10 Best Things to Do for Couples in Washington DC

Washington DC’s Most Romantic Places

    Washington DC attracts travelling couples and honeymooners with its idyllic parks and lavish estates. The city may be known for its historical monuments and memorials to former leaders, but there are plenty of fun and romantic activities to enjoy with your loved one.

    Art lovers can spend hours marvelling at thousands of masterpieces by renowned artists from all over the world. The city’s diverse dining scene offers plenty of food options for any budget, from casual food markets to Michelin-starred restaurants. Check out our guide of Washington DC’s most romantic places.

    1

    A romantic bike ride around the National Mall

    Rent a bike to explore the park’s historical landmarks

    The National Mall is where you can explore Washington DC’s most iconic buildings, including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the Smithsonian museums. While you can easily explore the pedestrian-friendly park on foot, a joint bike ride offers plenty of romantic moments with your significant other. Springtime in the city brings blooming cherry trees around the Tidal Basin, while autumn (mid- to late-October) is when the monuments and memorials stand out against a backdrop of red and gold foliage.

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History
    • Photo

    photo by Shashi Bellamkonda (CC BY 2.0) modified

    2

    Go for a paddleboat ride on the Tidal Basin

    See blooming cherry trees in springtime

    The Tidal Basin is a manmade pond overlooked by many Washington landmarks, including the Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorials. The 2-mile-long pond is a popular spot for cycling and jogging all year round, but it draws a big crowd in spring as hundreds of cherry trees are in full bloom during this season. Paddleboat rides are available between March and October and cost about $18 an hour for a 2-person boat or $30 for a 4-person boat.

    Location: 1501 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo
    3

    Explore the United States Botanic Garden

    Check out the Jurassic-themed exhibit in the conservatory

    The United States Botanic Garden was founded in 1820, making it one of the oldest gardens in the country. The conservatory is home to a variety of medicinal plants, succulents, orchids, and rare flowers, and even a reconstructed landscape of ancient plant groups dating back to prehistoric times. Free talks, demonstrations, and exhibitions are available for those who want to learn more about the garden. Located in Maryland Avenue, the United States Botanic Garden is next to the US Capitol and the Library of Congress.

    Location: 100 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20001, USA

    Open: Daily from 10am to 5pm

    Phone: +1 202-225-8333

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo
    • Budget

    photo by Ingfbruno (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    4

    Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

    Enjoy a romantic stroll through the opulent mansion and landscaped gardens

    The Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens is an opulent mansion located 1.5 miles north of Rock Creek Park. It belonged to heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post back in the 19th century, who furnished this estate with Russian porcelain and religious items as well as French decorative art dating back to the 18th century. You can join a guided tour of the entire mansion, with its library, breakfast room, and pavilion being some of its most elaborately decorated rooms. Outside are 13 acres of grounds with several themed gardens, including a French Parterre and Japanese-inspired garden.

    Location: 4155 Linnean Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA

    Open: Tuesday – Sunday from 10am to 5pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 202-686-5807

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History
    • Photo
    5

    Watch a play by the Shakespeare Theatre Company

    Catch Shakespearean classics by this renowned company

    The Shakespeare Theatre Company hosts classic plays at Lansburgh Theatre and Sidney Harman Hall, both located in downtown Washington DC. Fans of William Shakespeare’s creations can enjoy classics such as Romeo & Juliet, and Twelfth Night, as well as plays by prominent playwrights such as Tennessee Williams, Oscar Wilde, and Friedrich Schiller. For 2 weeks during summertime, the Shakespeare Theatre Company offers free performances to 200 people at the Sidney Harman Hall.

    Location: Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA

    Open: Monday – Sunday from 12pm to 6pm

    Phone: +1 202-547-1122

    • Couples
    • Nightlife

    photo by Ecragg (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    6

    Enjoy an evening stroll at U Street

    Catch live jazz at this vibrant nightlife hub

    U Street, known as the birthplace of jazz legend Duke Ellington, houses some of the busiest nightclubs, jazz clubs, and theatres in Washington DC. From the internationally-acclaimed 9:30 Club to underground U Street Music Hall, there’s always a live gig happening on U Street. Even if you’re not there for drinks and music, you can find many art galleries, vintage shops, and wall murals while exploring this colourful neighbourhood.

    Location: U St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA

    • Couples
    • Nightlife
    • Single

    photo by ianakoz (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    7

    Get active at Rock Creek Park

    Join a guided trail ride at the Horse Center

    Rock Creek Park is one of the largest green expanse in Washington DC. Hiking is a popular activity as the park has more than 30 trails to suit any fitness level. The Rock Creek Park Horse Center offers daily horseback riding lessons and guided trail rides for those looking to explore the park at a leisurely pace. It’s also a popular spot for picnics, jogging, tennis, and cycling, so expect huge crowds if you’re visiting on weekends or national holidays.

    Location: Washington, DC 20008, USA

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo
    • Budget

    photo by Dion Hinchcliffe (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    8

    Explore Dupont Circle

    Check out modern paintings at The Philips Collection

    Dupont Circle is a trendy neighbourhood about a mile northwest of Lafayatte Square, in the city centre. Known as the LGBT-friendly district of Washington DC, it has a rather youthful vibe thanks to its many trendy cafés, art galleries, and boutiques. Crowds often gather at the marble fountain in Dupont Circle for a variety of events, such as chess matches and street performances. Art lovers can visit The Phillips Collection, which displays over 4,000 modern artworks by renowned French and American artists.

    Location: Dupont Circle, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC, USA

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo
    9

    Check out rare artwork at the National Gallery of Art

    Go for a walk in the Sculpture Garden

    The National Gallery of Art displays more 140,000 artwork from Europe and America from different time periods. Its West and East Buildings are connected by an underground concourse that’s fitted with Leo Villareal’s Multiverse installation, where you can see over 41,000 LED nodes creating hypnotic trailing lights and abstract sculptures. A highlight here is the Sculpture Garden, which has a large fountain that functions as an ice rink during winter. Admission to the National Gallery of Art is free all year round.

    Location: 6th & Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20565, USA

    Open: Monday – Saturday from 10am to 5pm, Sunday from 11am to 6pm

    Phone: +1 202-737-4215

    • Couples
    • History
    • Budget
    10

    End the day with a romantic dinner

    Reserve a table at Plume, a fine-dining restaurant at The Jefferson

    Washington DC is teeming with Michelin-starred restaurants, which are great places to end the day on a romantic note. One of the city’s top fine-dining spot is the Michelin-starred Plume at The Jefferson hotel. Choose a cosy spot by the fireplace and enjoy its prix-fixe menu of European fare. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list of 1,300 labels, including 50 vintages and the largest collection of Maideira wines in the USA.

    Location: 1200 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA

    Open: Tuesday – Saturday from 5.30pm to 9pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +1 202-448-2300

    • Couples
    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • Luxury
    Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveller

    Start planning your trip