7 Great Date Ideas in Arlington, Virginia

After you have seen the sights, hit your hotel room to dress up for a date night in Arlington. Arlington has the fine dining, entertainment and nightlife to make any date memorable, whether it's Valentine's Day or just a night out. Don't stress about wowing your better half, we've done some of the leg work for you. Try these great date nights next time you're in Arlington.

1. A Trip Around the World

Impress your date by taking an impromptu trip around the world via Arlington's international restaurants. They're just as international as its residents, who speak more than 150 different languages. Start off at Pentagon Row, where you two can indulge in a multi-ethnic progressive dinner at places like Zen Bistro & Wine Bar, Lebanese Taverna or Sine Irish Pub & Lounge. Or head to the nearby Crystal City neighborhood to dine on award-winning Italian fare from celebrity chef Morou at Kora, sample the rich flavors of Spain with the tastes of Jose Andres’ lauded Jaleo, or sink your teeth into authentic Ethiopian cookery at Enjera Restaurant. After you've had your fill of international cuisine, head down the street to the Skydome Restaurant at the Doubletree Hotel Crystal City for dessert or a nightcap—complete with its revolving view of all of Arlington, D.C. and beyond.

shrimp dish at Jaleo Spanish cuisine in VA
Spanish fare at Jaleo

2. Skate & Sip

Treat your better half to an evening of ice skating and drinks in Arlington’s Ballston neighborhood. Start the date off at the MedStar Capitals Iceplex, home to the Stanley Cup Champs Washington Capitals. The Iceplex offers public skate hours and skate rentals, so you can lace up those skates and chat as you glide across the ice hand in hand. Afterwards, warm up with a favorite libation and some gourmet noshes at a popular Ballston spot. Craft beer fans? Stop by Crafthouse, where you can choose from more than 400 brews. Prefer wine? Hop around the corner to Grand Cru Wine Bar & Bistro, where you can enjoy a glass or two along with delicious small plates or gourmet entrees. Can't decide? Head to Ballston Quarter's Punch Bowl Social, featuring a long-list of house-made libations and tasty treats.

3. Spice It Up

Bond over cooking your dinner together and sharpen your cooking skills with a date-night cooking class. Soon-to-open Cookology in Ballston Quarter will offer an array of themed cooking classes that are perfect for date nights and chefs of all experience levels. Sur La Table in Pentagon Row offers Date Night cooking classes like Cooking with Wine and Passport to Thailand, as well as fundamentals like knife skills, bake shop basics and pasta making. Best part is, you get to feast on the fruits of your labor.

4. Dinner & a Show

Head to the Village at Shirlington for the quintessential date night. This romantic neighborhood impresses with tree-lined streets and brick sidewalks. Start with dinner at local favorite Carlyle, a lively bistro with full-length murals and American eats, or at Copperwood Tavern for local brews and farm-to-table fare. Stroll through Shirlington to the Tony Award®-winning Signature Theatre, where you can watch everything from Broadway-style musicals to independent plays.

5. Coffee & Convo

There are few things better than a great cup of coffee and conversation during a date, and Arlington has a host of charming cafes that add that je ne sais quoi. Clarendon’s Northside Social Coffee & Wine Bar serves up beautiful lattes and fresh baked treats on its expansive patio. In Ballston, head to Republik Coffee Bar for some java in a charming courtyard with a water fountain.

6. Drinks with a View

With ornate monuments, river views and sprawling boulevards, the Washington, D.C. skyline emanates romance. Arlington offers some of the best vantage points of D.C. and some top spots for taking in that view with a drink in hand. One of the best places to enjoy a view of Georgetown with a classic cocktail is Amuse at Le Meridien Arlington in Rosslyn. Enjoy the outdoor terrace if the weather’s nice and one of their signature cocktails and Italian bites. For 360-degree views of D.C. and the region, head to The Observation Deck in Rosslyn. This new space affords breathtaking views from its floor-to-ceiling windows and a new champagne bar. Afterward, continue the spectacular views with a stroll over to the nearby Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima).

Two men holding hands and staring out the window at the Observation Deck at CEB Tower
Sunset views from The Observation Deck.

7. Picnic & Pictures

On a sunny day, make plans for a romantic picnic with a view. Grab all the essentials from local favorites like The Italian Store (known for its cured meats and killer sandwiches), Lebanese Taverna Market (your stop for fresh, flavorful spreads and other Middle Eastern fare), or Best Buns (a hot spot for baked everything, sandwiches and salads). Add the perfect sweet treat from Artisan Confections—locally handcrafted chocolates—or cookies and cupcakes from Bakeshop next door. Make your way to the Netherlands Carillon 50-bell tower, which affords beautiful views of D.C. and the Potomac River and plays an automated concert every day at noon and at 6 p.m. Or, get active walking or biking on the Mount Vernon Trail, visiting Gravelly Point to watch plays fly overhead as you enjoy your picnic and views of the Potomac. Don't forget your camera, because these locales are the perfect spots to take the envy-inducing vacation selfie.

Of course, these are just a few of the many ways you can romance your other half on Valentine’s Day or any day of the year. Be sure to let us know your favorites around Arlington!

Kids in tow? Ask your hotel about babysitting options for a true date night.

Author: Talia Salem