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Island Adventure: Discover Chincoteague and Assateague Islands

Program Number: 10545RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/8/2013 - 9/11/2013; 9/7/2014 - 9/10/2014; 10/19/2014 - 10/22/2014;
Duration: 3 nights
Location: Chincoteague Island, Virginia
Price starting at: $398.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks
Meals: 8; 3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 3 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt    

Come for a taste of island life! Tucked away on the eastern shore of Virginia is one of the most special places on the East Coast, evoking visions of coastal island charm and serving as a gateway to the second most visited wildlife refuge in the U.S. On Chincoteague Island, get to know the inhabitants, sample its famous seafood and learn about the dynamic beauty of this barrier island.




Highlights

• Meditate upon nature as you walk on part of the 37-mile-long beach on Assateague Island — the longest undeveloped beach in the mid-Atlantic — accompanied by an expert who teaches you about dune ecology.
• Spend a morning with an award-winning decoy carver who regales you with stories while the wood chips fly and a hunting decoy emerges before your eyes.
• Explore restricted sections of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in search of ponies, Sika elk, waterfowl and migratory birds.



Activity Particulars

Minimal walking and standing on this program. Conference is on the second floor, accessible by stairs.



You may be interested in a five-night version of this program (#2005).



Coordinated by Museum of Chincoteague Island.




Chincoteague Island

One of several islands along Virginia’s Eastern Shore separating the Chesapeake Bay from the Atlantic Ocean, Chincoteague Island is world-famous for its oyster beds and clam shoals, quaint Victorian-era villages and pristine beaches, and is the gateway to Assateague Island National Seashore and the Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge.



Accommodations
Motel is within walking distance of historic downtown Chincoteague, restaurants, shops and amenities. Assateague Island and the refuge are a short drive away. Outdoor pool is available in season.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Nancy West

Nancy Richards West has lived on Chincoteague Island for three decades, using this picturesque setting as inspiration for her paintings. The first resident artist chosen by the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, the thrill of painting en plein air often lures her out of the studio and into the field, where she captures the effects of changing light, weather and seasons. Nancy has extensive training in classical drawing and color theory, and her delicate treatment of oils is subtly elegant. Her work has won numerous awards and honors, including the Ward Foundation’s top award for painting, and she represented the Commonwealth of Virginia at the White House Easter Festivities in 1996. Nancy received her B.A. with high honors in fine arts from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.. Nancy has been sharing her artistic talents on Road Scholar programs with the Museum of Chincoteague Island for almost 20 years.
 
Meals and Lodgings
    Rodeway Inn
  Chincoteague Island, VA 3 nights
  Rodeway Inn
Type: Motel
  Description: The conference room is located on the second floor and is accessable by stairs only.
  Contact info: 6273 Maddox Blvd.
Chincoteague Island, VA 23336 USA
phone: 757-336-6565
  Room amenities: All rooms include refrigerators, microwaves, coffee pots, ironing boards, and hair dryers. Free wireless internet access is available.
  Facility amenities: Seasonal outdoor pool. Guest laundry
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Additional nights prior: N/A Participants wishing to arrive a day early or stay over an extra night must make arrangements with the motel. Price is determined by the time of year. Be sure to tell them that you are with an Road Scholar program.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: N/A Participants wishing to arrive a day early or stay over an extra night must make arrangements with the motel. Price is determined by the time of year. Be sure to tell them that you are with an Road Scholar program.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Registration at the motel 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. You will be staying at Rodeway Inn that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at 11:00 am You will be staying at Rodeway Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
All parking is free at the motel
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Chincoteague Island, VA
  Nearest highway: Rt. 13
  Nearest airport:  Salisbury, Md.
  From End of Program
  Location: Chincoteague Island, VA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Baltimore, Md.

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

   

Car rental is available at the airport. It is a 3 to 3 1/2 hour drive from the airport to Chincoteague Island.

 

Washington, D.C.

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

   

Car rental is available at the airport. It is a 3 to 4 hour drive from the airport to Chincoteague, depending on traffic.

 

Salisbury, Md.

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

   

Car rental is available at the airport. It is about 55 miles from the airport to Chincoteague Island.

 

Norfolk, Va.

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

   

Car rental is available at the airport. It is about 120 miles from the airport to Chincoteague Island.

