Valentine’s Day is approaching, but unprepared couples at the George Washington University don’t need to scramble for ideas—Washington, D.C., has a lot of romance to offer. If you’re up for a little more effort than Netflix and chill, there are plenty of dreamy spots on and near campus. Single this year? Don't let that stop you. Most of these options are just as fun (if not more) with friends.
Treat them to a classic dinner date.
Acclaimed restaurants crowd Foggy Bottom and its environs, including KAZ Sushi Bistro (1915 I St., NW), Rasika (1190 New Hampshire Ave., NW), Pisco y Nazca (1823 L St., NW), the Michelin-starred Blue Duck Tavern (1201 24th St., NW) and the extremely swanky Marcel’s (1301 Pennsylvania Ave., NW). If you’re not so fancy, split a pizza and people-watch at HomeSlyce (2121 K St., NW). Or just get yourselves Chipotle (2000 Pennsylvania Ave.) and go to bed at 8:30 p.m. We’re not judging you.
Gaze over the water.
A chilly walk is a great excuse to snuggle. Wander under the trees in Rock Creek Park or along the Potomac near the Kennedy Center at the zero-mile marker of the C&O Canal Towpath (2900 Virginia Ave., NW) or the Georgetown Waterfront (3303 Water St., NW). It’ll probably be too cold for a picnic, but D.C. weather can be unpredictable in February—if the sun comes out, grab a picnic from your favorite grab-and-go spot and take it along.
With its cozy red-brick sidewalks and classic architecture, this nearby neighborhood is a date night staple for a reason. Once you’ve meandered along the dreamy C&O Canal towpath for a while, stop at Baked & Wired (1052 Thomas Jefferson St., NW) to warm up with a coffee and pastry.
Wander a gallery.
Art lovers who relish quiet and beauty can’t do better than the Phillips Collection (1600 21st St., NW), where you can admire a Georgia O’Keeffe together or take a moment to breathe in the Rothko Room. (Admission is $20 with student ID.) Just across from the White House is the American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery (1661 Pennsylvania Ave., NW), a packed treasure house dedicated to American craft. Current exhibition “This Present Moment” features the subversive utopian visions of marginalized artists, which some people find very romantic.
Try a speakeasy.
If you and your boo are a little old-school (and over 21, obviously), make a secret rendezvous with old-school elegance at one of D.C.’s hidden bars. The Mirror (1413 K St., NW), The Gibson (2009 14th St., NW) and Allegory (1201 K St., NW) all offer style and privacy—but you’ll have to figure out the secret entries on your own. Our lips are sealed.
While not actually speakeasies, Off the Record (800 16th St., NW) and Hotel Lombardy’s Venetian Room (2019 Pennsylvania Ave., NW) are Foggy Bottom hotel bars with a similar cozy, old-world ambience.
Already completed all your 1000-piece puzzles? Escape the Room (1720 I St., NW) offers an immersive alternative to game night with a variety of themed adventures for couples and groups to solve together. Tickets run about $40 per person.
Destress together at Eye Street Massage Therapy (1634 I St., NW), beloved by students for the free chair massages they offer annually during finals and midterms. Like we said earlier, don’t let relationship status limit you—all GW students get a discount with valid ID.
Go to the Mall.
It’s a little farther afield, but the city’s central green space hosts all kinds of great date sites, including the many museums of the Smithsonian Institution. You don’t need to have put a ring on it to enjoy the jaw-dropping gems on display at the Natural History Museum (10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW), while couples with a thirst for knowledge can learn about the original inhabitants of what is now the D.C. area at the American Indian Museum (Fourth St. & Independence Ave., NW).
The National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden is the site of a popular seasonal ice skating rink—a classic date spot—and there’s plenty more to explore once the skates are off. Pieces by Marc Chagall, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder and other masters line the paths, and the Hirshhorn Museum (Independence Ave. & 7th St., SW) boasts its own sculpture garden just a short walk away.
At the southeast corner of the Mall is the United States Botanical Garden (100 Maryland Ave., SW), which remains a lush hidden pocket of springtime whatever the weather may be outside. If your honey really loves flowers, postpone your visit a few days and take them to the garden’s Annual Orchid Show once it opens Feb. 17.