My husband and I love Washington, DC. I grew up not far from there in the rolling hills of Virginia and, as a young married couple, we lived there for a year shortly after my husband left the military. We have always loved the history and the art — and the fact that so many of the attractions are free. But on a recent weekend, we decided to make it a romantic escape to DC. That meant we would forego the usual. We wouldn’t visit the Newseum (my favorite, but definitely filled with a few gritty moments and not ideal for the romantic theme). We wouldn’t check out the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum(hubby’s favorite but also not my idea of romantic). We were dedicated to the romantic this time. Here are my top picks if you want to woo your sweetheart in Washington, DC.

Book a Romantic Tryst

The Mayflower Hotel, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, opened in 1925. It opened as one of the country’s most elegant hotels with a block-long promenade, more gold leafing than any other building in DC — except the Library of Congress — and had an apartment wing that housed members of Congress. It remains an icon for elegance and sophistication.

The Mayflower Hotel lobby. Photo courtesy Marriott Hotels

The Mayflower Hotel lobby. Photo courtesy Marriott Hotels

The Mayflower has hosted inaugural balls, housed visiting royalty, has surely been the scene of many a secret lover’s tryst and has been host to more power luncheons than most of us can imagine. Today, after a $20 million renovation, it is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, and a perfect spot for your own romantic weekend tryst.

We booked a suite for the weekend — because, well, it was a romantic tryst after all. I loved the signature wall behind the bed. It’s a re-creation of the original guest book, including John F. Kennedy, Walt Disney, Hubert Humphrey and Harry Truman, just to name a few.

Signature Wall at The Mayflower Hotel. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

Signature Wall at The Mayflower Hotel. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

I thought the jewel-toned accents were perfect for blending modern amenities with a sense of history. And, in keeping with our romantic theme, I definitely appreciated our romantic treats. The concierge can help you arrange the perfect treats for your romantic getaway.

Wine and Chocolates for a Romantic Weekend. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

Wine and Chocolates for a Romantic Weekend. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

A Romantic Brunch

So, call me crazy, but I think there’s something really romantic about brunch. It starts with a lazy morning. No alarm clocks. The morning light filters slowly into the room. You take the time to leave the hotel on your own terms, without any rush. There’s something special about DC on the weekends. There’s no hustle and bustle. The politicos are gone. Sure, there are tourists, but no one is in a big hurry. The government buildings are closed and the traffic is less frantic.

We took off from The Mayflower for a casual stroll down Connecticut Avenue to the Farragut North Metro Station. It’s about 3 minutes and the bell staff can point the way.

Ride the Metro in Downtown DC. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

Ride the Metro in Downtown DC. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

I love the Metro in DC. It’s part of the experience for me. Buy your tickets before you go through the gates and take the red line toward Glenmont to the Gallery Place Chinatown Station. It’s only about a 4-minute ride (2 stops). We walked just a couple of minutes to one of the most amazing brunch spots — Jaleo DC by José Andrés. I love the bold colors in the new location of this DC classic and the food is even better than the décor. My husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, so I was a little worried that he might not enjoy it as much. I had no reason to worry. He enjoyed every bite.

Jaleo by José Andrés is a Great Brunch Spot in Washington DC. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

Jaleo by José Andrés is a Great Brunch Spot in Washington DC. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

The best way to experience this brunch is to order the Jaleo Classics, a tasting menu of the classic and most traditional tapas, which is $30 per person and includes either a glass of cava (the delicious Spanish sparkling wine) or a mimosa. My husband and I opted for a glass of cava each and set out for a lovely two-hour exploration of amazing Spanish cuisine. We started with smoked salmon, served with hard-boiled egg, goat cheese and capers on cristal bread. For my meat-and-potatoes guy, he actually ended up saying this was his favorite course of the day.

Smoked Salmon. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

Smoked Salmon. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

We followed that up with Huevos Estrellados—traditional fried potatoes served with organic free-range fried eggs. It’s a romantic weekend, so calories don’t count!

Click HERE to read the rest of our romantic weekend in Washington, DC on Travelocity.

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