Where the wild horses play, or not...
This past weekend we packed up our SUV with Yaya's travel crib, our clothes, a cooler bag filled with snacks, our bikes and we hit the road to Chincoteague/Assateague. Since we can’t fly anywhere, Mike and I decided we will explore various beach towns within a 200-mile radius of DC for the remainder of the Summer.
Yaya slept a lot of the way, which she usually does on long car rides. We let her read, play with her doodle board, have snacks and give her the tablet as a last resort. Save the best for last, right?
Chincoteague is a small town on Chincoteague Island on the Virginia Eastern Shore. Assateague Island is on the Maryland side where the wild ponies are known to roam freely. There are not any hotels, or businesses in Assateague, so we settled on the Hampton Inn at Chincoteague, which is a 10-minute drive, or 20-minute bike ride into Assateague. Chincoteague has cute little shops, and restaurants. A charming town where everyone knows each other.
I was a little skeptical at first because we had never been to the small, quaint island before, and I wasn’t sure how they were treating the pandemic, so I made sure to pack a ton of disinfectant. Upon arrival, we noticed that everyone was wearing masks, and at check-in they assured us that our room had been disinfected. I still disinfected our entire room from the bed to the remotes, to the balcony. I then let Yaya run wild. Our view was beautiful. What’s better than having a cold drink overlooking the bay while the little one sleeps?
Let’s get the FOOD recommendations out the way. We picked up food from the well-known J&B subs on Main St. They have been in Chincoteague for over 50 years and are super friendly. They gave us so many ideas on what to do. This was about a 15-minute walk from our hotel. At night we ate the Ropewalk restaurant which is next door to the Fairfield Inn & Suites (this is another good hotel to stay at). We walked over to Ropewalk which took us about 10 minutes but was the perfect evening stroll. We highly recommend their shrimp and crab mac and cheese, crab cakes and refreshing orange crush! It’s the perfect family friendly restaurant with outdoor seating on the sand. Although we didn't let Yaya play there, they have a little play area for the littles. The wait times are a bit long since they are practicing social distancing, thus we felt very comfortable eating there. Another spot I highly recommend is Pico Taqueria! There are a ton of food spots in Chincoteague depending on your mood.
Activities: The first day we drove to the main beach area of Assateague where they charge a $10 fee to get in. Although we were able to find a spot away from people, it was a little more crowded than we wanted it to be for a Monday.
The Chincoteague side has a ton of boat tours, and horseback riding.
The second day we decided to drive back to Assateague and ride our bikes on the trails. I attached Yaya’s trailer to the back of my bike, and we were off to explore. She fell asleep quite fast. (We have the instep trailer).
You can also walk on the trails, but we quickly learned that we should have brought insect repellent- mosquitos are VICIOUS! I wouldn’t recommend walking. We rode the bikes towards the beach path, and that part of the beach was a lot more secluded. We relaxed on the beach and played in the waves, and sand. Unfortunately, we did not see any wild ponies on the beach, like I expected. They were mostly far away in the marshes. I did learn from the locals that they are usually on the boat access beach, and campgrounds (which there are a lot of. If you’re into camping- I would recommend looking into that). Next time we will do a boat tour, for sure.
It was the perfect mini getaway, and we can’t wait to be back in the Fall to hopefully see some ponies this time. I'll keep ya'll posted ;)