Make the most of your Thanksgiving weekend with a visit to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Waterfowl Weekend is a rare opportunity to visit the otherwise off-limit refuge during the peak of the fall migration. November 28th through December 1st, 2019.
There are a number of reasons to consider spending Thanksgiving on Chincoteague Island. The first being – it’s Chincoteague Island! From our sandy beaches, to our fun loving community, vibrant wildlife, excellent restaurants, shops, galleries, and more – there’s never a bad time to visit Chincoteague.
That being said, there are better times to visit – and Thanksgiving Weekend is one of them. It’s a bit of an open secret that many consider the “off-season” to be the best time to visit Chincoteague. Though Thanksgiving is a holiday weekend, it still qualifies. Crowds are smaller and, though temps are cooler, we still average a sunny, daily 50 degrees.
The birds certainly know it’s a good time to visit.
Waterfowl Weekend 2019
Assateague Island is part of the Great Atlantic Flyway and home to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Every fall, thousands of waterfowl literally flock here to either rest before continuing on south or to winter over. The island’s pristine beaches, forest, and fresh and saltwater marshes see Brant geese, herons, ducks, egrets, cormorants, swans, and great many others
Waterfowl Weekend isn’t called so because the birds are here. It’s a special event because it’s one of the only times during the year that the public can visit Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.
The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is a 14,000-acre wildlife preserve located on the Virginia half of Assateague Island. Portions of the preserve are also found on the Maryland side of the island, as well as Morris Island and Wildcat Marsh. The preserve is operated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
During the 4 days of Waterfowl Weekend, visitors will enjoy the opportunity to drive on the refuge’s 7-mile Service Road and Wildlife Loop Trail, from 9am to dusk. The drive is a one-way, 15-mile round trip through the refuge. Bicycles are allowed but only for limited part of the loop. Visitors may also hike the Wildlife Loop Trail and can expect to see a wide variety of migratory waterfowl. Binoculars and cameras are recommended.
Learn more at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge website.
Holly Day Market & Wildlife Art Gallery
Waterfowl Weekend at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge isn’t the only thing going on here during Thanksgiving Weekend. We’ll also be seeing our final Chincoteague Farmers Market of the Season as well as the Holly Day Market!
The annual Holly Day Market, November 30th – 9am to 3pm, will see more than 90 different vendors. Hand carved decoys, fine wildlife art, jewelry, antiques, and holiday decor. It’s a great opportunity to do some early-ish holiday shopping done.
The final Farmers Market of the season will feature fresh produce, baked goods, meats, eggs, cheeses, and more. The event also includes a food court for your grumbling tummmy and live music for your happy feet.
Visit the Chincoteague Cultural Alliance website for more information.
Thanksgiving Lodging Special
Our Chincoteague Thanksgiving Lodging Special includes a bottle of wine and a cheese tray in your room upon arrival. You’ll also be treated to an unlimited Thanksgiving meal at Bill’s Prime Seafood & Steaks. Best of all, the restaurant is only a 3 minute walk from our Chincoteague inn!
Other perks for your Thanksgiving stay at Island Manor House include daily gourmet breakfasts, snacks, and beverages, plus access to bicycles and other gear for visiting Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.
3 Night Thanksgiving Lodging Special Pricing
- King room $695 + tax/couple
- Queen room $650 + tax/couple
- Hummingbird $525 + tax/couple
- The Royal Suite $895 + tax/couple