What are some of the best things to do in Chincoteague, Virginia?
After all, when we think about the town of Chincoteague, what normally comes to mind?
Well for starters, Chincoteague is a small town located in Accomack County in the state of Virginia. The town includes the whole of Chincoteague Island as well as an area of adjacent waters.
According to the latest census, the towns population during that time was just a little under 3,000. Making it one of the smallest towns in the state of Virginia.
The town of Chincoteague is specifically known for its Chincoteague Ponies, however there are not actually any wild ponies on the island of Chincoteague but rather on the nearby Assateague Island.
Aside from that however, the town of Chincoteague is an amazing town that is filled with all sorts of cool things for you to see and do.
For instance, you can visit the “Museum of Chincoteague” which displays various items from the towns past where you can learn all about the history and culture of Chincoteague. Or you could even stop by the “Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge” where you can see all kinds of wild animals roaming about the area.
If you’re lucky enough and happen to be in town during a certain time of the year, you might even be able to attend one of the most amazing events that happen here annually called the “Pony Penning”. This event is all about the Chincoteague Ponies as you can either watch them all swim across the open waters or even attend an auction for them.
Whatever the case may be, the town of Chincoteague is definitely filled with all sorts of fun and adventure.
So if you’re wondering what exactly you are able to do here in the town of Chincoteague, we got you covered.
In this post, we’ll be detailing all the best things to do in Chincoteague, Virginia.
So if you’re ready, lets get started!
- Things To Do In Chincoteague, Virginia
- Visit The Museum Of Chincoteague
- Ride The Pony Express Trolley Ride
- Visit The NASA Wallops Visitors Center
- Visit Captain Timothy Hill House
- Visit The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
- Do Some Shopping In Chincoteague
- Play In The Waters At Maui Jack’s Waterpark
- Check Out The Annual Pony Penning
- Go On a Pony Express Nature Cruise
- Visit The Bike Depot
- Attend The Oyster Festival
- Visit The Assateague Lighthouse
- Ride A Pony At Chincoteague Pony Center
- Visit Veteran’s Memorial Park
- Try Out The Local Food In Chincoteague
- Go Crabbing For Crabs
- Have Fun At The Beach
- Try Some Fishing In Chincoteague
Things To Do In Chincoteague, Virginia
In no particular order, here are the best things to do in Chincoteague, Virginia.
Visit The Museum Of Chincoteague
If you love learning about different cultures and history of many different places in detail, then one place you absolutely must visit is a museum.
And here in Chincoteague, you can find one of the very best museums called the “Museum of Chincoteague“, where you can learn all about the long history and culture of this great town.
It is here where you’ll be able to find all sorts of different exhibits on display for you to see and learn.
For instance, inside this museum you can find things like the “First Order Fresnel Lens” from the Assateague Island Lighthouse models of vessels that plied the Chincoteague waters many moons ago, oral histories and artifacts that tell the story of Chincoteague Island life, as well as seeing some of the famous Chincoteague ponies called Misty and Stormy.
Not only that, but the museum is also home to a variety of events that happen during the year. For instance, some events that they have done in the past included things like the “Sunset Cruise Fundraiser” and the “Tuesday Night Lectures” where they’ll invite different speakers to talk about various topics for people to listen.
Overall the museum is a whole lot of fun as it’ll be able to teach everybody all about the interesting history and culture that made this town become what it is.
So if you love learning about new things as well as seeing things in more detail, this museum is definitely the place to visit.
Ride The Pony Express Trolley Ride
One of the best ways for you to explore a certain place is to simply roam around the entire area and see it in all its glory.
And what better way to explore than to ride a trolley!
Here in the town of Chincoteague, they offer a trolley service ride called the “Pony Express“, and it’ll take you all around the town of Chincoteague. The trolley is a service provided by the town and offers locals and tourists a like a chance to see many amazing destinations without having to pay an absurd fee.
The ride only costs 50 cents which is insanely cheap and follows a fixed route covering most of the island including many of the motels, restaurants, shops, parks, recreational areas, ice cream parlors, and campgrounds.
Plus the best part about it is that you can even get free ride tokens from many of the business’s nearby.
Just know that they do not carry cash on them so they won’t be able to provide any change for big bills. So if you are interested in riding this trolley, try to bring the exact change as it’ll make things so much more convenient.
Other than that, this trolley makes for a great experience as you’ll be able to see all the sights and destinations without having to walk or pay any large transportation fees. It’s one of the best things you can do if you ever get a chance to visit Chincoteague.
Visit The NASA Wallops Visitors Center
Did you know that you can visit a NASA Rocket Launch facility here in the town of Chincoteague?
Well…half true at least.
There isn’t actually a launch pad here in the town of Chincoteague or Assateague, but there is one on a neighboring island called Wallops Island.
Although not the same as the one you could find in Houston, Texas, but still nevertheless makes for a fun and educational place to visit.
Here at the NASA Wallops Visitor Center which is located on Wallops island, you can see one of the oldest rocket launch sites in the world. It is one of the best places you can ever visit if you are wanting to see some live rocket launches.
Plus not only that, but the facility is also a great place as it features many different exhibits about aeronautics, orbital and sub-orbital rockets, scientific balloons, current missions, and the history of Wallops Flight Facility.
In addition to these exhibits, this facility also features many things like an observation deck, field trip opportunities, events, as well as many different types of free public programs. You can also find an auditorium that is state of the art with 9 built in televisions, high definition flat screen display of the launches. The live camera feeds will give you some of the best views of the launch and will even take you behind the scenes at the launch pad.
And if that isn’t enough, you can also find that they allow for tours of the facility where you can get an inside look at just how NASA operates its missions.
There is also a little gift shop located inside the Visitor Center which is open seasonally and offers many different things for you to buy. From toy models to patches and games or more, you can find it all here.
So if you have a passion for space or just love learning about many interesting things, the NASA Wallops Visitor Center is definitely the place to visit.
Visit Captain Timothy Hill House
If you want to see what the oldest house in the town of Chincoteague looks like, then you are in luck.
Here in this town, you’ll be able to find a place called “Captain Timothy Hill House“, which is the oldest house ever built in the town of Chincoteague. It’s located on Chincoteague Hill and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.
The story goes that Captain Timothy Hill who was originally from England, decided to stay in the town of Chincoteague after his ship got wrecked. His house which was originally built around the year of 1800, was moved to its present location in 1980 when faced with demolition and has stayed here ever since.
Visitors who come may be able to tour the house in all its glory and see exactly what made this house so special. It features a rare surviving example of a log plank construction still existent in Virginia. You’ll even be able to see many carvings of sailing ships of the period on the exterior of the log walls.
But the best part about this attraction is that it is completely free to visit. Which means you won’t have to spend a penny and can save that money for other good uses. Although if you want, they do take donations from time to time.
The house is only available during select times, for instance in the Summer the house is open from 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday. However if you want to come during the Winter, you will have to make an appointment.
So if you love seeing different kinds of architecture or just love seeing history at its finest, then you must pay a visit to Captain Timothy Hill’s House.
Visit The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
Do you love the outdoors? How about looking at all sorts of amazing wildlife roaming around?
If that sounds like you, then you definitely need to head down to “The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge“.
The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is a 14,000 acre wildlife preserve that is operated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. It is here where nature-loving families will be able to enjoy many types of activities that bring them joy and entertainment. From biking or hiking through the trails or even searching for wildlife like ponies and birds, this place is a haven for all things nature.
In fact, one of the most popular things to do here is to simply explore all around and try to find all the different types of wildlife living in this area. Some of the animals you can find include horses, ponies, foxes, deer, pelicans, merlins, horseshoe crab and more are all easily spotted just by roaming around.
Plus when you venture out near the end of the refuge, you can even find one of the most beautiful beaches around. It makes for a perfect place where you can have fun fishing, crabbing or even just splashing around in the waters. It’s only about 2 miles away from the entrance of the Chincoteague Natural Wildlife Refuge or about a 5 minute drive, but it is totally worth it.
Visiting the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is like an experience where you will finally get to be at peace with nature. You’ll be able to see some beautiful plants and trees while also being able to see all kinds of wildlife roaming around. It’s definitely one of the more fun things to do here in the town of Chincoteague.
