By Bob Tagert
Occoquan – An Oasis and Little-Known Gem in VA
The comments in the sidebar were provided by the Occoquan Historical Society and gave us cause to make this month’s Road Trip a jaunt to the quaint little burg of Occoquan. We had lost sight of Occoquan over the years even though back in 1997 we were writing about this beautiful town on a semi regular basis. In our August 1997 issue we wrote about Donna Moomaw from Hour Clock Works. Advertisers that month included Mad, Mad World, Woman’s Wish, Country Morning, The Eclectic Cottage, Hour Clock Works and one of my favorites, Café Rochambeau on Commerce Street. These are gone now, but some remain, like the Virginia Grille and historic Occoquan Inn. What was once C & C Restaurant and Bar is now Madigan’s Waterfront. Lets’ take a stroll along the River Walk.
There are many fine restaurants in Occoquan including Madigan’s Waterfront, a casual river side restaurant with patio seating and a tiki bar specializing in seafood, steaks and pasta. The Secret Garden Café, a relaxed restaurant in an 1840 home with a garden patio, serving American fare with a global twist. On Poplar Alley you will find the Cock & Bowl, a Belgian fare restaurant with a sizable beer lineup. Other restaurants include the Virginia Grille, Occoquan Inn, Bistro L’Hermitage, The Electric Palm Restaurant and Layla’s Lebanese Restaurant which was formerly located in the 900 block of King Street in Old Town Alexandria.
If you like to shop, Occoquan has an abundance of antique and home décor stores, galleries and art studios, apparel shops, jewelry and specialty shops. If spending some time outdoors is a priority and you want to get up close and personal with the river, you can rent kayaks riverside or Rivershore Charters can provide you with Occoquan River charters that will take you up and down the river and let you experience all the river has to offer.
1890’s – Cyclists clubs from D.C. and Alexandria find Occoquan a unique destination for a weekend ride.
June 1910 – The Buick Motor Company sponsors a road trip to Occoquan for a day of fishing. “If the fish don’t bite a good chicken dinner can be found at the Alton Hotel”
1910-1915 – The Washington Post sponsors many auto road trips from offices located in Washington, D.C. through northern Virginia. Occoquan is 25.5 miles from the newspaper building.