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20+ Luxe Date Ideas in Washington, DC

Date Nights DC - Luxury Date Ideas in Washington, DC

Dazzle that special someone with these date-approved DC activities

The nation’s capital is quite the place to have a date night or romantic getaway. From its renowned dining scene to its majestic monuments, memorials and museums to its world-class hotels, Washington, DC has everything that a couple could want in an excursion. Read on for some of the most luxurious experiences to be enjoyed by you and your significant other in the District.

1 Take in the culinary genius of José Andrés at minibar
Take in the culinary genius of José Andrés at minibar minibar by José Andrés

Embark on a multi-course journey through the world of molecular gastronomy curated by chef José Andrés. Located in Penn Quarter, minibar is regularly booked months in advance, so make that reservation pronto – especially since the locale now possesses not one, but two Michelin stars. Good to know: José’s four other area restaurants are all Bib Gourmand selections in the same Michelin Guide.

2 Explore modern artworks at the renovated National Gallery of Art East Building

After a three-year renovation, the museum wing closest to the Capitol has added two sky-lit tower galleries, two staircases connecting all levels of the museum, a rooftop terrace with a blue rooster sculpture and, best of all, more than 500 works of art, including pieces by Alexander Calder, Barbara Kruger, Jasper Johns, Pablo Picasso and Mark Rothko. Admission is amazingly free.

3 Savor an unforgettable meal at Blue Duck Tavern
Savor an unforgettable meal at Blue Duck Tavern Blue Duck Tavern

Blue Duck Tavern, another of DC’s Michelin star-recipients, is housed inside the elegant Park Hyatt Washington (which makes for a great place to spend the night). The eatery features exquisitely prepared seasonal fare from its wood-burning oven, which is nestled inside an open kitchen. The Tavern’s shareable and delicious apple pie is the perfect conclusion to a meal.

4 Shop ‘til you drop in historic Georgetown
Shop ‘til you drop in historic Georgetown

Georgetown mixes cobblestone sidewalks, vintage homes and great dining with shopping options…lots and lots of shopping options. M Street is best known for a wide-ranging retail scene that includes such crowd-pleasers as Lilly Pulitzer and H&M and exclusive high-end designers like Billy Reid and Rag & Bone, but the neighborhood is also home to a solid selection of upscale home design stores.

5 Experience the date night trifecta of ENO Wine Bar, Bourbon Steak and Four Seasons Hotel
Experience the date night trifecta of ENO Wine Bar, Bourbon Steak and Four Seasons Hotel Four Seasons Hotel

ENO Wine Bar in Georgetown serves up wine flights, along with delicious charcuterie, cheese and chocolate pairings, making for a fantastic first stop on date night (we suggest you go for the deliciously sweet Temptation for Two deal). Then, head next door for dinner at Bourbon Steak, which features (you guessed it) amazing cuts of steak and an award-winning cocktail program. Finally, up the romance with the ValentENO package at the Four Seasons Hotel, one of the city’s most luxurious hotels.

6 Be romanticized by the wondrous art at The Phillips Collection

Couple Viewing Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party at The Phillips Collection - 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 Cezanne and Vincent van Gogh. Be sure and see Auguste Renoir's famous masterpiece, Luncheon of the Boating Party. On Feb. 2, partake in an evening celebration of all things love at Phillips After 5, complete with a "love potion cocktail" and, of course, chocolate.

7 Achieve date night bliss with dinner at Kinship

Roast Chicken en Panade at Kinship - Michelin Starred Restaurant in Washington, DC

Chef Eric Ziebold opened this hotly anticipated restaurant in the spring of 2016 to rave reviews, which led to Kinship receiving a coveted Michelin star. With a menu split into Craft, History, Ingredients and Indulgence, Ziebold takes you on a journey through cuisine. His adjacent French-themed tasting menu restaurant, Métier, also deserves consideration.

8 Navigate the winter wonderland at Washington Harbour
Navigate the winter wonderland at Washington Harbour Sam Kittner / Georgetown Business Improvement District

Most of the year, Washington Harbour in Georgetown greets visitors with a dancing fountain surrounded by restaurants. But when the cool temps settle in, the fountain transforms into prime ice skating real estate. After dark is when it’s most magical, with dozens of twinkling white snowflakes lighting up the rink. Admission is only $10 for adults, and you can grab dinner at Farmers Fishers Bakers afterwards.

9 Enjoy romance on the water with an Odyssey Cruise
Enjoy romance on the water with an Odyssey Cruise Entertainment Cruises

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.

10 Stay in style at the Willard InterContinental Washington

Willard InterContinental Washington Lobby - 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.

