For a Monumentally Good Time, Try Dating in DC This Fall — GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (No. 51)

Take advantage of DC to get those fireworks going

Ah, DC.  The land of the President, the Washington Monument, the Capitol, and a winning (finally!) baseball team.  It’s a place filled with intellectuals, lawyers, lobbyists, and, of course, a fun and extroverted dating coach.

As the weather quickly changes from sweltering hot to a little bit chilly, and the leaves on the trees in Dupont Circle start to turn various shades of orange and red, we know that fall has arrived in our wonderful city.  Now that many of the summer date ideas have reached their expiration date, it’s time to gear up for fall and make sure we have a stash of fun and romantic ideas that take advantage of all DC has to offer.  I’ll break them down into a few categories based on your interests: outdoors, food, entertainment, and miscellaneous DC-centric fun.

For the outdoors-lovers:

Why let a little crisp air get in the way of your fun?  Take a hike in Great Falls or Shenandoah National Park.  (Old Rag is pretty amazing.)  Or go apple picking at one of the many orchards in our area, and make an apple pie together afterwards to show off your culinary prowess.  If you’re a little more artistic, go pick out pumpkins and carve them for Halloween together.  And if the weather’s a little nicer, a picnic (and perhaps a friendly game of Scrabble) on the Mall or in Meridian Hill Park is a great way to spend the day outside.

For the foodies:

For anyone who knows me, you know that I’m the biggest foodie around.  It’s true – this gal loves to eat.  (It’s a good thing this gal also loves her Vida Rx class at the gym!)  There are so many wonderful restaurants in the area that it’s hard to choose, and new restaurants seem to be popping up every day.  A few of the hot new ones to check out are Bandolero by Mike Isabella in Georgetown, Boqueria in Dupont for some pan con tomate and tortilla espanola, The Brixton on U St. for the amazing roof deck and pub fare, El Chucho in Columbia Heights for some tacos and margaritas, Mintwood Place in Adams Morgan (Obama even tried it!), the new Hank’s Oyster Bar in Capitol Hill, or Drafting Table in Logan Circle, which just opened last week.  (And for those who like to chow down on treif, try The Green Pig in Clarendon.)

For the thespians and theater-lovers:

DC is chock-full of amazing theater venues – the Warner Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, the National Theatre, and, of course, the Kennedy Center.  While not great for a first date (remember – just drinks or coffee), a show can be a wonderful way to spend an evening.  And it doesn’t even have to break the bank!  Every day at 6 PM, the Kennedy Center offers a free concert at its Millennium Stage.  One fun-sounding one on October 15th (Nathan Williams and the Zydeco Cha Chas) offers free dance lessons at 5 PM.  For more, check out DC’s Theater Guide.

For the “I only want to do stuff that’s unique to DC” people:

Take a stroll through the monuments at night.  Remember, you can do a little research and impress your date with random facts.  “Did you know the Washington Monument was started 36 years before it was completed?”  “Wow!” – insert adoring eyes here – “You’re so smart… and cute, too.”  (And for the guys, maybe bring an extra jacket or scarf to lend to your date if there’s a chill in the air.)  Or book a tour of the Capitol online.  It’s a fun, free way to explore our own city.

Now, when you shop through the supermarket of love (aka JDate), you’re well-equipped with an arsenal of DC fall date ideas.  Have fun!

Erika Ettin is, as the Washington Post has noted, a “modern day Cyrano.” She is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people with all aspects of online dating.  Check out her interview on NPR here. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available.  Want to connect with Erika?  Join her newsletter for updates and tips.

This article was also posted in JMag, the online magazine for

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