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, 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
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
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!