Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC Source:

When It's Just the 2 of You... There's Only 1 DC for a Romantic Weekend Escape


Whether you're treating your valentine to a mini vacation, taking a long weekend break for Presidents' Day or celebrating the start of spring, Washington DC offers wonderful opportunities for romantic getaways in early 2024.

LGBTQ+ couples looking to indulge in fine dining, fabulous performances, cultural exploration or vibrant nightlife will all find something to suit their fancy and provide an invigorating break from the winter doldrums.

Gatsby by KNEAD Hospitality + Design
Source: Rey Lopez

Queer-owned Culinary Adventures

Over the past nine years, husbands Michael Reginbogin and Jason Berry have built Knead Hospitality and Design, a DC restaurant empire. The savvy couple has a phenomenal track record of identifying extraordinarily talented chefs to then create stunningly designed showplaces for said talents.

Feasts for the eyes and the palate, Knead's hot spots include Succotash Prime, where James Beard-winning chef Edward Lee brings an Asian accent to Southern cuisine. Indulge in dishes like crab cakes with curry remoulade, crispy green beans with wasabi ranch, and collard greens with kim chi served alongside massive platters of fried chicken and prime steaks.

At Gatsby, art deco décor meets all-American diner cooking: whether you're in the mood for chicken pot pie or pie a la mode, you're in the right place. And their "No Prohibition" nightly special offers 90 minutes of bottomless craft cocktails for $38.99.

Recently, their more casual Kneadza artisan pizza and tuTaco Mexican street food concepts have opened at Swingers, DC's cocktail-fueled indoor miniature golf course for grown-ups.

Pia Carusone and Rachel Gardner are the queer business partners behind Republic Restoratives, the world's largest women-owned and crowdfunded distillery. Their singular brands, like Madam, a blended whiskey which features a portrait of Kamala Harris on the bottle; and Dissent pastrami-spiced gin, a tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg (portions of proceeds are donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds) can be sampled on weekend tasting tours at their New York Avenue headquarters.

The Kennedy Center

It's Not Just a Stage

The work of queer heroes old and new will be featured at some of DC's most celebrated venues this winter. The Tony-winning revival of Stephen Sondheim's Company will play at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts between March 12 and 21 as part of its national tour. The straight twosome known as Paul and Amy in prior productions has here been reimagined as gay couple Paul and Jamie.

Over at the legendary 9:30 Club, LGBTQ+ singer songwriters will be in town for three wildly varied shows. Brittney Howard, the former frontwoman of Alabama Shakes, and solo Grammy-winner in her own right plays selections from her brand-new album, What Now?, on February 20 and 21.

Later that week, on February 23, moody, broody California-born Ryan Beatty brings his Calico tour to town. And on March 3, the club welcomes another Gen Z icon-in-waiting, the internet-spawned sensation Maddy Zahm.

by Jim Gladstone

Jim Gladstone is a San Francisco-based writer and creative strategist.

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