Chincoteague Pony Swim

Pony Swim Day as seen through the eyes of our own, Denise Bowden

I am so not a morning person, especially after a full night at the carnival grounds information booth giving directions and the how to’s and where to’s of the hundreds of fine folks who have chosen to visit our lovely island for our hometown holiday…Pony Penning.

Yet, I wake up with such a start after about 3 hours of sleep knowing what awaits me.  The hum of the crowds and buzz in the air from the journalists and TV crews waiting for me to pick them up to take them to the site that sees so much action that the police must be on patrol to keep the people and traffic moving.

I feed Buddy, my part Doxie part Pomeranian pooch who looks at me as if to say, “where ya going now mom, off to play with the ponies again this week?” a treat and nice pat on the head satisfies him until I return later in the day.  He watches me from the window as I climb into the fire company pickup truck to meet up with the media. They are a mix of local, national, and international people here to bring this event to the world.  And when I say world, I mean it.  I have taken TV crews and journalists from Japan, Australia, Sweden, Germany, England, South America, and so on.  All eager to see what Marguerite Henry so famously wrote in her book, “Misty of Chincoteague”.  After a brief once over of the rules I set forth to them for the day’s events, they climb in with all their cameras and whatnot and we are off.

Arriving at Pony Swim Lane the police officers clear the roads and crowds to let me drive down the marsh area and park so I can get out of the lane easily in a few hours or maybe several hours.  All depends on that slack tide.  As I make my way onto the fire company dock, security lets me through along with the guests that I have brought with me.  The fire company dock is long and leads right out to the water and as I’m walking, I hear people shout my name and wave to me like we are long lost friends.  We are, after all, long time friends.  I have made many, many friends over ponies.  I don’t know everyone’s name, never will.  But I do know the faces and I try so hard to make everyone feel welcomed and special.  

I stop and take it all in, close my eyes, smell the salt water in the air.  Sometimes a gentle breeze may be blowing.  Most of the time though it’s hot, muggy, and sticky – especially as the morning moves along.  The crowds give me more energy as they become enthusiastic when I grab the microphone and welcome them all with my usual opening line, “Good Morning Chincoteague” –  think Robin Williams.

I was born in June of 1969, my parents had me out on a boat in July of 1969 to watch the pony swim.  I have missed one in my almost 53 years on this earth.  It’s in my blood – saltwater runs through my veins and pony penning week, no matter how old I become, will always be the highlight of my year.  I’m born with it, destined for it and will die with it.

As the time draws closer for the actual swim to begin, the crowd is thicker, the number of boats has increased as they dot the parameter of the swim site.  Off in the distance I can see the Saltwater Cowboys moving the herd closer.  I’m in contact with the Pony Committee Chairman by portable radio and we keep in constant communication just in case something was to go awry.  I ramp up the crowd even more by asking for a round of applause for MY Cowboys and yes, I call them MY Cowboys for the love and affection I have for them for the unbelievable job they do year-round for these precious ponies.  

The Coast Guard boat lights off a red smoke signal to let the cowboys know that it’s time.  This sends the crowds into a frenzy.  The tide is perfect to bring the ponies across.  It can be a low slack tide or a high slack tide, doesn’t matter, just has to be on the slack tide.  If it’s a low slack tide the ponies’ hooves can almost touch the soft mud under the water.  As the ponies draw nearer to the shoreline, I turn around to look at the crowd that has gathered in the marsh, mud up to their knees, their cameras ready.  No one has moved.  No one has left the area.  They came long before sunrise to get the perfect spot to see the ponies swim right up in their faces.  They lost shoes and whatnot in the sucking mud, no one cares.  Shoes can be replaced.  I often tell them that the mud can be washed off but the memories of this day will last forever.  

I turn around and the ponies are just a few feet from entering the water and when they do, the thunderous applause from the crowd sends shivers down my spine.  My chest is poked out with pride and admittedly a few tears run down my cheek.  I tuck my head down for a brief prayer of safety and then just as quickly as they went in the water, the ponies are out of the water and on the other side of the channel being greeted by thousands of people.  The ponies don’t care.  They have already put their heads down to munch on some fresh marsh grass oblivious to the clicking of the camera’s, the shouts and cries of their adoring fans.  I myself am still taking it all in just like I do every year and I thank God once again for allowing me to be born in such a magical place with such majestic creatures and such wonderful, caring people.  I sometimes still pinch myself.  

