Girl’s Guide to Adventurous Dates in DC

So you made use of my handy first date suggestion list and of course you are stunning and wonderful, so Dude asked you out a few more times and you’re officially in the dating stage. And either due to male laziness or an attempt to be considerate if he planned the previous rendezvous, this one’s up to you to plan. You could pull from my first date list, but at some point the relationship needs a little more than just cocktails after work. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered, again. Let my dating successes and failures be your guide.

To protect all date identities, all photos will just be of me. Gotta look out for the homeboys.

To protect all date identities, all photos will just be of me. Gotta look out for the homeboys.

New to the City Day Date: DC is a transient place. People constantly move here and move away, and dating can be a good opportunity to explore a new city. Spend a gorgeous Spring or Fall day renting Capital Bikeshare bikes and ride around the monuments. See my bicycle adventure with the ManFriend a few months ago for a great beer garden to end your tour.

Adventure Is Out There… But Not Too Far Out There: My ex (the Euro-trip dude) was super active and didn’t drink very much, so one of our first dates was a hiking trip through Great Falls National Park. This hidden gem is only 30 minutes outside of the city, and the hikes are challenging enough to be fun, but easy enough that you can still wear your LuLu spandex and brush on some mascara. I recommend hiking the River Trail (it starts right behind the Visitor’s Center) and then looping back around through the Swamp Trail for a fun 2-hour date in nature. (Entry to the park is $10 per vehicle, so it’s cost-effective, too!)

Tree Hugger Lovers: Did you know the District has a national Arboretum? I didn’t either, until I was taken on a date here. Explore the Bonsai exhibit, walk around the grounds, and forget you’re in the city for an afternoon with stunning views of the original Capitol columns. Like all DC national exhibits, it’s free!

Feeling super Roman (or is this Greek?) in front of old architecture.

Feeling super Roman (or is this Greek?) in front of old architecture in the National Arboretum.

History Buff Scavenger Hunt: DC is known for it’s free Smithsonian museums, but take it from someone who’s been on a few dates to Air and Space… after the third hour of looking at planes, hangry starts to set in and it’s just not as fun anymore. While I haven’t personally done this scavenger hunt, Stray Boots offers a mobile scavenger hunt that will take you through multiple museums and exhibits in search of key highlights! The hunt costs $12 and lasts about 2 hours.

Concert Couple: One of my most memorable dates in the District was a double-date to the Jiffy Lube Live outdoor amphitheater for a concert. During the spring and summer, there are plenty of country concerts on Saturdays or Sundays, and half the fun is getting their early and tailgating. This is perfect for a group date or a double date, since you can carpool and play tailgate games. Just don’t trip and roll down the amphitheater lawn… (I’m not saying I’m speaking from experience, but I’m also not saying I managed to save my beer…)

Kayak Krew: The Georgetown Waterfront already made it on my list of first dates, but this is specifically for the Key Bridge Boathouse. Renting kayaks (or a two-seater) or stand-up-paddle-boards is a fun way to enjoy the outdoors in the summer. They re-open for the 2016 season in April, and it’s only about $15 per hour to rent a kayak.

Snowbunny Skiing: The past two years, I’ve done day trips up to Whitetail Resort for a mini ski trip. The trick is to get up early and hit the slopes early… by noon, the lifts start seeing long wait times. I’ve done both the full day and the four-hour pass and, considering I stick to the bunny slopes, the four-hour pass was ideal for me. They even offer a lesson if you’ve never skied before! Despite the mountains being seemingly far from the District, it’s less than two hours away!

Adventure (and love) is out there!

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