Where to celebrate this Fall in DC

 

Fabulous Fall Roses in McLean VA, MyFloristWell things are happening this season. So many birthdays and anniversaries, milestones, life changes etc. It’s almost like we are preparing for more parties and events that will come as we get closer to the end of the year, or as we like to call it the events and celebration season.

So, it is important to know how and where we can celebrate and we can help. As far as “how” is concerned, the easy answer is: by making it the best day for the person you are celebrating or for yourself if you are the one you are celebrating. Make the person (or yourself) feel special. If you are planning a celebration for someone else, then find out what makes the person happy. Make it about that person. If the person is the kind that loves going out, dancing and partying then give him/her that. Even if you’d rather stay home and Netflix. You can take the person to the DC Fall Salsa and Bachata Dance Festival taking place in Crystal City this month, or you can reserve a table at JoJo’s for some good live music, good food and crowd of ALL ages. Or party it up at the many many night clubs anywhere from Adams Morgan, H Street or U Street Corridors, DuPont Circle, and Downtown DC. Have fun let loose and enjoy the fact that what you did is bringing happiness to the person you are celebrating.

If the person is a foodie, then make reservation at the person’s favorite restaurant. Or a restaurant that serves his/her favorite cuisine, like Filomena’s in Georgetown for Italian, Rasika in Penn Quarter for Indian, Dumplings & Beyond in Glover Park for Chinese, The Blue Duck Tavern in the West End for American, Fogo de Chao in Downtown for Brazilian and meat lover.

If shows and entertainment is what the person likes then you can catch shows at the Improv for some laughs, or head to the Folger Shakespeare Theater to watch Sense and Sensibility. And if instead of watching the show the person wants to be on the performing side then we suggest a fun evening of Karaoke at Muzette in Adams Morgan where you can rent a room for the guest of honor and friends to enjoy the night in private away from a mas of crowd or go to Wok and Roll on H street for Asian cuisine and some fun evening singing.

It is all about making the person be in the spotlight, made to feel cherished and honored…You know what else makes them feel that? Yup, you guessed it…Flowers.

Growing Closer Every Year, Why Your Anniversary is So Important

 

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The longer time you spend with someone, the more you get to know them, the more you learn to care for them and the more you fall in love with them (or not but we are trying to look at the brighter side of things). And each year that passes you thank the good Lord that they are in your life. This is why we celebrate anniversaries. Remembering your anniversary and celebrating the day is not just done because it’s the nor, what expected or because your wife will evict you to spend the year in the dog house if you don’t or to congratulate yourself for making it another year. 

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Anniversaries are a way of celebrating your ever growing, ever evolving nature of your love. Every year you gain new experiences, you grow and become a better person, And that is largely because of your partner in life. You grow together and that is something that needs to be celebrated. 

hw0_400653Romantic Love is a strong and great feeling. It is a bond between two people. It’s a force that expands and grows with each passing time as long as it is nurtured and cared for. And for every year of love that you gain you know that your love is that mush stronger and that much greater. Don’t you thing that is something that needs to be recognized and honored? We do!

Anniversary celebrations help us to do that. They are not just a date on a calendar, they are dates that symbolize and mark your undying love for your honey has grown one more year with a promise of more.

 

When You Want To Be Remembered

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It is natural to want to be remembered. To know who we are or what we do to matter in a small or big way. This is especially true for businesses. We know it is true for us. We understand that what we do, our work, our creation matter to our customer and to the recipients of their kindness and sentiment. It is why we take care of our customers. It does help that we think they are all rock stars (because they kinda are). Having said that, we also understand that the customers we serve want to matter in their industry, and we pride ourselves in knowing that we facilitate that, even in a small way.

Companies are responsible for their employees, for their clients, for their partners and for their community. It is important for them to keep a healthy relationship. What does all this have to do with a flower shop, you may ask. A lot actually. Simply put, flowers help companies maintain a good and healthy relationship with their employees, their customers and clients, and their partnering businesses.

