Washington, D.C., is an ideal destination for couples, home to beautiful parks and monuments. Visit the National Gallery of Art, home to some of the world’s most important pieces of art, stroll along the National Mall and explore the manicured gardens of the Smithsonian along the way. In the evening, treat yourself to a romantic dinner, followed by a show at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Here are the best romantic things to do in Washington, D.C.
We recommend calling attractions and restaurants before your visit to confirm current hours of operation.
National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue and is one of the nation’s leading art galleries. Privately established in 1937 for the public by the United States Congress, the National Gallery of Art spans a sprawling campus consisting of the original neoclassical West Building, designed by John Russell Pope, and the newer East Building, designed by I.M. Pei, as well as a magnificent sculpture garden.
The Gallery’s main collection includes major works of art from the period from the Italian Renaissance to the Middle Ages, an extensive selection of European paintings, including the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the United States, and more than 75,000 engravings . The National Gallery of Art is one of the best things to do in Washington, D.C. for couples. The museum also features a number of educational programs and community outreach programs, and it also houses a major art research center.
The National Mall in Washington is a large green urban space located in the heart of the city, which is intended to be a symbol of the nation and its democratic values. Stretching from the foot of the United States Capitol to the Potomac River, the Mall is the nation’s premier civic and symbolic space.
The National Mall and Memorial Parks (NAMA) cares for this vital space and all the structures and monuments within it, including the White House, the Capitol, Constitution Gardens, East and West Potomac Parks, and monuments such as the Washington Monument, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and D.C. War Memorial, among others.
The National Mall and Memorial Parks is open 24 hours a day, but the best times to visit are early evening and morning, when the area is quiet, romantic, and less crowded.
900 Ohio Drive, SW, Washington, D.C., Phone: 877-444-6777
Washington’s southwest waterfront was once a Native American village, the gateway to the city on the water, a military center and a fish market. The city’s new Wharf District has been developed as a great hangout with spectacular water views, trendy restaurants and live entertainment, as the nation’s capital’s most exciting new neighborhood. The Wharf, stretching more than a mile along the banks of the Potomac, reestablishes Washington as a vibrant waterfront city. There is so much to do on the Wharf other than eating in the excellent restaurants and cafes. Strolling along the pier offers fantastic views of the river and the city. Visitors can rent a kayak and see some of the city’s famous sights from the water. Live music is regularly held at the Anthem, as well as street performances, shopping, and all kinds of businesses.
Smithsonian Gardens, Washington, D.C.
The Smithsonian Gardens are located around the museums and monuments of the National Mall and aim to extend the exhibits and learning environment of the surrounding museums into an ecological garden setting. Open year-round, seven days a week, the Gardens offer visitors something new every season. Possible attractions include horticultural exhibits, floral collections, specialty gardens, and educational programs.
The Smithsonian Gardens have a few outdoor museums, including the Butterfly Habitat Garden, the Enid. A. Haupt Garden, the Heirloom Garden, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, all of which can be viewed year-round. The gardens also house a variety of living plants, artifacts and archival collections for research and exhibitions.
Capital Gallery, Suite 3300, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C., Phone: 202-633-2220
DC Insider Tours
DC Insider Tours is a luxury tour company that offers visitors the opportunity to explore, experience and appreciate the rich history and heritage of Washington D.C. A choice of different tour types are available to suit all needs, from private chauffeured tours to walking tours and specialty tours. Professional and knowledgeable guides lead all tours and share interesting history and information about the city.
Visit areas of the city like Dupont Circle and Georgetown, see the city’s famous landmarks at night, explore the city’s many museums, or enjoy a specialty tour like Ghosts, Scandals and Murder or Hail to the Cocktail. Visitor groups are kept relatively small to ensure a personal experience, and all ages are welcome. 202-810-4627
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Cork market and tasting room
The Cork Market & Tasting Room is located just south of the U Street Corridor in Washington and offers a market-style menu paired with an extensive wine selection. The menu includes an array of charcuterie and cheese platters, breads and crackers, pastas and home-cooked meals, as well as a selection of gourmet delights such as truffle butter.
If you’re looking for ideas for fun outings in DC, this is a place to try. The impressive wine list includes local wines and international vintages from around the world which can be ordered by the glass or bottle, as well as a range of spirits and beers. The Cork Market & Tasting Room is open for dinner and serves weekend brunch.
