Honeymoon in Washington, DC
Honeymooning in the nation’s capital is a wonderful option for couples desiring a city that’s easy to get to in the United States, with many hotel options and great outdoor activities. It’s also full of history, from museums and monuments to its distinct neighborhoods.
The capital city is on the east coast of the United States. It is nestled between Maryland and Virginia, on the Potomac River. Though it’s small, at less than 70 square miles, its population is more than Wyoming or Vermont.
DC is a relatively flat city, so you don’t need to prepare to hike up hills like San Francisco. But you and your spouse should go prepared with comfortable walking shoes!
Washington, DC is in the Eastern Standard Time zone (EST) and observes daylight savings time. If it is 9 am in Los Angeles, it is noon in DC.
While the nation continues to deal with COVID-19 and cities open back up, you must still beware of closures in cities across America. You can travel to DC, but it’s essential to look up the destinations you want to visit during your trip. Many places—from hotels to sites and more—remain closed. And always travel with a face mask since you must wear one in many locations within Washington, DC.
Washington, DC is a gay-friendly area. LGBTQ+ couples will experience a progressive city with plenty of places welcoming all races, cultures and sexual orientations. There isn’t one area of the city to check out, in particular. Rather, there are many LGBTQ+ events, bars and clubs to visit throughout the city.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The city experiences similar weather to New York City. They have four seasons, including snowy winters and hot summers. The Tidal Basin is incredibly popular in late March and early April when the famous Cherry Blossoms’ pink and white flowers are at their peak.
It’s very easy to get to this area by car, train or airplane.
Driving to Washington, DC
The city is accessible from interstate highways. You simply take I-95 to 395 into the heart of Washington, DC. Like any major city, there are lots of one-way streets and speed limits to observe. So be sure to pay attention to street signs. It may cost you a considerable amount to park in the area for a few days, whether overnight at your hotel or at a parking garage.
Flights to DC
Two airports are in the immediate Washington, DC area. They are Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (code DCA) and Washington Dulles International Airport (code IAD). A third airport that is a little further away, but still in the vicinity of Washington, DC, is Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (code BWI). BWI is a hub for Southwest Airlines.
Flying to DC from the NYC area is a short flight, averaging about one and a half hours. And it takes about five hours, nonstop, to fly to DC from an area like Los Angeles.
Taking a Train to Washington, DC for your Honeymoon
A honeymoon in Washington, DC may appeal to you and your spouse because perhaps one of you doesn’t enjoy flying. DC is a metropolitan area with plenty of public transportation (trains and buses included), so you don’t need a car here. Consider arriving to your honeymoon in Washington, DC via Amtrak.
Traveling to DC means ending at the city’s train transportation hub, Union Station. From here, you can either take a taxi, Lyft or Uber, or Metro to your destination (or walk if it’s close enough). And Union Station is worth a visit, anyway. It’s filled with shops and restaurants and is a beautiful building.
Getting around DC
DC is well connected by public transportation, and most of its neighborhoods are very walkable. Once you arrive in DC, it’s unlikely you’ll need a car. With a car, you’ll have to pay for parking at your hotel (upwards of $50 a day) or deal with street parking, most of which is permissible only via resident permits or metered hourly parking.
The Metro in DC is very convenient. (It’s their subway system.) You can buy a Metro card and preload a specific dollar amount, so it’s ready to go for each ride you take. You can keep adding money as needed throughout your honeymoon trip. Their website has a helpful trip planner if you and your partner need assistance finding the stations nearest your destination.
Things to Do during your Honeymoon in Washington, DC
A Washington, DC honeymoon will be filled with sites, restaurants, and museums. But also plenty of outdoor spots to check out.
Visit World-Class Museums
There are incredible museums in Washington, DC. These include those on the National Mall, like the Museum of Natural History and National Air and Space Museum. If you’re into art, the Hirshhorn Museum and sculpture garden are not-to-miss on the mall, along with the National Gallery, which has a treasure trove of art created by famous artists through the centuries.
Most of them are either Smithsonians or government-funded, both of which have free admission with optional donations.
Visit the Monuments
In addition to world-renowned museums, a honeymoon in Washington DC wouldn’t be complete without visiting the national monuments. Take a photo with the Washington Monument, or pay homage to notable Presidents, like Lincoln and Jefferson at their respective memorials.
You should also take a trip to visit the United States Capitol building during your visit. It is at the west end of the National Mall, and its architecture is glorious, even as viewed from outside.
For something completely different, book one of the entertainment cruises or a dinner cruise in the area. They sail along the Potomac River, and you can view the monuments from the water.
See a Performance
Like any well-established major city, Washington, DC has plenty of venues to see live performances. Some of the most popular include the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (whether to see a ballet, musical or opera), Shakespeare Theatre Company, or the Howard Theatre.
Enjoy the Outdoors
One of the best things to do in DC is simply walking around the city’s attractive neighborhoods, enjoy the outdoors and planned landscapes. This includes the National Mall or spots like Georgetown or Capitol Hill. But there are also great parks to visit, including Rock Creek State Park and Theodore Roosevelt Island.
If you love gardens, plan to check out the US National Arboretum, in Northwest DC, during your honeymoon. It’s hard to believe that the 446 acres of this property are in Washington.
Dine ’til Your Hearts’ Content
Washington, DC has restaurants worth traveling to as one of the major metropolitan destinations in the United States. You can experience DC’s beautiful blending of cultures through its food. Couples should make reservations in advance at places like:
- Rasika, featuring modern Indian cuisine.
- Le Diplomat, a picturesque French bistro.
- Old Ebbitt Grill, a historical restaurant steps from the White House, founded in the 19th century.
If you love chili and want to stop by a DC legend for lunch, take a trip on the Metro to reach Ben’s Chili Bowl. It’s famous for its chili, hot dogs and milkshakes, never mind that President Obama has eaten there a few times.
Surrounding Areas to Visit
You should venture outside DC proper, even if just once, during your honeymoon in Washington, DC. Travel to any of these great cities, which are easy to reach via Metro:
- Rosslyn, Virginia: You’ll feel like you’ve barely left DC when you visit Rosslyn, a stop on the Metro just across from Georgetown. Art lovers will enjoy a walking tour of the public art here before stopping at one of the area’s great restaurants for a bite to eat.
- Alexandria, Virginia: This city, across the opposite side of the Potomac River from DC, is known for its Old Town. Its romantic cobblestone streets will lead you to waterfront restaurants and notable architecture to admire during your honeymoon. Be sure to visit and tour Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home.
- Bethesda, Maryland: Take a trip to this suburb of Maryland, just outside DC, and shop on Bethesda Row before seeing a performance at the Strathmore theater.
Where to Stay in Washington, DC
Hotel and vacation rental options abound in Washington. Yet there are some hotels and areas more frequented by tourists than others, due to their location. Here, we list some popular neighborhoods and honeymoon hotel suggestions in each:
- Capitol Hill: Jefferson Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel on 16th Street, walking distance to the Smithsonian museums, monuments and White House.
- Georgetown: The Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton are located in Georgetown. It’s a fun area to stay in, filled with shops and restaurants.
- Dupont Circle: The Swan House is a historic Bed and Breakfast in this hip area of Washington, easily accessible by the Metro.
- Navy Yard: Check out the Thompson Hotel in a revitalized area of the city, with waterfront views and plenty of dining.
- Adams Morgan: This vibrant neighborhood in Washington, DC is home to The Line Hotel, with plenty of surrounding restaurants and bars.
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