I often tell people how much I appreciate them visiting our little island, no matter what time of year.  They take their hard-earned money and vacation time to come here when they could go anywhere else in the whole wide world yet, they choose here.  A little island with a huge heart with so much to give to your soul.  A place to relax, a place to pause from everyday life, and for me and the rest of the locals, a place to call home. 

Blog donated to us by Denise Bowden. Denise is a 6th generation Chincoteaguer and has been a member of the famous Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Co for over 30 years. She serves on the Pony Committee as a Saltwater Cowboy and is the Public Relations Officer for the fire company. She is a state certified firefighter and EMS driver. She also serves on the Town Council and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Museum of Chincoteague Island.

For more information about the Pony Swim, check out the Pony Swim Guide here or you can learn more on the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce here.

If you’d like to support our Ponies please donate to the CVFC, who cares for them. You can make a donation by clicking here. Thank you and we are excited to see you out there with us this year!

5 Reasons to visit the Eastern Shore this Spring….

Puppy on a Boat

Vacation at Chincoteague Island and Ocean City This Spring

Ahhh, Spring is in the air – the Daffodils are in full bloom, the Flounder are biting, and the air is fresh and inviting. And y’all, it has been a loooong Winter – am I right?! It’s time to put those snow boots away and get outdoors! But what to do? Where to go?

Two words – the Beach! Did you know that both Chincoteague Island and Ocean City, Maryland are less than 5 hours away from 30% of our Nation’s population?! It’s easier than ever to grab the kids, hop in the car, and just escape for a few days! But why here, and why now, you ask?

1. The Peaceful Season – 

Spring is a time to relax & rejuvenate – Live Island Life like a Local and enjoy sharing our little slice of heaven with fewer people. No waiting to be seated for dinner at your favorite seafood restaurant, and no lines for mini golf. Just time to reconnect with those who matter most! Hike to the Lighthouse, take in Sunsets together, tell stories around the fire pit – make memories.

Cross at sunset on Chincoteague Island

2. Treasures are everywhere – 

Nor’easters are fabulous for Shellcombers, and Winter certainly gives us our share of them! Cooler temps and fewer crowds on the Beach make long sunrise beach walks so relaxing, and you’re sure to come home with some shells for your collection. Whelk Shells, in particular, wash up frequently during the off-season.

Puppy on a boat in Chincoteague Island

3. Spring Events – 

Some of our favorites happen this time of year – and after missing several years thanks to covid, we are READY! Ocean City hosts Springfest the first week of May – you don’t want to miss this free 4 day Festival featuring vendors from all over the country, Live Music, and fabulous food. And down here in Chincoteague, we couldn’t be more stoked for our 52 Annual Seafood Festival! The theme this year, aptly named, is “Long Time No Sea” ~ join us for Live Music, and everything you love about our famous Chincoteague Oysters, Clams, Shrimp, and more. We’re thrilled to be the Premiere Sponsor of the Chincoteague Island Tradition!

Chincoteague Sea Festival

4. Ponies, Ponies, everywhere – 

The flowers aren’t the only things in full bloom in the Spring. Our famous Chincoteague Pony sightings are more frequent this time of year, as they also love fewer crowds! And there’s nothing like seeing the first new Foals of the season! If you’ve never been here for the Spring Round Up, add it to your list! The Eastern Shore’s Wild Ponies can be seen on both the VA side of Assateague, and the MD side! Different herds, and a different pony experience in both locations – or, even better, you can visit BOTH while you’re here! Chincoteague Island & Ocean City are only an hour apart, so why not visit both while in town!?

Wild Pony Foal on Chincoteague Island

5. Deals, Deals, and more Deals – 

Love a bargain? Then Spring is the time for you! Off Season specials are still to be had in our Vacation Rentals, as a matter of fact, we’ll give you 10% Off any 3+ night stay until May 19th by using Code Spring22! And, some of our favorite Restaurants have amazing off-season specials – Steamer’s Half Priced Apps on Wednesdays makes Hump Day that much sweeter.

Spring has sprung, and we can’t wait to see y’all! Need help planning your next adventure? Tap into our Local Knowledge – that’s what we’re here for! Give us a call @ 757.336.7070 or start exploring our rentals online, and get ready to have some fun! “Remember, Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’” ~ Robin Williams

St. Patrick’s Day on the Eastern Shore

St. Patrick's Day on the Eastern Shore

Looking for something different to do this St. Patty’s Day? Make it a beachy St. Patrick’s Day with a getaway to Chincoteague Island or Ocean City, Maryland! There’s something about a little Spring in the air, a little Green in your cup, and hey, aren’t we all Irish for just a few days each March?!

