Inside Chincoteague 2021

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id u G l e Trav

Inside Chincoteague

Real Estate Shopping? Call the best.

! n a h g e M l l Ca

All About Meghan #1 in sales volume for the Eastern Shore of Virginia 2017 thru 2020 Top Sales Agent for Long & Foster 2017- thru 2020 - Masters Club 2018 & 2019 - Platinum Club 2020 Ranked 82 out of 1.4M agents for units sold in 2020 according to RealTrends “The Thousands List” Ranked #7 in Virginia for units sold in 2020, according to RealTrends America's Best List #1 in sales volume and units for 2017 thru 2020 for the Long & Foster Chincoteague & Captains Cove office Ranked in the top 1% of the Real Estate Agents in Virginia according to “Virginia Living Magazine” 2018 thru 2020

Meghan Oliver Clarkson, ABR REALTOR®/Assoc. Broker

Cell: (757) 894-0798 (757) 336-5100 2

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6426 Maddox Blvd., Chincoteague Island

Inside Chincoteague 2021




Inside Chincoteague 2021

Inside Chincoteague 2021



Inside Chincoteague 2021

Inside Chincoteague 2021



Inside Chincoteague 2021

Inside Chincoteague 2021



Inside Chincoteague 2021

Inside Chincoteague 2021



Inside Chincoteague 2021

Inside Chincoteague 2021


Inside Chincoteague Publisher Sandy Phillips Edited by Nelson Griffin Creative Director Farin Lewis Including photography from: Grand Living Magazine Next Wave Studios


Can you feel the excitement? You’re on the quaint island paradise that is Chincoteague Island, Va! Home of

the world famous Chincoteague Ponies. There is so much to see and do, or just relax in the midst of the quiet island charm. While the Ocean side of the island beckons for fun in the sun, the bayside offers breath taking sunsets on the water. There are savory restaurants, island tours, fun places and adventure for the whole family just a shells toss from the door of your vacation spot. To find out more, just turn the pages of this book. It’s going to be a great vacation! On behalf of the staff of Inside Chincoteague, let the fun begin!


Inside Chincoteague 2021

Advertising Information? (410)726-7334

Inside Chincoteague is an annual publication, circulated throughout Chincoteague Island, Virginia. It is published by Grand Living Magazine, LLC. Inside Chincoteague is protected under trademark registration. No portion, in whole or part, of this publication maybe reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means; electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission of the Publisher. Copyright 2021 ©, Grand Living Magazine, LLC. All rights reserved. Printed in China. Content in Inside Chincoteague is intended to provide information only. While the company makes every effort to ensure that all information presented is correct, we do not make any representations or warranties as to claims made by advertisers in this publication, nor do we assume responsibility for image copyright on images submitted by an advertiser. Neither Grand Living Magazine LLC, Inside Chincoteague or its staff are responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the publisher.

Welcome to Chincoteague! Inside Chincoteague 2021



Trail Map pg. 36


11 12 14 16 24 26 30 34 36 39 42 52 54 56 58 62 64 10

Important Numbers Getting Around Town Island Map Insider Notes Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Beach Safety Rip Currents Island Adventure Refuge Trail Map Chincoteague Public Library Historic Downtown History & Culture Pony Penning 2021 Dine Coastal Lodging A Boutique Real Estate Company Beach Weddings

Inside Chincoteague 2021

Insider Notes

Snacking on the Beach Sand Crabs Marsh Periwinkles NASA Wallops Flight Facility

Misty of Chincoteague Assateage Lighthouse On the Cover Blue Crabs

Index of Sponsors A sincere “thank you” to our sponsors. Please visit their businesses, they helped make this book possible.

IBC 48 35 61 37, 46 19 BC 48 49 57 61 65

Best Western (Inside Back Cover) Blue Crab Treasures Chincoteague Island Outfitters Comfort Suites Daisey Island Cruises Delmarva Unleashed Dockside Properties Flying Fish Gallery Island Butterfly Jewelry & Jubilee Island Creamery Key West Cottages Kylan Barn

42 2 38 70 57 48 46 34 60 47 40

Main Street Merchants Meghan O. Clarkson - Long & Foster Museum of Chincoteague Pooch Palooza Dog Festival Ropewalk Chincoteague Sandy Sky Sundial Books The Bike Depot Waterside Inn Wine Coffee & Gourmet Worcester County Tourism

The Numbers Emergency Services : 911

AAA Emergency Road Service - 800-222-4357 Alcoholics Anonymous - 410-219-2117 Atlantic General Hospital - 410-641-1100 Riverside Memorial Hospital - 757-302-2140 Beach Patrol - 410-629-6094 Cape May Lewes Ferry - 800-64-FERRY Chincoteague Center (Community) - 757-336-0614 Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce - 757-336-6161 Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company (non-emergencies) 757-336-3138 Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge - 757-336-6122 Coast Guard- Chincoteague (emergency) - 757-336-2855 Emergency Medical Services - 757-336-3138 Island Library - 757-336-3460 Marine Police Dispatch - 757-336-3460 Poison Control Center - 800-222-1222 Post Office - 757-336-2934 Police 757-336-3155 Public Works - 757-336-3366 Town Office 757-336-6519 Recreation and Parks, 125th St. - 410-250-0125 Virginia State Police - 800-582-8350 Western Union - 800-325-6000

Lost or Stolen Credit Cards Discover - 800-347-2683 Master Card - 800-826-2181 Visa - 800-336-8472

Lost or Stolen Travelers Checks Am Ex. - 800-528-4800 Mastercard - 800-223-7373 Traveler's Cheque - 800-645-6556 Visa - 800-227-6811

Inside Chincoteague 2021


The Pony Express About the Trolley The Pony Express is a seasonal trolley service provided by the Town of Chincoteague, Virginia. This service is open to the public and follows fixed routes covering most of the island including many of the motels, restaurants, shops, parks, recreational areas, ice cream parlors, and campgrounds. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) public transportation option is available. Please see below for details. All of our trolleys are equipped with wheelchair lifts. ADA Public Transportation Option: The Pony Express runs a fixed-route service and complementary paratransit service for qualified persons with disabilities. Our paratransit service coverage area includes up to 3/4 of a mile beyond all our fixed routes. To qualify for the ADA deviation option, you must apply and be certified. Applications are available at the Town of Chincoteague office in person or by mail. Certifications from other communities will be accepted. The operator complies with all ADA rules and regulations. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) trips will be arranged where logistically possible. We ask that your request for service, after certification, be made at least 2 hours in advance of your desired departure time. The fare for ADA deviated route riders is $1.00 (or 4 tokens). The Town office is open 8 AM to 5 PM. After normal business hours, please contact the Pony Express. Town of Chincoteague, Inc. – 757-336-6519 The Pony Express – 757-854-8572 (After 5:00 pm)

Island Trolley Stops

For your convenience, Pony Express stops are located throughout the Island. Look for the Trolley Stop signs. You can also hail a trolley along the route! 12

Inside Chincoteague 2021

Just 50 cents per person/per ride! No Alcohol, No Tobacco & No Pets Exact change is appreciated. Free tokens are available at local businesses.

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2021 Trolley Schedule The Pony Express operates on Saturdays during the month of May. The trolley runs all weekend, for the Memorial Day holiday, with daily service beginning June 15, 2021. Pony Express runs through September 13, 2021, when weekend service will resume through October, 9 2021.

Green Route (Primary Route) Starts 5:00 p.m. Pine Grove Maddox Blvd. & Deep Hole Rd. Main & Church St. Beebe Rd. & Ridge Rd Vetran’s Memorial Park Pony Centre Museum of Chincoteague

5:02 5:05 5:08 5:13 5:17 5:21 5:25

5:35 5:38 5:43 5:47 5:51 5:55

6:02 6:05 6:08 6:13 6:17 6:21 6:25

6:35 6:38 6:43 6:47 6:51 6:55

7:02 7:05 7:08 7:13 7:17 7:21 7:25

7:35 7:38 7:43 7:47 7:51 7:55

8:02 8:05 8:08 8:13 8:17 8:21 8:25

8:35 8:38 8:43 8:47 8:51 8:55

9:02 9:05 9:08 9:13 9:17 9:21 9:25

9:35 9:38 9:43 9:47 9:51 9:55

10:02 10:05 10:08 10:13 10:17 10:21 10:25

Red Route (Variable) Starts 5:15 p.m. Chincoteague Center







High School - Call in (757) 854-8570







Main & Church St.


