A Single’s Guide to Dating in Washington, D.C.

D.C. has plenty of bars and saloons for the perfect date night
D.C. has plenty of bars and saloons for the perfect date night | © Derek Key / Flickr

Dating in Washington, D.C. can be overwhelming—where do you find that special someone? How do you get to know them? Where should you go for your first, second, and third date? The District is bursting at the seams with young, single people and possibility. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to live your best single life in Washington D.C.

The elephant in the room

Are you looking to meet that special someone? The one who likes the same movies, music and, most importantly, political candidates. In this city, politics is a favorite topic of conversation, and it can ruin a lot of budding relationships. That’s where candiDate comes in; it’s a dating site molded around your political preferences. You wouldn’t want to fall in love with someone only to have the New Hampshire primary ruin a good thing. candiDate handles that for you so that the two of you can happily discuss your favorite political podcasts in peace.

Before the bases

Baseball can be a great first date. The game is fast enough to keep half an interest in and slow enough to direct all of your nervous energy at conversation. Plus, the beers.

1. The Bullpen at Half Street Fairgrounds

Bar, American

© anokarina / Flickr
The Bullpen is a popular hangout spot for pregame festivities. Located right outside Nats Park, The Bullpen often features live music and a variety of beer, wine, and mixed drinks. It sits right outside the centerfield gates, making it a perfect spot to meet your blind date before the game. You can get to know your date at the picnic tables as you sip one of The Bullpen’s famous frozen Red Bull-vodka slushies.

2. Board Room

Bar, American

At some point in your relationship, you’re going to find out just how competitive your date is. There’s nothing like the first time bae throws an Xbox controller through the drywall. So, get ahead of the curve and have your second date at The Board Room. It is a fun, themed bar in Dupont Circle. Happy hour prices can’t be beaten, and you’ll find all of your favorite board games there to play while you drink. You can choose among 30 types of games to play with your date. The menu is not effusive, but you can bring takeout in or order in a pizza. Perhaps the loser buys beers?

Uncharted Waters

3. Boating in DC at Key Bridge Boathouse


© Billkoplitz / WikiCommons
Show your Tinder date how fun and adventurous you are, and take them to the Boathouse in Georgetown. You can affordably rent paddleboards, single kayaks, water bikes, and double kayaks (if you want to be attached to them the entire time). Row along D.C.’s scenic waterfront, taking in views of the Kennedy Center and Tidal Basin as you slog through talking about each other’s majors. You can also head the other way, weaving down the parkway and checking out The Three Sisters.

It’s a zoo out there

4. Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Park, Zoo

Mei and her popsicle at the National Zoo | © Brian Gatwicke / Flickr
© Brian Gatwicke / Flickr
The National Zoo is free. Again, you can walk around a giant enclosure filled with exotic animals from all over planet Earth, for literally no cost—and in a city where a beer can cost you $11! If there’s a greater date idea than that, let us know. The zoo is a timeless classic, as there is no age in life when seeing lions and tigers becomes lame. Make sure you start at the top, though—the whole thing is on a giant hill, and it’s hard to make small talk over the sound of your lungs collapsing.

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