Chincoteague is a fishing village on Virginia's historic Eastern
Shore, about 3.5 hours' from Baltimore/Washington--about the same from
Philadelphia. Chincoteague has not suffered the major overdevelopment
common to Atlantic resorts. Major annual events include: the Volunteer
Firemen's Pony Swim and Auction (featured in Marguerite Henry's
historic children's book, Misty of Chincoteague) and Carnival in July;
Oyster Festival in October; Waterfowl Festival in November; and Decoy
Festival at Easter.
The Assateague Island National Seashore is an undeveloped National
Park with an excellent beach and great Federally administered parking
and facilities. CNN is featuring Assateague as a Hidden Treasure.
Because parking is limited and access controlled, the Assateague beach
is never overcrowded. (Be sure to go early on summer weekends to get
your best spot.)
Located on the East Cost migratory bird flyway, the Chincoteague
National Wildlife Refuge offers year-round opportunities for birders
and nature lovers, with bike and walking trails. Recently, American
Bald Eagles have begun nesting in the Refuge. Snow Geese, Canada
Geese, and many varieties of wild ducks winter here. You can see many
of them from our deck.
Fishing is excellent, from Flounder in the back bays to Blues in the
surf. Local captains run inexpensive charters and rental boats and
tackle are available. Crabbing from our private pier on Eel Creek is
fun for the whole family--we even provide the crabbling gear.
And of course, there are the legendary Chincoteague wild ponies.
Tradition has it they are descended from ponies shipwrecked off
Assateague Island in the 17th Century. Whether this is true, the
ponies roam free on Assateague and in the Wildlife Refuge, under the
care of the Chincoteague Volunteer Firemen. Each July, on Pony Penning
Day, the herd is rounded up by the "Gumboot Cowboys" of the Fire
Company and swum across the narrow channel to Chincoteague during the
annual Carnival. Who knows, you may buy one at the auction and take it