Chincoteague, Virginia sits on the barrier island of the same name, along the state’s eastern shore. Chincoteague Island connects to Assateague Island, and both islands are known for their notable population of wild ponies. In addition to these beautiful animals, Chincoteague offers breathtaking scenery, as well as a peaceful, small town atmosphere that’s perfect for families. Many vacation rentals in Chincoteague are within minutes of the beach and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, so there’s plenty to do and see. From pony rides to kids’ pirate ships and nature cruises, the family-friendly activities in Chincoteague are endless. Check out the top things to do in Chincoteague.

1. Take a Teaguer’s Tump Tour

Learn about Chincoteague in a fun and interesting way by signing up for a Teaguer’s Tump Tour. Hop in a comfortable, air-conditioned van with a tour guide who knows everything there is to know about this unique barrier island. The van travels through Main Street, where you can check out the local shops and buy souvenirs. You’ll ride past many old-fashioned homes in cozy, small-town neighborhoods. Gaze out the window at the beautiful scenery and wildlife as the tour guide takes you through the marshlands and fills you in on the area’s history.

2. Go Crabbing

Crabbing and clamming are popular pastimes in Chincoteague, as the Eastern Shore has a high population of both sea creatures, and there’s nothing tastier than a fresh seafood dinner. Pick up some netting and fishing supplies at Chincoteague Island Bait and Tackle, and then head down to the shorelines of Chincoteague Bay for an exciting day. If you’re lucky enough to score some crabs or clams, steam them up at your vacation rental, and enjoy a well-deserved family feast.

3. Take In a Pony Show

The wild ponies of Chincoteague are one of the biggest draws to these barrier islands, and the Chincoteague Pony Centre has just what you need for a day of pony-filled fun. Stop by for a pony show, watch the ponies as they make their way through the outdoor ring, or sign the kids up for a ride or a day lesson. The center also houses a gift shop if you want to pick up a few pony-themed souvenirs.

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4. Enjoy a Pony Kayaking Tour

For a fun adventure and a chance to see the famous wild ponies of Chincoteague and Assateague Island, book a kayaking tour with Assateague Kayaking Adventures. The tour starts at Chincoteague Island and travels to the neighboring island of Assateague. The three-hour journey takes you past the natural surroundings that the ponies call home. Paddle up to the shoreline, and watch herds of ponies refresh themselves in the bay waters. The tour also stops at a beach along the way where you can relax, have a snack, and soak up some sun.

5. Search for Hidden Treasure at Pirate Ship Adventure

If your little ones are into pirate life, Pirate Ship Adventure is a great place to spend the day. The adventure starts with the kids climbing aboard the Kraken, a modern pirate boat. All guests are provided with pirate gear and given a full tutorial on pirate speak before the Kraken sets sail. Once on the waters of Chincoteague Bay, the kids have fun firing water cannons at the “stinky” pirate floating on a raft in front of the ship. Then, they take part in a treasure hunt. At the end of the journey, the pirate booty is divided up, and the kids are treated to a pirate-style party.

6. Have a Day of Fun at Funland

For a fun-filled day with the family, head over to Funland. From bumper boats to go-karts, there’s something here for everyone. Watch in amusement as your kids take on the junior bungee jumps at the Launch Pad and navigate the Spider Mountain jungle gym. Finish the day off with a friendly round of mini golf.

7. Navigate the Waters on a Nature Boat Cruise

For a fun and educational day on the water, take the family on one Daisey’s Dockside Nature Cruise. Relax on a pontoon boat as your captain navigates the waters that surround the Chincoteague and Assateague shorelines, and enjoy close-up views of the gorgeous island ponies, dolphins, and other wildlife. Binoculars are provided for even better views, and passengers are also allowed to bring snacks and beverages on board.

8. Enjoy Some Signature Ice Cream at The Island Creamery

For a sweet treat and what some call the best ice cream on the island, The Island Creamery is the perfect destination if you’re in the mood for some dessert. All of the ice cream is made with cream and milk from local Lancaster County cows, and fun island-themed flavors include “Marsh Mud” and “Pony Tracks.” If you’re feeling daring, try some ‘Wallops Rocket Fuel,” which is chocolate ice cream with chili peppers and cinnamon.

9. Take a Nature Bus Tour

The Chincoteague National History Association hosts guided bus tours through some of the most secluded areas of the Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge for an up-close and personal look at wildlife and surrounding nature. Sign up for a bus tour with the family, and take photos of the wild ponies, bald eagle, deer, and butterflies you see along the way.

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