Curtis Merritt Harbor - Call in (757) 854-8570


















Vetran’s Memorial Park






Museum of Chincoteague







Beebe Rd. & Ridge Rd




Special Activities May 1st — 52nd Annual Chincoteague Seafood Festival 10am-5pm (Ride Free) June 25-26; July: 2-3; 9-10; 16-17; 23-24; 26-31— 95th Annual Volunteer Fire Co. Carnival Last Call for Trolley during Carnival is 11:00 pm July 3rd — Old Fashioned Fireworks Display 5pm-12mn (Ride Free Courtesy of the Town of Chincoteague) July 28th-30th — 95th Annual Pony Swim TBD, Auction TBD, and TBD Swim Back September 25th — 21st Annual Chili Chowder Cook-Off & Car Show October 9th — 48th Annual Chincoteague Oyster Festival 10am-5pm (Ride Free) December 4th — Old Fashioned Christmas Parade Inside Chincoteague 2021



Inside Chincoteague 2021

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Inside Chincoteague 2021

Inside Chincoteague 2021


Insider Notes Snacking on the Beach T

The common laughing gulls, shown stealing fries, make that familiar sound we associate with seagulls. They will be laughing at you if you willingly share food with them. This photo was intentionally shot to share this message, and not an activity Inside Chincoteague supports. Please don't feed the seagulls!

he word "seagull" is an informal way of referring to birds that belong to the species Laridae (the Gulls). There are more than a dozen types of gulls that call the Eastern Shore home in the summer. Many arrive for mating, and others have become resort residents. The most noted of the gulls and the ones most likely to steal your fries are the Herring Gulls. This bird sports a traditional gull plumage, including a slate-gray back and wings, a white body and head, and black wingtips, which are often spotted with white. The legs of the Herring Gull are pink and the eyes yellow. Because there are likely juveniles on the beach with their elders, you will also see Herring Gulls that are a mottled brown with a level of grey on their backs. Young Herring Gulls mature over four years, so there is a constant mix of plumage on the beach among the same type of gull. However, you won't see the babies out with the family. Like most baby birds, they reside in the nest until they can fly. Quite simply, if you can see them, then predators can see them. The tiny birds will make a tasty meal for fox and predatory birds, like hawks and falcons, which will hunt gulls when they are on the ground. And, yes, fox do reside on the island as well as hawks, eagles and falcons in the air. Every Herring Gull within 100 yards will know if you have Doritos and if one bird sees one tiny chip hit the sand, that bird will tell 50 other birds about your treasure before you make the first crunch. Snack wisely on the beach! If they do land near your towel, don't panic. You're greatest risk is that they will deposit a calling card while they are there, but they are very unlikely to hurt you. We would strongly advise you not to feed the birds while you're on the beach as having a large number of birds instantly flock (it really will happen that fast) to your blanket is not a pleasant experience for you or nearby beach-goers. Simply keep your food closely vested and put it away when you are finished snacking. 16

Inside Chincoteague 2021

Sand Crabs S

and Crabs, aka Mole Crabs, Sand Fleas, or Sand Diggers are small creatures that live just below the ocean floor and can often be found along the surf line if you dig down just a couple of inches. The sand crabs are egg-shaped with a light gray or pinkish shell, and two antennas topped with eyes protruding slightly. The sand crabs are small in size, ranging from 1/4" to 2", and females are generally larger than their male counterparts. Wave action deliveries an ongoing show, as these little crabs are continuously brought on Shore. They can be endlessly entertaining to children who love to watch their skittish movements along the ocean's edge while they frantically dig under the sand to find protection. If you are lucky enough to catch one or find one while digging along the surf line, take just a moment to hold the crab in your hand to experience the gentle tickle as the crab tries to burrow in your hand. It's one of those beach experiences you will never forget. Please keep in mind that these creatures need their aquatic environment to survive. Don't keep them out of the water too long; there is always another crab nearby that can do a few short minutes out of the water to continue your fun with the kids. Sand crabs have a signature movement, and unlike most crabs that traverse the beach from right to left, sand crabs are backward burrowers. If you let one go on the wet sand, you can watch them begin digging with their rear claws and quickly back into the sand, leaving only their eyestalks barely visible. Why all the rush for cover? Sand crabs are often a food source for shorebirds and for larger fish who feed along the ocean floor. The upside is that females lay about 45,000 eggs at one time, and the breeding season runs from February through October. Once eggs have been laid, they will hatch at sea, and the young will reach adulthood in just five months. Of course, some are lost to natural selection, but there is still a large population that will reach the Shore for your entertainment. Are you worried about your kids playing with crabs? Unlike Maryland's Blue Crab and many other species of crustacean, these little guys do not bite or pinch; they are entirely harmless. Remember that sand crabs need their ocean home to survive, they won't make it home to your aquarium and don't live in small cages, like hermit crabs, so please put them back for future generations to enjoy.

Marsh Periwinkles The Marsh Periwinkleis a small snail (mollusk) with a thick, spiraling shell that is slightly pointed. It is neutral in color despite its name, varying color from grayish-white to tan. Many periwinkles also sport reddish-brown flecks on the shell's ridges and can reach one inch in length. You can find them in tidal marshes and wetlands throughout the middle and lower the Chesapeake Bay. You will often see Periwinkles grazing on algae right on marsh grass stalks, which is also an excellent place for them to avoid predators, including blue crabs, mud crabs, and terrapins.

Lifeguards On Duty 10am to 5pm Memorial Day thru October


ssateague Lifeguards provide proactive lifeguard services from Memorial day until October. For a safe recreational experience, locate near an on duty lifeguard and swim within the boundaries of the red over yellow flags. When swimming outside the lifeguard area or during off duty hours, take extra precaution by wearing a life-jacket. On average, Assateague Lifeguards make 78 ocean rescues, provide 73 first aids, find 31 missing persons and make over 8000 safety contacts and enforcement actions a year. We have achieved the goal of zero drowning within the lifeguard area since the establishment of these operations!

Safety Advice • Swim near an on duty lifeguard • Learn to swim • Swim with a buddy • Wear a coastguard approved life-jacket • Check the depth before you dive


Inside Chincoteague 2021

Delmarva Unleashed...the Shore's canine lifestyle magazine.


Inside Chincoteague 2021

Inside Chincoteague 2021


NASA Wallops Flight Facility The NASA Wallops Flight Facility is located just outside of Chincoteague. The Antares rocket, which routinely travels to the International Space Station with supplies,

launches from the Eastern Shore of Virginia facility. If you can’t make it to the Wallops area to view a launch, (We suggest you start at the NASA Visitor’s Center on route 175, the main road into Chincoteague), you can still be a part of the experience through the Wallops Mission Status Center found at There you will find information about the mission and links to the live countdown audio as well as live video of the launch. You can also view live coverage at 20

Inside Chincoteague 2021


Misty of Chincoteague

isty of Chincoteague is a children's novel written by Marguerite Henry, illustrated by Wesley Dennis, and published by Rand McNally in 1947. Set in the island town of Chincoteague, the book tells the story of the Beebe family and their efforts to raise a filly born to a wild pony. The fictional story has become world famous and is said to be in part responsible for the explosive growth of Pony Penning. Misty, the real pony, was foaled in 1946 at the Beebe farm on Chincoteague island. You can see her footprints when you visit the historic the Island Theatre located at 4074 Main Street. The hoof prints are on the sidewalk in front of the building. You can also see Misty herself, preserved via taxidermy, at the Museum of Chincoteague located at 7125 Maddox Blvd. The movie Misty of Chincoteague, filmed in 1961, shows daily at 11:00 a.m. during Pony Penning and on Mondays during the summer too!

On the Cover


Assateague Lighthouse

ssateague Light is the 142-foot-tall lighthouse located on the southern end of Assateague Island. You can find the lighthouse in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge after crossing the Assateague Channel. It is owned and maintained by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and operated by the U.S. Coast Guard. The lighthouse is still used as an active aid in maritime navigation. The "keeper's quarters" are also used today and serve as seasonal housing for temporary refuge employees, volunteers, and interns. The beacon was constructed in 1867 to replace a shorter lighthouse which was only 45 foot tall and built in 1833. Renovations, totaling over $1.5 million, were completed in October of 2013. Improvements included the replacement of the lower gallery deck, removal & replacement of glass, restoration of the widow's walk and exterior paint.


Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

hincoteague Refuge includes more than 14,000 acres of beach, dunes, marsh, and maritime forest. It was established in 1943 to provide habitat for migratory birds (with an emphasis on conserving greater snow geese), the refuge today provides habitat for waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, and song birds as well as other species of wildlife and plants. The refuge also provides wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities such as fishing, hunting, wildlife photography and observation, interpretation, and environmental education. Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most visited refuges in the United States, providing visitors with outstanding opportunities to learn about and enjoy wildlands and wildlife. (1) The Refuge is also the home of the world famous Chincoteague Ponies.

Blue Crabs Callinectes Sapidus

by Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources These delights are plentiful in and around Chincoteague Island. Crabbing is a great family activitey. Visit Chincoteague Island Outfitters to get your adventure started! 757-336-5129

Key Distinguishing Markings Blue crabs have a brilliant blue color on their front claws; the tips are red on females, with an olive or bluish-green upper section of the exoskeleton. They have a pair of paddle-shaped legs that are excellent for swimming. Crabs can also be identified by the nine marginal teeth behind each eye, with the last pair of teeth ending in a sharp spine. Male and female crabs can be distinguished by examining their apron, which is folded and fitted snugly into a groove on the crab's underside.The male's apron is long and slender, resembling an inverted "T." A female's apron changes as it matures; an immature female has a triangular-shaped apron whereas, a mature female is rounded. ​Distribution It is widely distributed from Nova Scotia to northern Argentina, but it is most abundant from Texas to Massachusetts along the coasts of North America. Blue crabs are distributed throughout the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Blue crabs can be found in freshwater areas where salinity is 0 to the ocean, where the salinity is full strength (32+ ppt). Males are often found in the Bay's upper reaches, while females are typically found further downstream and down-Bay where salinities are higher.​

Size Adults can grow up to 9 inches.Crabs grow by molting or shedding their shell. Just prior to molting, the crab is encased in both the hard, old outer shell and a soft, new one just beneath it. The formation of a new shell is evident along the margins of the swimming paddles of a crab. The earliest indication of the new skeleton is the formation of a black line along the rim of the paddles. When this line turns pink or red, the crab is referred to as a "peeler" or "shedder." Immediately after the molt, the crab's new shell is pliable and easily stretched. In this condition, the crab is called a "soft crab" or a "soft shell crab." Large amounts of water are consumed before and shortly after the molt, causing the soft shell to expand and increase in size. This entire process takes 2-3 hours, 22

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Female Maryland Blue Crab and within 2 hours after the shed, the new shell begins to harden. The "paper shell" is formed within 12 hours, and an additional 2-3 days are needed before the shell fully hardens. Unlike male crabs that continue to molt and grow throughout their entire lives, females stop growing when they reach sexual maturity, usually after 21 or 22 molts. During this final molt, mating takes place.​

Habitat Blue crabs can be found in various salinities ranging from the high saline waters at the mouth of the Bay to the tidal fresh waters of the upper Bay and tributaries. The blue crab is a bottom-dwelling species that utilizes a diversity of benthic habitats such as mudflats, oyster bars, channel edges, and tidal marshes. Submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) areas also serve as important nursery habitats that provide refuge for juvenile blue crabs and molting crabs that are vulnerable to predation.​

Spawning Blue crabs mate from May to October in the brackish or slightly salty waters of Chesapeake Bay. Just before the final molt, an immature female crab, known as a "she-crab," is cradled by a mature male. The female is escorted by the male, commonly referred to as a "doubler," for a few days before and after her molt.

During the molt, the male releases the female but remains nearby. After molting, the female turns on her back and unfolds her abdomen. The male then transfers his sperm to the female. Although the female mates only once, she may spawn several times. The sperm received is stored and used to fertilize the eggs of all future spawnings. After mating, the two crabs resume the cradle carry until the female's shell hardens. Shortly after mating, the now mature female crab, known as a sook, migrates to the saltier waters of the Bay near the ocean. Fertilization of the eggs occurs about 2 to 9 months after mating, from June through September, depending upon when the mating took place. For example, a spring mating would result in a late summer spawn, while a fall mating would result in an early summer spawn the following year. Once the eggs are fertilized, females will develop an external egg mass called a sponge on their abdomen's underside, which may contain between 750,000 and 8 million eggs, depending on the size of the crab. These crabs are Crabbing called "sponge crabs," and hatching of the eggs occurs approximately two weeks after the formation of the sponge. Over the two weeks, the sponge gradually turns from orange to brown and then black as the larval crabs develop inside the egg. The newly-hatched larvae are called zoea and look nothing like an adult crab. These young crabs are microscopic and drift about in the water currents. It is believed that the majority of these developing larvae are transported into the ocean by an interaction of seasonal winds and bottom water circulation patterns before eventually returning to settle on seagrass beds in the spawning area. After approximately 6 or 7 molts, the zoea changes into a post-larval form known as the megalops. The megalops has claws like a crab but can swim and crawl on the bottom. Eventually, the megalops settles and metamorphoses to the first crab stage, which looks much like an adult crab, but is only 1/5 of an inch from point to point. As these young crabs develop their locomotion, they will migrate away from the high salinity waters near the mouth of the Bay up to more brackish regions. By winter, juvenile crabs can be found as far north as the Susquehanna Flats.

Adult males and immature females remain in the brackish waters of the Bay and its tributaries, migrating to shallow grass beds, shallow muddy bottoms, and/or deeper waters of mid-Bay as temperatures begin to drop in the fall. As winter approaches, most crabs will bury themselves in the mud along channel edges and the shallow grass beds of the Bay. Female crabs will remain in the higher salinity waters of the lower Bay, whereas males will stay in the upper portions, migrating to deeper waters to spend the winter months. Little or no growth occurs from December to March, but when the temperature rises, crabs become more active, start feeding, and search for a mate.​

Recreational gears include baited hand lines, mesh rings, collapsible traps, trotlines, and dip nets. Waterfront landowners are also allowed to use crab pots, but now their crab pots need to include a Crab Pot catch Reduction Device. ​

Fun Facts • • • •

Crabbing Tips The blue crab is one of the most important species harvested in the Bay, and has the highest value of any commercial fishery. Blue crabs are harvested as hard shell crabs, peeler crabs just before molting, and soft shell crabs immediately after the molt.

• •

Callinectes sapidus means "Beautiful swimmer that is savory." Crabs reach maturity in 12 to 18 months. Few crabs live loner than three years. The largest crab recorded from Maryland was a male measuring 9 inches; however, larger crabs (10-11 inches) have been captured in DNR crab surveys. The annual harvest of hard crabs from the Chesapeake Bay accounts for over 50% of total U.S. landings. Cannibalism of young blue crabs by larger crabs is common and may regulate population abundance. A spring-spawned crab can reach a size of 2½ inches by their first winter.​ For more information on blue crabs and their management, please contact Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Inside Chincoteague 2021


Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge From the National Park Service


ssateague Island is a 37 mile long island along the coasts of Maryland and Virginia. Most of the Maryland district is managed by the National Park Service as Assateague Island National Seashore. The State of Maryland manages two miles of the Maryland district as Assateague State Park. The Virginia district is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. The National Park Service operates the Toms Cove Visitor Center and a recreational beach within the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.


Inside Chincoteague 2021

Most of the refuge is located on the Virginia end of Assateague Island; however, 418 acres are on the Maryland side of the island, 427 acres are found on Morris Island, and 546 acres comprise Wildcat Marsh on the northern tip of Chincoteague Island. Additionally, Chincoteague Refuge’s boundaries extend south and encompass all or part of the following barrier islands: Assawoman, Metompkin, and Cedar. The refuge’s location along the Atlantic Flyway makes it a vital resting and feeding spot for a large number and diversity of birds.

Chincoteague Refuge, originally established in 1943 to provide habitat for migratory birds (with an emphasis on conserving greater snow geese), today provides habitat for waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, and song birds, as well as other species of wildlife and plants. Refuge staff manage this barrier island habitat to allow many species of wildlife to co-exist, each establishing their own place in the environment. Refuge management programs restore threatened and endangered species and conserve local wildlife and plants. The refuge also provides wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities such as fishing, hunting, wildlife photography and observation, interpretation, and environmental education.

Visitor Activities


hincoteague Refuge is one of the most visited refuges in the nation, receiving approximately 1.5 million visits each year. A variety of wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities are available on the refuge. Opportunities include: A host of exhibits, displays, brochures, and wildlife-oriented programs and films are available to visitors. Refuge staff and volunteers are available to answer questions and help plan activities. A variety of paved trails are open to hikers and/or bicyclists. These trails include the Freshwater Marsh, Woodland, Black Duck, Swan Cove, and Lighthouse Trails as well as the Wildlife Loop. The Wildlife Loop is also open to vehicles after 3:00 pm. The Lighthouse Trail offers visitors an up-close view and seasonal opportunities to climb the historic Assateague Lighthouse. Surf fishing is a popular refuge activity: after-hours permits are available for those who wish to surf fish at night. Fishing and crabbing are also permitted in Swan Cove and other designated areas. Shell-fishing is permitted in Toms Cove. Big game, waterfowl, and rail hunting are available by permit during designated periods and only in certain areas. Off-road vehicling is permitted on a small section of the beach, which is subject to unexpected closures due to overwash or nesting species. Permits are required and are available at refuge headquarters, Toms Cove Visitor Center or by mail. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service encourages you to enjoy your visit, but remember, protecting wildlife, plants, and their habitats is the priority. Regulations exist for the welfare of wildlife, as well as for your safety. Please read and comply with the following list of regulations. Please note that the list is not all inclusive; therefore, remember that if an activity is not listed in a brochure or on a sign as being allowed, then it is not. Please remember to obey posted speed limits, as wildlife is often seen near roads. Help protect habitat by parking only in designated areas, not on road shoulders. 25

Inside Chincoteague 2021

Inside Chincoteague 2021


Beach Safety

Lifeguards — Introduce your child to the lifeguard on your beach.

Explain to them that if they get lost, go to the nearest lifeguard and tell them that they are lost. The lifeguards will help family members reunite.

Sunscreen — Remember to apply sunscreen with

a minimum of SPF 30, thirty minutes before going outdoors and again every two hours even if your sunscreen is waterproof. Apply sunscreen to your whole body; your bathing suit can move and expose unprotected skin. There is no such thing as all-day protection. Sunburn is the most common injury that happens to people at the beach. A blistering sunburn during adolescence doubles the chance of developing skin cancer later in life.

Fluids — When you are outside in warm weather, your body needs plenty of water. Remember to drink lots of water even if you are not thirsty. Dehydration can be a serious problem, so drink plenty of liquids. Water is best.

Learn how to swim —

to swim, don’t go in the water!

If you don’t know how

Never dive headfirst into the water!

The water may not be as deep as it looks. Never dive off of piers, rock jetties or surfboards. Diving in shallow water can be dangerous and can even cause you to become paralyzed. 26

Inside Chincoteague 2021


The Unsecured Umbrella: An umbrella blown across the beach by the wind has caused many injuries. When strong gusty winds blow, umbrella tops should be set facing into the wind. Make sure a good size hole is dug and pack in sand firmly around it.

Wind Direction Flotation Devices: Bodyboards, Noodles, and other Flotation Aids can be

considered a hazard in the ocean. Many drownings and rescue incidents are associated with the use of inappropriate flotation devices. Many people associate “safety” with flotation aids and feel safe going out much further than they should. Currents or wind can move an unsuspecting person into deep water or far off shore. This is an invitation to disaster; people may be separated from the device by waves, slipping off or choose to prematurely let go of the device to try and make better progress to shore. Remember, flotation aids that move with waves travel with considerable speeds with the compound force of the wave behind you. The weight of a person on a speeding object may cause an injury if there is a collision with another person or the hard packed beach surface. Hard objects, such as surfboards, kayaks and skim boards can be especially hazardous. For these reasons, Coast Guard approved life-jackets are the only devices allowed on the lifeguard protected beach.

Jelly Fish

Most jellyfish in our area are not toxic enough to give you more than a little sting and a rash. If stung by a jellyfish, get a medical professional or marine animal expert to help determine the type of jellyfish to help assess the proper method of treatment. Check to see if lifeguards are flying a purple flag.

Wrong Sand Holes — You might want to think twice

before digging that hold to China…beach dangers can occur in the sand as well as the surf! More people are killed or injured every year from a sand hole collapsing than a shark attack. When people dig really large holes, we’re talking multiple feet deep, they run the risk of the hole caving in on them. What’s more, the collapsing sand completely submerges the victim, leaving no evidence of what just occurred—a scary thought if no one was watching. Digging sand tunnels can also be dangerous and can collapse on the person digging the tunnel. How to avoid a sand trap? Don’t dig holes deeper than your knees and fill in any stray holes you may see at the beach.

Shark: During the rare occasion of a shark sighting,

the beach may be closed to entry. A closure may also occur if a school of bluefish are in a “feeding frenzy.” The risk of a shark attack is low however; there are ways to lower the risk even further. For instance, don’t swim at dawn, dusk and night, swim with a buddy, don’t go in the water if you are bleeding and stay clear of schooling bluefish and other schooling fish.

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Rip Currents — When people picture deadly

threats at the beach, the heart-stopping image of a shark fin emerging from the water immediately comes to mind. However, beach goers are 10 times more likely to be killed by a rip current than a shark attack. Rip currents are fast moving streams of water that knock swimmers off of their feet and drag them further away from shore. When this happens, it is best to swim with the current, not against it, as counterintuitive as it seems. Most victims of rip currents actually die of exhaustion, not drowning, because they tried to fight the rip current and ultimately lost. Swimmers are advised to swim parallel out of the current then back into the shore.

Strong Surf Onshore winds cause waves. Because

ocean winds vary, waves change from day to day. All waves deserve respect. Body surfing and swim fins are allowed in the lifeguard area – be careful! Do not try to ride waves that are too forceful for your level of skill. Sand abrasions, broken limbs, dislocated shoulders and spinal injuries are not uncommon as a result of being thrown to the hard packed beach bottom. To escape a waves great force, you can duck under or retreat from breaking waves. If you are riding a wave in some fashion, and are thrown off, try and prevent direct head and neck contact with the ocean floor. Do not run and dive into the surf if you do not know the depth and topography.

Shore Topography

Beach Berm Face


Trough Depth is often overhead


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Be aware that the surf zone topography can be variable. A beach face may be narrow or steep. The trough and terrace may contain ridges, holes and drop offs. Often, when the depth is only waist deep on the sandbar, the water will be over your head on the way out. In other areas, it may be shallow the whole way out to the sandbar. For your protection, people will be kept off the sandbar until it is reasonably safe for young people and poor swimmers alike, to access the sandbar.

Shore-break — Stay away from the big waves

that crash onto the shore. This is called “shore break” and the waves can hurt you. Shore break is a condition when large waves break directly on shore. These waves can throw swimmers onto the sand very hard. These waves are unpredictable and dangerous because they can cause shoulder, neck and back injuries to even the most experienced swimmer. When body surfing, it is recommended doing so with your head up and your arms out in front of your body to protect yourself.

Lightning — is the third deadliest threat for care-

free sunbathers and swimmers every year. When a storm rolls in, beaches will often close: that’s because even though beaches are not as tall as skyscrapers, they are common places for lightning to strike. Get out of the water and leave the beach if you see lightning or hear thunder. The lifeguards are in constant communication with the National Weather Service and will clear the beach if lightning is near. Listen to the directions of the lifeguard at your beach at all times and do what they say. So when the clouds start forming and the winds begin to howl, don’t wait for it to blow over—pack up that umbrella and head home.

National Park Service Beach Flag Safety System Yellow with black circle flags are permanently placed 50 yards beyond the lifeguard area and represent a safety zone. No fishing, no rigid craft, no open beach fires and no dogs permitted between these flags. Red over yellow flags represents the area supervised by lifeguards. For safety, recreate within the boundaries of these flags.

Yellow flag indicates a moderate warning for surf conditions. Caution should be exercised

When you hear the whistle: Lifeguards will

not signal swimmers simply because they are in deep water. The lifeguards will signal swimmers toward shore because they are approaching a hazardous area or they are moving too far out for adequate supervision.

First Aid and Rescue: The Lifeguard operation is equipped with rescue equipment and first aid supplies. The lifeguards are trained in ocean rescue and are certified Emergency Medical Responders. If you need assistance, contact a lifeguard or call 911.

Red flag indicates a high hazard exists such as strong surf and seaward currents.

Double red flags indicate a severe hazard and a closure is in effect. Visitors will be kept out of the water until the hazard subsides.

Purple flag indicates potentially dangerous marine organisms such as stinging jellyfish are present.

Visitors with physical disabilities:

Physically challenged individuals who require special consideration in aquatic recreation may want to use the protected beach. Beach wheelchairs are available in both Maryland and Virginia district beaches. Contact a Lifeguard or Ranger for direction and assistance.

Surf Rescue Demonstrations: If you want to learn more about our lifeguard operation and more about beach and surf safety, attend one of our Lifeguard Surf Rescue Demonstrations. Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10:00 am

Interested in becoming an NPS Surf Lifeguard? You will receive 100 hours of paid training including surf rescue, ATV training, EMR and CPR training. Candidates must pass a timed swim and run test. For more information, contact Jeff Clark: 410-629-6094 Inside Chincoteague 2021


Rip Currents We all love our summer vacations at the beach. The sun, sand, and surf are something that we look forward to all year long. The ocean is so restorative. However, it's also a force of nature, and depending on the day there could be a dangerous force lurking in the sea; Rip Currents. These rip currents are narrow channels of fast-moving water that are very powerful. Rip currents can occur at any beach with breaking waves; they most often form at low spots or breaks in the sandbars. They can be found along most coasts of the United States, including the East, Gulf, and West Coasts. Rips can also be seen along the shores of the Great Lakes. The term "rip current" is often confused with "riptides," but the two are unique occurrences. A riptide is a specific current that describes that swift movement of tidal water through the mouth of estuaries, harbors, and inlets. Rip currents can be as narrow as 10 or 20 feet in width, though they may be up to ten times wider. The length of the rip current also varies. Rip currents begin to slow down as they move offshore, beyond the breaking waves, but sometimes extend for hundreds of feet beyond the surf zone.

According to the U.S. Lifesaving Association (USLA), more than 80 percent of the surf beach rescues, performed by lifeguards, each year, involve rip currents.

“Keep your feet in the sand until the guard is in the stand!” 30

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Rip currents are not always easy to identify. Quickly changing wave heights, which occur when a large set of swells rolls in, can trigger a rip current. Some visual signs that may indicate the presence of a rip current include a break in the pattern of

How to Identify Rip Currents

Look for any of these clues: • a channel of churning, choppy water • an area having a notable difference in water color • a line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward • a break in the incoming wave pattern

incoming waves, choppy water, seaweed or debris moving steadily seaward, a channel of churning choppy water, or an area where the water appears to be a different color from the surrounding water. The risk of rip currents is determined by many factors, including weather, tides, local variations in beach shape and how waves break offshore. Some beaches may have rip currents nearly all the time, while other beaches almost never see the dangerous flows. Even if you don't spot any of these signs, a rip current could still be present. The United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) recommends wearing polarized sunglasses to see these ocean features more clearly. Why Rip Currents are Dangerous Rip currents are the leading hazard for all beach-goers. They pose the most significant risk to those that are weak or non-swimmers. Typically rip current speeds are 1-2 feet per second, but there have been speeds as high as 8 feet per second recorded; faster than an Olympic swimmer! What to Do If You Find Yourself In A Rip Current Rips are fast-moving currents of water that can that can even grab a hold of the strongest swimmer and begin to pull them away from the shore. Your initial instinct is to try and counter the rip current by swimming straight back to the beach. However, this approach can put you at risk of drowning from fatigue, as you try to fight the flow. If you do find yourself caught in a rip current, there are a couple of things that you can do to get out. If you are a strong enough swimmer you can try and swim out of the current in a direction that follows the shoreline; “swim with the current.” Once you are free, you can then begin to swim back to shore. If you are unable to get yourself out of the current, you can float or tread water until the current has stopped. If neither of these options works, then wave your arms and call out for help. The potential for rip currents is a prime reason to "keep your feet in the stand until the guard is in the stand!" If you are on the beach and happen to spot someone that is caught in a rip current, the first thing to do is get help from a lifeguard. If there is not a lifeguard available, call 911. It is never a good idea to try and rescue the person yourself unless it is a last resort. There is always a chance that you too could end up caught in the rip current and become a victim as well. If you do decide that you need to help the person immediately make sure that you have someone sort of flotation device with you; a raft, bodyboard or a life preserver. Try to toss the flotation device to the victim without getting too close to the current. You could also try to yell instruction to the person in distress on how to try and escape the rip current. To keep yourself safe when visiting the beach this summer, it is always a good idea to check the latest National Weather Service forecast for your local beach conditions. When you arrive at the beach, you can always ask one of the lifeguards about the chance of encountering a rip current that day and also learn of any other hazards that may be present, such as jellyfish.

One or more of the above clues may indicate the presence of rip currents. Rip currents are often not readily or easily identifiable to the average beach goer. For your safety, be aware of this major surf zone hazard. Polarized sunglasses make it easier to see the rip current clues provided above.

How to Avoid and Survive Rip Currents Learn how to swim! • Never swim alone. • Be cautious at all times, especially when swimming at unguarded beaches. If in doubt, don’t go out! • Whenever possible, swim at a lifeguard protected beach. • Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards. • If caught in a rip current, remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly. • Don’t fight the current. Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim towards shore. • If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim towards shore. • If you are still unable to reach the shore, draw attention to yourself: face the shore, wave your arms, and yell for help. • If you see someone in trouble, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1. Throw the rip current victim something that floats and yell instructions on how to escape. Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current. Inside Chincoteague 2021



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Museum of Chincoteague Inside Chincoteague 2021 33

The Bike Depot The closest bike rentals to the beach!

Offering a wide selection of over 200 standard and specialty cycles for riders of all ages. Trail maps included with every rental. Friendly, knowledgeable local staff. Sorry, no reservations. Hourly, Daily, and Weekly rates available. Open March-November.

7070 Maddox Blvd. next to the Refuge Inn 34


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What’s Your Island

Adventure ?


iles of beautiful estuaries, calm waters and an abundance of wildlife lie all around the island. Kayak tours are available almost any time of year, weather permitting, and are a wonderful way to explore the quieter side of the resort. Many outfitters staff Naturalists that are well versed on local flora and fauna. Guided tours are not only fun but educational as well. Some tours take you to Assateague Island, a nearby barrier island, where you can view the world famous ponies in their island habitat. Get an up close look at local aquatic or avian life. It’s an immersion experience, no touch tank can match!

Chincoteague Island Outfitters Your vacation rental resource!

All the fun stuff for your family vacation is just a call or click away, and we deliver to your door!


nyone who has been on vacation, especially with children, knows the struggle of packing, not just packing for your destination, but repacking to leave as well. You always have more stuff at the end of the vacation, and somehow, things do not fit as easily as before. Chincoteague Island Outfitters (CIO) strives to make that experience a little easier by offering a variety of beach equipment, tables and chairs, kayaks, and much more all for rent. They also have unique gifts available for purchase. Don't be caught on the hot sand without a chair! Come to CIO for all your vacation rental needs. We are always adding to our inventory, so please ask if you don't see something on our list!

7885 Eastside Road, Chincoteague Island


Free Delivery on the Island! Inside Chincoteague 2021


Assateague Bay

The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Main

Chincoteague eet


Ch an ne l

Pony Swim

sa te ag ue


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Farm Fields Pool Pintail Pool

D Dike

Shoveler Snow Goose Pool

Bivalve Trail

North Over Sand Vehicle Zone

Swan Cove Pool

Little Toms Cove

Mallard Pool

C Dike


Atlantic Ocean

NPS Visitor Center

Toms Cove

LEGEND South Over Sand Vehicle Zone

Parking Lighthouse Visitor Center Kayak Launch


Gadwall Pool





Black Duck Pool

Toms Cove Visitor Center (757-336-6577) Located next to the recreational beach at the end of Beach Road, this center features a small aquarium and touch tank, a bookstore, and an information desk. Ranger-guided programs are available seasonally. Contact the center for up to date information. Safety Measures and Notes to Protect You & the Wildlife Protect yourself from ticks and mosquitoes; they may carry disease. To avoid contact: N stay on trails; use a repellent; wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants while exploring the area; and inspect yourself carefully when you leave. Ponies and wildlife on the Refuge may carry diseases. Feeding and touching animals puts you and your family at risk. Enjoy all wildlife from a distance, even if they seem friendly. Poison ivy is abundant on the Refuge. It can grow as either a vine, shrub, or single plant but always has three leaves at the end of a stem. Please stay on refuge trails to avoid contact. It is relatively common to observe seals loafing on the beach, ponies lying down, or sea turtles laying eggs in the sand. We are guests in their home, so please give them their space. If they react to your activity, you are too close. In cases of sick or injured wildlife, minimize the animal’s stress by keeping a safe distance (100 ft) and contact refuge staff. Visitor Center hours vary by season.

