Located in the far northeastern portion of Virginia’s Eastern Shore lies a quaint paradise isl.and so beautiful that it draws over one million visitors annually and it has become home to over 4,300 residents. The town of Chincoteague is dedicated to providing its citizens and visitors with an island rich in beauty, values and traditions. Are you ready for a change from the big city beach resorts? In Chincoteague there are no high rises, board walks, or traffic jams. Chincoteague Island is a serene, yet fun filled, tourist destination. Chincoteague Island is Virginia’s only resort Island. Located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Chincoteague is within easy reach from all major cities on the mid-Atlantic seaboard. Chincoteague is the gateway to the Virginia portion of Assateague Island, home of the famous Chincoteague Wild Ponies. Chincoteague offers a relaxed atmosphere and the beauty of unspoiled nature. From relaxing on the beach to viewing a spectacular sunset over the Chincoteague Bay, there is never a shortage of things to do in Chincoteague. We hope that you will fall in love with our Island, the way so many others already have.
Chincoteague Island gained national fame in 1961 when Twentieth Century Fox premiered the movie Misty of Chincoteague. The movie was based on author Marguerite Henry’s award-winning children’s book Misty of Chincoteague, which she wrote in 1947 while staying at Miss Molly’s Inn on Chincoteague Island. The book and movie helped to forever transition Chincoteague Island from a small fishing village into a world-class tourist destination. The Native American name for the island is Gingoteague, and the name of the town “Chincoteague” first appeared in the Decisions of the United States Board on Geographical Names in 1943. In 1962, a major nor’easter winter storm, the Ash Wednesday Storm, struck the coast. The town was completely underwater, and went for days without electricity. The storm destroyed almost all structures on Assateague Island, where development was just beginning. Following this, most of the island was preserved from development as Assateague Island National Seashore in 1965. The Assateague Lighthouse and Captain Timothy Hill House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Chincoteague Ponies Main article: Chincoteague pony Legend has it that the feral ponies on Assateague are descendants of survivors of a Spanish galleon that sank on its way to Spain during a storm in 1750 off the east coast, but the likelihood is that they are actually descended from domesticated stock, brought to the island by Eastern Shore farmers in the 17th century to avoid fencing requirements and taxation. In the Pony Penning, which has been held annually since 1925, horses swim across the shallow water between the islands. If any animal is too small or weak to make the swim, they are placed on a barge and ferried over. All the horses are herded into large pens after running through the middle of town and down Main Street. Pony Penning takes place on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July. The actual swim occurs on Wednesday, the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company auctions that year’s foals on Thursday, and on Friday the remaining ponies swim back to Assateague.
Misty of Chincoteague statue on Main Street Tourism The town features numerous small hotels, bed and breakfasts, and campgrounds that serve visitors to the region, such as those patronizing the beaches. The island also features many restaurants, ice cream parlors, and miniature golf courses. The island contains three museums: Beebe Ranch, the Museum of Chincoteague Island and the Refuge Waterfowl Museum Demographics As of the census of 2000, there were 4,317 people, 2,068 households, and 1,244 families residing in the town. The population density was 448.2 people per square mile (173.1/km²). There were 3,970 housing units at an average density of 412.2 per square mile (159.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.92% White, 0.95% African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.37% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.53% of the population. There were 2,068 households out of which 21.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.8% were married couples living together, 8.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.8% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.08 and the average family size was 2.63.
A deer walks along the Snow Goose Pool in the Assateague Island National Seashore, 2006-07-27 In the town the population was spread out with 18.0% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 30.9% from 45 to 64, and 20.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.8 males. The median income for a household in the town was $28,514, and the median income for a family was $33,425. Males had a median income of $27,075 versus $20,859 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,367. About 9.7% of families and 12.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.9% of those under age 18 and 9.4% of those age 65 or over. Climate The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Chincoteague has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated “Cfa” on climate maps.