20 Date Ideas in Arlington, VA

10 min read

Destguides may receive commissions from purchases made through affiliate links in this article.

A river next to pink blossom trees and a city skyline that reflects into the water
You and your date will find an array of fun and romantic things to do in Arlington

Arlington is an exciting city located next to Washington, D.C. It's best known for being home to Arlington National Cemetery but has many other places to visit and things to see. The city is also a fun place for couples to explore!

This list of date ideas in Arlington, VA, covers some of the best and most romantic things to do together in and around the city. Just a few date activities to enjoy include walking along the Mount Vernon Trail, getting drinks at The Liberty Tavern, and treating your date to a Potomac River dinner cruise.

You could also plan some trips around Arlington, like going to Alexandria for the day or having a date night in Washington D.C., dining at a top restaurant, or watching a Capitals or Wizards game. Keep reading to discover all of the best date activities in and around Arlington, Virginia!

Planning a last-minute trip to Arlington?

When visiting Arlington, book your accommodations and experiences before you go. Below are some top recommendations to get you started.

🏨 Top accommodations in Arlington

☂️ Top tours and experiences in Arlington

Arlington, VA, Date Ideas

Arlington Date Ideas Video

Check out our highlights video of Arlington date ideas.

Arlington Date Ideas Map

A map of Arlington. Use the map to explore all the date ideas.

Arlington Date Ideas Map

Show Interactive Map

Best Arlington Date Spots

A grassy bank opposite a river, a bridge, and white stone structures
You can get stunning views of the Potomac River and DC along the Mount Vernon Trail

Walk along the Mount Vernon Trail

The Mount Vernon Trail begins at Theodore Roosevelt Island just across the Potomac River from Arlington. It can be accessed from areas in Arlington, like near Arlington National Cemetery.

This route covers 18 miles and ends at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate. It's a beautiful trail to walk with your partner, taking in views of the Potomac River, countryside, and forests. You can also see across to DC at the start of the trail around Arlington.

It takes five hours to complete the trail one way when walking. However, you can walk as much or as little of the Mount Vernon Trail as you like, with many entry and exit paths available.

If you're willing to walk a decent way but don't want to do the whole trail, you can walk to Alexandria along the Mount Vernon Trail in about two and a half hours. You can then take public transport back to Arlington.

🏨 Accommodations close to Mount Vernon Trail

Spot airplanes at Gravelly Point

Gravelly Point is an interesting place to go with your date during the day. The peninsula park offers views of the Potomac River and has areas to sit and chat while taking in the views.

Interestingly, you can also see planes taking off and coming in to land from the park. In many cases, the airplanes fly right overhead, making for a unique view that you're unlikely to see anywhere else.

🏨 Stay in close proximity to Gravelly Point

A sign that says "Welcome to Fashion Centre at Pentagon City"
Fashion Centre at Pentagon City has an array of shops and restaurants

Shop at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City

A laid-back or rainy day date activity is shopping and enjoying the other attractions at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. This vast mall has many shops, including clothing stores, home decor shops, and beauty outlets.

After shopping, you can dine together at a sit-down restaurant or pick up snacks, like soft pretzels or cupcakes.

🏨 Place to stay close to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City

Paint artworks at Muse Paintbar

Couples that like crafts will want to plan a date at Muse Paintbar. At the art studio, you can follow along with an instructor to paint a beautiful piece of art.

Things to paint include landscapes, animals, and famous Washington DC attractions. As you paint, you can enjoy drinks, including alcoholic drinks, which can be purchased from an on-site bar.

The studio is open from the late morning or early afternoon until the late evening, so going to Muse Paintbar can be a fun thing to do during the day or on a date night in Arlington, VA.

Hike through Potomac Overlook Regional Park

Potomac Overlook Regional Park is one of the top places to go hiking together. Best of all, entrance is free. At the park, you'll find many trails that take you through woodlands and areas with flora native to Northern Virginia.

During a hike, you and your date may spot animals, including many bird species, deer, and raccoons. Along with hiking, you can visit the James I. Mayer Center for Environmental Education or have a picnic surrounded by nature.

