What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear a mention of Washington DC?
If the idea of the President lounging in a gorgeous leather armchair and gazing down the grassy knolls of The White House is difficult to move past, there’s no need to hang your head in shame; this is exactly how I had pictured the capital of the United States before having the opportunity to visit the city.
Sure, Washington DC is home to the President, breathtaking monuments and endless corridors of artefacts in its world-class museums. But have you ever wondered how those loving glances between Obama and the First Lady only seem to grow stronger despite having a relationship that is constantly interrupted by duties of one of the most important jobs in the world?
There’s something utterly romantic about Washington DC and it makes for a fantastic couples’ holiday – if only for 48 hours.
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If meandering down cobblestone pathways, tightly huddled against your sweetheart and cradling a hot chocolate underneath the white, fluffy snowflakes that drift from a the sky sounds like the perfect evening in a winter wonderland, look no further than the gorgeous streets of Georgetown.
Lit up by traditional gas lamps and lined with boutiques, coffee shops and bakeries, M Street is the perfect place to begin your wintery dream date.
Admire the old-English atmosphere and the hum of live jazz along this main street before wandering into Wisconsin avenue, where you’ll be spoiled for choice of restaurants to share some comfort food that is best enjoyed while snuggled up to your loved one in front of a toasty fire.
The hardest part is deciding which tantalising smell to follow first (and which to save for dessert – deliciously decadent German chocolate cake from Dean & DeLuca, anyone?).
Don’t be put off by the thought of tomorrow’s food coma. Fall in love with every bite and wind up your romantic evening mitten-in-mitten, gliding along the ice at the Washington Harbour Ice Rink.
Did you awaken from sweet dreams of chocolate brownies and candle-lit coziness with a craving for more magical bliss? Don’t worry – the romance doesn’t dim with the gas lamps of Georgetown as the sun comes up.
Wander clockwise from 19th around Dupont Circle and complete your rotation at Kramerbooks & Afterwords on Connecticut Avenue NW.
I know what you’re thinking: ‘I gave up a toasty little-spoon position for a book store?’
But before you roll your eyes, allow them to wander down the aisles and then upward to a balcony perched above the bookworms. The intimate corners of this upstairs café are the perfect place to reminisce about last night with a breakfast that is sure to warm the soul. Although sharing is caring, you won’t want to split a delicious, sugar-infused slice here. Besides, you’ll need all the energy you can get for today’s exploring!
As the sugar rush kicks in, seize the opportunity to dive straight into the heart of the city. Take a right-turn and jump on the metro, or turn left and follow the road straight to Obama’s front door!
Although the air is cool, venture 20 minutes by snow-boot down Connecticut Avenue and you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the fauna that illuminates the President’s rose garden with colour for most of the year.
If you arrive at Obama’s gates only to discover that the greenery has retorted beneath layers of glorious snow, don’t take that as a cue for you to hibernate as well!
You are now at arms’ length from some of the world’s most famous monuments. Just a few short steps and you will find yourself forgetting to take breaths as the majestic structures of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Capitol building all become in plain view at the National Mall of Washington DC.
Take some time to wander hand-in-hand along this 3-kilometre stretch of American history – memories are always made better when there is someone to share them with!
But if the wintery air becomes a little too much for a tight-knit huddle to withstand, follow the windy pathways between monuments and warm up with a series of cute dates spent exploring the halls of the many Smithsonian Museums.
Once you’ve returned to the hotel and freshened up from a day spent walking and adventuring, it must be about time for more dessert – right?!
Hail a cab and head to China Town for such a range of cuisines too good to choose just one, but alas if you’re going to devour that all-American Pecan Pie from Dangerously Delicious on I Street afterwards you’d better.
There is no sadness quite like waking up to your final day in Washington DC. The history, the romance, the President being a door-knock away; what’s not to be missed with every beat of your heart?
Luckily for you, there is also no sadness that can’t be cured with chocolate. Instead of your own tears, swallowing an enormous Nutella brownie from Georgetown’s Baked & Wired is sure to make that final wave goodbye a little easier as you sail downstream from one charming town to the next.
Sometimes ripping off a bandaid is much more painful than removing it with care, so take today at a leisurely pace and distance yourself slowly.
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