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Chincoteague: Lighthouses, Wild Ponies and Pirates

Program Number: 2005RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/4/2014 - 5/9/2014; 10/5/2014 - 10/10/2014; 11/2/2014 - 11/7/2014; 5/3/2015 - 5/8/2015; 5/24/2015 - 5/29/2015; 6/7/2015 - 6/12/2015; 9/20/2015 - 9/25/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Chincoteague Island, Virginia
Price starting at: $825.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks; History & Culture; Natural History
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Salt; Low Fat; Vegetarian    

Serene and unspoiled, the small island of Chincoteague is home to exceptional human and natural history. Take a field trip to the iconic Assateague Lighthouse. See the lighthouse's rare Fresnel lens and Island treasures at the Museum of Chincoteague Island. Led by a local “saltwater cowboy” learn about the island’s famous ponies, memorialized in Marguerite Henry’s “Misty of Chincoteague,” which still run wild. Understand the fragility of life on a barrier island and the resilience of the people who live here as we delve into pirate legends and lore on the beach at Assateague and hear astounding stories of the U.S. Lifesaving Service that began in 1874.




Highlights

• On Assateague Island, walk the longest undeveloped beach in the mid-Atlantic with an expert on dune ecology.
• Explore restricted sections of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in search of ponies, Sika elk, deer, waterfowl and more.
• Enjoy an evening with musicians who teach you sea chants and traditional Celtic music.



Activity Particulars

Walking less than a mile per day. Climbing one flight of stairs daily when program is at the Rodeway Inn.



You may be interested in a three-night version of this program (#10545).




Date Specific Information

5-4-2014, 10-5-2014

Waterfront resort. All rooms have sunset vistas over Chincoteague Bay. These program dates include hands-on aquaculture experiences in the island's seafood industry.



11-2-2014

Comfortable motel conveniently located within walking distance of historic downtown Chincoteague and its restaurants and shops. Lightning, a Chincoteague pony often makes the motel its home.



5-3-2015, 5-24-2015, 6-7-2015, 9-20-2015

Waterfront resort. All rooms have sunset vistas over Chincoteague Bay. This program includes a cruise that shows the dramatic evidence of changing barrier island topography as well instruction on growing aquaculture industries.



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
Varies by date. Several offerings include a waterfront inn. Please see Date Notes for details.

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
   Island Resort
  Chincoteague , Va. 5 nights
 Island Resort
Type: Motel
  Description: The Island Resort a locally, family owned inn is located on North Main St., walking distance to historic downtown Chincoteague, restaurants, shops and amenities. Assateague National Seashore and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge are a five minute drive away. All parts of the motel are accessible by elevator. All rooms have private waterfront balconies with beautiful views Glorious sunsets can be seen over the water. Visitors are often treated to many species of wildlife. There is a conference room on the second floor as well as an indoor pool and a fitness center. There is a separate conference room with a small outdoor deck and a kitchen.
  Contact info: 4391 Main St.
Chincoteague Island, VA 23336 USA
phone: 757-336-3141
web: www.islandmotorinn.com
  Room amenities: All rooms include cable with free HBO, refrigerators, ironing boards, hair dryers and Internet access.
  Facility amenities: In warmer weather there is also an outdoor pool. A hot tub with sunset views is available. The Inn is fronted by 600 foot pier and an observation deck.. Guest laundry facilities are provided.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Determined by the time of year Participants wishing to arrive a day early or stay over an extra night should make arrangements directly with the motel. Be sure to tell them that you are with the Road Scholar program to get a special rate.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Determined by the time of year Participants wishing to arrive a day early or stay over an extra night should make arrangements directly with the motel. Be sure to tell them that you are with the Road Scholar program to get a special rate.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00-4:30 p.m. in the motel conference room for registration. You will be staying at Island Resort that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at about 11:00 am, after the morning meeting and lecture. You will be staying at Island Resort the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking is available at the motel There is not any public transportation on or to the island. Participants will want a car to go to the beach or downtown during their free time. Other transportation is on foot or by school bus
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Chincoteague , Va.
  Nearest highway: Rte. 13
  Nearest airport:  Salisbury, Md.
  From End of Program
  Location: Chincoteague , Va.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

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.

