A quick weekend getaway to Chincoteague and Assateague Island was just what I needed……. Nothing like sand, waves and wild ponies to help get through these pandemic times!
The wild ponies of Assateague have made this area famous, but it’s a birder’s paradise and a fishermen’s dream, with gorgeous sunsets. It’s about 4 hours from the DC area, depending where you are coming from.
Story has it that the ponies are the descendants of stallions that swam to shore from a sinking Spanish galleon in the 1600’s. There are about 150 adult ponies in the designated Wildlife Refuge area.
Assateague is uninhabited save for the ponies, so you have to stay on Chincoteague. There, the pace is something from days gone by….you’re on “island time”.
If you go to Chincoteague or Assateague, make sure you walk or bike the Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge 3 mile loop, never know what you might see and it’s a birders paradise due to its location in the middle of the migratory route. Chincoteague has a very healthy population of bald eagles. Right now, sections of the beach adjacent to the Wildlife Refuge are roped off because plover birds are nesting.
The beach is wide and the waves enough to surf. And fires are allowed on the beach, so bring S’mores supplies!
There are no deluxe hotels around, this is a seasonal renting destination and there are many options. There are some hotels such as Comfort Suites and a Best Western. People even camp on Assateague beach.
You can also visit the NASA Wallops Island Flight Visitor Center ….they launch rockets from here periodically. This center provided telemetry support for the Space X launch this past Saturday.
While on Chincoteague, don’t miss fresh seafood take-out from Capt. Zack’s or seafood from the Gary Howard fish market. Followed by homemade ice cream from Island Creamery, an absolute must (try Iced Nirvana, my fave). If soft-serve is your thing, head to Mr. Whippy.
Visiting Chincoteague and Assateague from the DC area or even Philly is a great weekend getaway that provides the required social distancing but also the peaceful, relaxing environment we are all in need of right now!
Feel free to contact me for more details.