Chincoteague Travel Blog› entry 8 of 28 › view all entries
It wasn't that far up Higway 13 from Parksley to the 176 turnoff for Chincoteague and the coast. Several interesting landmarks are along this road. At a wide curve stands The Dream, a vintage roller skating rink that could come right out of Grease or American Graffiti. (I wish I could have stopped for a photo. There was a fellow trying to open the door and he might have wondered what I was doing.) All does not look well for The Dream as it is closed and the paint is peeling. Just before the causeway leading to Chincoteague, a rocket is seen above the treeline. That's the NASA Wallops Island visitor center. Susan and I agreed we'd visit it during our stay.
A causeway takes Route 176 across marshland and Chincoteague Bay. There was some traffic delay as a new bridge is under construction. The new bridge will take the highway and visitors directly to Maddox Blvd. for a straight shot for Assateague. The current bridge leads traffic right into the town of Chincoteague.
The immediate downtown area of Chincoteague is small. In a waterside park is a sculpture of Misty of Chicoteague. Misty is famous as the character in the children's book of the same name. (The book was written in 1947 by author Marguerite Henry while she was staying at Miss Molly's Inn on the island. Miss Molly's is still open on Main Street.) Misty was a Chincoteage Pony (wild horses which actually live on neighboring Assateague Island).
We went directly to our hotel, the Hampton Inn, and checked in. After unpacking, it was time to start exploring. We drove from one end of Chincoteage Island to the other along Main Street and then down side roads. A truck was spraying for mosquitos--they can be fierce in the coastal marshlands. Chincoteage presents an interesting mix. Downtown is quaint with shops and retaurants but also has a fishing fleet. There are large houses with boats and then there are trailer parks. (Many of the mobile homes have permanent additions attached to them, so they are in for the duration.) We wanted to look at Assateague in the afternoon, too, so headed off along Maddox Blvd.
We drove over to the beach at Tom's Cove and along the beach for a distance. It was a pleasant afternoon, and people were here to walk the beach, swim, and surf fish. Shifting sands and the ever changing beachscape had closed the road further on to the old Coast Guard station. But, driving on the beach itself was permitted from this point if you had an off-road vehicle. We didn't, so we walked the beach a ways and then headed back to Chincoteague. We'd explore more on Thursday.
After a seafood dinner we enjoyed coffee and tea on the hotel's waterside veranda next to Chincoteage Channel. Later that evening, I took a walk into town--really almost adjacent to the Hampton Inn. I wanted to try some night photos of the bridge across Chincoteague Channel.