Chincoteague: Lighthouses, Wild Ponies and Pirates

Virginia's only inhabited barrier island and the national wildlife refuge and seashore have stunning vistas, wild ponies, wildlife, miles of trails and beaches and a memorable history.
Rating (5)
Program No. 2005RJ
6 days
Starts at
20 Reviews
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5 Average

We were made to feel like residents of Chincoteague. We heard from locals and transplants and came to see why they love the island so much. I want to return on a service project or my own escape from the world that is Chincoteague.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

What a great program! The food, the ponies, the lighthouse, and pirates (arrgh) were all excellent. The accommodations were wonderful. Each room had a view and a private balcony, coffee in the room, and a very nice breakfast. Beth was so energetic and so knowledgeable. And being that it is a small island, she knew or was related to everyone. Added a special connection. Even the classes I thought would be boring, were extremely interesting (wool lady and the painter). And the classes I expected to be interesting were spectacular (lighthouses, clamming)! The clam guy (Chip) should be moved up in the schedule. He was so interesting and provided some answers to questions we didn't even know we needed answered. The food. Oh, my gosh, the small plates dinner was the best! (My husband kept whispering in my ear, pizza. But that so wasn't necessary by the end of the dinner.) This was such a good program we may do it again! And time it like this one so we can go to the Oyster Festival.


We moved to Maryland's Eastern Shore last year and were interested in learning more about our new home. The program's pace was relaxing and the presenters were both knowledgeable and personable. Overall an excellent experience!


Lived in Virginia for seven years and never made it to the barrier islands; now I have! Got to see dolphins, ponies, drawbridge, lighthouse. Pontoon boat ride was chilly but lots of fun. Can't get better than a water view from your room/balcony; lots and lots of seafood; friendly people. Shopping too! So glad I made the trip.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

Wonderful experience. Loved our leader, Beth and her passion for Chincoteague.


The pace of this program was very easy; don't hesitate to sign up for it. We loved seeing the wild horses the best, the cruises were wonderful, the seafood delicious, the instructors informative, and the sunsets from the inn were beautiful. We loved it.


I believe this program should be known in the future as a "favorite". It certainly was one of mine.


Great program, well presented and thought out to provide ample education opportunities as well as learning experiences and outdoor activities for all. Great group leader with ample knowledge of the Island.


Wonderful people, wonderful activities,wonderful time.


We thoroughly enjoyed this informative and relaxing program. All of the instructors were interesting and entertaining, especially Cindy. Our group leader, Beth, handled the program very well from both a organizational and personal standpoint. We had two great opportunities to see the ponies for an extended time. The accommodations were excellent. The meals were very good, especially the small plated dinner. I thought that there might have been a bit too much free time based on the overall length of the program. I found the school bus that was used for transportation to be very uncomfortable and lacking in leg room for a tall person. However, the bus driver, John, was a very personable and a real delight to deal with. The island itself is charming and very relaxing, at least in the off season peak when we visited. The sunsets were magnificent as advertised. This is a place that we may choose to visit again based on our Road Scholar experience.


As a solo traveler, I enjoyed this trip beyond my expectations. I believe Beth, our Instructor and John, our Bus Driver were the best there is. Everything was organized for us and most enjoyable. Fellow travelers were very accepting of everyone else and I believe I have made some friendships that will continue on.


The program provides a wonderful overview of the history and natural environment of Chincoteague and Assateague, as well as the diverse skills and pursuits of those living on the islands through the present day.


This was my 1st trip and I really enjoyed Virginia. The talks were perfect. People and tour guides were very kind and nice to each other. As a single traveler I felt very safe and taken care of during the this trip. I have signed up for a new trip in November going to Florida for 6 days with 2 other women from this trip. I came back refreshed and educated. Becki Kvitrud


A fun, well-rounded introduction to this fascinating area of the Virginia Eastern Seashore. I went primarily to see the ponies, but learned a great deal about other aspects of the ecological viability of Chincoteague and Assateague. Enjoyed every minute! Highly recommend.


Is Chincoteague Island on your bucket list? If not, put it on! I can't think of a better way to explore it and nearby Assateague Island than with Road Scholar. Cindy was an outstanding leader, motel accommodations with sunset-view balconies were excellent, and our meals were delicious. The novel "Misty" put Chincoteague on the map, and we were delighted to see many wild ponies during our boat and bus excursions. A female saltwater cowboy, an artist who painted a beautiful picture of a decoy right before our eyes, and fantastic musicians who specialize in Celtic music all added to our enjoyment of the week.


This was an interesting and fun look at a place in our country's history that isn't well known to those who live away from the east coast. Learning about the long history of the island, it's residents, many of whom can trace their roots to the original settlers, and the islands economic and political history was of great interest too. The wild ponies were an added treat.


A fun and informative program! I really learned a lot about life on Chincoteague Island and how much pride the "teaguers" have in their island, way of life and beautiful ponies.


We have been on 7 Road Scholar programs, and this one was the most educational, most well organized, and most interesting! Accommodations were outstanding. Guest speakers, lectures and field trips were all great. All meals and restaurant choices were excellent. Our group leader, Cindy Faith, her assistant Rebecca, and the bus driver were simply the best! Best trip ever... Cindy, her staff, our bus driver, the boat captain and all others made us feel like we were part of the Chincoteague Island family.


Wonderful program, great food, beautiful area, two boat rides, ponies, birds, art, music, nature, history... All the local guides were knowledgeable, personable and funny, especially group leader Cindy! We had perfect weather which only enhanced the whole experience!

Mary Ann

I positively loved my first experience with Road Scholar. I'd heard about various programs offered and attended by a family member so I was anticipating a great time. I was not disappointed in fact I was even more pleased than expected. The leader Cindy Faith could not have been more accommodating, knowledgeable and congenial. She set the tone for a beautiful week in spite do of the heat. Loved the ponies, waterways, presenters, the meals and hotel!

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