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How? Simple. An employee has a baby, is ill, has a family member pass, has a birthday, get married, has some kind of life milestone, has a work anniversary, does a great job; a good employer would send the employee flowers to celebrate or send well wishes. A company does business or meets with another company or a client, a smart business sends flowers to say thank you and creates a friendly and long-lasting relationship. A company makes a mistake (no one is perfect), or has an incident with or inconveniences a neighboring office, sending flowers will help smooth things over.

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Flowers communicate many sentiments eloquently and succinctly. They are anyone’s best foot forward. they seal the deal, lubricate friction, smooth down ruffled feathers, put a smile on a face and make you memorable. You are more likely to be remembered when you send flowers than when you don’t. So why not be remembered and be associated with some classy beautiful creations like gorgeous flower arrangements created by an experiences florist. Yeah…we cant think of any reason why not either.

 

Best Gifts for Birthdays, Anniversaries, Congratulations or Any Reason At All

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We’ve established that flowers are the best gift for any occasion, literally any occasion. You name any occasion and reason and we can show you how flowers are appropriate for it. Weddings, bereavement, new baby, not feeling well, she broke a nail, bad hair day, the wind blew west? all reasons to send flowers. Send flowers to congratulate, communicate your sentiments, show empathy, say you care, say thank you, passive aggressively say I love you but I am too cool to say it out loud. Any reason. Any reason AT ALL! You know why? Because, as we have have said many maaaaaany times before, flowers have ability to communicate in the purest clearest way and  put a smile on a person’s face and inject some happiness in someone’s day. It’s been proven in science. Would we lie to you?

So now that we all agree that flowers are the right way to go for any reason, let’s take a look at what kind of flowers are best for each occasion. First options, of course, is knowing what flowers they person loves and sending a beautifully designed arrangement of those flowers. This says that you know the person, you pay attention and you want them to have what they like the most. This is especially important in a romantic situation; if it’s a spouse or someone you’ve known for a long long time, it says a lot when you remember the small details. But we can’t always know what the other person likes or we want to change it up a little, So here are the best options for the most popular occasions:

HW0_453980For Anniversary

This is a romantic time where you remember and celebrate your union and a special milestone. It’s a big deal and should be celebrated.  Traditionally, roses are the romantic go to. Specifically red roses. But there are other options. The colors of romance are shades of red, purple, pinks and gold. The deeper the color the better. They show the hot flaming smoldering passion you feel for the person. So, if you want to change it up from the red-hot roses we suggest an arrangement of various flowers in those colors. If you want to keep it in the rose family then we suggest changing the colors. You can combine the hot pinks with the red or even add some Stargazer lilies to the mix to give an extra pizzaz.

For BirthdayHW0_541837

You are celebrating the day this person graced the face of the earth. It is a special day and needs to be celebrated with tons of flair and sparkly happiness. and the flowers you send need to have a touch of party,  a burst fireworks, a dust of glitter and a whole lot of “yay it’s your day!” in it. You can achieve that by choosing an arrangement with starburst colors of sunny yellows, royal purples, sky blues, hot pinks and other vibrant colors that adds a big ol’ ! to the day. And as a finishing touch add a pretty festive mylar balloon that will in fact announce that it is the birthday of the best human on earth!

HW0_472870New Baby

If you know the gender you can choose a color scheme to fit; blue for a boy and pink for a girl. But that isn’t necessarily a must. remember, the people enjoying the flowers are the parents and the people who will file in to take a look at the baby’s rosy cheeks. So the choice of colors you can choose have no limits. Happy yellows, lavender greens are all great choices. incorporate pretty bows and fun little keepsake containers for the flowers add a plush soft and cuddly stuffed animal and bam you got yourself a lovely fun arrangement fit for the little prince or princes and the proud parents.