Things to Do on Date Night in Arlington, VA

David Harmantas/Shutterstock.com
A street at night with illuminated bars and restaurants on one side
The Liberty Tavern is an excellent spot for a dinner and drinks date

Dine or get drinks at The Liberty Tavern

Whether you're going out together for dinner or getting drinks, The Liberty Tavern is a fun spot to check out. For dinner, you can enjoy dishes like garlic and herb roasted shrimp, roasted beet salad, and wood-oven pizza.

Desserts are also available, and you can share a bottle of wine or opt for cocktails or craft beer. Those wanting to return during the day can also have lunch or brunch at The Liberty Tavern.

🏨 Nearest accommodations to The Liberty Tavern

See a show at Signature Theatre

Another of the memorable Arlington date night ideas is watching a performance at the Signature Theatre. This performance venue shows independent plays as well as reproductions of more well-known musicals and plays.

Before the show, you and your partner can have a meal at the on-site restaurant. You can also get drinks, including delicious cocktails like a pomegranate liqueur, vodka, and club soda mix.

One of many date ideas in Arlington, VA, is going to the Ballston Quarter
Exploring the Ballston Quarter is one of many fun date ideas in Arlington, VA

Explore the Ballston Quarter

The Ballston Quarter is a great place for an early evening date. This entertainment complex features shops and many bars and restaurants. Places to grab a meal and drinks include taquerias, sushi spots, and burger restaurants.

There are also cocktail bars and an ice cream shop for dessert. When the Ballston Quarter closes around 8 PM, you can find a few more bars and restaurants nearby, like an Asian street food restaurant and a pizzeria.

🏨 Place to stay close to Ballston Quarter

Play board games at The Board Room

The Board Room is a quirky and fun place for an evening date. This game bar has an array of games to choose from, including well-known favorites, like over ten types of Monopoly, including the original, and more unique and niche board games.

On Tuesdays, there's also a Trivia competition, and you can even bring your own board games if there is something you and your partner like playing.

As you enjoy the games, you can order drinks like craft beer, wine, or cocktails. Food, including lots of sharing dishes, is also available.

Romantic Things to Do in Arlington, VA

A field with tulips looking across to an illuminated city at sunset
You can see DC and enjoy the romantic sunset in the park around Netherlands Carillon

Watch the sunset or sunrise at Netherlands Carillon

The Netherlands Carillon is a 127-foot tall tower housing a 53-bell carillon. This Arlington landmark next to Arlington National Cemetery is surrounded by a grassy area and is a romantic place to go at sunrise or sunset.

You'll be able to watch the sun go up or down over the Potomac River and see some Washington DC landmarks across the river, like the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. During the spring, pretty tulips also surround the bell tower.

🏨 Accommodations near the Netherlands Carillon

Stay at The Ritz Carlton

If you and your partner are visiting Arlington, staying at The Ritz Carlton, Pentagon City is one of the most romantic options. The five-star hotel has luxurious rooms and suites, many with stunning views of Pentagon City.

You can also enjoy amenities like a trendy bar and restaurant, gym, and sauna. Afternoon tea is even offered on the weekends. Best of all, the hotel is located near all of Arlington's top attractions, and it's only a 15-minute drive to DC.

A path through flower beds and trees with a tall building at the end
Freedom Park is a scenic place to go for a walk together in downtown Arlington

Take a walk through Freedom Park

On a sunny day, going for a walk with your other half through Freedom Park is a must. This elevated park, similar to The High Line in New York City, covers about two blocks and is the ideal urban oasis.

As you walk, you can admire the pretty gardens and unique sculptures, all surrounded by tall city buildings. There are also lots of places to sit and chat, taking in the views. Before heading to the park, you could stop at a nearby cafe to grab take-out drinks to enjoy during your romantic walk.

Sip wine over dinner at Grand Cru Wine Bar and Bistro

Having wine and dinner together is a popular date idea, and Grand Cru Wine Bar and Bistro is one of the most romantic date spots in Arlington to wine and dine. This high-end eatery serves dishes like mushroom orzo with truffle oil and crab cakes with lemon-caper aioli.

Decadent desserts, such as Belgian chocolate mousse and white chocolate bread pudding, are on the menu to finish. Of course, there's also an extensive wine list to choose from.

Things to Do Near Arlington, VA, for Couples

A pool surrounded by grass and trees next to a stone obelisk and a blue sky
During a trip to DC, you can visit famous landmarks like the Washington Monument

Spend the day in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., is only 20 minutes from central Arlington, making it easy to visit for a daytime date or even a date night. Couples things to do in Washington, D.C. include visiting the National Portrait Gallery, ice skating at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, and getting dinner at one of many romantic restaurants.

