DC Date Night: A country-esque hidden gem | The American Word

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DC Date Night: A country-esque hidden gem

Katie Johnson | 1/13/14 11:56am

Okay—I’ll admit it. Sometimes, I just need a day with some adventure, even if it is a date. Despite being in a city, AU students are in a hub of adventure that can fall outside the lines of traditional city events. This is why I decided to make my way down to C & O Canal Towpath’s entrance in Georgetown with my boyfriend for a nice, semi-relaxing day.

Now, before you immediately think “oh, so a bike trail…there are SO many around here,” just give me a minute to explain. I thought the very same thing: been there, done that (eye roll).

I never took the time to understand the history and how different this trail was from the norm. Did you know C & O Canal Towpath is 184.5 miles long, tracing the Potomac River from Georgetown to Cumberland? The Canal itself is recognized as a Historic National Park. How did I not know this?!

I thought I’d seen all the monuments in D.C. in my three years at AU, but C & O is not among my list. After learning this all, I decided to make the venture with my boyfriend and our dog down the canal towpath. Bikers, runners, hikers—you name it, they were right there with us. Even my puppy made some friends on the trail.

One thing is for sure—make sure to pack some snacks and water for the trip when you decide to go. We brought along some water bottles, treats for the dog and a few granola bars and were able to take a break along some scenic areas on the path, just relaxing, enjoying the beautiful sights and sounds (while filling my phone with pictures).

I’m sure we all ended up in D.C. after realizing the city was a great place to be. I’m right there with you, and after a day of hiking, I was ready to shower, change and have a more relaxed night in the city setting. However, note to self: I need to hike the length of the canal route on a multi-day adventure at some point!

Dinner was on my boyfriend’s radar first thing, and we opted to Metro over to Virginia rather than into the city to have a meal we wouldn’t normally make the trip for. Bad idea… we must have spent 20 minutes walking past restaurants unable to pick, arguing and weighing our options. (My suggestion: look at reviews beforehand and go there with a plan).

Eventually, we slipped into Fuego Cocina Y Tequilera for some food and surprisingly cheap drinks. We were immediately greeted and sat on the colorful first floor of the restaurant. A staple in Mexican restaurants, chips and salsa were immediately brought to the table. Yes, please—we would like some more, keep ‘em coming.

This restaurant is a true stunner, and the prices for food unfortunately reflected the classy atmosphere. Dining on a college budget, we decided to split some chicken enchiladas (around $17 for 3 enchiladas) and a salad with a bowl of rice on the side as well. The free chips had already filled us a bit.

For those lucky enough to be over 21, you’re in for a real treat. If you catch this restaurant at the right time, drink specials can be incredible! On Mondays-Fridays from 4-7pm and Sundays from 11am-9pm, you can catch their signature drinks for only $5, including enormous, delicious frozen margaritas, as well as a large selection of beers and wines. What more could you ask for?

The food was out within less than 15 minutes and, to our surprise, were fairly large portions. Not exactly sharing size, but definitely suffice to split with a couple of sides. And honestly, the food was absolutely worth the slightly higher price. The enchiladas were filled with flavor and I absolutely could have eaten the entire plate on my own. We still made it out after paying only $40 in total. Not bad for the great food and phenomenal service!

Stuffed to capacity, but saving room for some sugary snacks, we walked a few blocks to Courthouse 8 Movie Theatre. Again, sounds boring, but this theatre is nothing like what you may be used to! You know that chair you have at your house that your dad tends to claim for himself? The huge, fluffy recliner with plush arms that you could fall asleep in? Brace yourself: every single chair in the theatre is like this!

You can go right into a Fandango app on your phone and select seats over dinner before going to the theatre and picking them up, and I definitely recommend it! We walked right up, got our tickets from the pick up machine and headed inside this with-the-times theatre. You may be tempted to stick to your routine if you go to movies and hit Friendship Heights but I urge you to cash in on this new trend. After a busy week, or stressful day, it is absolutely worth it no matter what you’re going to see.

As you may notice if you read about my last date night in DC, I enjoy the outdoors a bit and like that DC allows us to combine a country lifestyle with a city one. Take advantage of what this city has to offer you! Seriously, I’ve been to plenty of cities and you really can’t beat it.