For BereavementHW0_372998

This is a sad occasion and traditionally the flowers sent are in soft pastels, whites and creams. However, we have to remember that is also the celebration of a life. You are permitted to include some vibrant colors. Flowers send for bereavement are either sent for the viewing/service or to the family’s home or workplace. When sending to the viewing and/or service your traditional options are easel sprays wreaths or funeral baskets. But you also have the options of choosing arrangements in an array of colors arranged in a vase or a beautiful wicker basket designed in a way that the family can take home if they choose to. we give you this option because some arrangements, when don by the right florist, are so beautiful that a lot of people want to have the in their home but don’t because they are not in a leak proof container. And how weird is it to take a funeral wreath home even if the flowers are stunning. Another option is a lush dish garden or floor plant. this is perfect because it is something the family can keep in memory of the departed.

HW0_400720For Get Well

This is not an occasion to use muted colors. this an occasion for you to send a vase of sunshine and make some one feel at least marginally better. So whites and creams with mousey yellows is not what you want to go for. You want popping colors that “I know you are feeling eeky for here something to make you perky” . Go nuts with the colors! Oranges, blues, purples. reds, pinks, lilies, sunflowers, spider mums, orchids, happy gerbera daisies are all great options. Remember you are trying to lift their spirits not bore them to death. They are sick in bed, no need to add more pain with boring flowers and colors.

 

Shhh… It’s a PARTY!!!

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In life, there are a lot of celebrations. Those that that call for big parties, loud music, banners confetti and noisemakers and those that call pretty china, dainty snacks, polite conversations and mild music and everything in between. Whether you are celebrating a milestone or a Wednesday, it doesn’t matter: a party is fun (or is suppose to be). Some are a surprise and some are not, some are big and some are intimate but all should be fun and planned well. Today we’ll discuss surprise parties for best of life’s celebrations.

3-Key-lime-cupcakesIt is easy to be overwhelmed by the whole party planning process. The first thing you’ll need to do is get a theme for the party and set a budget understanding that the largest chunks of the budget should be for the venue, decor food and entertainment. Once you have that the rest will fall in place. And when planning a surprise party there is the added pressure of planning something that someone else would enjoy while keeping it hush hush. Not an easy task.

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  • When thinking of surprise parties, the first thing that we thing about is birthday parties. They are tricky to plan because you know that the birthday boy/girl knows when their birthday is so it is easy for him/her to be suspicious that someone is planning something. This is why we suggest that you don’t wait for the BIG milestone birthday to throw one; like the 21st of 30th or 40th etc. Plan the surprise birthday party on the “regular” birthdays like 27th or 42nd. This way it will REALLY be a surprise.
  • Another popular event that warrants a surprise party is a baby shower. It is also an event you don’t want to scare the expecting mother into an early labor. It’s true she may be expecting to have a baby shower some time during the pregnancy but she won’t know when.
  • Bridal shower are another occasion that call for surprise parties. Just like a baby shower, the bride to be may suspect she will have a party at some point. She may assume that she will be included in the party planning but we think it would be awesome if the bridal party and her family planned a party that catches her off guard.

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When planning to have a surprise party, the first thing you will need to think about is if the person you are throwing the party for would enjoy being surprised or how s/he will handle it. Remember, not everyone likes surprises nor will know how to respond to it so be careful that your plan doesn’t backfire on you.

Make sure that your guest know that it is a SURPRISE party so they don’t ruin it. You would assume that they know not to tell the guest of honor but some people are simply clueless about these things. Prime example of a ruined party: Guest gets invited to attend a bridal shower. guest couldn’t attend so proceeded to text the guest of honor to apologize that will not be able to make it. Guest ruins the aforementioned party. so it is imperative that you and you minions are the only people that the guest and anyone involved with the party will communicate with weather to RSVP or send gifts to.

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You’ll also have to remember that you are throwing a party for someone else. so your taste and likes and dislikes do not come into play. It’s about what will wow the guest of honor. If you like chocolate cake for your birthday, the birthday girl might like carrot cake, you might like an explosion of pinks for a baby girl’s baby shower decor but the guest of honor might enjoy shades of oranges and yellows, you might like a fancy tea party for your bridal shower complete with cucumber sandwiches and dainty hats but the bride-to-be might like to have a casino themes shower. You may like a vase full of peonies and hydrangeas but she may like sunflowers and daisies. The surprise is not only for the part where the person you are celebrating doesn’t know you are honoring him or her but it’s also in knowing what exactly with please him/her and providing it making the whole to-do a memorable and enjoyable day.