South Wash Flats

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Herbert H. Bateman Educational and Administrative Center (757-336-6122) This center is the second left upon entering the Refuge and features an information desk, exhibits, and videos shown on request in the auditorium. Refuge Headquarters is co-located with the Chincoteague Natural History Association (In the same building) who operate a book store, and run seasonal Refuge Treks from the center; call 757-336-3696 for details.

North Wash Flats

National Wildlife Refuge Trail Map

Where people and wildlife meet.

The Refuge was established in 1943 to provide habitat for migratory birds, and it protects more than 14,000 acres of beach, dunes, marsh, including maritime forest. Every season brings unique opportunities to enjoy wildlife observation and photography. Songbirds, wading birds, and shorebirds arrive in spring, and many stay throughout the summer. Fall brings migratory raptors and monarch butterflies, followed by the waterfowl that will spend the winter on the Refuge. Visitors can explore trails, visit the beach, see the historic Assateague Lighthouse, and more! The Refuge also offers various special events throughout the year, so please see their website or inquire at a visitor center for details.



Hiking Trails Hiking/Biking Trails Beach Area - Open to Public

Crabbing Fishing

Over Sand Vehicle Zones


Closed Areas - Stay on Trails

Seasonal Closures Apply

Pony View Beach Access

0 0

.5 2000

1 Mile 4000 Feet

Unpaved Trails Lighthouse Trail (0.25 miles) Walking - moderately easy (sandy hill) Marsh Trail (0.5 miles) Walking - easy Bivalve Trail (0.25 miles) Walking - moderately easy (uneven terrain) Service Road (7.5 miles) Walking - easy First mile open to bicycling

Observation Platform Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce Paved Trails Wildlife Loop (3.2 miles) Walking and bicycling - easy Open 3:00 PM to dusk to vehicles Woodland Trail (1.6 miles) Walking and bicycling - easy Black Duck Trail (1 mile) Walking and bicycling - easy Swan Cove Trail (0.5 miles) Walking and bicycling - easy

The Refuge is Open Seven Days a Week May through September 5:00 A.M. - 10:00 P.M. April & October 6:00 A.M. - 8:00 P.M. November through March 6:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M.


Daisey’s Island Cruises

Family friendly Offering both large and small boat adventures.

Year ‘Round Chincoteague to Assateague Island Boat Tours


n our nature cruises you will experience Assateague Island in a way that is simply not possible from land. Let us show you the hidden beauty and wildlife of Assateague Island. Tour with Daisey’s Island Cruises for a truly memorable experience. The most affordable tour rates on the Island!

4103 Main St. Downtown- Chincoteague Island

(757) 336-5556

Boat departs 2246 Curtis Merritt Harbor Drive.

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Not a Great Beach Day? ...a few suggestions

Delmarva Discovery Museum 2 Market Street, Pocomoke, MD (410) 957-9933 The Delmarva Discovery Center on the Pocomoke River serves as a source of learning and discovery for the public through the preservation and interpretation of its cultural and natural heritage.

Museum of Chincoteague 7125 Maddox Blvd. Chincoteague Island (757) 336-6117 Learn about the people, culture and heritage that is Chincoteague Island. See Misty of Chincoteague too!

NASA Visitor Center - Wallops Flight Facility

Route 175 Chincoteague, VA (757) 824-2298 The NASA Wallops Visitor Center is the place to explore the past, present, and future of NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

Museum of Chincoteague Island

757-336-6117 38

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Summer Hrs: 11am to 5pm - 6 days a week Closed on Mondays Spring & Fall Hrs: 11 am to 5 pm - Thurs. Fri. & Sat. Precautions due to COVID-19 may alter listed hours

7125 Maddox Blvd.

Chincoteague Island, VA 23336

Fun at the Chincoteague Public Library The Chincoteague Island Libary is housed in a historic building that once was the Lubbock's Learners, the summer incentive reading program for children from kindergarWallace Jester Barbershop. The barbershop occupied the building from 1908 until it stood abandoned on the corner of Bridge & Main St., in 1982. A group of citizens then worked together to raise the money to buy the building. In February of 1990, the building was moved to its current location on Main Street at the forefront of the Robert Reed Memorial Waterfront Park. A long renovation and fundraising period was ahead for the group. They persevered and achieved their goals; on July 4, 1995, the Library opened its doors. With the new facility's popularity, it soon became apparent that they would need more space, and another period of fundraising was quickly underway. In March of 2008, the ground was broken for the two story octagon addition that is the back part of the Library. The Library hosts a variety of children's programs that are free and open to both residents and visitors. Children can enjoy: Tales 4 Tots is a storytime for children up to age 5, and the Young Explorers (STEM programs) is for children ages 5 to 10. The programs are held once a week from July through mid-August.

ten through grade 12, runs from June to August. The Library also offers a beautiful children's room, which is open during regular library hours. The Chincoteague Island Library offers free internet service 24-7, easily accessible from the Library's comfortable porches or the Robert Reed Memorial Park. There are free magazines and books, as well as used books available for purchase. Services to both the community and visitors are available year-round and are sustained by generous donations from the community and friends. Stop in to visit the beautiful Chincoteague Island Library located at 4077 Main Street in Chincoteague. Walk upstairs and take in the waterfront views from the second floor! You won't be disappointed. For the most up to date information, including program times, please visit their Facebook page or website at

4077 Main St. Inside Chincoteague 2021



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Explore Wallops Visitor Center E

mbark on a mission to explore the unique missions of the NASA Wallops Flight Facility through a self-guided tour of the Visitor Center. Interact with exhibits, watch short films, and tour the rocket garden. Explore NASA’s missions first hand by attending a special event, public program, or by scheduling a program for your group.

Visitor Center Information

September through June Open Tues. - Sat. 10am - 4pm July & August, Open Daily 10am - 4pm

Stay Connected

Find the NASA Wallops Flight launch schedule here: or download the “What’s Up Wallops” App!

Visit our website for more information and upcoming events:


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Historic Downtown

The Historic Main Street Merchants Association is a group of local specialty shops, restaurants, galleries, hotels, bed & breakfasts, realtors and vacation rental businesses who have come together to promote all the life and beauty that Chincoteague has to offer!

The “LOVE” Chairs V

“ irginia is for Lovers," Virginia's longtime tourism slogan, manifests at Richard Reed Downtown Park, in the form of 4 giant Adirondack chairs which spell the word "LOVE." Each chair is over 10 feet tall and weighs more than 500 pounds. The chairs are part of a tourism promotion that offers visitors the photographic backdrop for sharing on social media. Relocated from Kiptopeke State Park in May of 2012, the chairs provide an excellent keepsake photo of your visit to the Island. #LOVEVA There is also a live feed camera housed on the front of the town library so you can wave to the friends back home! — Main St. Chincoteague Island

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Sandy Sky

Blue Crab Treasures

Boutique Shopping in

Historic Downtown S

hopping is another fun part of any vacation. There are shops nestled all along Main St. offering a variety of keepsakes to remind you of your Chincoteague vacation. There are gourmet delectables, local art shops, specialty shops, and boutiques selling beachwear and all the gear you may have forgotten when you packed. Maybe you're in the mood for something new and stylish to wear back home or even a bottle of wine to take back to your room. We are sure you can find it on Main St.!

Flying Fish Inside Chincoteague 2021


Daisey’s Island Cruises Sundial Books

Year ‘Round Chincoteague to Assateague Island Boat Tours

Your full service, locally owned independent book store


n our nature cruises you will experience Assateague Island in a way that is simply not possible from land. Let us show you the hidden beauty and wildlife of Assateague Island. Tour with Daisey’s Island Cruises for a truly memorable experience. The most affordable tour rates on the Island!


You and your loved ones can be a part of historic Main Street, Chincoteague Island when you purchase a brick for the path in the downtown Robert Reed Waterfront Park. Engraved bricks can be purchased for just $100 each. All proceeds go to the Robert Reed Waterfront Park, which pays for park events, improvements, and beautification. Stop by any Main Street Merchant business to inquire or call 757-336-3700. You can also find a printable brick order form at


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Family friendly Offering both large and small boat adventures.

4103 Main St. Downtown Chincoteague Island Boat departs 2246 Curtis Merritt Harbor Drive. (757) 336-5556

undial Books, has been your locally owned, independent bookstore on Chincoteague for more than ten years. Our shelves include an eclectic mix of new and used books, local favorites and unexpected treasures. We also have a great selection of gifts and local art as well as new and used music CD’s and new LP’s. Stop in and browse! Coming to Chincoteague for vacation and have a special book you want to read during your stay? Order online before you travel and have books waiting for you when you arrive on the Island.

Buy books online at 4065 Main St Chincoteague Island

(757) 336-5825

Wine Coffee & Gourmet We have a little bit of everything to tempt you


uge Wine and Craft beer selection! Let us lead you to your best wine and goodies perfect for your requested palette choices with our trained staff and welcoming service! Cigars, Gifts, and Gourmet Pantry featuring fancy cheeses, mustards, bruschetta, crab salsa, pepper jellies, crostinis and hot sauces! Everything you need for a fun evening, nature picnic or Custom gift basket made to order. Our to-go coffee bar offers the best coffee in town with locally roasted beans and addictive cold brew! Tickle your sweet tooth with our handmade chocolates, selection of sweets, and baked goods! A full service gourmet market located in the heart of downtown - locally owned and operated! Our market connects to the mothership Island Butterfly Jewelry & Jubilee for an added shopping experience all in one location open 12 months a year!

4103 Main St. Chincoteague Island

(757) 336-2610

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Sandy Sky Meet the artist!


Blue Crab Treasures A great place to shop!


Flying Fish Gallery

Eclectic Decor


ocally owned and open year-round, Sandy Sky's has something for everyone. The shop features jewelry, pillows, Christmas ornaments, and many more items made by the owner; she also accepts custom orders. It's a small shop with a lot of heart. You can find it on Main street next to the Comfort Suites.

lue Crab Treasures is a place to find many items that have been created by a variety of local (and not so local) artists. Our gift shop offers clothing for adults & children, greeting cards, jewelry, kitchenware, wall art, puzzles, toys, hand-crocheted items, Chincoteague pony photographs, goat’s milk lotions and home decor.

lying Fish Gallery has an assortment of glass, clay and metal art/jewelry. The store has been delighting visitors, since 2005 with that perfect vacation keepsake. You will find over 100 American artist on display, including 30 local and regional artist in the gallery.


(757) 336-5507

(757) 336-1731

4211 Main St


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4080 Main St

4088 Main St

Island Butterfly Jewelry & Jubilee Locally owned by an Island native!

Sterling Silver - Gemstones - Gifts Handmade - Unique Finds & More!

O pen year-round, Island Butterfly provides the island’s most unique selection of Jewelry, Gifts, and Handmade treasures. Locally owned and operated since 2005, you won’t want to miss experiencing our unforgettable shop right in the heart of historic downtown! Connected to Wine, Coffee, & Gourmet with the doorway to the land of temptations...something for everyone oozing with small-town charm and personal customer service! Hope to see you soon!

4107 Main St. Chincoteague Island

(757) 336-2610

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History & Culture 52

Chincoteague’s Wild Ponies


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ave you ever wondered how the ponies came to Assateague Island? There are several theories. One draws from the many historically documented shipwrecks that have occurred off of the coast of Assateague Island. There is an oral history that tells of a shipwreck involving a Spanish galleon carrying horses. The galleon is believed to have wrecked off of Assateague in the 1700's and some of the horses were able to swim to shore. A theory with more historical evidence, is that the "Chincoteague Ponies" are descendants of colonial horses brought to Assateague Island in the l7th century by Eastern Shore planters when crop damage caused by free roaming animals led colonial legislatures to enact laws requiring fencing and taxes on livestock. Over time, the modern-day descendants of those domestic horses have adapted to their environment. We may never solve the mystery behind how the ponies got to Assateague Island, but no one can deny that it was Marguerite Henry who made these ponies famous with her book Misty of Chincoteague. Prior to the refuge's establishment in 1943, the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company purchased the ponies and continues ownership to this day. The Firemen are allowed to graze up to 150 ponies on refuge land through a Special Use Permit from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. A fence along the Virginia/Maryland State line (the northern refuge boundary) separates the island's ponies into two herds. The Maryland herd is owned by the National Park Service. The Virginia herd is owned by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company and is grazed in two designated compartments on the refuge. Following tradition, the Fire Company rounds up the entire herd for the Annual Pony Penning and Auction held on the last Wednesday and Thursday of July. Some foals and yearlings are sold at auction to benefit the town's ambulance and fire services. For more information about the ponies or Pony Penning Events please visit:

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Pony Auction Images

Pony Penning 2021


his year will be the 95th Chincoteague Pony Swim, made famous by Marguerite Henry's "Misty of Chincoteague." Tens of thousands of people from around the globe gather to watch this annual tradition, and it's a week-long event!

Saturday, July 24 & Sunday, July 25 (Roundup) There are approximately 50 adult ponies and their foals who live on the southern end of Assateague Island. On Saturday afternoon, the Saltwater Cowboys will begin rounding them up into the Southern Corral. This corral is located on Assateague, on the road to the beach, and is accessible to the public. The public can view the Ponies in the Southern Corral all day Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. 54

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Approximately 100 adult ponies and foals call the north end of the Island home. Those ponies are rounded-up on Sunday morning before Pony Penning and herded to the North Corral. While this corral does not have public access, there are bus trips available to view them at this location. Space is limited. Inquire at your hotel for more information.

Tuesday, July 27 - Vet Checks

Monday, July 26 - Beach Walk

Pony Swim is the peak of this week-long celebration as the Saltwater Cowboys swim the ponies from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. The Ponies will swim across the Channel on the slack tide (the actual swim time varies from year to year and is typically between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.) and come ashore on the east side of Chincoteague Island. The main public viewing area is Veterans Memorial park, located at 7427 Memorial Park Dr. The Ponies

On Monday, at daybreak, the official "Beach Walk" gets underway as the Saltwater Cowboys move the ponies from the Northern Corral south along the Atlantic Ocean and join them with the ponies in the Southern Corral. The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge will open at 5:00 a.m. on Beach Walk day, to view the Ponies journey down the beach.

All of the Ponies will be checked by a vet, and this activity can be viewed by the public in the Southern Corral on the road to the beach.

Wednesday, July 28 - Pony Swim

Pony Auction Images

arrive on Shore just a bit south of the Park on Pony Swim Lane, but that particular area is very "marshy" and space there is very limited. A large screen located in the Park offers a live feed of the swim and dry ground. The Town of Chincoteague provides a free Pony Shuttle service, as early as 4:00 am. The Pony Shuttle runs between many locations on the Island and Veterans Memorial Park, and it is the best way to get to and from the Swim. Crowds are notoriously large, so plan pro-actively. Check with your hotel for the closest Shuttle stop and the most up to date time for the actual swim. The first foal to come ashore will be named King or Queen Neptune and will be given away in a raffle drawing at the carnival grounds later in the day. Tickets for the raffle are sold each night at the carnival and amongst the crowd waiting for the swim. You must have a ticket and be present during the drawing to win! The Parade to the Carnival Grounds typically takes

place after the ponies have had a 45-minute rest after swimming the channel. The Saltwater Cowboys then "parade" them down Main Street, completing their trek at the Carnival Grounds.

Thursday, July 29 - Auction Auction of the foals begins at 8 a.m. at the Carnival Grounds. The annual round-up, swim, and auction help control the size of the herd, keeping it manageable and healthy. The event is also a fund-raiser for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company which uses a portion of the proceeds for veterinary care of the herd throughout the year. All winners are provided with credentials indicating the purchase of a true Chincoteague Pony. Each year the Fire Company members designate a select few ponies as "Buy Backs" ponies included in the auction. These foals will return to Assateague Island to

live out their lives. Buy Backs perpetuate the herd for its long-term existence. Winners of Buy Back Ponies get to name the Pony before it is returned to Assateague. It's also interesting to note that Buy Back Ponies have become some of the highest priced ponies sold at the auction. The Fire Company also donates the proceeds from the sale of one foal annually to a non-profit and have included beneficiaries such as Wounded Warriors, Hospice, Palliative Care of the Eastern Shore, and Alzheimer's Adult Care.