11 Tour the historic and beautiful mansion and garden at Tudor Place
Tour the historic and beautiful mansion and garden at Tudor Place Tudor Place Historic House & Garden

Once home to descendants of Martha Washington, the Georgetown abode that is Tudor Place is full of art, furnishings and household items from the past, adding up to more than 200 fascinating artifacts. During a tour (occur hourly Tuesday – Sunday, ending at 3 p.m.), learn stories both personal and public that stretch across two centuries, revealing insights into American labor, arts, politics and technology. The gorgeously manicured gardens feature outdoor “rooms” that are perfect for an afternoon stroll.

12 Have dinner at Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier before a show at the Kennedy Center
Have dinner at Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier before a show at the Kennedy Center Marcel's by Robert Wiedmaier

From the mind of Chef Robert Wiedmaier (winner of Chef of the Year at the 2009 RAMMYs), this fine dining establishment is a trip to France itself. Consistently noted as one of the city’s best restaurants, Marcel’s offers a three-course pre-theater menu from 5 – 6:30 p.m. daily, as well as executive car service to and from the Kennedy Center for your show (call 202-296-1166 to reserve).

13 Dine on a Michelin-approved meal at Plume, then stay at the historic Jefferson Hotel
Dine on a Michelin-approved meal at Plume, then stay at the historic Jefferson Hotel Plume

Plume received a Michelin star this past October, delighting its German-born chef, Ralf Schlegel. The classically trained chef executes European-inspired dishes to perfection, something best experienced off 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.

14 Stand next to pop culture royalty and U.S. presidents at Madame Tussauds
Stand next to pop culture royalty and U.S. presidents at Madame Tussauds Madame Tussauds Washington, DC 

Pop culture superstars surely know what luxury is all about, so why not hang with lifelike wax figures of said superstars at one of DC’s most popular museums? Visit Madame Tussauds Washington, DC and you and your sweetie can have your own fist-bumps with the wax-figure likenesses of Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, George Clooney, all of the U.S. presidents and many, many more.

15 Catch a cutting-edge play at Arena Stage
Catch a cutting-edge play at Arena Stage Maria Baranova / Arena Stage

Located along the Southwest Waterfront, Arena Stage is a state-of-the-art, Tony Award-winning theater that regularly showcases outstanding productions that frequently feature stars of screen and stage. This February, three different plays will be gracing Arena Stage during the month: Roe (through Feb. 19), Watch on the Rhine (Feb. 3 – March 5) and Intelligence (Feb. 24 – April 2).

16 Retreat to The Spa at Mandarin Oriental for sophisticated relaxation
Retreat to The Spa at Mandarin Oriental for sophisticated relaxation The Spa at Mandarin Oriental

You and your boo can indulge yourselves with a treatment (or treatments!) at The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental. The luxury hotel and spa offers a variety of services, like the Oriental Harmony massage featuring two masseuses, sure to melt your cares away. Continue the posh getaway with a stay at the hotel, featuring elegant design in a premier location that allows for splendid views of the Southwest Waterfront.

17 Discover pure elegance during an evening at CityCenterDC

@jbsankara - CityCenterDC at night - Washington, DC

Located in the heart of Penn Quarter & Chinatown, 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, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse and Mango Tree. 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.

18 Admire orchids inside the flower-strewn U.S. Botanic Garden

United States Botanic Garden - Washington, DC

Located on the National Mall, the U.S. Botanic Garden brims with beautiful flowers and plants year-round. Inside the Conservatory, you’ll find orchids and rare plants both tropical and subtropical. A quick trip to the Hirshhorn Museum means you can also view Moment, the official 2017 orchid exhibit, featuring artistic structures that will showcase the gorgeous flower with aplomb.

19 Kick back and marvel at amazing views at the POV Rooftop Lounge and Terrace
Kick back and marvel at amazing views at the POV Rooftop Lounge and Terrace POV Rooftop Lounge and Terrace

Have a glass of wine or a cocktail with your sweetheart as you relax at the W Hotel’s POV Rooftop Lounge and Terrace. The see-and-be-seen bar overlooks the White House and Washington Monument, providing unforgettable visuals that are hard to come by in the District. Private tables are available for booking if you’d like the extra bit of intimacy and of course, if you choose to stay at the W, you’re not too far from your room.

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

MLK Memorial at Night - National Mall - Washington, DC

This memorial on the National Mall is truly epic under moonlight. Any night-time stroll along the Mall will be memorable, but the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is particularly stunning, as King’s statue emerges from the Stone of Hope with words from the legendary “I Have A Dream” speech etched into its side. Reflect on the incredible accomplishments of the Civil Rights leader and share your scenic images on social media using #MyDCcool.

21 Get the mane makeover to make their jaw drop

A photo posted by sipanddrybar (@sipanddrybar) on

Pregame while you exclaim your hair has never looked so good at Sip & Dry Bar, the new blowout-bar combo inside the Hecht Warehouse Building in Ivy City. Enjoy your new luscious curls with a strawberry gin and tonic or go for the Brazilian Blowout – caipirinha included. Other beauty and makeup services are also available. Now that you’re looking so good, where to next!?

Looking for more date night recommendations? Visit our Date Nights DC page!