Do Some Shopping In Chincoteague
Whenever you are visiting some place new, one of the first things you’ll most likely find yourself doing is to simply visit one of the many shops around the area.
And here in the town of Chincoteague, you can find that there are a huge variety of shops for you to shop around and explore.
For instance, here in this town you can find many different shops centered around local art boutiques to salons, bookstores, specialty shops and more all ready for you to walk right on in.
Take for example, “Sundial Books“, which is a locally owned bookstore where you can find some really amazing books to read. From new books to used or even collectible books, they have it all.
Or if you want to see some art, you’ll be happy to know that there are quite a bunch of different art shops and galleries for you to explore. One in particular is called “Tryfan Gallery“, which has many different types of paintings you could buy.
There are also a number of different specialty shops which might peak your interest as well. For instance, you can find some really amazing treasures at “Blue Crab Treasures” which have been created by a variety of local artists.
Or you might be interested in a candy shop called “Pony Tails Candy Company“, where you can find a bunch of made-inhouse creamery fudge, handmade chocolates, gummies, and novelty candy that will bring back many amazing memories of your childhood.
Overall, shopping in the town of Chincoteague is like an experience. You’ll never know what you might run into. But once you do, you’ll definitely be pleasantly surprised by all the offerings this town has to offer.
Play In The Waters At Maui Jack’s Waterpark
If you have kids traveling around with you, then one of the best places you can take them is to a waterpark.
After all, who doesn’t like sliding down fast slides and splashing around in some cool water on a hot sunny day?
Which is why you’ll be happy to know that the town of Chincoteague has their very own waterpark. It’s called the Maui Jack’s Waterpark and is filled with all kinds of amazing things for you to see and do.
It’s a park that is suitable for people of all ages as there are many different activities that they can do. For instance, the little ones can enjoy playing around the splash zone or even floating around the lazy river. While the big kids can go on the more thrilling and fast paced rides like Banzai Racers or even twist and turn through their famous three body slides. All while the rest of the family can hang out at their own Maui Island Cabana while sipping on drinks or eating some snacks.
It’s definitely a place where you can get lost in time and have fun for hours on end.
Aside from the waterpark, you can also find a variety of games that are suitable for people of all ages to play as well. For instance, you can find giant versions of Jenga, Chess, Connect Four, and even Checkers. Heck, they even have a cornhole and a ping pong table for you to play with too!.
Overall Maui Jack’s is a fun filled adventure where you can simple relax while cooling yourself down in some really soothing waters. Especially during the summer time, you will definitely appreciate every single bit of your time coming here.
Check Out The Annual Pony Penning
How much do you love ponies? I bet not as much as this town does.
In fact, here in the town of Chincoteague, you can find that they have an annual festival called the “Pony Penning” that is held every July where they will have the famous Chincoteague Ponies swimming around the open waters. It’s held on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July and is one of the most popular events ever happening here in this town.
The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department conducts the event so you can rest assured that the ponies here are all taken really good care of. The event basically consists of the Pony Swim on Wednesday and a Pony Auction On Thursday.
Basically for the Pony Swim, you’ll have professionals gather the ponies from Assateague Island and drive them across the channel to Veteran’s Memorial Park where the ponies will swim across the channel during the slack tide, when the water has minimal tidal movement. You won’t have to worry about any ponies getting injured or hurt as there are always some veterinarians and staff nearby which will assist any ponies that get into any trouble.
You’ll find that locals and tourists from all over will descend down to this town just for this event as it is definitely a sight to see. In fact, it is pretty common to have around 40,000 people gathering together on the shores just to watch the swim from Veterans Memorial Park.
And the other major part of this event is the auctioning of ponies which acts as a fundraiser for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department and is also used to maintain the herd size. Anyone who attends the auction is able to participate, so if you are wanting to bring home a pony, then this is a really good time for it.
Overall it is a fantastic event where you can see some really amazing ponies in action doing their thing. So if you are a fan of ponies or just want to see one up close and personal, then you should definitely make your way down to this event if you ever get the chance.