 
Driving Directions
  All points north or south You will be traveling either north or south on Rte. 13. Turn east onto Rte. 175 at T's Corner in Oak Hall, Va. Rte. 175 will bring you onto Chincoteague Island. Once you are on the island program transportation is on foot or by school bus.
  Chincoteague Island The weather on Chincoteague Island is seasonal. It is usually cool in the early morning and evening, but warms up nicely during the day. Participants wishing more information about the area may contact the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce at 757-336-6161.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Registration/Introduction
(Sunday, September 8)
   
 Afternoon: Registration at the motel between 3:00 and 4:30 p.m.
 Dinner: Dinner at 5:30 p.m. at a local venue. For your dinning pleasure this program includes "A Taste of the Island." We will be enjoying a different local cuisine each evening.
 Evening: Learn firsthand about the famous Chincoteague pony herd, from when they first landed on our shores to their current existence on Assateague. Your Group Leader, Cindy Oehm, will educate you about their fascinating history. She will enlighten you as to the care they receive from the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department and the mutual benefit reaped by the town. Afterward we will enjoy an ice cream social provided by the Island Creamery featuring local homemade ice creams.
   
Accommodations: Rodeway Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Local History; Birds; Museum of Chincoteague Island; and Assateague National Seashore; Local Seafood.
(Monday, September 9)
   
 Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. Breakfast
 Morning: Our small island has an outstanding museum, rated by Trip Adviser as one of the top 5 attractions on Chincoteague. With your expert guide, explore the museum's exhibits including a rare 1st order Fresnel lighthouse lens, surprising shipwreck finds, handmade artifacts from the past, and much more. A 5 minute drive takes you to the Assateague National Seashore, at 37 miles the longest stretch of wild, undeveloped beach on the mid-Atlantic coast. As you take a walk on the sandy shore, listen to your guide discuss dune ecology. Learn about horseshoe crabs, living fossils over 150 million years old, and their role in modern medicine.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant at noon
 Afternoon: Uncover the unique 300 year old history of Chincoteague and Assateague as you learn how and why its resilient people survived and adapted despite isolation, storms, wars and changing economies. Later in the afternoon, immerse yourself in identifying some of the many bird species you will observe here, as a local bird expert, Paul Smith, leads you through the basics of color, shape and call.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant at 5:30 p.m.
 Evening: Chincoteague oysters and clams are world famous, but cultivating and harvesting them is extremely hard work, as local waterman Randy Birch describes in our visit with him. Learn how area watermen try to cope with the changing demands of Mother Nature and Uncle Sam, and hear what Randy has to say about the future of the shellfish industry.
   
Accommodations: Rodeway Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Wildlife Art; Wildlife Safari; Three Sheets
(Tuesday, September 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in a local restaurant at 8 a.m.
 Morning: Explore the interior of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge to look for wild ponies, petite Sika elk, nesting terrapin, otters, bald eagles, Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrels and other wildlife. Jenny Somers, a local birding expert, with over 30 years experience, will be our guide. We will be going into an area that is normally closed to the public, so be sure to bring your camera for this trip. Also carry along your binoculars if you have them.
 Lunch: Box lunch from a local eatery at noon.
 Afternoon: Study the techniques of local wildlife artist Nancy West, who is internationally recognized for her sensitive interpretations of this beautiful coast. Through slides and an actual painting session, Nancy will demonstrate how she captures the subtle patterns of color, light, and movement distinctive to the waterways, creatures, and skies of Chincoteague. Learn about bird banding and rehabilitation.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant at 5:30 p.m.
 Evening: This evening's entertainment features "Three Sheets." This local trio will delight you with a mix of Celtic, nautical, and traditional music. They will entertain you with witty banter while teaching you about their songs and instruments.
   
Accommodations: Rodeway Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: The Art of Bird Carving
(Wednesday, September 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at a local restaurant at 8 a.m.
 Morning: An award winning decoy carver, Roe Terry, will demonstrate the skills of his craft. He will share the tricks of his trade along with amusing stories while he carves a decoy. Be sure to get a front row seat to get the most of this activity. Our program will end after the morning demonstration at about 11:00 a.m..
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Beautiful Swimmers


Author: William W. Warner


Description: For more than three decades, William Warner's Pulitzer Prize-winning exploration of the Atlantic blue crab and the Chesapeake Bay has delighted thousands of readers and become a modern American classic. Nature enthusiasts and fans of fine literature alike will find "Beautiful Swimmer"' a timeless and enchanting study, in the tradition of Rachel Carson's "Edge of the Sea" and Annie Dillard's "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek."



Misty of Chincoteague


Author: Marguerite Henry


Description: A Newberry Honor book, for children 8 - 12 years old. This is the story of Paul and Maureen Beebe and their quest to buy the elusive Phantom, a wild Chincoteague pony. On Pony Penning Day, they not only bring in the Phantom, but also her colt, Misty. It is a wonderful heart-warming tale of the efforts of two children to achieve their dream..



The Last Waterman


Author: Glenn Lawson


Description: A true story of a Chesapeake waterman, struggling to keep alive a way of life passed on from one generation to the next for hundreds of years. "What really bothers me is that a man soon won't be able to make his way on the Bay, no matter how hard he works. The water just doesn't have much life left in it. You asked me what's the worst problem on the Bay. That's it, no life in the water."





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