1805 14th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., Phone: 202-265-2674
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The Red Hen, Washington, D.C.
Founded by longtime friends Michael Friedman, Michael O’Malley and Sebastian Zutant, The Red Hen is an Italian-influenced restaurant located in the beautiful neighborhood of Bloomingdale’s. Wooden floors and tables and a roughly hewn exposed brick wall create a welcoming and informal atmosphere, while the menu offers authentic Italian dishes such as whipped ricotta crostini, rigatoni mezze and scallops caramelized, as well as gourmet desserts. The cuisine can be accompanied by a refreshing drink from their selection of signature cocktails and Italian wines.
1822 First Street NW DC 20001, Washington, D.C., Phone: 202-525-3021
Carp DC Food Tours
Food walking tours are a great fun way to explore a city, whether you’re just visiting or a local on the lookout with a bunch of friends. The Carp DC Food Tours allow you to experience a unique side of DC that tourists rarely get to see. Their guides focus on local, community-run restaurants, where the food is not only delicious, but also reflects the cultural diversity of the city. Along with great food, you’ll also learn fascinating facts about the city’s ever-changing music scene and vibrant architecture. One of the most popular tours is the U Street Food Tour, which begins with a cup of tea courtesy of a fifth-generation herbalist before walking around and discussing the “Black Broadway” era and the era. jazz. Guests will eat at three local restaurants while strolling the historic streets of Georgetown, learning about this unique neighborhood and enjoying the festive light art installations.
13th Street and U Street NW, Washington DC, DC 20781
The Touchstone Gallery is a high quality art gallery located along the new York Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., approximately half a mile between the United States Capital Building and the White House, near attractions such as CityCenter DC and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The gallery, which was founded in 1976, strives to promote the best artistic talent in the D.C. area and enrich the lives of members of the surrounding community through a series of contemporary art exhibits. More than 50 artists are members of this artist-owned and managed gallery and help guide gallery policies and oversee individual exhibitions. Among the artists presenting exhibitions are Linda Bankerd, Jill Brantley, Rick Braswell, Anna Katalkina and Janathel Shaw.
901 new York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001, Phone: 202-347-2787
Museum Hack offers a unique alternative to regular museum visits. Aimed at visitors who aren’t particularly fond of museums, Museum Hack has created tours that focus on the unusual highlights of the museum. Energetic and fun guides lead the tours and share their passion and knowledge with each visitor, creating a fun way to experience the best parts of the museum.
Guides personalize each tour to ensure an active, fun and engaging session for everyone. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Washington, here’s a great tour company to try. Museum Hack offers private tours for groups or families, tours for special occasions such as birthdays or bachelorette parties, as well as corporate tours aimed at building team spirit. 800-778-5531
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Afternoon tea at Willard InterContinental
The Willard InterContinental’s afternoon tea service was named one of the top 10 places in the United States for British-style tea service by the Travel Channel. It is known as one of Washington, D.C.’s most beloved fine dining institutions. Guests can stop in for tea service at certain times of the year at this historic 1850 hotel, located within walking distance of the White House. The J’enwey Tea Company offers an extensive selection of property and boutique loose leaf teas, accompanied by delicious tea sandwiches topped with elegant ingredients such as duck liver, Chesapeake crab and champagne grapes. A selection of homemade scones is also on offer, as well as gourmet pastries prepared daily.
1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004, Phone: 202-628-9100
The Phillips Collection
Located in the Dupont Circle area, the Phillips Collection presents an exceptional collection of impressionist and modern art in an intimate and elegant setting. The private institution is based on Phillips’ original house from 1897 and features extensive new galleries that feature works by Rothko, van Gogh, Renoir, O’Keeffe and Diebenkorn.
The Phillips Collection hosts a variety of exhibitions and special programs throughout the year, as well as symposia, lectures, workshops, and other art-related events.
The museum also offers an award-winning educational program for students and teachers. Visitors can enjoy guided group tours of the museum’s special exhibits and permanent collection, led by well-trained and knowledgeable staff.
1600 21st Street, NW, Washington, D.C., Phone: 202-387-2151
Osteria Morini, Washington, D.C.
