Couples + Family

Pump Up the Romance on the Perfect Washington, D.C. Date Night

For any couple looking for a romantic evening in Washington, D.C., it’s hard to top a stroll through capital city’s monuments, lit up like beacons. As for how to take them in, the options are bountiful, including bicycle, trolley, Segway and more.

Here’s how to craft your very own couple’s tour.

Hold hands on the trolley

One of the quaintest means of getting around town departs from Union Station.

The Old Town Trolley Monuments by Moonlight Tour takes riders through memorials to noted historical moments and individuals: Iwo Jima, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President Abraham Lincoln, Vietnam veterans, the Korean War and Martin Luther King, Jr. Start times vary by date, so be sure to check the schedule before you head out.

Roll with your sweetheart

For something a little more active, Bike and Roll offers both bicycle and Segway tours.

Try the “Monuments @ Nite Bike Tour.” This three-hour bike tour covers four miles (6.4 km) of historical sights, including the National Mall and Potomac Tidal Basin, as well as memorials to World War II, President Thomas Jefferson, President Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Find some private time

dc date ideas
Wheel around on a pedicab tour after dark. (Photo: Reema Desai)

Don’t worry about sneaking a smooch on Nonpartisan Pedicab’s “Twilight Tour of the Monuments.” Sweethearts can dictate the duration and attractions of this tour with hourly rates starting at $84. Want to see the Washington Monument before making a beeline to the White House? No problem. The elements for the perfect evening are in your hands.

Choose your own path

Perhaps the best choice for an evening of stolen kisses, however, is a self-guided tour of the National Mall. Begin at the Lincoln Memorial and take in the breathtaking views of the Potomac River. Make wishes at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool as the Washington Monument glimmers across the water.

Next, stroll along the curving paths of Constitution Gardens, keeping an eye out for Signers’ Island — home to a memorial to the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence — accessible by a footbridge on the north side of the pond. Continue up Constitution Avenue NW, with its eye-catching views of the Washington Monument, en route to the White House.

Savor some history

After your White House-gander, dine at the Old Ebbitt Grill. Located just steps from the White House, this institution in the National Press Building (at 15th and F Streets NW) was founded in 1856 and is considered Washington’s “first-known saloon.”

Many presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Johnson, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt and Warren Harding, have sipped libations at Old Ebbitt.

The décor is a tip of the hat to Victorian saloons, with mahogany and velvet booths and four bars set in marble, brass and beveled glass.

What to order? Oysters Rockefeller followed by the Chesapeake Bay Blue Catfish, paired with a Clyde’s classic cocktail, like the Ebbitt Mojito. Don’t skip dessert — after all, there’s more walking to be done.

Enjoy drinks with a view

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Gaze at the views — and into each other’s eyes — at POV. (Photo: Reema Desai)

End the evening with panoramic views at POV, the rooftop bar at W Washington, D.C., Hotel. An elevator delivers visitors to the 11th floor, where well-dressed politicos and the public mingle. The main appeal, though, is the city-scape.

Expansive panoramas encompass not only the White House, but the Washington and Lincoln memorials. Order a signature cocktail — the Strawberry Lemonade, Tam Tam Punch and Botanist’s Spiked Tea are highly recommended — and toast the romance of the United States’ capital city.