Search for the Shamrocks

If you’re on the Hunt for some Shamrock Fun, each year the Chincoteague Historic Main Street Merchants’ hosts ‘Search for the Shamrocks’ on March 18 and 19th! This 2 day event is the perfect way to get out and enjoy some fresh air while searching for clues to our riddle! Main Street will be filled with Leprechauns and other amusing St. Patty’s characters, so grab your playing card and visit participating merchants to pick up your clues. Businesses give out candy and other goodies as you search for your Pot of Gold ~ here at Seaside Vacations, we’re known for our Irish Punch or Irish Coffee – yum! Once complete, cross the finish line to be entered into prize drawings that include getaways, gift cards, artwork and so much more!! Costumes are optional but definitely add to the fun!! It’s a fabulous way to get to know our Little Island by the Sea, and all it has to offer!

Search for the Shamrocks Event - Chincoteague Island, VA

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival

Are you a sucker for a good Parade? Then you’ll definitely want to head to OCMD for our awesome Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival on March 12th! People come from near and far for this super fun Parade with over 100 entries from 3 states. The Irish Festival follows the Parade at the 45th Shopping Center. Grab your green everything and join us for music, dance, food, and drinks! Stay in one of our Oceanfront Condos, and walk to all of the shenanigans!

St. Patrick's Day Parade - Ocean City, MD

Nature Sightseeing on the Eastern Shore

While you’re here, you’ll want to visit Assateague National Seashore and search for our famous Wild Ponies. You can visit Assateague from the Virginia side OR the Maryland side, so it’s a must regardless of which town you’re visiting! Not only do our Ponies seem to be out and about more this time of year, you’ll discover other Off-season beauty like Snow Geese, the Snowy Owl, and maybe even a Seal if you’re lucky! Learn about our history at the Visitor Center, or climb to the top of Assateague Lighthouse on the Virginia side for a View you won’t soon forget.

Assateague Island Lighthouse

Springtime at the Beach

St. Patrick’s Day is Spring’s way of announcing that Summer is on the way! Take a stroll on the Beach to take in that salty, sweet sea breeze – and bonus, the shelling is awesome this time of year thanks to a few Winter storms. Shops are still running their off-season sales, and you won’t believe the specials many Local Restaurants run this time of year. Want to do your own cooking with an Ocean View? Staying in a Chincoteague or Ocean City Vacation Rental truly lets you “Live Like a Local” – sooo much better than a hotel.

As always, our Guest Experience Specialists are here to help you plan the perfect getaway – we know all the ins and outs – we’ve got you covered! AND, all Seaside Vacations’ Guests enjoy Free Early Check-in and Late Check-out this fun-filled weekend! Make your own Luck o’the Irish this March – get lucky with a Green Beach Getaway! 

Wintertime on Chincoteague Island

When you think of the Beach, you usually think about Summer Days, hot sand on your feet, and the occasional crowded weekend, but there’s so much beauty and magic at the beach in the Winter! With fewer crowds, the world is your Oyster (pun intended)! During the Winter months, there’s plenty to find and see on Chincoteague & Assateague – everything from migratory birds, seals, and Snowy Owls, to shell treasures as far as the eye can see!

seashells on Chincoteague Island

While we’re normally “Summer people”, we think that Wintertime is the best time to do some Beachcombing – especially after a good storm. Close to low tide, stroll out past the point on the South end of Assateague or closer to The Hole on the Northside of the Beach, and you usually can find a treasure-trove of untouched shells, sea glass, and sometimes even shipwrecks uncovered from the surf. It’s the perfect time to enjoy a Family weekend at the beach! 

On a Winter Saturday, we bundled up and headed to the OSV (Over Sand Vehicle) beach on the Chincoteague side. We drove down past The Hook, where you can only go at the lowest of tides, and found some of the most pristine and largest Whelk Shells we’ve ever seen! We had tons of fun collecting all kinds of seashells from Scallop shells to Slipper shells and even happened upon some sea glass! We were even lucky enough to catch Buoy #8 washed up a little off course, after a recent storm. Even if you don’t have a 4 WD vehicle, you can talk a long Winter walk on a sunny day, and find the same treasures – be sure to bring a bag to carry your collection!

buoy on Chincoteague Island Beach

Because Chincoteague is a Barrier Island, coupled with how the surrounding shoals are constantly moving, there have been hundreds of shipwrecks off our coast.

