Will you have a car to rely on to go out to places to eat from your hotel, or do you need to stay within walking distance of Metro AND food?
BTW, staying outside the city is a VERY common topic in the D.C. Forum. Have you done your research there?Edited: 8:15 am, January 21, 2010
In Virginia, the Franconia/Springfield area is cheaper than Vienna, but Vienna is in my view a lot nicer. There is a hotel at the corner Nutley and Maple Ave. It is about 1 from the Vienna metro. There are some reviews on TA tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g60996-d120588-… I haven't stayed there but know the area very well and it's very nice.
Yes, Vienna is nicer and close to more malls and shops than you could possibly visit in the next month or two. Just around the beltway from Tysons Corner/Vienna is Fairfax City. If memory serves me it's a little older with more kind of aging accomodations which would be more competitive, but decent. Maybe along Hwy. 50 or just off I - 66, both of which will take you right in to the heart of D.C.
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