Perhaps the oldest claim to fame for our small island is our seafood. Chincoteague Oysters are shipped worldwide for their unique, salty flavor. Enjoying them fresh takes them to a whole other level. Here on the island, they’re best enjoyed on the half-shell or single-fried.
Tom’s Cove Clams are famous, too—plucked from their beds only hours before arriving at local restaurants, they are succulent and juicy whether served raw, steamed, or fried. We also have a healthy population of Blue Crabs – you can chow down in-season at local seafood eateries, or catch your own at the dock just a short walk from the inn. Fresh fish is always delicious, especially local favorites Drum, Rock, and Flounder.
Our sleepy fishing village was catapulted into the national spotlight with the premiere of the 1961 movie “Misty,” based on the 1947 Marguerite Henry book Misty of Chincoteague. This children’s fictio
nal book is about real-life local children Paul and Maureen Beebe, and their love for a wild Chincoteague Pony named Misty. The book is a national favorite with school children, and is still the first thing most folks think about when they hear Chincoteague.
Our wild ponies aren’t the only animals that draw visitors. Chincoteague is a stop-over point for many varieties of migratory birds, most notably snow geese, songbirds, shorebirds, and ducks of all types. Birdwatchers will want to reserve a room on the pine side for optimal birdwatching opportunities. You may even spot our resident owl!
Nature-lovers and adventurers alike will enjoy our local waters. Kayakers love the summer and fall months—you can enjoy a guided tour or head out on your own. Local shops also rent stand-up paddleboards (SUPs,) small fishing boats, and comfortable pontoon boats so you can enjoy the Chincoteague waters at your own pace.
Perhaps the best way to see Chincoteague and Assateague is aboard a guided cruise, narrated and navigated by a local captain. These guys and gals are island experts who will help you fully appreciate the culture, history, and nature of the island while pointing out hard-to-spot wildlife. We highly recommend Daisey’s Island Cruises, which features comfortable boats and local captains.
Chincoteague also features many other outdoor things to enjoy, including some stellar scenic parks, public docks, fishing piers, nature trails, mini-golf, go-karts, tennis courts, pavilions, a playground, and even an annual 10k run.
Duck hunting is a way of life for many locals, and locally trained and licensed hunting guides can see that you get a great shot at a good day’s hunt. We are happy to offer special rates, hunting dog kennels, and a super-early breakfast for guests hunting with local guides during waterfowl season. Please call us directly once you’ve secured your guide!
Chincoteague isn’t just for the outdoorsy adventures, either. Shopping is abundant in the spring, summer, and fall months. Big shopping events include our annual Death by Chocolate and In Search of Shamrocks events, held each year on Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. We have a vibrant local arts and music community, and put on frequent shows, festivals, and workshops.
Check with local organizations for current offerings!
Chincoteague Island Arts Organization: Movies, Music, & Theatre
Chincoteague Cultural Alliance: Music, Farmers Market, Crafts, Kids activities, Storytelling & Classes from local artisans
Downtown Merchants: Scavenger Hunts, Arts Festivals, Wine Tastings, & Second Saturday art strolls