Chincoteague is a city in Virginia.
To get to Chincoteague Island, take 64 east from Richmond until you reach Norfolk. From there, take 13 North. You will need to pay a $12 bridge toll to cross the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel. Once on the other side, continue up the Eastern Shore for about an hour and a half. In Oak Hall, there is a Food Lion and Sonic. Turn right onto Rt. 175. Continue following 175 past the NASA base and across the bridges. There is a stoplight after the last bridge--Welcome to Chincoteague Island! Relax, you're on Island Time.
There are many ways to get around Chincoteague. During the summer months, the roads can get crowded. Bicycles are a great solution (and they get you into the beach for FREE!) Consider renting from the Bike Depot on Maddox Blvd or one of the other rental shops. They have reasonable rates ($3/hour, $14/day).
There is also an Island trolley service during the summer. Rides are only a quarter, and many hotels give out tokens for free rides. It's a great way to get to the carnival, since parking there is limited.
The island, in its entirety. Take a cruise around the island with a local captain.
Wild Pony Auction, day after the swim.
2nd Saturday celebration. Downtown Chincoteague, 2nd Saturday of every month. Local artists and shop owners celebrate the arts and take it to the sidewalks.
Go to the beach. There is no commercialization over there--not even a Coke machine--so be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks. It is a wonderful beach, though you'll have to pay to get on Assateague Island, where the beach and wildlife refuge are located. Be sure to stop at the Herbert H. Bateman Educational and Administrative Center on Assateague--they have activities and exhibits for nature lovers of all ages!
Go to the Fireman's Carnival. It's a small-town festival complete with rides, games, bingo, and delicious oyster and clam fritters. All the rides and stands are run by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company. Many members of the fire company are World-Famous Salt Water Cowboys.
Refuge Golf on Maddox Blvd. provides lots of family entertainment. You can play a round of Putt-Putt, race for the finish in go-karts, climb the rock wall, get soaked with bumper boats, and even do a little old-school air hockey or pool inside the arcade.
Riding bikes on the Wildlife Refuge is an unforgettable experience--I highly recommend it. The 3-mile wildlife loop is an easy, flat ride, and the short hike to the Assateague Lighthouse is a lot of fun! For families with kids or those unsure of riding with traffic, rent from the Bike Depot. They're close to all the paths and the beach too!
Whatever you do, if it's outside, bring bug spray. The mosquitoes are blood-thirsty!
Sun Screen. Bug Spray. A good beach book.
A t-shirt from the Purple Pony. It's locally owned and has a great selection of quality t-shirts, printed right there at the store.
An authentic Chincoteague Pony. There are several options for this. Most people looking to buy a pony come for pony penning week (Last Weds. in July.) and buy one at the Wild Pony Auction. For those that can't make it that week, or are interested in a more relaxed buying experience, the Chincoteague Pony Farm is a great alternative. Don Leonard has been raising ponies for decades, and now with the help of his sons and grandchildren, he is making a name for the small farm he's owned since the 60's.
Bill's Seafood is one of the best. It's casual enough to eat in shorts and a t-shirt, but fancy enough to go out for a family celebration. Their broiled crabcakes are the best! Open 365 days a year, 5am-10pm.
Sea Star Cafe is my personal favorite. They serve sandwiches, salads, and soups for lunch. The sandwiches are HUGE but delicious, with gourmet meats and some hand-made dressings that will make your mouth water. The owners make everything to order. It's so fresh and healthy, you'll be coming back for more the very next day. Try the Virginian or the Northerner! They have a lot of vegetarian and vegan options too, which is rare on the island.
The Village is a Chincoteague classic. Open 5pm-close for dinner. Make reservations! The seafood platter is enough to feed two, or maybe three, but is a GREAT sampling of local seafood. Crab Soup is delicious, too. Fresh seafood, local waitresses, and a separate bar area make this a must-eat stop on Chincoteague.
Famous Pizza and Subs is a great little pizza joint. They deliver, too--great when you don't feel like going out or having a fancy dinner. Inexpensive, too.
Refuge Inn on Maddox Blvd. is the #1 place on Chincoteague. The little hotel has been around since the 70's, but you wouldn't know it from the look of the rooms! Apparently everything has been newly renovated. Local, knowledgeable, friendly staff make you feel like you're on a cruise ship. The rooms are SPOTLESS and very spacious for the price. We looked at rooms at the Comfort and the Hampton, but neither of the compared to our rooms at the Refuge. The indoor/outdoor pool is great (and heated in the winter!) while the observation deck above the 2nd floor is a wonderful place to sit at night and stargaze. They have ponies right on-site from the Chincoteague Pony Farm and you can pet and feed the horses. In the spring and summer there are young colts and fillies running around inside the pen. Kids love being able to walk on the deck or patio and see baby ponies. They have a great gift shop too and a bike place right across the parking lot (with an outdoor air pump for everyone to use--great if you bring your own bikes.) Breakfast at the Refuge was great, although a little crowded. We had waffles, pancakes, and even french toast!
Miss Mollys Inn, 4141 Main Street, 757-336-6686 or 800-221-5620, . At this bed and breakfast you will find a warm and inviting parlor that is just the place to curl up with a good book, chat, play board games or just sit by the fire. Famous author Marguerite Henry stayed here while she wrote Misty of Chincoteague.
Talk to the Chamber of Commerce for all questions!