Calvert County, Maryland
Here’s a creative way to change the scenery without jumping through hula hoops of fire. The small town of Chesapeake Beach is less than an hour away with one or two decent restaurants located at the shoreline to create the illusion of an exotic getaway. The neighboring community of North Beach (a block away) has a nice boardwalk and hosts a block party and farmer’s market every Friday at 6, complete with live entertainment and a car show. Entrance to the beach is free after 6pm on the weekends, perfect time for a sunset.
Conservatory at the United States Botanic Gardens
100 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20001
This beautiful, historic green house contains eight garden rooms among tens of thousands of feet of growing space. The building was reconstructed ten years ago and hosts several permanent exhibits throughout the year, including an elaborate annual holiday exhibit, “Season’s Greenings”, which features replicas of Washington landmarks…ALL created with plants! This exhibit celebrates the ways in which we use and enjoy plants in holiday traditions. Hair Warning: Ladies, this is a greenhouse. The relative humidity is probably a gazillion percent. Plan your hairstyles accordingly.
Great Falls Park
George Washington Memorial Parkway
McLean, VA 22101
Great Falls is the point where the Potomac River builds up speed and force over legions of steep, jagged rocks creating this beautifully jaw-dropping display of nature. It’s only about 15 miles from D.C. but the drive doesn’t even feel like it’s that far because of the amazing mansions that line George Washington Memorial Parkway on your way to the park. Entrance fees to the park are $3 per person or $5 per car and they’re good for three days! Get to the park early and reserve one of the picnic areas with a grill, which are available on a first-some first-served basis. Don’t forget to take a picture with your boo.
The Waterfront in Georgetown offers a great panoramic view of the Potomac River, best enjoyed at Sunset during warm months. The restaurants that adorn the waterfront offer seasonal outdoor seating and a really long boardwalk. REALLY impress her if you ferry on over to Alexandria for just $8 one way, then get AMAZING deep dish pizza at Bugsy’s Pizza Restaurant in Old Town (111 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314) .
Tidal Basin Paddle Boats
Tidal Basin, SW
West Potomac Park has over 1,600 Cherry Blossom trees, creating the perfect backdrop for a relaxing ride across the Tidal Basin in early April…with a boo. The park is adjacent to several monuments, including the Washington Monument and the Lincoln, Jefferson and World War II memorials, many of which you can see as you paddle across. Tidal Basin paddle boats are available for rent on the east side of the basin for $10 per hour for a two passenger boat (a safe window of time for a first date). If things go well, grab a bite at the concessions and find a bench along the river for more!