A recent storm in late 2021 unearthed an Oyster boat from the 19th century! For hundreds of years, this skiff has been buried in the sand on the South end of Assateague Island, with thousands of people going across it each year, completely unnoticed. Currently, the theory is that this oyster skiff went out in the Winter months and was likely capsized by rough waves or bad weather, and pushed onto the shore.

Underwater Archeologists from Virginia’s Department of Historic Resources will be returning in the Summer to find out more about this wreckage to help continue adding to the rich history of Chincoteague!

Beached Wood on Chincoteague Island beach

Winter is also a great time to view the Ponies! You can typically find them hanging out in the Marsh as you drive towards the Ocean or on the Wildlife Loop. If you take a closer look on your drive through the Refuge, you might catch other animals such as Otters, Fox, Herons, Bald Eagles, and many migratory birds. Several hiking trails throughout the Refuge offer beautiful views and a wonderful opportunity to view all of Chincoteague’s abundant wildlife.

Nature on Chincoteague Island

Whether you’re bundled up in the Winter or applying sunscreen hourly in the Summer, there’s no bad time to visit the Beach here on Chincoteague! One thing is for sure though, make sure you stay long enough to enjoy the golden tones of Dusk turn to beautiful pastel Sunsets.

Sunrise on Chincoteague Island
Sunset on Chincoteague Island

Discover Wanderlust

Collect Memories, not Things

“Traveling – It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a Storyteller” ~ Ibn Battuta

Did you know the average length of stay in a Vacation Rental is 5.6 nights? It’s not always easy to force your calendar to work with the typical 7 night minimum, that rents Saturday to Saturday, or Sunday to Sunday, is it?! Or maybe you just don’t want to fight weekend beach traffic.  Real Life simply doesn’t always fit into these perfect little boxes, unfortunately. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek adventure whenever possible – whether it be for 3 days or 12!

That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce you to our Flex-Stay Homes on Chincoteague Island, Virginia and in Ocean City, Maryland. A fine group of Vacation Homes – large and small – here to make your Vacation Dreams come true – and get this….on YOUR terms, imagine that! Avoid the weekend traffic by staying Monday – Thursday, or make it a long weekend by coming Wednesday – Monday! How many times have you wished that 7 night stay could actually be for 10 or 11 nights? Well, now it can be – the world is your Arster (Chincoteague-speak for Oyster) when you stay with us at Seaside Vacations!

There are so many things to do on Chincoteague Island, and in Ocean City, Maryland, it should be a “must-visit” on your annual list of Adventures. And being able to do a few days here….a few days there, makes it easier than ever to have MORE adventures with those who matter most! Relax on the beach at Assateague National Seashore and count the Pelicans – no Boardwalk, no noise – nothing but peace and serenity. And please the action-lovers in your family with a few days in family-friendly OCMD with some rides and games on the Boardwalk. 

So, when only here for 3 or 4 days, what ARE the “do not miss” items that should be on your list? Be sure to check out our list of favorite eats and activities and get ready to have some fun! Begin your day with a hike on the Beach or searching for our famous Wild Ponies, and just so you know, it IS okay to have Island Creamery for lunch – ice cream is okay any time of the day while you’re on Vacation!

Remember, the tans may fade, but those Memories will last forever! 

Vacations are sweeter when you bring your dog!

Phee - Pet Friendly Vacations

“The journey of life is sweeter when traveled with a dog” ~ Author Unknown

Time and again, our pets save us – from ourselves, from reality, from loneliness and despair. And this past year, we’ve realized that our pets have also saved our sanity. If I didn’t have my beloved Boxer, Phee, when we were stuck at home during the shutdown – to cuddle with, to make us laugh, to tell us to get out and take a walk, we would have lost our minds. In 2020, dogs were ecstatic – they got their people back!  We were there for them – at home more, making time for walks, making time to play fetch. You see, there were silver linings, after all…..

Phee - Pet Friendly Vacations

This year had its ups and downs for all of us, and at the very end of 2020, we unexpectedly lost our girl, Phee. Phoebe was a part of our Seaside Vacations’ Family from day 1 when we rescued her. We. were. crushed. They become a part of your family, a best friend, a trusted confidant – she was my soul-sister. The loss can throw your whole world into a tailspin, and it certainly did. 

