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Romantic Guide to Washington DC

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Washington, DC, the US capital, is known more as a political powerhouse than as a romantic getaway, but the city has plenty to offer couples. The charming spots on this list will spice up your DC visit with a little romance.

Good for
  • Couples
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Like a Local

11 Places

6 City Tips

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Map

11 Places

National Gallery of Art - Sculpture Garden

Art Galleries, Parks

Meridian Hill Park

Parks

Teaism Dupont Circle

Restaurants

Ching Ching Cha

Restaurants

Georgetown Cupcake

Restaurants

Local 16

Restaurants

Busboys and Poets

Restaurants

Qualia Coffee

Restaurants

Wonderland Ballroom

Restaurants

Tidal Basin

Bodies of Water

Smithsonian Institution Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Art Museums

Ayako E's City Tips

  • Tipping is expected. When you eat out, add 18-20%.
  • For a taxi ride, 10-15% is the usual tip amount. You can round up the fare to the next dollar, or give a bit more if you're happy with the service.
  • DC Metro is a convenient way to get around most parts of the city. Note that fares differ depending on whether you are traveling at peak or off-peak times.
  • Most of DC is very walkable.
  • To ride DC Metro, you can load a farecard with money, or order a "SmarTrip" card, which deducts per ride or comes with 1- or 7-day unlimited travel (order in advance of your trip).
  • You can sign up for a 1- or 3-day "Capital Bikeshare" membership, which allows you to take out bikes from stations around the city. The first half hour of each ride is free.
  • National Gallery of Art - Sculpture Garden
    Art Galleries, Parks
    See more photos
    Ayako E Says:

    The Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art is a beautiful outdoor space — perfect for a short stroll, a picnic on a sunny day, and taking some great photos. The fountain area is a nice spot to cool down and watch people in the summer, and during the winter months this area is an ice skating rink.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The "Jazz in the Park" outdoor concert series, which runs every Friday evening during the summer, is a great way to kick off the weekend.
    • The gallery and garden are located close to the Archives Metro stop.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #51 of 500 things to do in Washington DC
    • Not too much to see here 15/06/2022
    • Oh, so wonderful! 01/05/2022
    • National Gallery of Art - Sculpture Garden
    Address:
    Constitution Ave NW & 7th Street
    National Gallery of Art
    Washington DC, DC 20408
    Phone:
    +1 202-289-3360
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Other:
  • Meridian Hill Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    Ayako E Says:

    Situated near the Adams Morgan area, Meridian Hill Park resembles the grounds of a European villa, with a reflecting pool, a lovely terrace, and even a statue of Dante. On the open lawn, you'll find lots of people relaxing, picnicking, reading, playing music, or even napping; and the cascading fountain on the southern side of the park is a great place for quiet walks.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • You can walk from the U Street (southern end of the park) or Columbia Heights (north) Metro stop.
    • Visit on a Sunday, and you're likely to catch the drum circle, a gathering of local musicians and dancers.
    • During the summer, there are usually free yoga classes in the park. Do a search for the schedule before you visit.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #167 of 500 things to do in Washington DC
    • Under construction but has potential 13/09/2022
    • Don’t go to this park!!! 29/09/2021
    • Meridian Hill Park
    Address:
    16th & Euclid St Northwest
    Washington DC, DC 20009
    Phone:
    +1 202-282-1063
    Other:
  • Teaism Dupont Circle
    Restaurants (Indian, Asian, Thai, Fusion, Soups)
    See more photos
    Ayako E Says:

    Teaism is a health-conscious local chain (with four locations in DC) that serves Japanese and Asian-inspired food alongside an assortment of teas. The restaurants all have a calm, inviting atmosphere, and offer lots of healthy and tasty options, including vegetarian and vegan items, desserts, and afternoon tea.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • The Lafayette Park location is a nice option, with a large basement space and an indoor koi-pond.
    • Teaism's tea leaves and tea-related items make great gifts/souvenirs.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #338 of 2,372 restaurants in Washington DC
    • Recommend 14/08/2022
    • Oasis where everyone is welcome as family 06/06/2020
    • Teaism Dupont Circle
    Address:
    2009 R St NW
    Washington DC, DC 20009-1011
    Phone:
    +1 202-667-3827
    Price range:
    US$13 - US$20
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    11:00 am - 8:00 pm
    Other:
  • Ching Ching Cha
    Restaurants (Asian, Chinese)
    See more photos
    Ayako E Says:

    To find some peace and quiet in the tranquil setting of a traditional Chinese tea house, head to Ching Ching CHA in Georgetown. You can choose from a wide variety of authentic teas (green, black, and white, with a variety of decaf options) and learn from the knowledgeable staff about the art of tea. There are also simple meals and snacks available.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • The tea house sells a lot of teas and teaware, which make for great souvenirs.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #382 of 2,372 restaurants in Washington DC
    • Great spot for conversation 25/04/2022
    • Rare teas and freshly prepared food 27/03/2022
    • Ching Ching Cha
    Address:
    1063 Wisconsin Ave NW
    Ste B
    Washington DC, DC 20007-3605
    Phone:
    +1 202-333-8288
    Price range:
    US$10 - US$99
    Hours:
    Thu - Mon
    11:00 am - 7:00 pm
    Other:
  • Georgetown Cupcake
    Restaurants (Fast food)
    See more photos
    Ayako E Says:

