Updated: Oct 25, 2022
Chincoteague Beach is located on Virginia’s only resort island on the eastern shore, Chincoteague. It is famous for oyster beds, wild horses and so much more. Read on to find out why we think Chincoteague Beach is the beach vacation we all deserve.
If you have never visited Chincoteague Beach or Chincoteague island on the Eastern Shore, you are missing out on one of the most glorious natural settings in the United States. As the gateway to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, it is one of the state of Virginia's richest treasures.
Located only about 100 miles from Washington DC, Chincoteague Beach is the perfect escape for a weekend….or longer! You will find a serene, relaxing, natural getaway. Visitors can enjoy the sandy beach, which features water that is typically around 70 degrees in the summer. The sunsets over the Chincoteague Bay are simply fantastic, and there’s just so much to do here!
Located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Chincoteague beach leads visitors to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island. It is arguably the most beautiful island on the Eastern Shore.
6 Reasons To Visit Chincoteague Beach
The Eastern Shore is famous for the oyster beds and clam shoals. Chincoteague beach oysters are larger than oysters found elsewhere. They are about 3.5 inches wide and have a thick shell that varies from white to green. Oyster lovers adore this treat because of the unusual saltiness, flavored by the salinity of the ocean. While it is challenging to catch oysters, as most oyster beds are privately owned, you can taste some of their deliciousness at local eateries.
You can also pick up some oysters at one of many local fish markets and bring them back to enjoy in your lodge house or fireside.
2. The Beach
Chincoteague beach is a fun place for tourists while maintaining its serene atmosphere. Many people believe that the beach on Chincoteague Island is the most beautiful beach on the Atlantic coastline. Along the miles of seashore, visitors will find a wild beach and a beach for recreation. Also, don’t miss the Toms Cove Hook, the over-sand vehicle zone.
We suggest getting up early to head down to the beach and spending the morning there to be back to enjoy the afternoon here at Sugar Water Manor. We find the beach less crowded in the mornings.
3. Unique lodgings
There is a wide variety of places to stay right on Chincoteague Island to fit every family. From hotels, campgrounds, rental homes and bed and breakfasts, there’s something for everyone. Remember that Chincoteague Island is only three miles wide and seven miles long therefore accommodations can fill up quickly. The good news is that everything is a short drive away from everything else. You can also split your time between a beach and farm stay with us.
Properties like Sugar Water Manor are also fantastic options that keep you close to the things you want to do while enjoying the luxuries you want on vacation. Staying in one of our dwellings keeps you a short drive away but out of the crowds. Plus, you're in a location to explore other parts of the Eastern Shore too.
4. The wild horses
One of the things Chincoteague beach is most famous for is the majestic herds of wild horses that live on the islands. You can see these horses on Assateague Island as well as on Chincoteague Island. These popular residents are the highlight of many visitors' trips. Remember that you should not touch, feed, or approach these horses. This is for your safety as well as the safety of the horses. These Assateague wild horses are not used to being around humans and look at them as a threat. They have been known to attack, kick, bite and may carry rabies. Wild horses are beautiful, but they can be dangerous.
Two herds of wild horses make their home in this area. They are separated by a fence at the Maryland-Virginia line. The National Park Service manages the Maryland herd, while the Virginia herd is owned and managed by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company. You can best see the south herd from the observation decks at the Woodland and Pony Trails. A scenic boat tour is also a great option to see both the south and the more elusive north herds.
5. Chincoteague pony swim
At least once in your life, you need to set aside the last Wednesday in July to see the Chincoteague pony swim. It is something you won’t see anywhere else. On this day every year, volunteer firemen gather the wild ponies that live on Assateague Island and swim them across the narrow channel to Chincoteague Island. It is there that they parade the herd down Main Street to the Chincoteague Carnival Grounds. The next day is the Pony Penning event, where they are herded into pens. Some of the foals are then auctioned off. The auction benefits the fire department and is the perfect way to maintain the herd size.
6. Assateague Island
When you visit Chincoteague beach, you can also visit Assateague Island too. Since they aren’t too far apart, many visitors explore both islands in one trip. Assateague is 37 miles long and is valued most for its beaches and wild ponies. These two islands are perfect for socially distanced, private and low-tech vacations.
Chincoteague beach is the place to find a wildlife refuge. It’s simply a beautiful place for swimming, hiking, biking, beachcombing, bird watching, and other outdoor activities. This is a place you must visit! And now is the time to start planning your trip!