It may feel as though summer is far away, but the weather is already getting warmer here on the island! The long weekends and relaxing weeks of leisurely walks on the beach and late evenings strolling the breezy streets of Chincoteague Island are right around the corner. That means it is time to start planning your Chincoteague summer getaway!
Take a Hike
For the nature lover, our refuge features the Wildlife Loop Boardwalk, which is only .12 miles in length. This short offshoot from the paved Wildlife Loop provides access to breathtaking views including shorebirds and wading birds in the summer. This trail is wheelchair-friendly, kid-friendly, and bike-friendly. During the day you can bike or hike to this trail– make a left at the entrance to the Wildlife Loop. From 3 p.m. to dusk, you can drive your car most of the way around the Wildlife Loop, then park on the side of the road and make the very short trek out to the overlook.
The Woodland Trail is another unique option that offers an overlook where viewers can sometimes view the Chincoteague ponies. Woodpeckers and Delmarva fox squirrels have also been known to frequent this area. This 1.75-mile trail is flat and paved, but it also has a few bumps due to tree roots.
The refuge offers several additional trails to keep you busy during your stay. For more information on island trails, visit the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge website.
Need a break from the trails? Set aside a day to explore local shopping options! The Chincoteague Island Farmers and Artisans Market will open on Saturday, May 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market will also begin holding the same hours on Wednesdays, starting on June 14. This is an excellent opportunity to support local farmers, gardeners, and artisans. Take home a handmade souvenir, and learn about island history from the people who live there. Make sure to wear your sunscreen because you may just be tempted to continue on a short walk to Main Street after your adventures at the market! Local art galleries, shops, and restaurants will welcome you to view and shop their wares. Since many of these shops are just a short walk from the Chincoteague Channel, you will also have the perfect photo opportunities to capture your family enjoying the sunset or climbing our giant LOVE chairs at the Robert Reed Waterfront Park.
Join the Fun
The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company’s annual Fireman’s Carnival will begin on June 30 at 7pm. The carnival will continue July 1, 3, and 4. It will then take a break until July 21 when it reopens for Pony Swim week. The carnival is an experience all its own, and it offers something for every member of the family. Pony fries, crab cakes, oyster and clam fritters, burgers, hot dogs, funnel cakes, fried Oreos, and more will be available for purchase. There will be entertainment, games, rides, and even Bingo!
The 35th Chincoteague Island Blueberry Festival will take place from July 20-22 at the Chincoteague Center. This annual event celebrates everything blueberry, but it also features some amazing talent from local artists. The week before Pony Swim (July 26-28), this unique event offers visitors an opportunity to get to know the people who share the island with Virginia’s favorite ponies.
Chincoteague Island truly comes alive in the summer months, and if you are planning to visit, book your stay as soon as possible because rooms fill up quickly! Whether you plan to join us for Pony Swim week or enjoy one of the many amenities our island will offer in June-August, we can’t wait to celebrate summer 2023 with you. Give us a call at 757-336-5511 or visit www.refugeinn.com to book your stay.