This website got its start when I started sharing my adventures with my girlfriends. One of the things we did the most was to hop in the car and drive to a small shopping village in Ontario. It was an affordable mini-vacation that turned into a love for finding Historic Shopping Villages on my travels. On a recent trip to Northern Virginia, I was elated to discover the Historic Occoquan Village, Shops and Museum.
Historic Occoquan Village
Situated along the Potomac River, the Historic Occoquan Village is a charming town which is home to a community of artists. The shops, restaurants and museum, are the perfect location for people like me that love browsing artists galleries and stores and supporting the preservation of small-town commerce.
On a chilly, rainy day in Virginia, we walked the main village street discovering the local shops like The Golden Goose. Many small towns have stores like this and for those of you who love Christmas shops all year round – this is a jackpot!
Inside I found floor to ceiling displays of Christmas goodness. Themed trees with ornaments for every person. Snow globes, sculptures and decorations in all shapes and sizes were all on display here.
I thought about all my friends who collect pieces for their winter village collections as I walked from room to room in amazement.
Each store features an owner with a unique story and a passion for what they do. Something I always find inspiring when I meet other people who pursued their dreams. The street is filled with “awesomeness” as this sign suggested.
I also stopped into the Mill House Museum a small local collection of the history of the Occoquan Town from its Mill days to the cute small town community of shops it has become.
The Town of Occoquan also features historical tours and ghost walk for those who love the historical sites of these little towns. They also host year-round events and activities highlighting its many artists and community members.
Where to Eat in Historic Occoquan Village
I have to tell you about the fabulous Cock & Bowl Restaurant in Historic Occoquan Village. Only because if you don’t happen to walk down the little side street it is hiding on, and if you judge a book by its quiet outside decor, you may just walk by one of the most impressive little local restaurants you can find.
Cock & Bowl Restaurant
We could not have picked a better spot for lunch on a cold and rainy day. This cosy little bistro, filled with people all there for the European bistro menu and the impressive selection of Belgian beer. We had a delicious pot of mussels to start which is one of their many specialities. They have eight different varieties of mussels to serving.
For my main dish, I chose the Croque Madam a delicious open-faced sandwich. Served on sourdough bread with melted Gruyère cheese and topped with a sunny side egg, a side of Belgian frites, I couldn’t have asked for a better rainy day meal.
If you happen to be visiting Northern Virginia or planning a trip to the region, and you loved small towns and laid back cosy shopping vibes, I know you will like a visit to the Historic Occoquan Village in Prince William & Manassas Region. For more travel ideas see our
For more travel ideas see our Virginia Travel Guide page.
Prince William & Manassas Region Virginia
There is so much to do in Prince William & Manassas region of Virginia especially for those seeking a break from urban centres. They have some small towns like Historic Occoquan Village to see. Outdoor lovers will love their nature trails and water sports, and history buffs will enjoy all the cultural centres, museums and of course the Manassas National Battlefield Park.
Travel assistance provided by Prince William & Manassas Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.