 

Romance Recipe: Italian Style

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It’s August, it’s hot and humid and steamy and heavy and smoldering. Much like an Italian summer romance in the hilly landscapes of Southern Italy among the grapevines, olive trees and terracotta brick homes. This is the time of the year romance is at its peak heat. And when we think about the ultimate fantasy of romance, we can’t not think about the richness of red wine, the sultry food, and the smoldering good looks of Raoul Bova. In short, we think Italy, with all its the culture, history, romance and sensory overload of everything combined. Think of the art and history of Florence, the breathtaking balance between the old and new of Milan, the whimsy and fairy tale you can conjure up reclining on a gondola and being serenaded in such a romantic language, the rich food the south of Italy offers that will make your taste buds explode with fireworks and the absolutely breathtaking rugged yet welcoming beaches of Sardinia that  will take your summer romance to the stratosphere.

Perhaps this year is not the year you can travel to Italy and experience it first hand…le sigh or rather il sigh-o. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring it to you, right? Right! And we will tell you all you need to  bring Italy home.

The Wine

WineGet a fine Italian red…wine ahm. Like a Chianti, meaning produced in the Chianti region in beautiful Tuscany. It is a dry red wine with a bit or tart cherry flavor to it. And if you want to have that authentic Italian wine look, stick the bottle in a straw basket or  fiasco. Our favorite is the Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro. Try it. And when you open the bottle quickly inhale the bottle’s first breath. That’s air from Italy.

The Food

Now that you have your wine, plan your meals to complement it. Our suggestion is a four course of the simplest Italian feast you can imagine.

For your Antipasto (appetizer) we recommend Prosciutto e Melone, that’s Italian for Prosciutto (a dry cured Italian ham that is very thinly sliced) and melons (that’s English for a yummy fruit).  Just slice the melon in wedges and wrap with prosciutto. The saltines of the prosciutto and the sweet juicyness of the melon will feel like you have a summer party on your taste buds.

Spaghetti

Spaghetti

For your first course all you need is spaghetti (preferably bucatini) fresh ripe tomatoes (on the vine), a handful of fresh basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic and onions (yellow is best) salt and pepper and Parmigiano reggiano to make a summer favorite Pasta con Pomodoro e Basilico (pasta with tomato and basil, but it sounds sooooo much better in Italian). First, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil in medium heat then throw in chunks of the ripe tomatoes with salt and pepper. Once the juices from the tomatoes start to bubble, throw in the basil. You don’t want the sauce to dry and the basil to wilt completely, you still want it a little watery. While preparing your sauce make sure to start cooking your pasta in hot boiling water and check periodically that you don’t over cook it. You want it al-dente, meaning you want it to stick to your teeth when you chew it. Right before the pasta is at the desired cooking level transfer it into the pan of your sauce and let it cook with it. This will help everyone in the pan to mingle and get to know each other and become friends and the pasta will continue to cook to the right al-dente. When serving add shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano.

For your second course we recommend Pollo alla Cacciatora (chicken cacciatore or hunter style). Our favorite recipe is the one Mario Batali so deliciously created here <—- seriously, you want to go to there and cook up that deliciousness. We would never steer you wrong.

For dessert, and in all honesty, in the world of romance this is the only meal that matters, we suggest you get your Bialetti percolator (this is the only way god intended for good italian coffee be made) and make yourself a deliciously strong cup of coffee (because you do not want to go into a food induced coma just yet). We like Lavazza Qualita Rossa for espresso. And make sure you stop by , in our opinion the best bakery in the Washington DC metro, Tivoli located in Ballston, and get yourself some of the decadent yumminess that they offer ahead of time and keep refrigerated till it’s time to indulge. Get the Tiramisu. Get it!

