in Botanical Beauty at the United States Botanic Garden (USBG)
If you and your boo prefer a day date, the USBG is sure to wow you. There, you’ll find a world of colorful and exotic plants and flowers waiting to be discovered.
From orchids to roses and everything in between, the blooms change as quickly as the seasons. So, if you enjoy your first foray into the lush foliage that is the USBG, consider coming back next season to enjoy its ever-changing flora. (Plus, it’ll be a lovely excuse to kanoodle and commemorate your first experience there).
One small (but significant) tip is to avoid the corpse flower if it’s in bloom while on your date. Although it is an extremely rare flower and doesn’t bloom often,3 it does unleash a rather rotten odor when in full blossom (hence the name)—and some might agree that it takes away from the otherwise romantic date feels.
#3 Craft a Romantic Picnic at West Potomac Park
Nothing says romance like a handcrafted picnic at West Potomac Park. Or more specifically, enjoying said picnic while overlooking the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson Memorial. You can bask in the beauty of the park (and the perfect symmetry of the Jefferson Memorial) any time of year, but it’s especially charming in the spring when the Japanese Cherry Blossoms make their grand debut.
With the perfect picnic spot planned, it’s time to pack the ultimate picnic basket with must-have items, such as:
- A cozy throw blanket to unpack all of your delicious goodies (and snuggle on)
- A tumbler full of your (and their) favorite drink
- Takeout from a restaurant you both love—bonus points if you had your first date or shared an anniversary there
- Bug spray, because nothing sours a dreamy date quite like a swarm of mosquitos (or the itchy bites that’ll surely follow)—le sigh
Here are some other Romantic date ideas:
National Cherry Blossom Festival – One of the most anticipated Washington DC events is to witness the cherry blossoms bloom, which occurs every March or April. You and your partner can have a picnic under one of the cherry trees.
Trying Craft Beer – While the nation’s capital is not known for its craft beer, but there are notable Washington DC breweries. This can be a great way to break the ice on a first date.
Food Tour – What food is Washington DC known for? The best way to know is to try as many of them. But since you can’t do this alone, it’s perfect for experiencing this with your date.
Boat Tour on the Potomac River – You don’t have to go far for a romantic getaway. If your date is new to the capital, the best way to showcase destination DC is through the river.
Exploring Great Falls Park – If you and your date (or partner if you’ve been together for a while) are the outdoorsy type, then hike some trails in Great Falls Park.
Fall in Love with Coliving at Common
If your date night was a success, who says it has to end once the day is over? Let the (romantic) good times roll by bringing your date back to your place for a nightcap and cuddles on the couch. But first thing’s first—setting yourself up with the ultimate living arrangements.
With Common, you’ll never have to worry about finding the perfect place to live. Common Clover and Common Monroe are nestled in two trendy Washington DC neighborhoods, so there are plenty of new date night places nearby. At both locations, you’ll have a fully-furnished private room comfortably tucked away inside a stylishly furnished coliving suite. What’s more, your rental cost is all-inclusive, so you won’t have to stress about paying for pesky amenities like a monthly internet or utility bill.
Find the next best thing in your life (besides your beloved partner)—your new living space at Common.
- 1789 Restaurant, Menu.https://mediacdn.getbento.com/accounts/4a403041414e2d401888cf8725bfdf28/media/7ZaaXFTpGqUB5Z7La1Tw_1789%20Fall%20Menu%2012-10-22%20Truffle.pdf
- Tail Up Goat. Menu. https://www.tailupgoat.com/dinner
- USBG. 2021 Corpse Flower. https://www.usbg.gov/2021-corpse-flower