Getting to know DC's romantic side

Although the District is more commonly known for its bruising political battles, the region has also developed a reputation for its romantic milieu. Candlelit cocktail lounges, historic scenery and opulent hotels help make the area perfect for young lovers and long-married couples. Those looking for love may want to check out the homes for sale in Washington, DC.

In fact, the District took the top spot on Yahoo! Travel's recent list of 10 unexpectedly romantic cities. Beating out other worthy competitors like Lanai City, Hawaii, Providence, Rhode Island, and Sacramento, DC earned its prime position thanks to its natural landmarks, stylish inns and bubbling nightlife.

Those looking for something beyond the region's political dogfights will find a city chock full of romantic venues. Read on for a few of the hottest spots for lovers of all ages.

1789 Restaurant
This time-tested eatery has been catering to lovebirds for years. In addition to the amorous ambiance, 1789 offers a wide selection of contemporary American cuisine. The restaurant, which can be found at 1226 36th St., was selected by the readers of Gourmet Magazine as one of America's Top Tables. The classic dining room with a roaring fire makes this the perfect place to impress a first date or celebrate a long anniversary.

Menu items like Diver scallops, slow-roasted pork and Icelandic Cod are sure to turn any date into a memorable one. However, the expertly curated wine list and extensive dessert options may be the real stars of the show.

Little Serow
For a slightly lower-key date night, many District residents head to Little Serow at 1511 17th St. This establishment, tucked without fanfare into a street-side basement, serves heralded dishes from Thailand's northern region.

This trendy spot can be hard to get a table at - and it doesn't accept reservations - so couples may want to stop by on a weeknight for a better chance at being seated. The spicy, sour cuisine is memorable enough to make it a great place for grub, and the stylish decor and candlelit tables bump up the romance factor.

The National Arboretum
For couples looking for a date not set in a popular restaurant, the National Arboretum offers a love-inducing environment. The koi pond and well-kept lawns make this an excellent place to stroll on a crisp autumn day. Due to its massive size and multi-sectioned layout, it's easy to spend hours here wandering the grounds without encountering another soul - which might be just what's in order for a romantic afternoon.