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Which Embassy Suites - Crystal City or Alexandria

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Which Embassy Suites - Crystal City or Alexandria

Not sure which Embassy we should stay at since we have a week free at either one.

2 adults and 2 tweens. Will be doing the DC top 10 attractions and wanted to know which would be the most convienient. Will be using metro (no car rental) and flying into DCA but flying out from IAD. Please advise...any opinions or prior experiences much appreciated.

Arlington, VA
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1. Re: Which Embassy Suites - Crystal City or Alexandria

I am not sure where the Alexandria ES is, but I know the Crystal City location quite well as I live down the street from that property.

The Crystal City ES is where my family comes into town when they visit. They also have two tweens. They love this location because of the 2 1/2 block walk to Metro, free breakfasts, and 10 mins on train 3 Metro stops into DC. There is also LOTS of family friendly restaurants in walking distance. They also have a free shuttle to and from DCA and the local restaurants should you not want to walk. I pasted below some info on the Crystal City/Pentagon City area.

I hope someone can provide some info on the Alexandria location so you can make a good choice.

I live in the Crystal City/Pentagon City area and have for most of the 13 years I have lived in the DC area.

Crystal City is a sub-section of Arlington, VA. The area is anywhere from 1 - 2 miles from DC and National Airport. There are Metro stops in both Crystal City and Pentagon City.

Crystal City Metro Stop (most hotels are closer to this stop)


*** Three stops to DC (“L’enfant Plaza)

*** Three stops to Arlington Cemetery

Pentagon City Metro Stop


*** Two stops to DC (“L’enfant Plaza)

*** Two stops to Arlington Cemetery

There are lots of office building and most are connected to the "Crystal City Underground" These are shops/restaurants that run the length of Crystal City. Most of these places are not open on the weekends as they service the office building in the area. However, this is a lot more than just the underground in the area.


There are TONS of hotels. Embassy Suites, Hyatt, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, three Marriott’s and LOTS of others. Post back any hotels you are looking at and we can comment.


There are 4 "areas" for dining in Crystal City/Pentagon City.

1. Crystal City Proper

This includes the Underground (most not open post 6pm and weekends) and Crystal Drive. Crystal Drive has undergone a nice transformation recently and has opened a bunch of great restaurants that are open on weekends and nights. Some include McCormick and Schmicks (seafood), Oyemel (Tapas), Baileys (Sports - good for kids), Ruth Chris (steak and overlooks National Airport), Charlie Chiangs (Chinese - good for kids), Legal Seafood (yup -- good guess - seafood). There are others, but these are the ones I can think off of the top of my head.

2. 23rd Street Crystal City

On 23rd Street in Crystal City there are a BUNCH of restaurants. This street is affectionately known as “Restaurant Row”. LOTS of ethnic restaurants. Some faves include Bonsai Grill (sushi – GREAT people), Crystal City Sports Pub (Sports Illustrated top 20 best sports bar, GREAT wings, good for kids believe it or not as there is a kids menu and the food is good but not too expensive), Café Italia (best of the three Italian restaurants)Tutto Italino (less upscale than Cafe and better for kids with more pizza and subs on the menu). There are a bunch of others to meet anyone’s taste.

3. Pentagon City Mall/Centre

There is a great Mall in Pentagon City – just blocks from Crystal City. To give you some context, I live one block from Pentagon City Mall and 3 blocks from Crystal City – all EASY walks. The mall has typical mall food fare including a food court and a few sit down chain restaurants. Pentagon Centre Mall – across the street has a Mexican chain (cannot remember the name), Starbucks, and California Pizza Kitchen - all good for kids. In Pentagon City Mall there is a food court and a Johnny Rockets (50’s style hamburger place) and Ruby Tuesdays.

4. Pentagon Row

A relatively new area (past 1 ½ years) is called Pentagon Row. This is on the other side of Pentagon City Mall. This is a favorite area of mine. In the winter they build an ice skating rink. Year round there are some GREAT restaurants. Faves include Asia Bistro (Japanese fusion and sushi), Lebanese Taverna (Lebanese), Sine (Irish – pronounced Sha Nay), Noodles (chain noodles etc), and Champps (Sports - good for kids)There are others that I just have not tried.


You can shop at the Underground Shops, Pentagon City Mall, Pentagon Centre Mall, or Pentagon Row.


Ummmmmmmmm, Crystal City is not really an area for sightseeing. I think that Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has a museum in Pentagon City.


Crystal City/Pentagon City is a great place to stay and visit DC as it has easy access to DC. There are lots of places to stay, eat, and shop.

Alexandria, VA
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2. Re: Which Embassy Suites - Crystal City or Alexandria

Personally, I'd stay at the Alex. location. Its RIGHT next to the king street metro and the area is MUCH more interesting than Crystal city, not to mention better restaurants. Alex's old town is a 5-10 minute walk or take the free bus shuttle. Staying in crystal city is a real snoozer, dont do it. You are right next to a great local bar/restaurant (Joe Theisman's) and a very good breakfast place a few blocks walk (Table Top). As far as travel, its an extra 10 minutes at most on the metro. Really, being slightly closer to DC, is the ONLY advantage of staying in CC over Alex...