Brinks and Phee - Pet Friendly Vacations

More than ever, we need our pets to be a part of our everyday lives – even when we travel. A family vacation isn’t truly a family vacation if the WHOLE family isn’t there, now is it?! This is why here at Seaside Vacations, we want your pets to be a part of our Seaside Family, as well. We offer 26 Pet Friendly homes, even 2 in Ocean City (a rarity), and there’s something for every human and every human’s furry friend. But we don’t want your dog-love to hurt your wallet – on a recent getaway ourselves, we paid $350 to bring our mature, well-trained Phee with us – $350, ouch! Not here – we welcome your well-trained sidekick for only $100 per dog ($150 for Ocean City Rentals). 

Teague - Pet Friendly Vacations

As I sit here typing away, there is a new little girl laying by my feet – I’m totally lying – she’s biting my feet, shew. We are madly in love with our new little Boxer girl, Teague (named after our favorite place in the world – home) already, and she’s only been with us for 10 days. But boy, are we tired – puppyhood is not for the faint of heart! She will now carry the Seaside Beach Boxer torch, and she has some big paws to fill, but she’s shown us already that she’s up to the challenge – and such is the circle of Life……

So, as you plan your next beach adventure, make them a part of it! We’re here to help you find just the right place for your whole family – whether it be a fenced-in yard, a waterfront dock to dive off of, or just a warm, sunny spot on the deck to sunbathe, we’ve got the Pet Friendly Home for you!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to take a walk down by the bay with Teague. If there’s one thing 2020 has taught this girl, it’s that there’s nothing more important than making time for those who matter most – whether they be furry or not so furry. 

“Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.” ~ Unknown

Blast Off for Chincoteague Island!

Rocket Launch near Chincoteague Island

When you think of Chincoteague Island, you probably think of beautiful Wild Ponies, miles of pristine, undeveloped beaches, and perhaps even our famous Chincoteague Oysters. But, do you think about Rocket Launches and Space Expeditions? Get ready for your curiosity to take off!

To The Moon and Beyond!

We can’t begin to tell you what Wallops means to our quaint, little fishing village. Wallops Flight Facility is NASA’s only owned and operated launch range – a rocket launch site on Wallops Island, mere steps from Chincoteague Island. Operated by the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, it primarily serves to support science and exploration missions for NASA, as well as other Federal agencies. 

Probably the most famous of these rockets is Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket. This two-stage rocket, with an optional third stage that provides low-Earth orbit launch capability for payloads weighing up to 8,000 kg, is primarily used to support the company’s Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. We feel incredibly lucky to be a part of this – and now you can be, as well!

Rocket Launch near Chincoteague Island

Grab the kids, hot chocolate, and fuzzy blankets to watch the launch of Northrop Grumman’s Antares latest mission at 12:36 PM EST, Saturday, February 20th, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA Wallop’s Island. Weather permitting, you should be able to see the launch throughout the mid-Atlantic region and possibly the entire East Coast of the United States! It isn’t very often these exciting launches fall during “normal” hours – many times we’ve been up at 3 A.M. trying to witness history, so this midday launch is quite a treat – don’t miss this opportunity!

Chincoteague and Assateague are ideally located to give you absolutely stunning views of the Antares launch – talk about a front row seat! The best seats in the house include Robert Reed Waterfront Park on Main Street (right behind our Seaside Vacations’ office!), or the Beach Road spanning the area between Chincoteague and Assateague Island. The beach/wildlife refuge are not open during the launch, but fret not, these other locations have stunning views of the Antares launch! This will be Northrop Grumman’s 15th commercial resupply services mission to deliver NASA science investigations, supplies, and equipment to the International Space Station.

International Space Station

Chincoteague Island Exploration

And why not take advantage of virtual schooling and tele-communiting, and come on down for a few days!? We have many fabulous Vacation Homes still available – no need to miss a beat with work or school, but you CAN do it at the beach – and trust us, it’s ALWAYS better at the beach! Many restaurants are not only open, but are offering awesome off-season specials, and free delivery! Hike the Wildlife Loop at the Refuge, search for Snowy Owls and Snow Geese on the beach, and just enjoy the peace and serenity of off-season on Chincoteague Island – it truly is a beautiful thing!

