Top 10 Dog-Friendly Date Ideas in Washington D.C.


It’s that time of year again! Love is in the air, stores are overflowing with teddy bears and heart-shaped candy -- and this time, your pooch might not be your only cuddle buddy for the evening! That doesn’t mean your canine companion should feel left out, though -- there are plenty of ways to spend the day with both your doggo and your date. But where to go that’s both romantic and Fido-friendly in Washington, D.C.? Don’t worry -- if you live in the D.C. area, there are plenty of pawesome pup-inclusive options! We’ve listed ten of the best below.

(And if your date thinks your four-pawed pal is a third wheel, it might be best to call it a night and keep on swiping.)

Soak up the scenery at the US National Arboretum

No bones about it, a stroll around the US National Arboretum can make for a really romantic daytime date. You, your pup, and your paramour can take a stroll by the river, gasp at the Gotelli Conifer Collection, or share a picnic at the gazebo. Plus, the stunning trees make a seriously special backdrop for selfies, so you and your date can preserve the memory.

Pull out all the stops at Montmartre

Nothing says "romance" like Parisian cuisine -- and not only does Montmartre serve up the best in French bistro fare, but they also welcome wagging tails outside. If you and your date can stop staring into each other’s eyes, the sidewalk cafe is a paw-fect spot for people-watching! The prices are a little high, but the atmosphere is sure to suit those searching for something a little fancy.

Go for a canine-friendly coffee date at Sidamo Coffee and Tea

Sidamo Coffee and Tea is a furrific choice for pups and people looking for a more low-key location. The secluded, pooch-friendly patio at this family-run gem is a great place for you and your date to get to know each other in privacy, and the Ethiopian coffee is the stuff of local legend. They'll also bring out water for your buddy on a hot day!
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Get seriously spooked on a D.C. Ghost Tour

Horror movies are a first-date cliche for a reason. Shared scares can break down barriers, and research shows that whatever gets your heart thumping (ahem) gets your heart thumping. There aren't any dog-friendly theaters in D.C., but the D.C. Ghost Tour is a fur-tastic alternative! Also, seeing a slice of the city’s hidden history is sure to give you and your date something to talk about.

Take a trip to Old Town Alexandria

The charming surroundings of Old Town Alexandria are well worth the 20-minute drive from D.C.! Not only was Old Town Alexandria voted one of the prettiest cities of the South, but the historic town center is brimming with independent, pooch-friendly dining options. You three can also take a romantic walk along the waterfront, or visit in the daytime to check out America’s oldest farmer’s market.

Paddle down the Potomac

If you're looking for something a little different to do, why not consider renting a boat and exploring the city by water? The Boathouse at Fletcher’s Cove offers canoe and kayak rentals, as well as rowboats for those who’d like to get cozier. Just make sure that your doggo is wearing a doggy lifejacket before you and your date make your way down the Potomac!

Take a pooch-friendly pedicab tour

It’s not quite a horse and carriage, but a pedicab tour is a pawtastic date idea for history buffs. Both Discover D.C. Pedicab Tours and the interestingly named Nonpartisan Pedicab will welcome your buddy on board, and their friendly drivers double as knowledgeable guides. Tours also operate at night, so you three will get to see all the monuments lit up. Advance reservation is best.

Grab a beer at Dacha Beer Garden

Dacha Beer Garden is a mutts-visit for brew enthusiasts. Their selection of German beers is one of the best in the city, and pups are given a warm welcome. If a beer garden in February sounds a little silly to you, don’t worry -- there are plenty of outdoor heaters. The vibe is cool and quirky, and the Liz Taylor mural just adds to the ambiance.

Stroll Through Glen's Garden Market

Farmer’s markets are becoming increasingly paw-pular as a date option, and Glen’s Garden Market is one of the best in D.C. Their renowned Tasting Table provides a different dining experience -- seven courses, each one a surprise. The ecologically conscious among us will be glad to know that this is a guilt-free trip. All the produce is local, and the whole market runs on wind power.

Chow down with your furry friend at Art and Soul

The Southern food at Art and Soul might seem a little no-frills, but this local institution is hard to beat when it comes to dog-friendly dining. Not only does their hospitality extend to all puppers at their outdoor tables -- they even have their own doggy menu! Prices at might be a little high, but the quality is worth paying for, and vegan options are available.