Take a Weekend Trip to Chincoteague!

June 22, 2022


If you head westward from the Delaware beaches and drive about an hour and a half south on Route 113 you’ll come to the small town of Chincoteague, Virginia, with a Norman Rockwell streetscape reached just beyond a beautiful causeway over the bay. 

Keep going, and you’ll soon be on Assateague Island, which has the natural appeal of our own Cape Henlopen State Park and one notable addition: wild ponies that move languidly among people enjoying the vast and beautiful beach.

Yes, you read that right. There are about 300 ponies of all colors who live on the island, where they roam free despite careful support from folks with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources who make sure they stay healthy. And on July 27, many will again be part of the annual Chincoteague Pony Swim. Celebrated every year since 1925 (aside from the Covid pandemic years in 2020 and 2021), the event allows spectators to watch adult ponies along with foals born during the spring swim across the channel between Assateague and Chincoteague.

A day later, they’re auctioned to people who travel to the area specifically to buy one of these beautiful creatures. Folks who have been there for it tell me the whole event has a magical feel because it’s so unique, and because it’s just one major highlight among the many things you can do in the area.

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