Winner Winner, Chincoteague Dinner!

Chincoteague has been named the best coastal small town by USA Today.

Chincoteague canceled this year’s Pony Swim due to the pandemic, but start scheduling you trip to see one in the future.

USA Today readers recently voted Chincoteague the 2020 Best Coastal Small Town, ahead of others such as Bayfield, Wisconsin, and Venice, Florida. Perhaps best known for its annual Pony Swim, Chincoteague is also home to beautiful, uncrowded beaches and a quaint, easily walkable downtown area filled with boutiques, restaurants, waterside bars, and more. 

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the Pony Swim, it’s an annual event conducted by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, during which “Saltwater Cowboys” round up the wild ponies on Assateague Island and guide them across the Assateague Channel to Chincoteague Island. Once there, the foals are auctioned off, both to control the size of the herd and to raise money for the volunteer fire company. Some of the auction proceeds also go towards veterinary care for the ponies throughout the year. This event draws 40-50,000 spectators each year.

Although this year’s Pony Swim event was cancelled due to the pandemic, there is still plenty to see and do on Chincoteague. The Osprey Nest, for example, is an art shop that has served the Chincoteague community for over 30 years and features paintings by wildlife artist Kevin McBride. Bill’s Prime Seafood & Steaks, established 1960, serves local seafood, hand cut steaks, and pasta, all accompanied by an international wine list. Entrées include the Colossal Lobster Tail—a 16oz. tail stuffed with crab, broiled, and served with drawn butter—and the Pork Shank Osso Bucco, slow roasted with a barbecue demi glaze and served over stone ground cheese grits. 

Looking for a sweet treat? Island Creamery has got you covered. This delightful ice cream parlor, which has been serving the island since 1975, began making their own ice cream in 1985. Flavors include Snickers Cheesecake, Pony Tracks, Bourbon Caramel Crunch, and Wallops Rocket Fuel. The company now has two more locations, both in Maryland.

If you need a place to stay when you visit this charming seaside town, Chincoteague is home to many hotels and bed and breakfasts, including the Channel Bass Inn, a cozy and personable inn surrounded by perennial gardens and even featuring a Japanese garden and pond. The inn also has a tea room, where guests can enjoy a taste of England, including sandwiches, scones, desserts, and, of course, tea. Breakfast and afternoon tea are often served on the side porch overlooking the Japanese gardens and pond, where you may be able to see ducks splashing around in a trickling fountain for a morning swim.

Who knows? Your next vacation could be right around the corner.

Chincoteague.com

June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum