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32 Romantic Spots in Washington, DC

Couple at Jefferson Memorial

Arched bridges, waterside walks and parks all add up to one seriously romantic city.

There’s no denying that DC is a romantic city. It’s built on not one, but two rivers, the Potomac and Anacostia, and regularly ranks atop the most walkable cities. What does all that mean? There’s endless possibilities for romantic strolls in this 68-square-mile city with arched bridges and water all around.

Parisian-born architect Pierre L’Enfant laid out the plans for the city with plenty of public parks and spaces to be enjoyed by all.

Add in the architecture and the landmarks on the National Mall, plus the cherry blossoms, and now it’s all coming together. DC really is a capital of romance.

Want to share the perfect sunset? Take your pick at the Washington Monument, Kennedy Center Terrace or the Washington Harbour. How about a cruise down the Potomac at moonlight?

The romantic possibilities in DC are endless. Check ‘em out below.

Get in sync with your partner as you pedal a Tidal Basin paddle boat and cruise by the Jefferson Memorial and cherry blossom trees.

By Katie Warren

Back on dry land, the Tidal Basin offers a serene setting for you and yours. You’ll also have direct access to the Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials.

By Mariana Oliveira

For some QT, grab a seat on the National Mall and take in the world around you.

By William Hereford

Drop some knowledge on your honey at the Watergate Steps, which look out over the Potomac River. These steps were first created as a way to welcome foreign dignitaries and heads of state, and now they welcome in-the-know romantics.

The Lincoln Memorial is breathtaking at night. Lead your sweetheart up the stairs for a moment that will surely go down in history.

By Victoria Pickering

A date night at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a must, but be sure to step out during intermission and admire the dazzling cityscape from the the wrap-around terrace. Or you can also keep the Kennedy Center in your sights with a walk along the Georgetown waterfront.

Grab your mittens and your sweetie as you ice skate in the middle of the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Afterwards, make a beeline for hot chocolate and cookies at the on-site Pavilion Café. In warm weather, this rink transforms into a fountain.

Step further into the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden and you’ll come face to face with the Spanish-language version of Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture.

By Doug Sonders

DC’s lively Capitol Riverfront neighborhood features the Yards Park, which has an iconic bridge and adventure nearby, like Ice Cream Jubilee for when you’re feeling extra sweet.

By Kate Gibbs

Set up camp by the fire with your babe inside the cozy lobby of the Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C. Grab cocktails from Quadrant and settle in for a long night.

Use your one-of-a-kind charm on your date as you walk (or bike) along the C&O Canal in Georgetown. Stop off for a game of bocce or bowling at Pinstripes.

By Marquis Perkins

Watch your love grow like a tree with a trip to the National Arboretum, a 446-acre living museum brimming with gardens, cherry blossom trees, as well as the original columns of the U.S. Capitol building. One of the most romantic ways to see the Arboretum is during a full moon hike.

Walk, jog or bike with your love through the rustic expanse of 2,100 acres that comprise Rock Creek Park. The historic park also includes attractions such as Peirce Mill and The Old Stone House as well as a nature center, riding stables, tennis courts, a golf course, picnic areas and playing fields.

By W Washington, DC

The chic P.O.V. Rooftop Lounge and Terrace at the W Hotel was newly renovated last year and serves as a beacon for Cupids, Casanovas and the like. Sip some bubbly and pass the hors d’oeuvres while taking in awe-inspiring views of the National Mall and White House.

By Doug Sonders

With its luscious Impressionist masterworks by iconic artists such as Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir and Edgar Degas, it’s easy to get dreamy while spending the day at the National Gallery of Art.

Wake up with the one you love for a sunrise walk through The Washington Harbour. Sip on hot coffee and munch on fresh-baked bread from Farmers Fishers Bakers; or, if you're feeling spry, lace up a pair of ice skates and glide hand-in-hand on the Washington Harbour Ice Rink.

By Fletcher6 via Flickr

The beautiful, serene and quiet gardens at Dumbarton Oaks are just a few minutes stroll from the hustle and bustle of Georgetown proper. Chart a course through the European designed garden to locate the ornaments and inscriptions.

By Marquis Perkins

Nestled in a clearing among trees along the flank of the Mall (beyond the World War II Memorial and the Korean War Memorial) sits the elusive DC War Memorial. The domed temple serves as a romantic hideaway and is one of three sights on the National Mall where you can get married.

Take in the sweet sounds of live music with your sweetheart at the 9:30 Club on 815 V Street NW. The music venue has made DC cool since its opening in 1980, catering to national acts.

By Oblivious Dude via Flickr

The ultimate date night event is taking in a sunset together. You can’t go wrong catching the sunset near the Key Bridge, which connects Georgetown to Arlington, Va.

Sometimes, the most romantic spots are neighborhood fixtures. Plop down on a park bench at Logan Circle before a hot date on 14th Street.

If you’re looking for more of a social atmosphere, Dupont Circle is especially woo-worthy (and people-watching friendly).

By Kate Warren

Head to Eastern Market (closed Mondays) before you meet up with your boo for some surprise flowers. You can thank us later!

By Hillwood Mansion, Museum & Gardens

The expansive Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens of heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post offers select “Serene Sundays” perfect for snuggling up with your sweetie as you stroll the gardens and take in the museum’s lavish treasures.

By Derek Bruff

Visit with your love under the elegant glass canopy in the Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery.

By CityCenterDC

The atmosphere under the stringed lights in CityCenterDC’s Palmer Alley is something you can only feel when you’re here. Share a cookie or treat from Rare Sweets, or dine at any of its courtyard-facing restaurants.

By Marquis Perkins

Get out to the National Zoo and wave at nearly 400 different species of animals, including giant cats, giant pandas and great apes.

Peruse DC’s museums and pick a favorite artwork, like Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party, at The Phillips Collection, America’s first museum of modern art.

By Entertainment Cruises

DC is a river city so get out on the water and cruise under all of those romantic arches. Book an Odyssey or Spirit of Washington cruise, or for something more intimate, book with Embark, which can hold up to six people.

By Marquis Perkins

Stop by Meridian Hill Park, also known as Malcolm X Park, and marvel at the longest cascading fountain in North America. Also, keep an eye out for the Joan of Arc statue, the only equestrian statue of a woman in the city.

Rock Creek Park is a perfect place to sit, reflect - and whisper three things you love about your companion. It is also a top spot for proposals, in case you were thinking of popping the question.

By Victoria Pickering

Make a dash for the Spanish Steps, located on 22nd Street in Dupont Circle. This little lovers’ nook is a prime picnic spot and off-the-radar gem.

Alright, now that you’ve got the most romantic spots sorted out, you’ve laid the groundwork for a great date. Cap it off with dinner and a hotel stay.