Our nation’s capital is a wonderful place to spend Valentine’s Day 2019 for any number of reasons.
From world-class dining and theatre to enchanting museums and charming moonlit walks, there are tons of romantic things to do in Washington, D.C.
If you’re looking for romantic things to do in Washington, D.C., for Valentine’s Day 2019 or a romantic event any time of year, check out our a few of our suggested activities.
Regular admission to a number of these activities are included on the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.
Choose as you go from popular attractions and save up to 47% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.
Please note, some of these special events may be separately ticketed and not included on the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.
See the Skyline from Above
For those of you who love seeing cityscapes from afar, the Capital Wheel is an excellent option.
This 180-foot tall observation deck offers perfect opportunities to see some of the most iconic elements of the Washington, D.C. skyline, like the Washington Monument, the Capitol Building, downtown Alexandria, and large parts of the Potomac River.
Plus, you can enjoy tasty snacks by Wolfgang Puck during your ride.
Getting In: Admission to the Capital Wheel is available with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.
Explore Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
Located adjacent to Rock Creek Park in Northwest D.C., the Hillwood Estate was home to Marjorie Merriweather Post, a local woman whose contributions to art, music, and conservation in D.C. cannot be underestimated.
Explore her museum, filled with a wide selection of objects she collected like decorative arts, paintings, jewelry, historic dress, and much more. You can also roam the estate itself, and see beautifully preserved rooms that showcase the luxe life in the early twentieth century.
Don’t forget about the gardens — probably the most romantic part of the whole experience. While February won’t see much in the way of outdoor flowers, the French Parterre is still lovely, as is the Japanese-style Garden.
Getting In: Admission to the Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens is available with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.
Tour Mount Vernon
If you’re a history buff, then a visit to George Washington’s Mount Vernon is an ideal way to spend a fun and romantic afternoon.
George and Martha’s love was notable, after all, and you can see it in the beautiful touches that adorn the house and estate.
Getting In: Admission to George Washington’s Mount Vernon is available with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.
Cruise the Potomac
What’s more romantic than a lovely river cruise? The Potomac provides some scenic views on both the D.C. and Virginia sides, especially around Georgetown and Alexandria.
Choose from three popular tours: one of which focuses on the newly-developed Wharf District, one which features the inimitable monuments, and a third which is essentially a water taxi. Either of the first two would be a great romantic option!
Getting In: Admission to Potomac Riverboat Company Cruise is available with the Washington DC Explorer Pass.
Check Out New Museums
If you’re a big culture buff, then there are plenty of great museum options for a lovely afternoon date.
Check out the informative and fascinating Newseum, for example, which is perfect for history lovers. Especially in a time where the news media has taken on unprecedented importance, a visit to this museum is even more valuable.
If you love nature and culture in equal amounts, then the National Geographic Museum would be a great option. They feature plenty of fascinating special and permanent exhibitions on a wide variety of subjects.
Stroll the National Mall
Winter is a lovely time to explore the National Mall. When it’s snow-covered, it’s truly beautiful, providing great vistas of monuments and museums, against a bright blue sky.
When the snow’s melted (which is a distinct chance in February), it’s a nice break from the crowds you’d see in the spring and summer months.
If you want to really kick up the romance a notch, take a stroll at night when places like the Lincoln Memorial are illuminated, casting a glow on the Reflecting Pool below.
If you’re looking for romance in the spring or summer months, then a bike ride around the National Mall and the Tidal Basin is another fun option!
Getting In: A DC Bike Rental is available with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.
Combine Theatre and Art with a Visit to Madame Tussauds
There are few things in D.C. as delightfully fun as Madame Tussauds, for couples and for whole families.
Whether you’re into it for the artistic aspects, or just love the chance to “meet” your favorite celebrities, historical or contemporary, a visit here is a great opportunity to enjoy some quality time with your loved one.
It’s especially perfect for those couples whose favorite activities involve Netflix and popcorn!
Getting In: Admission to Madame Tussauds is available with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.
Explore the City
If you’re not familiar with Washington, D.C., you should know that it’s a very walkable city. There are dozens of distinct neighborhoods with their own unique characters, many of which are connected through a pleasant city walk.
Those of you who enjoy a relaxing stroll through urban spaces will want to take advantage of some DC walking tour options, including those with historical, architectural, or culture focus.
Getting In: Walking tours of DC are available with with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.
Enjoy a Romantic Meal
There’s nothing wrong with a good old standby idea like a romantic dinner.
Fortunately for you DC-dwellers and visitors this Valentine’s, the District is chock-full of world-class restaurants that span the gamut from Senatorial splendor to casual but delicious new American cuisine.
Some great neighborhoods to search for your favorite new date night restaurant include Georgetown (an old classic), Chinatown (full of fun and new things), Penn Quarter (for inventive and traditional alike), and the newest up and coming area of Shaw.
Attend a Theatrical Performance
D.C. is also huge on the theatre scene, with amazing performances ranging from opera and ballet to indie theatre and innovative dance.
Take in a show at the Kennedy Center if you’re really looking to do it up big – this year around Valentine’s Day they’re performing a few great options Shear Madness (for some comedic relief), the unforgettable National Symphony Orchestra performing Berlioz’s “Romeo & Juliet,” and the gorgeous National Ballet of China performing “Raise the Red Lantern.”
If you are looking to score some tickets for Valentine’s Day, be sure to purchase them in advance, as this is also a popular date night idea with locals.
Getting In: Theater tickets are not included with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.
Explore Art Museums
If there’s one thing D.C. has no shortage of, it’s museums. From the grand National Gallery of Art to the tiny Corcoran, there are a plethora of options for you to choose from.
The Smithsonian also offers the Freer and Sackler Galleries, which combine art and history.
If you’re more interested in modern art, the Hirschorn is also another great option, complete with a sculpture garden that makes for romantic strolling in the evenings.
Getting In: Admission to Smithsonian Museums is free.
Remember to Save on Attraction Admission
So there you have it. Our list of some romantic things to do in the Washington DC, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
So whether you love the high romance and classic vibes of dinner and a show or prefer something less traditional like an art date or an historical estate tour, there’s something romantic for you in D.C.
Remember, some of these great options are included on the Washington DC Explorer Pass®, where you can save up to 40% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.
Please note, the special events taking place at some of these attractions may be separately ticketed and not included with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.