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This is a hotel bar... definately a negative. I have always hated hotel bars, probably always will, until I'm about 60 and around the same age as the other customers. But this bar has one big draw that other greasy hotel bars lack: a stunning view over the Potomac River to Georgetown and beyond.
We stopped in one Friday afternoon around 6pm and grabbed a few seats at the bar. Lhenne1 and I each had a bottle of beer ($5.50 each). The bar area is against the glass and set low so the bar seats face the windows. The bartender walks between you and the windows, but does not block the view. Heck, he barely even stops to see if you need a drink; you won't even know he's there!
We sat for about 45 minutes and just stared over the bar at the city across the river, trying to pick out key landmarks. From here you can easily see Georgetown University and the National Cathedral behind it in the distance. I was also able to pick out Catholic University, the Georgetown Reservoir, the poltergeist stair in Georgetown, the Naval Observatory, and a few other locations. Unfortunately the bar does not offer any views to the National Mall or the White House.
The bartender here was pretty bored and our service slow. I planned to have a second beer, but he ignored my empty bottle for about 5 minutes, so we decided to pay and leave. Come for the views, not the service.
This 17th floor bar is attached to a restaurant with similar views.
Updated Jul 9, 2009
Arlington is a tiny county, but it's heavily populated so it feels more like a big city. There are a few highways in Arlington, including I-66, I-395, and The George Washington Parkway, but most of the through roads are large city streets like Wilson Blvd, Clarendon Blvd, Arlington Blvd, Leesburg Pike, Columbia Pike, Clarendon Blvd, Glebe Road, and others. Due to the smaller roads, many people tend to use the Metro here to get to and from their jobs and offices along the Orange Line.
If you must drive, remember that parking is at a premium in the larger residential and business areas like Rosslyn, Clarendon, Ballston, Falls Church, and other towns. In Rosslyn, there is no free on-street parking that I've been able to find. Metered parking is typically limited to two hours or less. Garages start at $7 a day for early bird parking (usually entering before 7am or 8am), but can run as high as $20 a day, maybe more in the big hotels. I like the garage at 1901 Fort Meyer Drive because it costs just $7 a day if you arrive early, but they don't open until 7am and they have very low ceilings that have scraped my truck roof.
Written Jul 9, 2009