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11 rooftop bars you should have a drink at this summer

From margaritas here in NoVA to specialty cocktails in the District, these outdoor bars will keep you refreshed all summer long.

The view from Whiskey Charlie (Photo courtesy of Canopy Hotel)

While the summer season marks a time of outdoor play for kids on break, it typically brings little change for the day-to-day schedule for us as adults. What it does bring, though, is happy hour deals on various rooftop bars in the Northern Virginia region. Here, we share this summer’s can’t-miss spots.

Buena Vida Social Club
Just over a week ago, the neighborhood of Clarendon got a brand-new hot spot in the form of Buena Vida Social Club. The new 4,700-square-foot rooftop, with room for 150 people and views of Wilson Boulevard, is home to two bars featuring spritzes, margaritas and even cocktails in a coconut. Plus, there’s shared plates—crab molletes, carrot tinga tostadas and beetroot steak sliders—for all to try.  // 2900 Wilson Blvd., Suite 103, Arlington

Dogwood Tavern
For pub fare and craft cocktails, turn to Dogwood Tavern’s Sky Bar. There’s a rotating cocktail of the week, plus a recent addition to the menu: the “Frozen Waterloo,” with gin, fresh watermelon, lemon juice and basil syrup, perfect for cooling down after a day in the heat. // 132 W. Broad St., Falls Church

Wilson Hardware
Inspired by the hardware shop that once occupied the same spot, Wilson Hardware is a comfortable hub with contemporary American cuisine and specialty cocktails great for a refresher on a summer night. The rooftop, which won first place in the Best Rooftop Bar category in our Best of NoVA 2019 issue, has table and bar seating and offers happy hour deals from 3 to 7 p.m. on weekdays. // 2915 Wilson Blvd., Arlington

Vivify Burger & Lounge
Burgers get the upscale treatment at Vivify Burger & Lounge in Fredericksburg. With tater tots, poutine, and a bahn mi hot dog, as well as the establishment’s diverse selection of craft beer, this rooftop lit by string lights is kid-friendly and comfortable. // 314 William St., Fredericksburg

The Yard at Le Meridien Hotel
Coming up on its one-year anniversary, The Yard Arlington, located on the fourth floor outdoor terrace of Le Meridien Hotel, features Mexican-inspired cocktails and tacos. The patio is also home to live music and weekday specials, like $6 margaritas on Mondays. // 1121 19th St. N., Arlington

Cocina on Market
The team behind farm-to-table Market Table Bistro switched to Mexican food with Cocina on Market. The rooftop area, while small, is quaint and perfect for guests to try out the curated menu and cocktails that go with it while looking out over the streets of downtown. // 7 W. Market St., Leesburg

Dudley’s Sports and Ale
In need of a spot to watch the Nats beat out their opponents on summer nights? Look no further than Dudley’s Sports and Ale in Arlington. From snack baskets that feature treats like pretzels and wings to its authentic stadium seats, it’s a close second to watching the game live at Navy Yard. // 2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive, Arlington

Top of the Gate
With 360-degree views of DC, the Washington Monument, the Potomac River and more, this cocktail bar has views galore. Sip on drinks from the refined cocktail menu and try out the Mediterranean small plates, like grilled octopus tentacles or lamb shish kabob, all while looking out over the harbor. // 2650 Virginia Ave. NW, Washington, DC

The Wharf
The Wharf in DC has experienced a restaurant revolution in the past year, and that means a new array of rooftop bars that are consistently popping up. Looking to bar hop and try them all? We’ve got you covered with three listed below.

Whiskey Charlie
Perched atop the Canopy by Hilton, Whiskey Charlie boasts views of the Potomac River, setting the scene as you lounge on the couch with a specialty cocktail in hand, like “The Last Word,” made of strawberry infused chartreuse, gin, luxardo and Lime. // 975 Seventh St. SW, Washington, DC

12 Stories
From above The InterContinental Hotel at 12 Stories, one can observe boats pulling in and out of the harbor and sip on curated cocktails, such as the “Cherry Blossom,” which is a combination of gin, barolo chinato, lemon juice and cherry shrub. // 75 District Square SW, Washington, DC

Canopy Central Cafe & Bar
For a more casual experience with the same unparalleled views of the harbor, head to Canopy Central Cafe & Bar. Out here, one can enjoy appetizers like shrimp cocktail or burrata by the outdoor fire with a glass of wine in hand. // 975 Seventh St. SW, Washington, DC

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