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Take In Stunning Views from Atop Historic Assateague Lighthouse

March 9, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Assateague Lighthouse sunsetAssateague Lighthouse opens its doors to weekend visitors beginning in April. If you’ve never experienced the view from the top of the tower, you’re missing out!

The first Assateague Light was built on the Virginia side of Assateague Island in 1832. The original structure proved too short, however. The red and white brick tower seen today replaced in in 1867.

The tower is 142 feet tall, the base over 27 feet in diameter, with 175 steps to the top. The tower’s twin rotating lights are 154 feet above sea level and can be seen 19 miles out to sea.

The initial beacon was just a candle. An oil lamp that needed refueling every hour replaced it. Can you imagine lugging two, five-gallon cans of oil up 175 stairs every hour? Now there’s a workout. Phew!

The beacon was eventually upgraded to a modern electronics but the light’s old, first-order Fresnel lens can still be seen at the Museum of Chincoteague.

The historic Assateague Light is one of less than 20 lighthouses of its kind still in use on the Eastern Seaboard. Best of all, it is open to the public on weekends for much of the year!

Visiting Assateague Lighthouse

Assateague Lighthouse stairs

Down the spiraling stairs
of the Assateague Light tower.

The Assateague Lighthouse season runs from April to November. Hours are 9am to 3pm, with a half hour closing break for lunch between 12pm and 12:30pm.

Getting to the lighthouse, which is located in Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island, is a simple affair. It is only a quarter of a mile (402 meters) from Chincoteague and you can easily drive, bike, or even walk there from anywhere on the island. A popular and well maintained trail leads directly to it.

Tours of the light include information about the light’s history, and what it was like to live here as a lightkeeper. You’ll also see the keeper’s house and the old oil house.

Best of all, you can climb to the top of the tower. Here, sweeping views of Chincoteague, Assateague, Wallops, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland, and more await. Simply stunning – don’t forget your camera!

It’s quite the climb, however. 175 steep stairs and not for everyone. If you do climb, be sure to wear appropriate shoes and hold onto the handrail.

Learn more at www.assateagueisland.com.

Chincoteague Lodging

Island Manor House Bed and Breakfast is a historic Chincoteague inn offering individually decorated guest rooms and luxurious amenities. Our convenient location puts the best of both islands at your fingertips. Let us help to arrange your visit with our concierge services. Book your stay at Island Manor House Bed and Breakfast today!
Assateague Lighthouse

The Captain Timothy Hill House – Oldest House on Chincoteague

February 14, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

The Captain Timothy Hill HouseThe Captain Timothy Hill House, the oldest house on Chincoteague Island, is full of history. If it weren’t for the care of some sharp-eyed residents, however, it may have simply become history!

There’s a lot of history to be found on Chincoteague Island. 1650 saw the island’s first land grant, with Europeans settling here in the late 1700’s. By 1838, 26 homes dotted the island. Most were simple, rustic log plank homes, not designed to survive the passage of centuries. Yet one did.

Of those original 26 homes built on Chincoteague, only Captain Timothy Hill’s house remains. The house features a now rare example of early long plank construction and was the site of Chincoteague’s first recorded murder. Yet, by the 1980’s, it was abandoned, forgotten, and almost torn down.

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Hit the Surf for Chincoteague Polar Pony Plunge 2020

December 8, 2019 by Corey A. Edwards

Chincoteague Polar Pony Plunge 2020What better way to welcome the New Year than with an eye-opening plunge into the chilly Atlantic during Chincoteague Polar Pony Plunge 2020? This year’s event is scheduled for 1:20pm (but of course) on January 1st, 2020.

Okay, okay: so maybe the picture to the right is a touch misleading. It is rather rare for the Atlantic to freeze, here on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. That doesn’t mean you won’t feel a thrill (along with a chill) if you participate, however. This is the Atlantic in January we’re talking about, after all.

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Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Waterfowl Weekend 2019

October 11, 2019 by Corey A. Edwards

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Waterfowl Weekend 2019Make 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

Holly Day Market 2019Waterfowl 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

Chincoteague Thanksgiving Lodging Special 2019Island Manor House would like to welcome you into our home for the holidays!

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

Learn more on our Thanksgiving Special page. Be sure to check out our other Chincoteague lodging specials as well. Our sister inn, Miss Molly’s Inn, is offering a similar holiday lodging special.