Eagle above Chincoteague

Need help planning this adventure? We’re here – we LOVE what we do and where we live! Call us anytime at 757.336.7070, or peruse our selection of gorgeous Chincoteague rentals online – and remember, no need to leave Fido behind with our great selection of pet friendly rentals…See you at the beach!

The holidays are over – So, what now?!

Chincoteague Vacation Rentals - Seaside Vacations

First, let us welcome you to 2021 and wish you a stupendous New Year! No doubt the holidays looked a bit different this year, but like us, I am sure you made the very best of it. And now – here come the Winter doldrums. Many of us are still working from home, and dealing with the kiddos virtually learning, as well. Here at Seaside Vacations, and in our own family lives, we’ve been trying hard to focus on ‘silver linings’. And they’re there – sometimes you just have to look for them. As a Mom of 2 grown boys – wow, I can only imagine how challenging this is! And, you’ve been doing it for MONTHS now. The kids are tired, you’re tired – heck, even the dog is tired of all of this. So, this Winter, let’s change it up! Bring the family to wild & wonderful Chincoteague Island for some hands-on learning – experiential style!

What You Can Do In Chincoteague

Wild horses of Chincoteague

A hike in the Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge – what will they discover? Not only home to our famous Wild Ponies, but also home to so many other amazing creatures – Sika Deer, Delmarva Fox Squirrels, and so many migratory birds. The Winter Beach welcomes breathtaking Snowy Owls, and even Seals are frequent visitors here! Less crowds lead to more wildlife sightings and plenty of treasures to collect from Whelk Shells to Skate Cases. The beauty of Assateague National Seashore is stunning every season of the year. Sounds like a pretty awesome Science lesson, don’t you think? The bonus? Making memories that will be cherished forever – way longer than the dismal memories of covid.

Water Activities in Chincoteague

Captain Dan's Foal Patrol - Horse Tours

If not by land, how about by water? As the weather turns more Spring-like, a day spent with one of our wonderful Local Boat Captain’s is never a day wasted. See our ponies up close and learn all about our way of life on Captain Dan’s Around the Island Boat Tour.  Love to touch, feel, explore, and turn over rocks? Definitely check out Captain Barry’s Bayback Cruises for a fabulous Eco-Tour! Or, how about a little History 101 with a Chincoteague Step Through Time? Education is not meant to be only virtual – we must feel, hear, taste, and live it!

Reconnect and Enjoy Life Once More

Chincoteague Treats and Sweets

And how about us grown-ups? You bet you deserve to tele-commute with a water view, right?! Covid has taken so much away, but we must be mindful to not miss the gifts it has given us, as well. Enjoy a stroll to The Island Creamery after a busy day at the “office” – and guess what? No lines! The seasonal flavors will knock your socks off – we’re huge fans of the Pumpkin Pie ice cream. You can take a day trip to Ocean City for a stroll on the Boardwalk, or go South and check out quaint and charming Onancock and Cape Charles!

Bring on the Fun, 2021!

Between fewer crowds and incredible savings on everything from Chincoteague Vacation Rentals to Off-Season Dining Specials (delivered right to your doorstep), an affordable getaway IS within your reach!

Or simply, breathe. Walk by water, reflect, grow, relax. Close your eyes and take in the salty, sweet sea breeze. As I write this, I have a breathtaking view of the bay – the ever healing, peaceful, rejuvenating water. Mother Ocean has seen me through some of the most difficult times in my life – she happens to be an amazing listener, and always knows just what to say.

Thank goodness, this won’t last forever – but neither will these opportunities to step outside of our everyday routines. Don’t miss out – grab your ‘silver linings’!

Need help planning this adventure? We’re here – we LOVE what we do and where we live! Let us share what gets us through the darkest days of this covid-world. Give us a call at 757.336.7070 and let’s get back to living……

Take Advantage of a Vacation to Chincoteague Island this February

Take Advantage of Vacation to Chincoteague Island this February

Are you and your family looking to take a vacation this February to Chincoteague Island? Escaping from real life and heading to the beach can cheer up the family by exploring the island a little. Staying in one of our Seaside Vacations rental homes will keep you and your family close to the shore and where you can enjoy spending your time together. Let’s look below at what you and your family can do while you are on vacation to Chincoteague Island.