Go On a Pony Express Nature Cruise
If you want to have one of the most relaxing times around while also being able to see all kinds of wildlife and nature, then you need to go on the Pony Express Nature Cruise.
The Pony Express Nature Cruise is a cruise ship that’ll take you out onto the waters around the town with a native boat captain who will guide you and tell you all kinds of interesting facts and things about the local surrounding area. Not only that, but you’ll also be able to enjoy a spectacular coast experience.
For instance, during this ride, you can commonly see many kinds of wildlife roaming around. Some of the wildlife you might encounter during this trip includes things like wild ponies, dolphins, eagles, shorebirds and more. The cruise ship will go right up next to them where you can see them playing around in their natural environment while you take as many pictures as you want.
Not only that, but the cruise ship will also bring you up close and personal to many different popular attractions. From things like the Assateague Lighthouse to the beautiful island of Assateague, you will see a bundle of things that will spark joy in your daily lives.
They offer many types of tours for you to choose from. For instance, you can pick between going on a cruise ship or going on a kayak. Or if you’re feeling fancy, you can even double it up and go on both a cruise ship and a kayak. For instance, you can do the 10:30 am cruise, return at 12 for lunch at a nearby shop, then depart back out onto the waters at 1:30 by kayak. The choice is yours to make.
It makes for a great experience as you’ll be able to go on a really great adventure riding in style all while being in a relaxing environment.
Visit The Bike Depot
As you know, the town of Chincoteague is filled with all sorts of amazing things for you to see and do.
And what better way to go exploring everything the town has to offer than by riding a bike.
Bikes are a great method of transportation here as they’ll allow you to travel through the entire town at your own leisure all while enjoying the beautiful scenic views that surround you.
In fact, one of the most popular bike shops for you to visit is one called “Bike Depot“. Bike Depot is a popular bike shop that many locals and tourists love to use. Here you can find them offering various types of bikes for you to rent. From regular bicycles to 3 wheel bikes or even 2 seater bikes and more, the options are endless. They also offer very good rates for bike renting where you can either rent it for a few bucks by the hour or for a set price for an entire day.
But that’s not all you can find here at the Bike Depot.
In fact, contrary to their name, you can also find plenty of other stuff for you to rent as well that doesn’t have to deal with bikes.
For instance, here at this shop you can rent things like beach chairs, umbrellas and even binoculars for around $6 dollars each per day. And for the umbrellas, they use commercial grade ones which are big and made up of wood, canvas, fiberglass, and stainless steel.
For the adventurous types, you can also find them renting out boogie boards and skim boards in various kinds of sizes all for a low price of $6 dollars a day, which is an amazing bargain.
So if you ever are visiting the town of Chincoteague and need to find a method of transportation or just want to rent out some awesome beach equipment, then Bike Depot is definitely the place to go.
Attend The Oyster Festival
Do you love seafood? How about oysters?
If that sounds like you, then you would absolutely love “The Oyster Festival” that happens every year during the Fall season here in Chincoteague.
This festival that happens every year is held to promote the seafood industry as well as sparking the arrival of the oyster season. It is here where you can get a taste of some of the freshest oysters around as well as many other kinds of seafoods too.
Being a festival about oysters, you can definitely be sure to find many vendors offering oysters cooked in many different ways. From raw to steamed or even fritters and single fried, they have it all. Plus you can also find other seafoods like clam fritters, clam chowder, shrimp cocktail and more all for you to eat.
And even if you are not a seafood lover, do not worry.
They even have regular foods like salad bars, hot dogs, hush puppies, and even the famous “Boardwalk Fries”.
During the festival, you’ll even be able to enjoy some live entertainment like from the group “Island Boy” which has been a festival favorite for over 25 years.
Plus there is even a raffle that is held with the winner of the raffle receiving many things like t-shirts, tickets, lodging, gift certificates for meals, and much more for the next year’s festival.
So if you want to enjoy all the fresh seafood the town has to offer as well as being in a very entertaining environment, then this festival is definitely for you. Just be sure to get your tickets in advance because tickets will normally be sold out the day before the festival starts.