The Entertainment

TuscanMake sure to get some of the most romantic Italian movies to watch with you honey. Yes you can get Under the Tuscan Sun or Roman Holiday. But if you want to venture beyond the obvious try Il Postino, Bread and Tulips, Marriage Italian Style (or anything with Sofia Loren really). And if none of these movies with their music and sing-song italian language, high drama that is so typical of everything Italian don’t make you feel like you are in that exquisite Mediterranean country, then add the important finishing touches.

The Flowers

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Call your florist and ask for a wispy, rustic country-style flower arrangement with earthy bold colors with flowers like sunflowers, brassica, protea, bear grass, hanging amaranthus and coral roses all put together in a simple vase or a terracotta pot. Make sure to set that on your table to tie in everything together. Let some of that warm summer air freeze in by opening your window. And compile a fun play list of music with Andrea Bocelli, Ramazzotti, Paula Pausini, Tizziano Ferro and Nek. Learn some romantic italian phrases that you can whisper to your honey. Even if they sound silly say them. Some of our favorites are: “Ti voglio bene amore mia/o” which is I love you, or “senza di te la mia vita no fa senso” which means without you my life has no meaning. And here are a few pet names you can use to summon your babe: “amoruccio” which means love, or “tesoro mio” which mean my jewel or my darling.

There you have it. Romance Italian style at home. Here is all you need to bring that boot shaped romantic country home.

What to Do on Your Anniversary in the DC Metro

imagesAre you getting ready to celebrate your anniversary in our nation’s capital?  If so, you’re in one of the best places!  Washington, DC has a lot to offer couples who are marking anywhere from their first to their fiftieth year together.  Here are some anniversary ideas for the romantic, the adventurous, the homebodies, and more.

For those who like to stay at home:

Have a picnic on your living room or bedroom floor.  Just spread out a blanket, make a nice dinner, and enjoy your favorite movie or put on some music.  It has all the charm of a picnic outdoors but without the bugs or the weather.

If you have kids, send them to a friend’s or to the grandparents for the night or weekend.  When you have a family and you’re always on the go, getting to spend the evening with your spouse can be amazing.

From the Romantic:

Recreate your first anniversary, or your first date, or even your honeymoon.  If you went to a certain restaurant, go back there, or recreate the meal at home.  Take a weekend trip to where you spent your honeymoon if it’s possible, or just reenact your first date.  You could even take some of the best parts of several dates and create the perfect date.

You could spend the day checking out your favorite museum exhibits.  Check out some of the great artwork, historical artifacts, and other exhibits.  There are even a number of smaller museums that offer a more intimate setting than the larger, more popular ones.  You might also want to enjoy a meal at the Smithsonian café.  On Fridays and Saturdays, they often have live music and other entertainment.

Washington, DC, has many fine restaurants that offer romantic settings and amazing meals.  Another option is to take a dinner cruise down the Potomac.  It’s fun and a different way of doing dinner.

For the Adventurous:

You can also go canoeing or kayaking on the Potomac River.  If that’s a bit too much for you, rent a paddle boat and go out on the Tidal Basin.

For those who love the outdoors:

Washington DC has many different gardens and parks.  If you love the outdoors, pack up a picnic and head outside for the afternoon.  You and your spouse can enjoy the good weather, the good food, and the good company.

Visit the National Zoo.  Admission is free, and it’s a great way to enjoy the nice spring weather.  There’s a lot to see, especially if you love animals.

There are a number of free events during the summer that make fun a fun anniversary date.  Free concerts and movies take place throughout the area.

Don’t forget your Anniversary Flowers in Washington, DC

Anniversary Poems to Read Aloud

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Sometimes you just feel a rush of romance and a need to voice your feelings with a poetic flourish.  We have looked far and wide for the perfect flowering language of love and found these two beautiful poems you may just want to read out loud to your adorable spouse.

How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43) 
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

 

The Kiss
by Stephen Dunn

How many years I must have yearned
for someone’s lips against mine.
Pheromones, newly born, were floating
between us. There was hardly any air.

