Date Ideas in Alexandria

Alexandria was recently named the Most Romantic City in the U.S, and many a romance has unfolded along our picturesque cobblestone streets and historic waterfront.

DC-area locals head to Old Town Alexandria when they want to impress a date. Just ask the Obamas who spent their anniversary at Restaurant Eve and Valentine’s Day at Vermilion. Couples throughout the region come for the cozy and chef-driven culinary scene, with romantic restaurants like La Bergerie and Bastille around every corner. Washingtonian magazine agrees, naming Alexandria “The Best Place For a First Date.”

Whether it’s your first date or your big anniversary, Alexandria has endless date possibilities for everyone from outdoor enthusiasts to history lovers. To help you impress that special someone, here’s our list of date ideas you might not have thought about.

Date Ideas With Stunning Views

View from Woodrow Wilson Bridge_flickr MrTinDCView  of Alexandria and the Washington Monuments from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge
Image Credit: flickr user Mr.TinDC

Simple dates with stunning views can be the most impressive dates of all, and Alexandria has some pretty extraordinary viewpoints.

Get some perspective on top of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, by far the highest point in Alexandria, to look out at the DC Monuments and the Potomac River. If you’d rather be on the river than above it, take the romantic Washington by Water Monuments Cruise from Alexandria to the DC monuments.

You can also bike or walk across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge for breathtaking views of Alexandria and Washington, DC, then grab dinner at Southside 815

Daingerfield Island is a beautiful place to watch boats or birdwatch at the marina and grab dinner or brunch at Indigo Landing. You can also watch the planes as they land at Reagan National Airport.

Immersive Date Experiences

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Image Credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria

Sometimes, the best dates are the ones that require diving head first into an immersive experience. In Alexandria, Trip Advisor’s #1 rated attraction is Escape Room Live, a real-life exit game experience that’s sure to bring excitement to your date.

Foodies will love the Society Fair Demo Kitchen, an inter-engaging, vibrant four-course food and wine dinner, or DC Metro Food Tours offered in Old Town and Del Ray. You can skip right to the drinks for a tour and tasting at America’s Best Small Brewery, Port City Brewing Company, right here in Alexandria. Or try Wine & Design for a creative date night.

My personal favorite? The Medieval Madness show at John Strongbow’s Tavern is unlike anything you’ve ever seen and will definitely be a memorable experience.

Date Ideas for Outdoor Enthusiasts 

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Image Credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria

Biking the Mount Vernon Trail along the Potomac River is a beautiful way to spend a day with a date, taking breaks for snacks and stolen kisses at waterfront parks along the way. If you don’t want to bike or walk too far, Jones Point Lighthouse is a gorgeous backdrop for a romantic stroll or picnic.

Bikers who love beer can make a date out of Port City Brewing Company’s monthly Pedals N’ Pints event, which starts with donuts and coffee and ends with BBQ and beer—sorry, my mouth was watering so much I almost forgot about the bike ride in between. 

For a rainy day activity, the Sportrock Climbing Center is a great place to get active for beginners and experts alike!

Date Ideas for Arts & Music Lovers

Band_1_Del_Ray_CREDIT_R_Kennedy_for_ACVA_720x497_72_RGBImage Credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria

Alexandria’s vibrant arts scene offers endless opportunities when it comes to planning a date. Explore the Torpedo Factory Art Center‘s open artist studios or one of Old Town’s many art galleries, or head to Del Ray to check out the Del Ray Artisans

Music lovers will find street performers along the waterfront, and, if you play your cards right, you could even get one of them to serenade your date for the ultimate unforgettable experience. There’s also live music around every corner on King Street at spots like waterfront restaurant Blackwall Hitch.

Then, catch a show at the legendary Birchmere music hall to see some of the greatest names in rock, jazz, folk and country. You can also see a play at the Little Theater of Alexandria or MetroStage, or take in a performance at the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra.

Date Ideas on a Budget

Waterfront-couple-Homepage-header_720x472_72_RGBImage Credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria

We know you don’t want to break the bank (or any hearts) on a date, and the picturesque backdrop of our city is the perfect place to take a date on a budget without sacrificing the romance.

On First Thursdays in Del Ray, you and your date can stroll the free outdoor street festival with live music, then grab a bite at Stomping Ground or Holy Cow. Top the date off with some Wisconsin-style custard at local favorite The Dairy Godmother.

In Old Town, you can spend the day on one of our many free self-guided tours through cobblestone and brick-lined streets or check out the Torpedo Factory Art Center to watch art in progress with over 80 open artist studios. The Torpedo Factory also hosts Second Thursday Art Night, a free after-hours event that’s perfectly paired with date night specials at Magnolia’s and La Bergerie. Or, you can pack your own picnic and lay out a blanket at one of Alexandria’s waterfront parks. 

Date Ideas for History Lovers

S Marcella_Mercy Street Couple_Alexandria VAImage Credit: Sarah Marcella Photography

History lovers can find the perfect date ideas in Alexandria, including the Key to the City museum pass, which provides admission to many of the Alexandria museums including the Market Square Museums Carlyle House, the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary and Gadsby’s Tavern. Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site is the most well preserved of all the Union forts from the Civil War and is a great place to picnic amidst rich history.

One of my favorite date ideas is Bike and Boat to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. Spend the morning biking to Mount Vernon, then spend the day exploring the house, the grounds and the gardens before hopping on a boat ride back to Alexandria. 

Bonus: Sweet Spots

What better way to put a cherry on top of the perfect date than with dessert? Alexandria is home to some spectacular sweet spots, and for date night I’d recommend Casa Rosada Artisan Gelato, Whim Pop for healthy, cool treats, and Dolci Gelati for classic gelato. 

For more information on date ideas in Alexandria, VA, click here.

Header image credit: W. Connett  for Visit Alexandria