Chincoteague: Lighthouses, Wild Ponies and Pirates
Small island. Big story. Experience the unique tale of Chincoteague as you join local experts to learn about the Assateague Lighthouse, wild ponies, pirate legends and more!
Rating (4.97)
Program No. 2005RJ
6 days
Starts at
Getting There
See travel details and required documents

At a Glance

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. Learn about the island’s famous ponies, memorialized in Marguerite Henry’s “Misty of Chincoteague,” which still run wild. Delve into pirate legends and lore on the beach at Assateague. Learn about the early watermen who plied the local estuaries for oysters and clams and how modern aquaculture has changed how shellfish are grown and harvested.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking less than a mile per day.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • On Assateague Island, walk the longest undeveloped beach in the mid-Atlantic with an expert.
  • Enjoy an evening with musicians who teach you sea chanties and traditional Celtic music.
  • Spend time on the water learning about the traditional lives of watermen, exploring the techniques of modern aquaculture and viewing the Wallops Island Space Flight facility.

General Notes

You may be interested in a three-night version of this program (#10545).
Featured Expert
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Nancy Richards 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.
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Nancy Richards West
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Jenny Somers
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Cindy Faith
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