Osteria Morini brings a taste of the Emilia-Romagna region to the Yards of Washington, D.C. Known as the “Italian breadbasket”, Emilia-Romagna is famous for being the home of flavors and typically used in Italian cuisine, including parmigiana, balsamic vinegar, prosciutto, and mortadella.
The restaurant’s high ceilings and exposed kitchen create a rustic, homey ambience that’s reflected in the creative menu, which features an array of small plates, pastas, entrees and desserts presented by Executive Chef, Matt Adler.
The wine list includes affordable wine selections from various regions of Italy, as well as sparkling wines like Prosecco and Lambrusco, and a choice of Italian-inspired aperitifs, digestifs, and cocktails.
301 Water Street Southeast, Suite 109, Washington, D.C., Phone: 202-484-0660
United States Botanical Garden
The United States Botanical Garden is one of the oldest of its kind in the world. It was established in 1820 to teach people the importance of plants for their health and that of the world. Today, 200 years later, the garden is a place of great beauty and is considered a living museum. It’s also a wonderful place to take a romantic walk with that special someone. You can enjoy the wonderful interior gardens of the Conservatory all year round and there is always something beautiful in bloom. Gardening enthusiasts will leave with plenty of inspiration to spruce up their own garden.
100 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20001, 202 225 8333
Garden district is a very popular mix of a beer garden and a barbecue shack on Washington’s 14th Street, formerly known as the Standard. Most of the action takes place in the open air, in the tradition of all beer gardens, with a few tables and a bar inside. Garden district is the place to go for beers – American and German – and excellent barbecue sandwiches and meat and side dishes. The large picnic tables are always crowded, but they close as soon as the weather turns bad or the barbecue is gone. It’s the perfect place for a daytime drink with friends.
1801 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Astro Donuts & Fried Chicken
You can easily find the small Astro Donuts & Fried Chicken shop by the long line of people waiting to be served. There are no tables, so it’s grab-and-go, but once you’ve tasted their interesting concoctions, you won’t think of sitting down. You’ll wonder why you didn’t think of putting a piece of crispy chicken on or in your favorite donuts – it just goes together.
Their donuts are big and light and the chicken is crispy and crunchy, and together they’ll make you smile. Fritters are filled with a creme brulee or spiced pear with almonds, and chicken choices include chicken fingers, chicken wings, and all sorts of other combinations.
1308 G St NW, Washington, DC 20004, Phone: 202-809-5565
Shakespeare Theater Company – Harman Center for the Arts
The Harman Center for the Arts is the Washington DC headquarters of the Shakespeare Theater Company, which has been performing live classical theater for over 30 years. The company is dedicated to producing thought-provoking plays with complex characters and themes, all beautifully written by Shakespeare and many of his peers, as well as more modern works by Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and many others. . The company is committed to cultivating a love of classical theater among the next generation of performers and runs summer camps for aspiring actors as well as classes for children and adults.
610 F Street N.W., Washington, DC 20004, 202 547 1122
Eastern Market, Washington, D.C.
Located in the heart of historic Capitol Hill, the Eastern Market is a vibrant farmers’ and artisan’s market that has become the go-to place to find delicious local farm-fresh produce and prepared foods, crafts, and more. handmade arts and crafts and community events. The market is divided into two sections: the South Hall Market offers a wide range of fresh produce, meat, poultry, cheese and dairy products, bakery and delicatessen products, herbs and flowers, while the North Hall Events Space hosts a variety of community events throughout the year.
On weekends, the market comes alive with the addition of the Weekend Farmers’ Line, where local farmers sell their fresh local produce, and the Weekend Outdoor Market, where local artists sell art, handmade crafts and antiques.
225 7th Street SE, Washington, D.C., Phone: 202-698-5253
Located in the Star and Shamrock Bar on H Street in downtown Washington DC, Bullfrog Bagels has entered the eternal competition for the best bagels in the country. However, instead of competing with Montreal or New York, baker and owner Jeremiah Cohen has created something new: a Washington DC bagel.
He says Washington’s water and air make the yeast in his bagels unique, but his baking skills probably have something to do with the success of his delicious, moist bagels. Whatever the reason, people line up in this no-frills, no-seat place to get your share classics like smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels, or the unusual bagel with poached eggs, corned beef hash, pastrami and more.
