If you’re longing to spend the day away from the hustle and bustle of the beltway, but don’t want to spend hours in the car then head for Historic Occoquan. Just 11 miles south of 495, Occoquan is a hidden gem set along a picture-perfect river in Virginia. The historic district plays host to a variety of family-friendly shops, boutiques, restaurants, museums and bakeries. Parking’s a cinch with plenty of on street spots and a parking lot on the east side of town under the bridge. You can also come by boat (scoring major cool points with the kids), docking the ride at the waterfront.

Ready, Set, Go: Historic Occoquan Visitor’s Center

Start your day off at the Visitor Center where the lovely guides will load you up with a map of the town, point out the hot spots and give you a directory of all the shops. You can even sign the guestbook, and check out aerial town photos. They’ll also tell you how to get down to the river to see the boats. Tip: The only public restroom is at the visitor’s center so take the kids for a potty break before heading out.
200 Mill St.
Open: Daily, 9 am-5 pm
Online: historicoccoquan.com

Have you hung out in Occoquan? Tell us about your trip it in the comments section below.

–Hilary Riedemann

Photos courtesy of Hilary Riedemann, Steve P. via Yelp, Paint Your Heart Out via Facebook, Mom’s Apple Pie via Facebook