She kissed me again, reaching that place
that sends messages to toes and fingertips,
then all the way to something like home.
Some music was playing on its own.

Nothing like a woman who knows
to kiss the right thing at the right time,
then kisses the things she’s missed.
How had I ever settled for less?

I was thinking this is intelligence,
this is the wisest tongue
since the Oracle got into a Greek’s ear,
speaking sense. It’s the Good,
defining itself. I was out of my mind.
She was in. We married as soon as we could.

For more great anniversary poetry, visit:  Poets.org

And remember that flowers make everything you do even more beautiful and romantic!

Anniversary Flowers

Party Ideas from Pinterest

3ba94137e53fe6ac9db7d78a1e7f8e65Are you thinking about throwing a party?  Maybe you need a great idea for your child’s next birthday, or perhaps you’re trying to come up for a theme for your next dinner party.  Either way, check out our Pinterest!  We’ve got a ton of different party ideas.  Here are just a few party themes you might want to use for your next event.

Children’s Birthday Parties

Pinterest is full of ideas for your child’s next birthday.  You’ll find decoration ideas for everything from princesses to superheroes.  While some of these ideas do use store-bought decorations and other items, many of them include things you can make yourself.  Some birthday decorations are entirely handmade, too, such as creating a photo collage of the birthday boy or girl.

Adult Birthday Parties

Planning a party for adults can be a bit trickier since they aren’t usually racecar or Disney themed.  The photo collage idea can be used here, too, especially if you have a lot of older photos or a photo for every year of the birthday person’s life.  You can also do a birthday theme based around their favorite author, favorite movie, or favorite TV show.  For example, you could do a zombie party for someone who loves The Walking Dead.

Dinner Parties

If you’re having friends over for dinner, there are several things you can do.  You might keep it simple—just a nice flower arrangement for a centerpiece and a nice tablecloth.  You could also make dinner into an event by hosting a murder mystery dinner party.  These kits contain almost everything you need for the event, including suggested recipes.  The only thing that’s not included is the decorations.

Halloween

There are definitely a ton of Halloween ideas on Pinterest!  There are so many different ways you can go: traditional, funny, movie-themed, or a mishmash of different decorations and ideas.  You can transform your home into a Gothic vampire castle or make it into Dr. Frankenstein’s lab.  Or, if you have younger children and don’t want to frighten them, you can do something like a superhero Halloween theme or make it more funny than scary.

A Night with the Girls or Guys

If you’re having your friends over for a poker game or if you and the girls are going to get together to have dinner and watch a movie, you might not really do that much as far as decorating goes.  But you can still make this party into something awesome.  Pinterest has some great ideas for finger foods and other snacks that fit just about any theme.

A Garden Party

Why not take your party outdoors while it’s still nice?  You have a built-in theme, especially if your flowers are still in bloom.  You’ll find some great ideas on Pinterest for incorporating your garden and other existing outdoor decorations into your party.

These are just a few different types of parties for which you can find ideas on Pinterest.  Check out our Party Planning Ideas board for more!

Romantic Anniversary Hotspots in DC

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Whether you enjoy the outdoors, fine dining, or just doing something different to celebrate life, we have some great ideas to help you plan a memorable anniversary.

The Lincoln Memorial After the tourists head back to their hotels — or better, at dawn, long before they arrive — there may be no place more serene or lovely in all of Washington than the towering memorial. It’s no wonder couples regularly plant themselves along the columns to await the sun (and regularly choose the place for very public proposals). (23rd Street NW and West Potomac Park. 202-426-6841. www.nps.gov/linc.)  ~Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post

The Washington Monument in Boonsboro, Md.