    The wildly successful Georgetown Cupcake, known partly for its reality series fame, offers an assortment of really pretty and delicious cupcakes, with classic flavors as well as daily and seasonal specials. If you like sweets, Georgetown Cupcake is a must-stop spot in the Georgetown area — and as long as you manage to avoid long lines, it'll be a great addition to your romantic holiday in DC.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    Tips
    • If you really want to avoid the lines, you can do pick-up or delivery (minimum one dozen cupcakes), which you need to request by 5pm the day prior.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #150 of 2,372 restaurants in Washington DC
    • Great cupcakes and great people 17/09/2022
    • Poor service 20/07/2022
    • Georgetown Cupcake
    Address:
    3301 M St NW
    Washington DC, DC 20007-3514
    Phone:
    +1 202-333-8448
    Price range:
    US$2 - US$29
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 am - 7:00 pm
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Other:
  • Local 16
    Restaurants (American, Bar, Mediterranean, Contemporary, Pub)
    See more photos
    Ayako E Says:

    Whether you're looking for a nice brunch place or a happy hour spot, Local 16 is a great option in the U Street Corridor neighborhood. The rooftop deck, where you can dine looking out over the city, is especially lovely.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Brunch is available on Saturdays and Sundays, and the restaurant can also accommodate larger groups with reservations.
    • At brunch, you get unlimited drinks (mimosas, bellinis, beer, or bloody marys), and most of menu items are also pretty affordable.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 restaurants in
    • Quantity Not Quality 23/01/2020
    • Brasil meets Afghanistan : Fuel for dancing 07/07/2019
    • Local 16
    Address:
    1602 U St NW
    Washington DC, DC 20009-6210
    Phone:
    +1 202-265-2828
    Price range:
    US$20 - US$35
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 am - 4:00 am
    Tue - Thu
    5:00 pm - 2:00 am
    Fri
    5:00 pm - 3:00 am
    Sat
    11:00 am - 3:00 am
    Other:
  • Busboys and Poets
    Restaurants (American, Bar)
    See more photos
    Ayako E Says:

    Busboys and Poets is a fun local chain of cozy cafe/restaurants with little bookstores attached. All offer great coffee and a nice selection of casual dining items, including many creative and delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • The various locations often host open mic nights, readings, and other events, which are a great way to get the "local experience."
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #69 of 2,372 restaurants in Washington DC
    • I liked their breakfast 13/09/2022
    • Ideal for a family 23/08/2022
    • Busboys and Poets
    Address:
    2021 14th St NW
    Washington DC, DC 20009-4436
    Phone:
    +1 202-387-7638
    Price range:
    US$6 - US$22
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    7:00 am - 12:00 am
    Sat - Sun
    8:00 am - 12:00 am
    Other:
  • Qualia Coffee
    Restaurants (Cafe)
    Ayako E Says:

    Qualia definitely qualifies as one of, if not THE, best coffee shops in DC. Here, the freshly roasted coffee is brewed with care, and you can enjoy it in a lovely, relaxing atmosphere surrounded by fellow coffee lovers. The Georgia Ave/Petsworth area may be a little bit off-the-beaten-path, but Qualia is well worth the trip.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • In the summer, try Qualia's amazing iced latte, a delicious way to cool down!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1,014 of 2,372 restaurants in Washington DC
    • Great place for quick grab'n'go 25/01/2019
    • Great Coffee Selection! 17/04/2018
    • Qualia Coffee
    Address:
    3911 Georgia Ave NW
    Inside Commonwealth Cantina
    Washington DC, DC 20011-5860
    Phone:
    +1 202-599-1325
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    7:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Sat - Sun
    8:00 am - 3:00 pm
    Other:
  • Wonderland Ballroom
    Restaurants (American, Bar, Pub)
    See more photos
    Ayako E Says:

    For a fun evening in a relaxed atmosphere, head to Wonderland Ballroom in the Columbia Heights area. This neighborhood bar has a beer garden feel, with a good selection of beers and an outside patio area with long picnic benches.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • There is also a bar food menu with burgers, snacks, and brunch items.
    • There are some veggie and vegan dishes, but these aren't always available.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1,257 of 2,372 restaurants in Washington DC
    • Fun neighborhood bar 24/08/2018
    • Good atmosphere 18/07/2018
    • Wonderland Ballroom
    Address:
    1101 Kenyon St NW
    Washington DC, DC 20010-2419
    Price range:
    US$10 - US$15
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 am - 2:00 am
    Mon - Thu
    5:00 pm - 2:00 am
    Fri
    4:00 pm - 3:00 am
    Sat
    11:00 am - 3:00 am
    Other:
  • Tidal Basin
    Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    Ayako E Says:

    Home to the famous cherry blossom festival, the Tidal Basin area is beautiful, especially in spring. Many of the monuments are located around the Tidal Basin as well, making it a nice place for strolls, bike rides, picnics, people-watching, and, of course, for enjoying the amazing views.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • You can also enjoy the views on the water, by taking a paddle boat ride.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #26 of 500 things to do in Washington DC
    • A beautiful walk 21/08/2022
    • Beautiful area 31/07/2022
    • Tidal Basin
    Address:
    E Basin Drive NW
    Ohio Drive NW
    Washington DC, DC 20003
    Other:
  • Smithsonian Institution Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Ayako E Says:

    The Freer and Sackler Galleries have a number of excellent exhibits focused on Asian and Asian-inspired art. Housed in a beautiful building next to the Smithsonian Castle, this museum has a quieter, more subtle charm than some of the other Smithsonian museums, making it a great choice for art- and culture-loving couples.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • Check out the online schedule to see if there are any concerts or special events during your visit.
    • There's no restaurant or cafe within the Freer and Sackler Galleries, so plan to make your lunch/coffee stop elsewhere in the National Mall area.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #30 of 500 things to do in Washington DC
    • Go visit 25/09/2022
    • If you like Asian art it is worth the visit 23/09/2022
    • Smithsonian Institution Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
    Address:
    1050 Independence Ave SW
    Washington DC, DC 20013
    Phone:
    +1 202-633-1000
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 am - 5:30 pm
    Other:
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