1341 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002, Phone: 202-494-2609
Hawthorne DC is a unique restaurant and bar in Washington’s trendy U Street corridor, offering five distinct bar spaces across four floors. The restaurant was opened in 2016 by Fritz Brogan and Reed Landry, serving delicious New American gastropub cuisine at brunch, happy hour and dinner. Small plates feature sea bass dishes like chunky crab bites, loaded tater tots and cheesy spring rolls, while entrees focus on comfort food like shrimp po’boy sandwiches and baked macaroni and cheese. Seating includes a rooftop bar, with a retractable roof and spectacular views of area landmarks, like the United States Capitol and Washington Monument.
1336 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009, Phone: 202-853-9194
Nestled in the rolling hills of northwest Washington, Hillwood is a beautifully preserved Georgian mansion and museum open to the public. The estate was owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post, who donated this spectacular property and all of its works of art to the public, including the largest collection of Imperial Russian art outside Russia and an unparalleled collection of 18th century decorative art. century and Fabergé eggs.
Visitors are welcome to explore and enjoy the beautifully landscaped gardens and natural woodlands that surround Hillwood, as well as a special collections research library and informal cafe. Hillwood is open six days a week and welcomes visitors from all over the world.
4155 Linnean Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., Phone: 202-686-5807
Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery is dedicated to sharing America’s rich heritage by showcasing the people who shaped and developed the nation’s culture and history. The gallery is housed in one of Washington’s oldest public buildings, a National Historic Landmark, and one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture. It shares space with the Smithsonian American Art Museum and is one of the best things to do in Washington.
The gallery’s collection features people who have shaped the country and its culture, including leaders like George Washington and Martin Luther King Jr, activists like Rosa Parks and Sequoyah, and popular culture icons like Marilyn Monroe and Babe Ruth. The Lunder Conservation Center has an innovative new space that allows visitors to peer through floor-to-ceiling windows and watch conservators at work.
8th St NW & F St NW, Washington, D.C., Phone: 202-633-8300
Fish Taco is a neighborhood taqueria that offers three locations in suburban Washington, including Cabin John, Chevy Chase, and North Bethesda. This casual chain is perfect for couples looking for a quick lunch. She uses locally sourced, seasonal ingredients to prepare Baja-inspired dishes, ordered at the restaurant’s checkout. Favorite dishes include giant burritos, beer tacos and Chihuahua cheese quesadillas, which can be ordered as vegetarian dishes or filled with adobo steak, chicken, pork carnitas, brisket barbacoa or blackened fish. Rotating draft beers are also served, along with a variety of wines, frozen margaritas, and soft drinks.
7945 Macarthur Blvd, Cabin John, MD 20818, Tel: 301-229-0900
The pub and the people
The Pub and the People is an up-and-coming Bloomingdale’s tavern that was voted D.C.’s best neighborhood bar in 2017 and 2018. The American-style tavern serves a menu of globally-influenced gastropub fare, including duck breast five-spice, black-pepper tofu and sumac-chickpea burgers, with clever dessert options like bread pudding and pub brownies topped with liqueur-infused ice cream. An extensive list of local beers is on offer, along with a selection of craft cocktails, whiskeys and fine wines. After the bar kitchen closes, hot Republic Kolaches are served as bar bites. Happy Hour specials are offered on weekdays, and Geeks Who Drink quizzes are held periodically.
1648 North Capitol St NW, Washington, DC 20001, Phone: 202-796-5820
Purple Patch is a two-level restaurant in Mt. Pleasant that was D.C.’s first Filipino restaurant when it opened in 2015. Since then, the restaurant has been named one of the best of the city by the region’s top food critic, Tom Sietsma, and landed on Tablelog’s list of the nation’s top 10 Filipino restaurants. Owner and chef Patrice Cleary offers an extensive menu of Filipino favorites for brunch, lunch and dinner, including entrees like miso chicken wings and entrees like eggplant adobo, pancit canton and rice fried alimasag. A limited selection of classic American fare is also offered, including rib steaks and house burgers served on brioche buns. Downstairs, a dimly lit bar offers a variety of beers, wines, and craft cocktails.
3155 Mt Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20010, Phone: 202-299-0022