Virginia Is for Lovers: Ideas for a Romantic Night in Alexandria

Alexandria, Virginia, has been noted as one of the most romantic places in the United States, with its historic Old Town named as one of the Top 5 Best Small Cities by Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. It’s also been picked as one of the South’s Best Cities of 2020 by Southern Living.

That’s not surprising, given the area’s rich history, walkable streets, abundant businesses, and depth of culture. It’s a perfect date night destination, one which offers couples delectable dining choices, a smattering of shops, exciting experiences, and a charming setting in which to do it all.

From the streets…

Alexandria’s Old Town is a nationally designated historic district on the Potomac River waterfront. The mile-long King Street has over 200 independent shops and restaurants, many of which are housed in historic buildings. Peruse antiques, home goods, jewelry, high-end consignment shops, and much more.

Also in Alexandria’s historic district, Old Town, is the iconic Captain’s Row, the oldest cobblestone block in the city that transports you to another place and time. If you’re in town looking at Alexandria houses for sale, keep an eye on the architecture as you stroll along, with buildings spanning a variety of centuries and styles.

To the water….

Alexandria has a picturesque waterfront with views of the Potomac River and Washington, D.C.

There are several boat tours to take: hop aboard history on the Providence, a reproduction of the 18th-century ship commanded by Captain John Paul Jones; see the monuments of Washington DC on the Monuments Tour From Alexandria; float along the Potomac River to Mount Vernon where you can spend four hours to explore the estate; or hang out in a group setting with the Potomac Paddle Club, a pontoon paddle boat with bike seats on a 10-person bar that lets peddlers control the pace of the trip.

If you’d rather stay ashore, check out The Waterfront at Founder’s Park for a picnic or peak at the gardens, the historic Lighthouse at Jones Point Park, or Tide Lock Park, home to the “Promenade Classique,” a sculpture garden created by French artists who incorporate archaeological and mythological references in their works.

And all that’s between

Music fans can catch a show at the intimate Birchmere music hall or experience fine French-Creole cuisine while listening to live jazz and blues at 219 Restaurant. Get your adrenaline pumping and hold tight to your loved one on a lantern-lit Ghost & Graveyard Tour or a haunted pub crawl, or relax at the Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa, or the city’s first day-spa, Fountains Day Spa. Imbibe at Lost Boy Cidery, Port City Brewing Company, or craft beer haven Chadwick’s.

Of course, you can always take the classic date route and enjoy a delicious dinner at modern American fine-dining spot Vermilion, Union Street Public House that’s set in a restored colonial warehouse, or Brabo Brasserie, Brasserie-inspired dishes through the lens of French culinary technique. End your date night on a sugary sweet note with one of many dessert spots, like Pop’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream, The Magnolia Dessert Bar, or Lavender Moon.