 

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.

 
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. After you come off the bridge the motel is to your left on North Main Street. On the island most of your 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; Orientation; Introduction to the Island; Ice cream social
(Sunday, May 4)
   
 Afternoon: Please plan on arriving at the motel between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. for registration.
 Dinner: 5:15 p.m. Bus leaves for dinner at Etta's Channel Side Restaurant. Throughout the program dinner will be served at various restaurants so you may get a "A Taste Of The Island." These restaurants are known for their local cuisine and friendly service.
 Evening: This evening's activities include a schedule review, an introduction to our local area as well as an ice cream social at the Island Creamery, featuring local, homemade ice cream..
   
Accommodations: Island Resort
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Visit to the host institution - Museum of Chincoteague Island; Assateague National Seashore and Lighthouse
(Monday, May 5)
   
 Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. breakfast
 Morning: A five minute drive takes you to Assateague National Seashore, at 37 miles the longest stretch of wild undeveloped beach on the mid-Atlantic Coast. As you walk on the sandy shore, listen to your guide discuss dune ecology. Visit our recently renovated Assateague lighthouse. Learn the important role it has played in this Island's history.
 Lunch: 12:15 p.m. Lunch at the Museum of Chincoteague Island.
 Afternoon: Enjoy our small island museum, rated by TripAdvisor as one of the top 5 attractions on Chincoteague. Your group leader will provide a colorful history of our local area. Learn how and why Chincoteague's resilient people survived and adapted despite isolation, storms, wars. and changing economies. Explore the Museum's exhibits including a rare Fresnel lighthouse lens, surprising shipwreck finds, and handmade artifacts from the past. Take time to participate in the Museum scavenger hunt and view any of the various short clips that provide insight into local pastimes.
 Dinner: Leave for dinner at 5:15 p.m. Tonight we will dine at Bill's Restaurant.
 Evening: After dinner we will take a walking tour of Main Street Chincoteague as we stroll back to the motel. Take time to enjoy the beautiful sunset over Chincoteague Bay.
   
Accommodations: Island Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Wildlife Safari; Afternoon Island Exploration (free time); Kristin Sullivan
(Tuesday, May 6)
   
 Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. Breakfast
 Morning: Explore the interior of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge to look for wild ponies, Sika elk, nesting terrapin, otters, bald eagles, Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel and other wildlife. A local 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 the trip. Take along your binoculars if you brought them.
 Lunch: 11:45 p.m. Lunch at Mr. Paul's Kitchen
 Afternoon: This afternoon is for you to create your own adventure. We will be available to help you take full advantage of the many unique opportunities tailored to your specific interests.
 Dinner: 5:15 p.m. Bus leaves for dinner at the Village Restaurant
 Evening: NEW TO THIS PROGRAM Learn about the history of decoy carving on Chincoteague and how it has evolved from an expert. Your speaker tonight is completing her dissertation on Chincoteague carving..
   
Accommodations: Island Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Upscale water experience; Wildlife Art; Local entertainment
(Wednesday, May 7)
   
 Breakfast: 7:45 a.m. Breakfast
 Morning: NEW IN THIS OFFERING Climb aboard a pontoon boat and head for the oyster grounds and clam beds. Once there learn about oyster and clam aquaculture and the future of the industry on this island. Travel waters thought to be frequented by 18th and 19th century pirates. Hear the lore of shipwrecks and plunder. Your guide will point out evidence of the constantly changing topography of the barrier islands: Assateague and Chincoteague.
 Lunch: 12:00 p.m. Lunch
 Afternoon: Study the techniques of a local wildlife artist who is internationally recognized for her sensitive interpretations of this beautiful coast. Through the use of PowerPoint 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 the local banding program and bird identification.
 Dinner: 5:30 p.m. Island Family dinner at Mr. Paul's Kitchen.
 Evening: Dinner will be followed by music and banter by "3 Sheetz." They will entertain you with Celtic melodies and sea Chanteys.
   
