A Baseball Date

Rachel Gibson

I have an idea for a great baseball date. It might actually be a nice surprise if your special someone would like something more romantic but thinks you're just going to another ballgame.

A good place to sit and eat your romantic lunch is along the waterfront, before you hit the game. (Photo by Rachel Gibson)

(You'll probably want to try this date on a Sunday, since there aren't any more day games on any other day of the week between now and Labor Day. And it helps if you actually like seafood.)

Here's the date in a nutshell: Start down at the waterfront fish market around 11:30 a.m. or so and get a fresh-cooked seafood lunch to go. Then stroll along the harbor to one of the many benches by the water and share an order of spiced boiled shrimp or freshly shucked oysters under a shade tree while you watch sailboats float quietly by. Then walk the last half mile to the ballpark for the 1:35 p.m. game.

The ballpark is only a mile from the fish market, and it's a lovely walk. The first half mile is along the water and passes the harbor's bobbing boats, lots of benches and overhung trees. There's also a nice breeze that comes off the water. It's surprisingly quiet and peaceful, considering you're still in the big city. It's very romantic -- and a very "local" thing to do, which is always great.

The second half of the walk is through the ballpark neighborhood, which is also overhung with trees, quiet and very neighborhood-y (the good kind). I know anything labeled "Southeast" could bring some negative associations about safety, but on an early Sunday afternoon, you will see nothing but families or couples, a few runners or bikers and maybe some kids on skateboards. It's gorgeous, and I daresay a hidden gem.

Here are some dos and don'ts:
• Don't drive. Weekend traffic jams and parking around the fish market are miserable.
• One good starting point might be at L'Enfant Plaza Metro. Walk the route that takes you past the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel toward the fountain. Fountains are always nice to look at, and you'll have a sweeping view of the river and the harbor.
• Go before it gets so hot and humid that walking even a block leaves you panting.
• Get your seafood and get out of there quick. The seafood is awesome, but the smell is anything but romantic.
• The best place to sit and enjoy your lunch and your date's company is beyond the harbor on the benches, in front of the condos near the water. It's grassy and green and shaded and so quiet.
• Many signs along the way point you in the direction of the ballpark, so don't worry about getting lost.
• Lobster or crab might not be the best choice in this setting, especially first dates.

Good luck! And tell us how it goes or if you have any other baseball date ideas to share.

By Rachel Gibson  |  June 3, 2008; 9:44 AM ET  | Category:  Rachel Gibson
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Nice post and a good idea!

One slight correction though, the walk from the Waterfront/fish markets to the Park takes you through Southwest, rather than "Southeast".

Posted by: Kev | June 3, 2008 2:08 PM

So, what are you doing Sunday, Rachel?

Posted by: Nacho Man | June 3, 2008 2:20 PM

Kev, you're right. The entire walk is mostly in southwest. You don't cross into southeast until you hit South Capitol street and the ballpark.

Sheesh. And I call myself a DC girl. Thanks for catching it.

Posted by: Rachel | June 3, 2008 7:50 PM

Nacho Man, I'm flattered. And I love nachos.

Posted by: Rachel | June 3, 2008 7:52 PM

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