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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

 

 

Spring Roundup 101

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While our most notable roundup of the famous wild ponies occurs at the end of July, there are two lesser known round-ups – one in the spring, and one in the fall. The ponies don’t make the swim over to Chincoteague like they do at Pony Penning, but rather are corralled on neighboring Assateague Island over the course of a weekend in April. It’s a great time of year to visit and experience the magic of the wild herd, without all the hurly-burly that comes along with Pony Penning.

WHY?

The primary reason of the spring roundup is for veterinary & farrier checks after the winter months. It’s also a great time to assess the number of foals that have been born so far in the season, to prepare for the auction in the summer.

In addition, it’s the point in which any “buyback” ponies from the previous year are brought over to Assateague Island (via horse trailer) and released to live their lives wild on our neighboring island. Previous to this, the foals are kept at the carnival grounds, so the Chincoteague Fire Department can keep an eye on them during the winter months that can be harsh on a foal only a few months old.

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WHEN?

This year the spring roundup will take place the weekend of April 13- 14, 2018.

Friday April 13th – the southern herd will be rounded up and penned at the corral on Beach Access Road,  which is located to your right on the way to the beach. The saltwater cowboys usually have them there by the late afternoon. Once they’re safely in the pen, they allow people to gather around the outside of the fence to take photos, general surveying of the situation, etc. A parking area is located behind the corral at the Woodland Trail. Enjoy the ponies and then stick around for a gorgeous sunset!

Saturday April 14th – the Saltwater Cowboys set up to round up the northern herd of ponies bright and early. The northern corral is located in an area of Assateague that isn’t accessible by vehicle. You’ve got to “hoof it” (no pun intended!) down a 3-mile (6 miles round trip) gravel road, which is a great hike for many folks – but not so much for others. It takes a few hours to round up these herds as there is alot more ground to cover, and more ponies. Due to safety concerns, the public is only allowed up to the cattle grate fence initially. Once they have them safely in the pens, they allow spectators to line the fence to get a gander at the ponies and take photos. Make sure to pack plenty of water and some bug spray for your hike!

WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING ON THE ISLAND?

It’s a great time of year to visit Chincoteague Island, as it’s still considered our “off-season” – but most of our wonderful restaurants and businesses have opened their doors for the year.  Here are a few events going on that weekend that are worth checking out:

  • The winter film series hosted by the Chincoteague Island Arts Organization will have a showing of “Kinky Boots” (2006) at 7 PM on Friday, April 13th. Tickets are $5.00.
  • The Chincoteague Center is kicking off yard sale season with an Indoor Yard Sale on Saturday morning, April 14th at 8 AM. A wise man once said one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
  • Our friends and neighbors at NASA Wallops Flight Facility host a series of activities at their Visitor Center geared towards children on Saturdays. On April 14th you’ll find Engineering Gliders and Paper Airplanes on the lineup. For more information on the activities, or the full lineup – visit them here.

READY TO PLAN YOUR SPRING GETAWAY?

View our wonderful selection of Vacation Homes HERE – We even have Pet-Friendly Homes! Or give us a call at 844.662.2583 – we always love to here from you!