Accommodations: Island Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Decoy Carving; Afternoon Island Exploration (Free time); Evening Dinner cruise (weather permitting)
(Thursday, May 8)
   
 Breakfast: 7:45 a.m. Breakfast
 Morning: An award winning decoy carver will demonstrate the skills of this traditional island craft handed down by generations. He will share the tricks of his trade, carving a decoy while he entertains us with amusing stories. A front row seat ensures you get the most out of this activity.
 Lunch: 11:30 p.m. lunch
 Afternoon: This afternoon is for you to create your own adventure. We will be available to help you take full advantage of the many unique opportunities tailored to your specific interests.
 Dinner: 5:30 p.m. Dinner will be on the water weather permitting and you will enjoy a sunset cruise to an Egret Rookery. Your guide will tell you about important role these waters played in the life of the island before it was connected by the causeway. Observe the path of sailing ships and steamers of old. Look at the site of Chincoteague's forgotten Killick Shoal Lighthouse. Afterward enjoy dessert on the deck of the motel.
   
Accommodations: Island Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Saltwater Cowboys and "Chincoteague Ponies"
(Friday, May 9)
   
 Breakfast: 7:45 a.m. Breakfast
 Morning: A local "saltwater cowboy" and Chincoteague EMT, will entertain you with stories of the local fire department volunteers who care for the Chincoteague pony herd. He has a special video of the ponies and will explain the role the Chincoteague Volunteer Firemen play in keeping this valuable resource healthy and free. Our program will end after the morning talk at about 11:00am.
   
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


A Natural History of Quiet Waters


Author: Curtis J. Badger


Description: This is a wonderfully well-written, easy to understand description of the swamps and wetlands of the East Coast and their importance to our environment, history and culture. It is written from the perspective of someone who has experienced them first hand. Available on Chincoteague at Sundial Books (www.sundialbooks.net)



Chincoteague and Assateague Islands (MD and VA) (images of America)


Author: Nan Devincent-Hays


Description: This book provides a short pictorial and narrative description of these two barrier islands, their history and relationship. One is a small town community catering to thousands of tourists who come almost year-round to enjoy the beach and view the wildlife on the other. Available on Chincoteague at Sundial Books (www.sundialbooks.net).



Lighthouses of Maryland and Virginia


Author: Bob Trapani


Description: Through the year this book tells tales of the role of lighthouses in war and peace. It provides details about challenges faced by lighthouse keepers and the role they play in the region's history. Available on Chincoteague at Sundial Books (www.sundialbooks.net).



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..



Pirates of Virginia and Maryland, Plunder and High Adventure on the Old Dominion Coastline


Author: Mark P. Donnelly


Description: Tales of pirates from 1600 forward; captures their adventures and relationships for over 20 years; tells stories you have never heard. Available on Chincoteague at Sundial Books (www.sundialbooks.net)



Seeds of Evidence


Author: Linda J. White


Description: This recently published novel involves an FBI Special Agent on leave at her Grandmother's home on Chincoteague, who becomes involved in the investigation of the murder of a young Latino boy. Available at Sundial Books on Chincoteague (www.sundialbooks.net).



Tidal Surge


Author: Claudia Bagwell


Description: This locally published tale of the 1962 storm on Chincoteague is based on interviews and photographs and articles of the Eastern Shore News. It is a wonderfully interesting, personal story of the experiences of the people of the Island and their recovery. Available on Chincoteague at Sundial Books (www.sundialbooks.net).



Watermen and Wild Ponies, A Chincoteague Waterman Remembers Life on Chincoteague and Assateague


Author: Robert H. Mears and Lorna Gagneux


Description: An informative and touching chronicle of the life-long friendship of two business partners who catch and sell fish, oysters and clams for over 30 years until the early 1960's. It reflects the flavor of living and making a livelihood on Chincoteague and the early settlement of Assateague. Available on Chincoteague at Sundial Books (www.sundialbooks.com)





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