Plan Your Chincoteague Wedding or Elopement Now

January 18, 2019 by Corey A. Edwards

Plan Your Chincoteague Wedding or Elopement NowValentine’s Day is just around the corner and, one thing leading to another, now is the time to make your Chincoteague wedding plans!

Chincoteague Island is a unique, Virginia coast paradise located between Virginia’s Eastern Shore and famous Assateague Island. Our island has a vibrant and active, year ’round community of unique shops, galleries, fine dining, theater, and more. The annual wild pony swim draws thousands every summer but that’s not the only reason to visit. Not by any means!

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Dive Into The New Year With Chincoteague Polar Pony Plunge 2018!

December 1, 2017 by Corey A. Edwards

Chincoteague Island Polar Pony Plunge 2018If you’re looking for a fun way to break in the new year on Virginia’s eastern shore, look no further than Chincoteague Island and Polar Pony Plunge 2018! The popular, annual event is held every January 1st on Assateague Island.

New Year’s Eve is a lot of fun but New Year’s Day can be even better if you find the right way to celebrate it. Chincoteague Island’s annual Polar Pony Plunge is one of those right ways. I mean, what could possibly be more fulfilling than throwing yourself headlong into the icy surf of the Atlantic, right?

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Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Waterfowl Weekend 2017

October 13, 2017 by Corey A. Edwards

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Waterfowl Weekend 2017Why settle for one bird this Thanksgiving when you can have thousands? Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Waterfowl Weekend is a rare chance to visit the otherwise off-limit refuge during the peak of the annual fall migration. November 23-26, 2017.

You already know that Chincoteague Island, VA is home to lush natural beauty. Our pristine beaches, vibrant wildlife, and the famous wild ponies bring us visitors from around the globe. A less well known fact is that one of the best times for nature lovers to visit is on Thanksgiving weekend. That’s because it’s the peak of the annual fall migration.

Assateague Island is part of the Great Atlantic Flyway, with thousands of acres of beaches, forest, and both fresh and saltwater marshes. Many waterfowl literally flock here every fall either to rest during their journey south or to winter over in our milder climate. Herons, brant geese, snowy egrets, double-crested cormorants, snow geese, and many others become common sights in the refuge.

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is mostly off limits for much of the year. Once Thanksgiving weekend rolls around, however, a very unique opportunity presents itself. Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Waterfowl Weekend!

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A Chincoteague Island Winter Getaway

January 15, 2016 by InsideOut Solutions

Chincoteague Island WinterNot just a summer play-land, you’ll discover a whole new island with a Chincoteague Island winter getaway!

While it’s true that we see most visitors during the summer, did you know that a great many of those who make return trips to our island haven on Virginia’s Eastern Shore do so during the winter months?

Chincoteague Island and Assateague Island are quite different in the winter but no less appealing. With the weather tending towards the mild and lightly sunny, most seasons, the first and most obvious difference being that the throngs of tourists have evaporated. Not to say that Chincoteague Island rolls up its sidewalks and hibernates through winter – to the contrary!

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Get Set for the 2015 Spring Pony Roundup!

March 14, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

Spring Pony Roundup 2015

It’s almost time for Chincoteague’s Saltwater Cowboys to collect the wild ponies of Assateague Island for their annual veterinary check: the 2015 Spring Pony Roundup! Will you be here to see it?

Chincoteague’s 2015 Spring Pony Roundup is scheduled for April 10th and 11th this year. A set of annual veterinary checks to assess the general health of the herd, especially that of any new foals, the pony roundups are also a chance for you to come and watch!

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Lift Off for Wallops Flight Facility NASA Visitor Center!

February 21, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

NASA Visitor Center at Wallops Flight FacilityThere’s nowhere quite as quaint and peaceful as Chincoteague Island – which makes it even more surprising that, just ten minutes away, they’re launching rockets into space at the Wallops Flight Facility NASA Visitor Center – and you can watch for free!

Yes, you read that correctly: The NASA Visitor Center at Wallops Flight Facility is just a short drive form the quiet beauty of Chincoteague and Assateague Islands.

One of the oldest rocket-launch sites in the world – it opened in 1945 – Wallops Flight Facility is fully a active facility, regularly hosting space launches

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