Friday, July 30 - Return Swim The Return Swim to Assateague is a great time to see the ponies in the water. Crowds is typically smaller as the week-long event comes to a close. Inside Chincoteague 2021



Ropewalk 56

Inside Chincoteague 2021

ith over 55 eateries in and around Chincoteague get ready for a coastal dining experience. From Shore traditions to ethnic cuisines, you’re sure to find something delectable. Seafood is caught daily from local waters, and fresh catch often includes Mahi Mahi, tuna, sea bass, sword and even shark! Seafood can be prepared in so many ways; steamed, broiled, blackened, sautéed, the list goes on. Whichever you choose, don’t miss out on the local seafood! Some of the world’s finest shellfish are found right off the coast, and local chefs are experts in its preparation. Chincoteague is famous for its oysters, and while aquaculture is part of the modern day island life, Islanders have been harvesting and sustaining the mollusk for generations. Truly some of the best oysters you will ever eat are from these waters. In addition to the many dining fares, Chincoteague offers a variety of dining styles as well. Food truck hopping here on the Island offers a wide array of expertly prepared fare. You can grab and go or relax at nearby tables picnic style; a great way to enjoy a meal without heading back to your room to shower off the beach sand.

Island Creamery

Ropewalk Chincoteague

The freshest ingredients, in a comfortable setting

Serving Neighbors and Making Friends Since 1975



e churn out frozen desserts daily, in small batches, right in our shop. We use an all-natural premium butterfat mix ensuring a rich, creamy ice cream. Inspiration for flavors come from the local fruit available to us or from tasty inclusions made in our kitchen. Since 1975, our family has served the Island and its neighboring communities as well as countless visitors.

6243 Maddox Blvd. Chincoteague Island

(757) 336-6236

opewalk features waterfront dining and a beach with a tiki bar, fire pits, and children’s play area. Ropewalk is Chincoteague Island’s premier and newest waterfront restaurant, offering a family-friendly atmosphere, first class indoor and outdoor dining and the best sunset views in town. Enjoy fresh and enticing entrees on our varied menu, and relax at the bar with full wine, liquor, beer, and local craft brew selection. From the tropical beach to the beautiful Narrows Ballroom suitable for weddings and other events.

6262 Marlin St. Chincoteague Island

(757) 336-0512

Inside Chincoteague 2021



Rental Properties 58

Inside Chincoteague 2021

Best Western Chincoteague

Waterside Inn

Best Western Chincoteague

Already Planning Next Year’s Trip?


lready planning next years trip? There is no better time to make your reservation than before you leave the island. Chincoteague Island offers many different accommodations, including bed & breakfast, private motels, nationally branded hotels, rental cottages, and homes, as well as investment properties for sale. If your planning for next year or decades to come, the lodging and real estate businesses among the pages of this book can help you set the stage for another amazing Chincoteague vacation!

Chincoteague 2021 59 KeyInside West Cottages

Proper Tipping

Waterside Inn Family owned and operated by island natives.


roper tipping shows others that you’re “socially groomed.” You’re not a cheapskate nor a show-off. It is, however, better to over tip than under tip. There are critical limits on both ends of the spectrum. Proper tipping also ensures good service, particularly from a bartender. If there is a party of four or more, tip the bartender $10 on your first round. He/she will remember your generosity and pay particular attention to the group. Thereafter tip the standard for each round; $1 for a beer, $2 for a mixed drink. The amount of gratuity depends on the service being provided and is usually a percentage of the total bill. If a service is already expensive, and you cannot afford to tip the proper percentage, then you cannot afford the service. The acceptable tip for food servers, cocktail servers, and bartenders is 15% to 20% of the total bill. The American wait staff is paid an average hourly wage of $3.63 by their employer. If about $145.00, for a week’s worth of carting food and beverage back and forth from grumpy kitchen cooks to waiting customers sounds low to you, that’s because it is. The National Restaurant Association explains this issue, by citing the federal minimum wage law, which allows employers to pay employees, who receive tips, a lesser wage. Employees, who are tipped, count on gratuities to make up for this huge difference. You may feel that paying your waiter’s salary should not be your responsibility, but if you are eating out, you will be expected to tip and to do so appropriately. If you are hesitant to tip because you received poor service, do not skip out on gratuity; instead ask to speak to the manager. Most will be very appreciative to learn of less than quality service, and sometimes all the wait staff needs is a little direction to improve their level of service. Other than wait staff at a restaurant, there are others in the resort who appreciate tips for quality service. In some instances you will find a “tip jar” in a central location. Proper standards are very much appreciated here too. See our tip guide for those standards. Bartender $1 for a beer, $2 for mixed drinks Wait Staff 18-20% Kayak or SUP Attendant 20% Dock Boy $5 Golf Cart Attendant $3 Cabbie/Uber 15% of the total fare Caddy 50% of the caddy fee

Ask about Sunset Hill Condo!

• • • • • •

Spectacular Sunsets Superior views of Wallops rocket launches 220-foot private fishing & crabbing pier Seasonal outdoor heated pool overlooking Chincoteague Channel Private guest marina Solar-heated, adult Jacuzzi & fitness room

• • • • • •

Private Tennis Court Grills and picnic tables Conference & Hospitality Room Boat and trailer parking Glass elevator Beautiful rose gardens

3761 South. Main St., Chincoteague Island

(757) 336-3434

Comfort Suites

Key West Cottages

Island Charm

Award Winning Service

By Choice Hotels

d e t a v o n e R y l New

Award Winning Service & Accommodations All Suites hotel featuring Private Waterfront Balconies Waterfront Indoor Pool, Hot Tub and Outdoor Pool Crabbing, Fishing and Breathtaking Sunsets on site 24 hour Fitness Center & Marketplace Intimate Weddings, Group Packages & Retreats

Escape to your Own Bayfront Retreat! One & Two Bedroom Waterfront Cottages Full Kitchens, Large Tiled Walk-in Showers Fishing & Crabbing Shared Indoor Pool, Hot Tub, Outdoor Pool, Laundry and Fitness Center next door



Inside Chincoteague 2021

Inside Chincoteague 2021



Inside Chincoteague 2021

Inside Chincoteague 2021


Comfort Suites Chincoteague

Waterside Inn

Beach Weddings

Shore Weddings


ith all the ingredients for a memorable wedding, beginning with the sun, the shore, is a growing destination for weddings. Of course everything is close by; restaurants, country clubs and hotels for receptions. There are florists, photographers and houses of worship. Be it a small or large affair, the Shore offers the perfect venue. The atmosphere is family friendly and there is entertainment for both the kids and grands before and after the event. Best of all, when the magical moment arrives, there is no more romantic setting than an Eastern Shore backdrop.


Inside Chincoteague 2021

Inside Chincoteague 2021




Inside Chincoteague 2021

Inside Chincoteague 2021



Inside Chincoteague 2021

Inside Chincoteague 2021



Inside Chincoteague 2021

Inside Chincoteague 2021



Inside Chincoteague 2021

Inside Chincoteague 2021



Inside Chincoteague 2021

Inside Chincoteague 2021


Pooch Palooza Dog Festival ™

Ultimate Air Dogs

An Annual Event Each Spring!

Canine Sports, Canine Games and Contest For Backyard Dogs & Canine Athletes. It's all about the dogs!

Costume Contest

September 11, 2021

Frontier Town Western Theme Park 8428 Stephen Decatur Hwy, Berlin, MD

Inside Ocean City



Cover Model Search FastFetch Cup

Pie Eating

Lottery Ball Drop

Lure Chase Presented by Delmarva Unleashed The Shore's Canine Lifestyle Magazine

Stay right at the event! In your camper or stay in a Deluxe Cabin! Book NOW

Visit our DelmarvaUnleashed Facebook page for prefestival fun!

7105 Maddox Blvd. Chincoteague Island 72

Inside Chincoteague 2021

(757) 336-6557

Inside Chincoteague 2021


Well Appointed Spacious Guest-rooms

Closest Lodging To The Wildlife Refuge And The Beach !

Enjoy Our Relaxing Fire Pit

Views of the Lighthouse & Wallops Launch Pad Award Winning Property & Staff Locally Owned & Operated

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M O C . E ID