Visit The Assateague Lighthouse
One of the best places to see the surrounding area from a birds eye view is to simply visit “The Assateague Lighthouse“.
The Assateague Lighthouse is actually located within the Chincoteague Natural Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island, which is really close by to Chincoteague.
This lighthouse is a very old lighthouse as it was completed back in 1867 and is even listed on the Virginia Historic register. It has seen a restoration and has been restored to its former glory back in 2008 where repairs were done to the gallery deck so that visitors can go up and enjoy fantastic views from the top of the lighthouse.
Visitors who are wanting to see this attraction will need to walk about a quarter mile in length following a trail which will lead you to the lighthouses entrance. It’s a pretty easy trail to follow with just a slight incline, mostly through the cover of tall trees. On your way here however, you will even spot quite a few turtles and other wildlife living in the surrounding areas.
Once you get here however, you will have to climb a set of stairs about 175 stairs in total before you can reach the top of the lighthouse. However it is totally worth it as the views from the top are so beautiful and serene.
Don’t worry if the high amount of stairs might scare you, because there are small landing areas to rest between certain flights of stairs while going up the spiral staircase.
Overall it’s a fantastic experience to try as you will get to see all the surrounding areas from a birds eye view. So bring your camera as you will definitely not be disappointed.
Ride A Pony At Chincoteague Pony Center
Have you ever dreamed about seeing a pony in real life? How about riding one or even feeding one?
If so, then you should definitely make your way to the Chincoteague Pony Center, where you can make all your pony dreams come true.
Here at Chincoteague Pony Center, you’ll be able to interact with all kinds of ponies till your hearts content. For instance, you can get up close and personal to where you are able to feed them some food or you can even pet them in person. They even offer riding lessons where you can learn to ride a pony all around the area.
Or if you are a younger kid, they even have pony rides where they’ll let you ride around a little ring so you won’t get scared or injured.
Plus while you are here, you could even get a chance to see a real pony show which takes place only from July through Mid-August. It is here where they’ll bring out all sorts of ponies and have them showing off all the tricks and things that ponies can do.
But that’s not all!
They also have other animals here as well. For instance, they have a petting zoo in this facility where it is full of different rescued animals and allows for you to interact with them and play with them till your hearts content.
And before you leave, don’t forget to check out their gift shop which promises to have something for everyone!
Overall it is a fantastic place where you can definitely make all your pony dreams come true. It’s an experience you definitely have to try to fully understand, but it is one that is totally worth it.
Visit Veteran’s Memorial Park
What better way to have a relaxing and fun afternoon than by hanging out and having fun at a park.
And here in the town of Chincoteague, you can find one of the best parks that the town has to offer called “Chincoteague Veteran’s Memorial Park”.
The Chincoteague Veteran’s Memorial Park is a place filled with all sorts of fun and exciting things for you to see and do.
For instance, this park as many different amenities like tennis courts, basketball courts, ball field, skate park, pavilions, restrooms and more all ready for you to use.
Plus the best part about this park is that it is situated right next to a waterfront where you can do many different types of water activities. In fact, one of the most popular things you can do here is to go fishing, with many kinds of fishes for you to catch. You will need a valid fishing license, however that should prove easy to get.
Not only that, but the pier here is also a great place to go crabbing.
So if you have some spare time, why not come visit this beautiful park. Maybe have a picnic, go fishing, or even just play around on one of the many courts available. It will definitely be one of the best things you do here in Chincoteague.
Try Out The Local Food In Chincoteague
If you are ever traveling around to a different place in the world, one of the most popular things you can do is to simply try out the local food that the place has to offer.
And here in the town of Chincoteague, you can find that there are a whole bunch of amazing restaurants and shops for you to eat at. Here you can find them offering some of the best tasting foods ever, from seafood to barbecue or even pizza and ice cream. The options are endless.
But best of all is that they are located right next to the open waters which means you can guarantee that the seafood you try here is going to be some of the freshest you have ever seen.
For instance, if you are wanting to try some surf and turf, then one of the best restaurants you can visit for that here in this town is a place called Bill’s PRIME Seafood & Steaks. It is here where you can find some amazing seafood like oysters, clams, fish and more. Or you can opt for the steaks which are seasoned to perfection.
