While Valentine’s Day is over, Washington, D.C. offers plenty opportunities to be romantic year-round. Here are some of our favorite places (not bars or restaurants, but rather DESTINATIONS) for those dream dates and romance in the nation’s capital (and around it), as recommended by the BYT team.
All of Rock Creek Park is gorgeous and it will make anyone’s short list of DMV romantic hikes, but there is an urban legend that we are happy to confirm exists—the Capitol Stones. In 1958 the Capitol Building was renovated. In the process, hundreds of pieces of limestone and marble were discarded in Rock Creek Park. Today, the hidden mounds of moss-covered stones are a neoclassical wet dream, the perfect backdrop for cozy alone time with your architect or D.C. history buff. – Jacob Palalay
If you’re up for a stroll down the Mall, there are few private corners you can sneak off to. Start with the Declaration of Independence Memorial, which has a foot bridge to an island—“Signers’ Island.” A literal island in the middle of the Mall. It’s worth walking through the tourists to get there and tends to be on the private side. – Jacob Palalay
Just a quick drive away from D.C. lies a land of wine tastings with gorgeous views, and amazing food. Some of our favorites include Narmada and Pearmund. (click on the link above for more details). – Svetlana Legetic
With live music and ballroom dancing in the evenings, as well as incredible art galleries and events throughout the year, Glen Echo Park is an old amusement park that has been turned into a cultural destination that maintains some of the amusement park charm. Definitely take a ride on the carousel! – Marissa Rubenstein
Georgetown really is breathtaking and Dumbarton Oaks is proof. The historic estate makes for an excellent weekend Insta story with enough leftover pictures to #TBT for weeks. But the real treasure at Dumbarton Oaks is the gardens. Get lost under vine-covered archways and windy paths that create miles of scenic walks around the property. You can literally make out in the bamboo-shaded outdoor amphitheater where former resident and Vice President John C. Calhoun once enjoyed live music circa early 19th Century. (Unfortunately, the garden is currently undergoing renovation, but is scheduled to re-open to the public March 15, 2018). – Jacob Palalay
If you want to make out with someone and be romantic about it, take them to Gravelly Point in VA, where the planes fly real low. We don’t know what’s SO romantic about looking at planes but it really is. Takes your breath away. – Tam Sackman
Old Town is a great date – from the city, on nicer days you can even take a boat to it from Georgetown (and vice versa). But Alexandria truly shines during holiday season – the twinkling lights, the charming storefronts, the great little neighborhood restaurants – it is a movie come to life. – Svetlana Legetic
The Washington Monument is the tallest structure in town, and the view from the top is painfully unimpressive. If you’ve never been to the top before, and would like to know what this view is like, just take a map of DC, lay it on a table, sit down at that table, looking across the map. The view looks just like that. Not terribly inspiring. A few miles North and West of the Mall, the National Cathedral is the highest point by elevation in DC proper. But, while the views are breathtaking, the central bell tower is almost never open to the public. By elevation, the best spot to kiss on is the roof terrace of the Kennedy Center, looking South and West, over the Potomac. – Jonny Grave
If you’re on a date in the Jefferson Building, or you’re researching steamy 18th Century literature in the Madison building, or you’re just generally a fan of books and book history, the tunnel under Independence Avenue has a thousand corridors, most of which are open to the public, and perfect for stolen kisses. – Jonny Grave
To start, any recommendation to visit the Monuments should specify that they shine brightest at night. This is most evident at the Lincoln, which after nightfall, conjures a romanticized D.C. nostalgia that even the most jaded of Washingtonians can’t deny. Venture around back, looking out over the Arlington Memorial Bridge and National Cemetery. You won’t be able to resist the urge to pull your partner in close. – Jacob Palalay
Meridian Hill (aka Malcolm X) Park is perfect for almost anything that can be done outdoors but doesn’t need a regulation field. Picnics, frisbee, bocce, that famous drum circle … It’s a park for all reasons. And you definitely wouldn’t be the first to sneak away into its lower-level hedges for some discreet smooching before returning to your picnic blanket, or just continuing on your walk. Bonus points for doing it during a summer rain, which actually applies to a few places on this list. – Tristan Lejeune
One of Washington’s best characteristics is that around any corner, you could stumble upon a mural. Everyone has their favorite, but we have a soft spot for one particular mural that can be found at Kalorama NW & Champlain NW, called “Every Day I See Something New” by artist Cita Sadeli CHELOVE. With a cozy park bench dropped in front, it’s the perfect place to sneak off to after a night of drinking on 18th St./Adams Morgan – Jacob Palalay
While we wouldn’t recommend making out inside the National Cathedral, the gardens, however, are free game. Just outside the majestic cathedral are winding paths through quiet gardens that make for a peaceful escape. – Jacob Palalay
Pretty much any rooftop with a decent view in D.C. is good for some date action, but the East Building of the National Gallery — which became even more of a must-see after its 2016 renovations — offers what feels like a fresh-air intermission after climbing through three floors of 20th century and contemporary art. – Tristan Lejeune
Brightest Young Things is a legitimately cool and useful editorial presence in DC offering the go-to tool for audiences seeking to live their best life in Washington, online and offline. Throughout 2018, we’ve partnered with them on local area guides, recommendations, and insider tips to help both locals and tourists get the best out of the DMV from the people who know the city best!