As many ‘Teaguers, come-heres, and lifelong visitors of Chincoteague will tell you, there is nothing quite like coming across the causeway to Chincoteague. The smell of the salt marsh is the first thing that hits you. To first-timers, it may be a strange smell, but to those of us who’ve driven the causeway tens, hundreds, or thousands of times, it smells like home. The next thing you notice is the abundant wildlife. Ducks, shorebirds, oysters, fish, deer, and of course seagulls are popular sightings. The lucky visitor might see a Peregrine Falcon, Osprey, or even a Snowy Egret or Great Blue Heron. Then, you see the boats. Fishing boats, pontoon boats, skiffs and scows– boats of all types can be found in Queen Sound, fishing for all sorts of fish– some of which you’ll find on your plate at the island’s best restaurants. Then the island comes into view– the town dock, the carnival grounds, nightlife hotspots Chattie’s and the Chincoteague Inn, and family-style favorite Don’s Seafood. Over the drawbridge, and you find yourself on Maddox Boulevard– home to ice cream shops Mr. Whippy’s and the Island Creamery. Then, on your right, you pass The Village seafood restaurant. You get another glimpse of marsh. In no time at all, you find yourself pulling into the Refuge Inn, checking in to your home-away-from-home.
Just like that, you’re on island time. Welcome to Chincoteague.