You could also go on a Washington, D.C. tour, like a sightseeing or history tour. If you want to visit lots of attractions, you could also plan an overnight trip; there are many stylish hotels in the city that are perfect for a romantic weekend getaway.

🏨 Stay in close proximity to Washington

Paint pottery at Clay Cafe Studios

Located about 15 minutes outside central Arlington in Falls Church, Clay Cafe Studios is a cute spot for a daytime date. At the pottery studio, you can choose from various pottery pieces to paint, including mugs, plates, and vases. You can then paint unique designs to create a one-of-a-kind item and memory of your date.

🏨 Stay in close proximity to Clay Cafe Studios

A red brick building with a steeple, many windows, and a large US flag on it
Alexandria is a charming city to explore together near Arlington

Look around Alexandria

Alexandria is another excellent place for a couples day trip that's only about 20 minutes away. This quaint city features a charming Old Town and many other attractions.

Just a few of the fun things to do in Alexandria include wandering around Jones Point Park, getting drinks at local bars and breweries, and exploring the stalls at the Old Town Farmers' Market.

🏨 Accommodations near Alexandria

Treat your date to a Potomac River dinner cruise

While there are many excellent date night restaurants in Arlington, going on a Potomac River dinner cruise is a much more unique and memorable way to dine with your other half. The cruise departs from the harbor in Washington, D.C., but you can reach the area in just 15 minutes from Arlington.

Aboard the boat, you'll be able to take in amazing views of DC, Arlington, and Theodore Roosevelt Island as the sun goes down and night sets in. You'll also be treated to a three-course meal and live music.

If dinner time doesn't work with your schedule, you can also opt for a lunch cruise on the Potomac River.

🏨 Accommodations close to 650 Wharf St SW

A river with a bridge over it next to trees under a blue sky with some cloud
Theodore Roosevelt Island is a beautiful spot for a hike no matter the season

Visit Theodore Roosevelt Island

Theodore Roosevelt Island is located in the Potomac River between Washington, D.C., and Arlington. You can reach the island in about ten minutes when driving from Downtown Arlington.

If you and your partner are on a budget, going to Theodore Roosevelt Island is also one of the best cheap date ideas near Arlington! Once you and your date arrive, you can follow trails around the 88.5-acre island which is dedicated to the 26th US president.

While exploring, you can visit the Theodore Roosevelt memorial and see lots of plant life and animals, including various species of birds.

Cheer for Washington's sports teams

Do you and your date love sports? Then going to Washington, D.C., from Arlington to watch a local sports team play is a great idea. Major league sports teams in the city include the Washington Capitals NHL team and the Washington Wizards NBA team, who both play at Capital One Arena.

You could also go to a Washington Nationals MLB game at Nationals Park. Alternatively, drive about 30 minutes from Arlington to Maryland to see the Washington Commanders NFL team play at FedEx Field.

🏨 Places to stay close to Capital One Arena

A harbor with boats next to a city skyline under a blue sky
Baltimore has many attractions to visit, from museums to the scenic Inner Harbor

Drive to Baltimore

If you're looking for another destination for a day trip date, consider going to Baltimore, Maryland. You can reach the city in about an hour when driving.

Once you arrive, you'll find lots of things to do in Baltimore, like taking a lunch or dinner cruise around the Inner Harbor or exploring museums, such as the Baltimore Museum of Art or American Visionary Art Museum.

🏨 Accommodations nearby Baltimore

In Conclusion

Whether you're planning a first date or are looking for something to do with your partner, there are many things to do on a date in and around Arlington. This list should have given you lots of ideas to help you plan a fun and romantic daytime or date night activity!

Give us feedback about this article

Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell FORMER WRITER Currently based in Canada, Alli has also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and traveled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She loves finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever she goes.

Want to keep exploring?

Subscribe for discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

Thank you for subscribing

We will be in touch soon with discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

Want to keep exploring?

Subscribe for discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

Thank you for subscribing

We will be in touch soon with discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

Want to keep exploring?

Subscribe for discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

By entering your email address you agree to our terms and conditions, Privacy policy, and consent to receive emails.