Or if you want to try something like pizza, then you definitely can’t go wrong with “Famous Pizza” where you can find some of the best pizza and subs the town has to offer.
Then when you’re done with everything, you should head on down to one of the many dessert shops to get some really tasty treats. One in particular is a place called “Island Creamery“, which offers a variety of ice creams and ice cream cakes for you to choose from.
Overall, if you’re looking for some great tasting food, the town of Chincoteague definitely has you covered.
Go Crabbing For Crabs
If you never been crabbing before, then you are in for a total treat.
In fact, you’ll be happy to know that crabbing here in the town of Chincoteague is one of the most favorite pasttimes for both the local residents as well as tourists alike.
There are many places where you can go crabbing at, but one of the most popular is definitely at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.
The preferred method for crabbing here in this area is to simply use a net and a baited line. Another alternative you can do is to simply buy a bucket, net and a crabbing kit that contains different types of meat, string and a bait clip. And don’t worry if you do not have any of these items because you can find many different fishing shops and hardware stores all around that offer these items for sale.
It’s a very fun family experience where both grown ups and kids will get a kick out of catching the many crabs in the area.
The only thing you’ll have to pay attention to is the size as there are size restrictions and limits which are strictly enforced. Crabs must measure 5″ from back shell point to point.
Once you are finished crabbing, you can simply take your prized catch and cook them to your liking. Add a bunch of Old Bay seasoning to your food and you will truly realize why the crabs from this region are so much better than all the rest.
Have Fun At The Beach
Going to a beach is always one of the best things to do.
Which is why you’ll be happy to know that while you are here visiting the town of Chincoteague, you can also find yourself visiting one of the best beaches this area has to offer.
The beach is located on Chincoteague’s sister island of “Assateague”, which is only a quarter mile away. You can reach this place by either driving a car, biking, or even walking over from that trail that links both of the two islands.
It is here where you can find over 37 miles of pristine beaches for you to roam around and explore. It is regarded as being among the best in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Coming to this beach, you’ll find that there are so many things available for you to see and do. For instance, one of the most popular things people tend to do here is to simply go four-wheel driving on the beach which is insanely fun to do. Not only that, but you can do things like seashell collecting, clamming, swimming, surf fishing, beach hiking, birdwatching, and more.
But best of all, is that you’ll be able to give yourself a chance to relax and have some fun. Whether its playing in the waters, playing in the sand, or simply just laying down and going to sleep. You will definitely love every minute of your time here.
So if you ever have some spare time or just want to make a trip to one of the best beaches around, then this place will surely bring you much entertainment and pleasure.
Try Some Fishing In Chincoteague
As you know, the town of Chincoteague is surrounded by large bodies of water.
Which is why you’ll be happy to know that one of the best things you can do here is to simply go fishing. In fact, some of the best fishing grounds on the Mid-Atlantic Coast are found here in the local waters surrounding the island.
And here in Chincoteague, there are many different ways for you to go fishing. From things like fishing on a surf on Assateague Island to going on one of the public piers or even renting your own boat and going out into the waters to fish. The options are endless.
Also if you’re wondering what kind of fish you can fish up here in this area, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Some of the fish you can catch includes things like flounder, trout, croaker, sea bass, kingfish hovering around the shallows, while blue fin and yellow fin tuna can be found in the deeper waters.
Whatever the case may be, you will definitely get a lot of enjoyment fishing in this area.
So why not grab a rod, attach some bait, and go out to the open waters and fish. You never know what you might catch, but one thing is for sure. You will definitely love every minute of it.
Overall, the town of Chincoteague, Virginia is an amazing place to visit if you ever have the time. You’ll find that the city has a lot of different things for you to see and do.
So hopefully this post about the “18 Best Things To Do In Chincoteague, Virginia” was able to help you out in some sort of way. This way if you ever find yourself visiting the town of Chincoteague, Virginia, you will know exactly what things you are able to do for some fun.
Also if you’re going to be visiting the state of Virginia anytime soon, then you might be interested in some of my other Virginia posts:
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Hope you have a safe and fun trip~