Island Adventure: Discover Chincoteague and Assateague Islands

Get an insider’s perspective on Chincoteague and Assateague, where you’ll enjoy nature walks, attend cultural performances, search for wild ponies and wildlife and sample local cuisine.
Rating (5)
Program No. 10545RJ
4 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Come for a taste of barrier island life! Tucked away on the Eastern Shore of Virginia is one of the most special places on the East Coast, evoking visions of unspoiled coastal island charm and serving as the gateway to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, the second most visited wildlife refuge in the U.S. Enjoy a small plates dinner featuring historic island recipes that are paired with wine while sitting with views of Chincoteague Bay. Listen as a local artist explains how our spectacular vistas and beautiful wildlife inspire her, and observe her technique as she creates a waterfowl painting as she speaks. Learn about the island’s rich history as you explore the exhibits at the Museum of Chincoteague Island.
Activity Level
Easy Going
Minimal walking over flat terrain.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Walk 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 and the natural forces that constantly reshape the island.
  • Learn how these islands inspire the arts, as you enjoy an afternoon painting demonstration from an award-winning wildlife artist and an evening performance by local musicians who teach you sea shanties, old and new.
  • Explore restricted sections of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in search of ponies, Sika elk, waterfowl and migratory birds and learn about the island’s aquaculture industry while cruising local waters.

General Notes

You may be interested in a five-night version of this program, "Chincoteague: Lighthouses, Wild Ponies and Pirates" (#2005).
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Nancy Ferguson
Nancy is a writer, educator, storyteller and wool spinner who has researched the cultural history of spinning and sheep flocks on Delmarva. She works with that same type of wool today, spinning it into stunning pieces and, all the while, telling the stories of Assateague Island women. Nancy first learned to spin in the mid 1970's and is the owner of a fiber business. She retired to the Eastern Shore in 2009 where she presents programs and demonstrates spinning at the Tom's Cove Visitor Center.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image
Beth Scheeley
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Profile Image
Nancy Richards West
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Profile Image
Nancy Ferguson
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Profile Image
Jenny Somers
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Sea is a Thief
by David Parmalee
A century and a half after it was fought, we have come to know the War Between the States as series of debates, campaigns, and battles won or lost. The Sea is a Thief offers a new perspective from the dusty lanes and muddy channels of Chincoteague, an oystering island in Virginia, chronicling its effects on a captivating crew of hardy watermen, rogue hunters, moonshiners and merchants. At the center of the storm stand an unlikely young couple who desire only to love each other in peace. Of course, the beloved wild ponies of Chincoteague play a central role. Available on Chincoteague at Sundial Books (www.sundialbooks.net).
Assateague/Chincoteague Seashore Life
by James Kavanagh
Perfect compact guide to over 140 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes and seashore life in this region. Available on Chincoteague at Sundial Books (www.sundialbooks.com).
Misty of Chincoteague
by Marguerite Henry
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..
Seeds of Evidence
by Linda J. White
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).
A Natural History of Quiet Waters
by Curtis J. Badger
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)
by Nan Devincent-Hays
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).

Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback