Located on the eastern shore of Virginia, Chincoteague Island is a low-key summer destination, easily accessible from anywhere on the East Coast of the United States. Many families begin their Chincoteague vacation with an ocean tour around the island during which you can often see dolphins and other marine life. Alternately, you can take a guided nature walk with the Chincoteague Natural History Association.
The beautiful shoreline is the island's greatest attraction, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and building sandcastles in the surf. A family friendly destination, there are hundreds of ways to entertain the kids on Chincoteague Island. In addition to the beach, you can spend an afternoon at a miniature golf course or head to the bowling alley. Another popular activity is renting bicycles and touring the island's country roads. As you ride, keep an eye out for the famous wild ponies of Chincoteague. A unique Chincoteague attraction, the wild ponies roam freely along the island's sandy beaches.
With the bountiful ocean surrounding Chincoteague, fishing is a major activity in the region. Surf fishing is allowed on numerous beaches, though visitors may also plan to go deep-sea fishing with a charter. Waterfowl hunting is also permitted and popular throughout the island during hunting season. Likewise, when it comes to cuisine, Chincoteague is heavy on the seafood, with a particular emphasis on Maryland's famous blue crab.
Here are a few additional suggestions of things to do in Chincoteague:
-Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge: Spanning the state line between Maryland and Virginia, this wonderful wilderness preserve is a great place to spot birds, elk, white-tailed deer, rabbits, and, of course, ponies.
-Chincoteague Pony Centre: After watching wild ponies roam along Chincoteague's beaches, you can take the kids to pet domesticated ponies and to learn more about the pony origins at the small accompanying museum.
-Assateague Island National Seashore: Just across the water from Chincoteague Island, there are over 35 miles of pristine coastline.
-Tom's Cove Park: Spend the day at this beautiful cove, which offers three fishing piers, calm beaches, and a beautiful coastal habitat for pony viewing.
-Beebe Ranch: Come to this lovely ranch to visit the descendants of Misty, a wild pony made famous in a children's book.
-Oyster and Maritime Museum: Learn about the history of seafood and the island of Chincoteague at this museum.
Enjoy the East Coast in the summer with a waterfront vacation rental in Chincoteague, Virginia. For a real taste of the shore, seek out a cottage or rental home along the coastline and beaches on Chincoteague Island, or look for a romantic Victorian mansion in one of the small island communities.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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