Things To Do on Chincoteague Island

Things to do on Chincoteague include annual events, flounder fishing, deep sea fishing, clamming, crabbing, nature cruises, kayaking, eco-tourism, tours of Chincoteague National Wildlife refuge, swimming, sunbathing, bird watching, festivals and more.

Swimming and sunbathing are among the most popular things to do. There is an excellent beach on Assateague Island as well as a variety of secluded beaches, although many are accessible only by boat.

Collecting sea shells on Assateague Island is a relaxing activity for people of all ages. The beaches on the ocean side sometimes yield a wide range of shells, artifacts and unique treasures from the ocean. Local shells include knobby whelks, smooth whelks, moon snails, periwinkles, bay scallops, ocean quahogs, hard clams, jingles, limpets, cockles and others.

A tour of Assateague Island lighthouse is another attraction for visitors to Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. The lighthouse is located within Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and is visible from the ocean, the beach and from almost all of Chincoteague Island.

Birdwatching is a favorite activity. The islands are among the premier bird watching spots in the mid-Atlantic region of the USA. Visitors can easily count hundreds or thousands of birds simply by driving from the Chincoteague Island causeway to the beach at Assateague.

Vacationers will find a nice variety of boat cruises, including, nature cruises, scenic cruises, sunset cruises, pony swim trips, site seeing, eco-tourism trips, kayaking adventures and fishing charters. The array of boating activities on the island allows families a good choice of fun events, and there is something for everyone.

Surf fishing on nearby Assateague Island is relatively inexpensive, requires little in specialized tackle and no boat is needed. Anglers can reach the surf on foot from Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, or drive on designated areas with a 4 wheel drive vehicle.

Flounder fishing is a fun activity for families. Flounder fishing is done by drifting the bays and creeks around Chincoteague and Assateague in search of a good days catch and a relaxing tan. Flounder arrive in March or April, but the best fishing is from May thru October.

The waters off Chincoteague offer a variety of opportunities for offshore fishermen. Anglers fish from 30-60 miles offshore, catching a variety of tuna, sharks, billfish and other deep sea fish.

Crabbing is an enjoyable family activity on Chincoteague Island. Crabbing can be done from a boat, pier, near bridges or along the shoreline. Crabbers need only a line, weight, bait and dip net for the traditional rig, or an inexpensive crab trap, which eliminates the need for a dipping crabs up.

Catching wild clams is another fun way to enjoy a day on the water. The activity takes very little skill and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. For people that have never tried this activity, local guides offer inexpensive clamming trips.

Shopping is a fun activity. The town has a wide range of gift shops, art galleries and other shopping. Shopping is a good way to relax on a rainy day or when in need of swimwear, souvenirs or gifts for family.

Dining out is very popular in Chincoteague. The town is well known for its excellent quality oysters, clams, scallops, fish and other seafood. In addition to seafood, several restaurants serve traditional meals as well as ethnic specialties.

The nearby NASA Visitor Center has a museum, and a clear view of the rocket launch facilities on Wallops Island. From this site, visitors can get details of the the launch schedules, countdown status, weather and other launch factors. Televisions also provide visitors views of the launch pad.

Several annual events occur on the island. The Eastern Shore of Virginia Chamber of Commerce Seafood Festival is held annually in May. Enthusiasts enjoy oysters, clams and fresh fish deliciously served Eastern Shore-style. The event is all-you-can-eat, held at Tom's Cove Campground, Chincoteague Island, Va.

The Chincoteague Island Blueberry Festival is an annual summer event. The 2-day festival is normally held the third full weekend in July, preceding the world famous pony swim and fireman's carnival.

The most famous Chincoteague Island event is the pony swim and penning, a tradition since 1924. The swim, penning and auction is held on the last Wednesday and Thursday of July. Ponies are rounded up and swim the channel between Assateague and Chincoteague Islands.

The Chincoteague Island Virginia Oyster Festival is a popular annual event, held each year in October. The festival celebrates Chincoteague Island's famous salt oysters.

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge has events for National Waterfowl Week from the Saturday before Thanksgiving to the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The wildlife loop is usually open to vehicles all day during the event. This is a once a year opportunity to have vehicle access to the service road which extends northward into the refuge.

Tags: recreation, events, things to do, activities

Submitted by: cin