National Wildlife Refuge

Take Advantage of Vacation to Chincoteague Island this February

Are you a family who loves nature and wildlife? If the answer is yes, then head on over to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge for the day. There is plenty of things that you and family can do while visiting such as the trails, the Herbert H. Bateman Educational Center and the Assateague Lighthouse. There is also a recreational beach there as well and during the summer many beach loving families can be found here. If you decide to hike the trails though be sure to bring bug spray because there are ticks and other creepy crawling bugs out there. The Educational Center is open every day from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Wild Horses

Take Advantage of Vacation to Chincoteague Island this February

While you are over at the National Wildlife Refuge checking out the Assateague Island Lighthouse, you may be able to get a quick glimpse of the “Chincoteague” ponies. They are also known as the “Saltwater Cowboys” and they can be seen year-round. Be sure to keep your distance from the horses as they are wild, and they aren’t like the horses you may find elsewhere. If you do happen to see one and it comes close, do not feed the horse either. Just sit back and watch them in their natural habitat and take photos of them for the family to remember that moment.

 While there are many other things that you can do while you are on vacation to Chincoteague Island this February, these are the ones we wanted to share with you. If you haven’t booked your next vacation to stay with us at Seaside Vacations, now is the time. We can’t wait to see you and your family on your next adventure to the island!

Weekend “Must-Do’s” for Chincoteague!

Weekend trips are wonderful this time of year on Chincoteague Island. The weather is perfect, the island isn’t crowded, and we only have a 3 Night Minimum until mid-June. It’s the perfect time to come and enjoy a sunny spring getaway!

Come see the island wake up from it’s winter slumber, as many of our local businesses and activities are starting to “rev up” again for another year here in our coastal community. Here’s a list of things yo may want to add to your weekend trip itinerary!


Chincoteague Farmer’s Market – you can find them on Church Street, on Saturday mornings from 9 AM – 1 PM. A true farm to table provider, you can find everything from local eggs and produce – to scallops, clams, and oysters pulled fresh from our local waters. Take some fresh Seafood back to your Vacation Home and fire up the grill!


Assateague Lighthouse Climb – take the short wooded trail, then climb to the top of this local landmark for  unparalleled views of Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. Open for visitors each weekend from April through November – 9 AM to 3 PM (closes from 12-12:30 for lunch). Free admission, but donations are greatly accepted to help keep lighthouse open for other visitors.


Yard Sales – grab a copy of the local paper to check for weekend yard/garage sales here on our little island. It’s a great opportunity to see parts of the island that are “off the beaten path”, and maybe make some friends with locals/neighbors. Look for signs posted at road intersections, or just take a spin around on a Saturday morning. You’re guaranteed to find some treasures and meet some amazing folks that will put a smile on your face!

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NASA Wallops Visitor Center – while not technically on Chincoteague, it’s worth the short drive to visit this space lover’s sanctuary.  Find out about what goes on behind the scenes at Wallops Flight Facility, and make sure to visit the gift shop to take home some astronaut ice cream.


Downtown Shopping – you’ll find a little bit of everything in our downtown district. Original art and photography, an adorable book store, local wines and delectable cheeses. And of course, the waterfront LOVE chairs that are everyone’s favorite photo-op.

Island Boat Tours – One of the best ways to see the stunning beauty here is on a Boat Tour! See the ponies up close, and learn about what lives in our waters from one of our wonderfully entertaining Captains. Captain Dan’s Around the Island Tours or Captain Barry’s Backbay Cruises are 2 wonderful tours of many offered on the Island, but they are all fabulous!


Teaguer’s Tump Tours – Learn Chincoteague Local history, legends, and more from a multi-generational Teaguer. You’ll love this tour!

Tom’s Cove Visitor Center – The kids will love learning about the Sea Life in our waters here  – and so will you! Our boys used to love feeding the Horseshoe Crabs and holding live Whelks. They offer a variety of programs for all ages.

Absolutely Nothing – Sit on the Beach and watch the Pelicans dance over the water.  Relax Channel Side and enjoy the Herons & Egrets fishing for their morning meal. Turn off your phone. Count your blessings. Smell the Marsh Mud – we happen to think it’s one of the sweetest smells on earth. Come on, you know you need a weekend like this.

Looking for something specific to do or planning a celebration? Give us a call – we LOVE getting to know you and helping you plan your adventures! We are here to help you make the very best of your time on our Island, not matter how long or short it may be. Chincoteague Island – Relax, Rejunvenate, & Re-connect.

Discover the Seaside Difference on your next trip to Chincoteague Island!

Fondly, Lance & Elaine Stitcher – Owners & Fellow Beach Lovers

us on the beach