Day Trip to Chincoteague Island, Virginia

Hey, hey! I hope your June is off to a great start! So far, we have met our friend’s perfect newborn, eaten a dozen Duck Donuts, and enjoyed some time by the pool. Plus, later this month we are going to Asheville, North Carolina for our one-year wedding anniversary. June, I think you will be a pretty solid month!

Today, I wanted to recap our day trip to Chincoteague Island! Jarrett and I explored this town on the Eastern Shore of Virginia over Memorial Day Weekend. We crammed a lot of activities, most of which revolved around food, into the 6 or so hours we spent in the area. Take a peek at what we did, ate, and drank during our day trip to Chincoteague Island!

Day trip Guide to Chincoteague Island. Check out the top places for lunch, dessert, and a cold beef! Plus, explore a lighthouse and search for wild ponies.

Arriving on Chincoteague Island

Jarrett and I made the approximately 2 hour drive from Norfolk, Virginia to Chincoteague Island and had very little trouble until we got to town. Let’s just say we forgot that Memorial Day Weekend is basically opening weekend for this island. It took us about 45 minutes to go maybe 3 miles? We were starving by the time we reached our first destination, Sandy Pony Donuts!

Day Trip Guide to Chincoteague Island. Where you should eat, drink, and explore!
Day Trip Guide to Chincoteague Island. Where you should eat, drink, and explore!

Now, you probably would have guessed that we have donuts just about everywhere we visit. I mean, look at my blog name? Ha! So, it shouldn’t surprise you that Sandy Pony Donuts was our first stop. Jarrett and I split a half dozen, and they were really good! My favorite was chocolate pretzel- the perfect mix of salty and sweet. If you like cake donuts, freshly made to order, definitely swing by Sandy Pony Donuts!

Recommended: 24 Hour Food Guide Raleigh North Carolina

Top Lunch Spot: Pico Taqueria

After stuffing ourselves with donuts, Jarrett and I realized that we should probably also eat something substantial before we went on our nature walks. Because of amazing reviews, we went to Pico Taqueria! We waited about an hour, maybe a bit more, to order and receive our tacos. But, they were worth it! I ordered one with carne asada, and another which was the special of the day. That one was incredible- coconut shrimp with mango salsa and spicy honey! Ugh, drooling just thinking about it.

Day Trip Guide to Chincoteague Island. Where you should eat, drink, and explore!

I think if you came at an off-peak meal time, you wouldn’t have to wait as long. There are minimal places to sit when waiting, and the line forms outside. So just consider those things when deciding if this will work for your group!

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

Once we were properly fed, we drove down the road to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. This is a large state park that’s actually on Assateague Island! The main attraction for us was the chance to see wild horses, and climbing the Assateague Lighthouse.

I do want to point out that in all my research, no one mentioned that there is a $20 fee to get into the refuge. It is a weekly pass (no daily option) and it’s per vehicle, not per person. However, we thought that was steep price to pay for the hour we spent there. I do believe there is a campground, and there is definitely a beach. If you are planning to do those activities, it is worth it.

We started off at the Assateague Lighthouse, which is accessed by a very quick trail walk. If you climb the seven-story spiral staircase, you have earned the view at the top! It was beautiful to see the landscape, and take a guess at whether or not those were actually ponies in the distance.

Lighthouse Hours: 9-3:30 but closed for lunch from 12-12:30

From here, we decided just to drive around the little island and stopped at the Woodland Trail. This paved path brings you down towards the bay a bit, but mostly through the woods. And let me tell you, there were a million mosquitos! We thought given the mid-afternoon heat, that we would be safe, but friends, we were not. Towards the end of the loop, we were both getting pretty miserable and honestly couldn’t get out of there fast enough! Most people were on bikes, and I think you would be fine if you did that. But walking was not the way to go.

Recommended: How to Plan a Day Trip

Black Narrows Brewing Company

Day Trip Guide to Chincoteague Island. Where you should eat, drink, and explore!

After the disaster that was our nature hike, Jarrett and I both wanted to relax with a beer. Black Narrows Brewing Company is just off a main road near downtown, so it is very accessible by car, bike, or walking! Jarrett and I split a flight, as we usually do at new breweries, and enjoyed the craft beer selection! We hung around for a bit, played some Uno, and digested just enough to walk down the street for one final treat.

Quick Tip: you can bring in outside food!

Recommended: Best Craft Breweries in Virginia Beach

Island Creamery

The final destination of our day trip to Chincoteague Island was Island Creamery! I am a huge dessert fanatic, so when I read multiple blog posts and they all mention this ice cream, we go. Once again, we waited in a pretty sizable line, but once again, it was worth it! Jarrett and I split a 2-scoop cup, with marsh mud and pony tracks. Basically, the most chocolatey flavor they had, with vanilla ice cream and pb cups. Mmmm mmmm.

Day Trip Guide to Chincoteague Island. Where you should eat, drink, and explore!

We left around 7pm to make the 2 hour drive back home, but if we had been hungry for dinner, we were going to go to Captain Zack’s Seafood. Check it out and let me know if it’s worth a return trip. 🙂

Have you been to Chincoteague Island or are you planning to visit? Let me know in the comments! Where are you traveling this summer? Anywhere we should add to our list?

Top places to eat and drink on Chincoteague Island!
Day trip Guide to Chincoteague Island. Check out the top places for lunch, dessert, and a cold beef! Plus, explore a lighthouse and search for wild ponies.



Questions? Comments? Words of Advice?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: