Eat, Drink and Shop at Officina1120 Maine Avenue Southwest, Washington, DC 20024, USA
A new development on D.C.’s Southwest Waterfront emerged at the end of 2018, housed inside a single three-story space. Officina is an all-day café, Italian restaurant (run by Chef Nicholas Stefanelli, who earned a Michelin star at Masseria), Amari bar for apertifs and digestifs, and one-stop butcher, pasta maker, and wine shop. It’s a solid option for a pit stop or as a dedicated dining destination.
Drink and Dance at Quadrant1150 22nd Street Northwest, Washington D.C., DC 20037, USA
From the moment it opened in 2015, Quadrant—a cocktail lounge located in The Ritz-Carlton—was one of the buzziest bars in the city. The cocktail menu itself is a work of art, but there’s more than just sophisticated sipping with small plates that hit all the high notes: steak, chops, seafood, and desserts. What’s more, the space hosts a live Flamenco guitarist on Friday nights, and a DJ on Saturdays.
Take In a Show (or the View) at The Kennedy Center2700 F Street Northwest, Washington D.C., DC 20566, USA
Located on the Potomac River adjacent to the Watergate complex, this performing arts center hosts theater, dance, ballet, concerts, comedy acts and more with nearly 3,500 performances a year. If you’re planning a trip, consider the guided tour (which concludes with a spectacular 360-degree view of the nation’s capital from the roof terrace) and make reservations for a meal at the Roof Terrace Restaurant.
Feast at the Swanky 1789 Restaurant1226 36th Street Northwest, Washington D.C., DC 20007, USA
Long considered a timeless, iconic restaurant, this intimate and elegant Georgetown space is filled with antiques—which makes the modern American menu all the more surprising and appreciated. There’s a full tasting menu ($105 per person, $165 with wine pairings), copious hot and cold appetizers (foie gras, lobster, white truffle mushroom bisque), and rich proteins (roasted duck breast, beef tenderloin, and swordfish, scallop, and shrimp stew, among others). Note: It’s only open for dinner and isn’t cheap, but weren’t you looking for something memorable?
Soak Up the Wine List at Plume at the Jefferson Hotel1200 16th St NW, Washington D.C., DC 20036, USA
This is regal. While your eye may first spot the white tablecloths and chandeliers, you’ll soon see other refinements, such as a cushioned stool for a madam’s purse and tableside service for dishes like king salmon poached in hot beeswax. Dessert, wisely, makes up ⅓ of the menu, and features such creative indulgences as sea-salt caramel coffee tart with blood orange, pomegranate and bourbon ice cream. Not surprisingly, Plume holds a Michelin star.
Stroll Through Meridian Hill Park16th Street & W Street NW, Washington, D.C.
Few parks in the US boast as rich of a history in architectural and landscape design as Meridian Hill, which began as a mansion in 1819 (and was once the home of President John Quincy Adams) and evolved into a public park—one in which Union troops camped during the Civil War. Today, visitors strolling through the grounds can admire the huge cascading fountain, statues of Joan of Arc and Dante, and the James Buchanan Memorial. In 1994, the 12-acre park was designated a National Historic Landmark—scout it out in advance so you know exactly where you want to pop the question.
Get Lost in the National Cathedral’s Bishop’s Garden3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington D.C., DC 20016, USA
Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., the son of the co-designer behind New York’s Central Park and a renowned landscape architect in his own right, left his mark on D.C. with these 59-acres grounds. They’re not your usual mega-gardens, either: most tourists stick to the Gothic architecture of the Washington National Cathedral, which leaves you and your sweetie to explore the park’s herbs and fruit trees, bearded irises, various stone paths, and a cool ivy-covered limestone archway. If you get lost, well, that’ll just add to the memory.
Stop for Photos at Lafayette Park800 16th Street Northwest, Washington D.C., DC 20006, USA
Also known as Presidents Park, this seven-acre space may look familiar as it’s often host to public protests, special events, and tourists ambling for photographs of the White House across the way. While you could tour the park to admire its celebrated statues of war heroes, President Andrew Jackson, and others, you could also end the walk with a meal at the Lafayette restaurant inside The Hay-Adams, which overlooks Lafayette Square and the White House.