Near Old South Mountain Inn, hit the Appalachian Trail to hike to the peak of Old South Mountain and see the 30-foot Washington Monument built by town residents in 1827. Afterward, a stop at the inn is a must for refueling. (Washington Monument State Park, 6620 Zittlestown Rd., Middletown. 301-791-4767.) ~Katherine Frey / The Washington Post

The terrace at the Kennedy Center

Before a performance or just because you’re in the neighborhood, slip out from the Kennedy Center’s Grand Foyer onto the terrace with a couple of glasses of wine and soak up the stellar view of the Potomac River. On Independence Day, smart folk looking for a new view of the fireworks flock here, too. On a more quiet night, consider it a prime spot for a proposal. (2700 F St. NW. 202-467-4600. www.kennedy-center.org.) ~Dominic Bracco II for The Washington Post   Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve

You may have heard the oft-repeated rumor that Washington was built on a swamp; it’s hard to imagine till one lays eyes on Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. The preserve, the area’s last remaining swath of freshwater tidal wetland, is proof positive of our marshy past. Accessible from the George Washington Parkway near Alexandria, it’s a haven for wildlife, not to mention for couples looking for a moment of respite or a way to get closer to nature. Bird walks are offered Sunday mornings year-round. (www.nps.gov/gwmp/dyke-marsh.htm) ~Susan Biddle for The Washington Post

First-date destinations: The National Gallery of Art

A dose of culture is just the thing to escape the coffee-date doldrums, and between its East and West wings, the National Gallery has something for every artistic interest. Afterward, dip into the cafe for gelato or stroll the sculpture garden. (Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 202-737-4215. www.nga.gov.) ~Evy Mages for The Washington Post

Restaurants: Mintwood Place

There’s a lack of pretension at this cozy French-inspired bistro in Adams Morgan, and it’s evident in the food — hush puppies made of escargot; rich, sizeable portions of such dishes as tagliatelle bolognese and Amish chicken; retro desserts including baked Alaska. Even the Obamas chose to dine on chef Cedric Maupillier’s fare during last year’s Dinners With Barack events. For those with love, not politics, on the brain, it can feel like an oasis in the city. (1813 Columbia Rd. NW. 202-234-6732. www.mintwoodplace.com.) ~Scott Suchman  The Bombay Club

Few places are more captivatingly formal or more evocative of a different time than the Bombay Club, which serves as the old-school foil to its buzzy sister restaurant Rasika. “The scene, set to piano music at dinner, is regal,” writes Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema. “The cooking, from veteran chef Nilesh Singhvi, is sublime.” (815 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-659-3727. www.bombayclubdc.com.) ~Powers and Crewe Photography

The Inn at Little Washington

A dinner for two in the four-star enclave of chef Patrick O’Connell is roughly the price of a weekend getaway — whether a couple opts for a few courses or nearly 10, the tab nearly always nicks $600 — but it’s just as transportive. For gastronomic tourists, the truffle-dusted popcorn, lobster perfectly paired with gnocchi and green grapes, and superlative service make this a destination worthy of the biggest celebrations. (Middle and Main streets, Washington, Va. 540-675-3800. www.theinnatlittlewashington.com) ~Gordon Beall

Plume

Plume, in the luxe Jefferson Hotel, is the rare restaurant where entrees outshine first courses. Fashion trends are bypassed in favor of tradition. Picture lobster thermidor and a proper veal chop, the meat cooked just the shade you request and served as a fan of slices on the bone. (1200 16th St. NW. 202-448-2322. www.jeffersondc.com.) ~James M. Thresher for The Washington Post

Sportrock

It may not be prime first date material — it’s hard to talk when you’re dangling several feet off the ground — but a third or fourth date? Sportrock in Alexandria certainly will get your hearts pumping: A little friendly competition can be highly flirty. (5308 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria. 703-212-7625.) ~Susan Biddle for The Washington Post

Great Falls

A outdoorsy date, a workout, and a little bit of alone time are all afforded by the Billy Goat Trail in Great Falls. The trail is as hard as you want it to be; the most bustling, is the nearly 2-mile A section of the trail. But it offers prime views. (11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac. 301-299-3613.) ~Katherine Frey / The Washington Post

 

And, yes, we totally borrowed this from the Washington Post, where they have many more great romantic places.

Don’t forget to order anniversary flowers!