Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Chincoteague Island

4.8
#1 of 31 in Wildlife in Virginia
National Park Wildlife Area
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge encompasses nearly 5,670 hectares (14,000 acres) of beach, dunes, marsh, and maritime forest. Before setting off a hike or bike ride, you can visit the educational and administrative center to pick up maps, study exhibits, and talk to staff. As you explore, keep your eyes open for the refuge's famous Chincoteague ponies. Fishing, clamming, and crabbing are all popular activities here; look for specially marked areas. Be sure to bring your bathing suit if you'd like to go swimming at the beach or Tom Cove. You can end your visit with a cozy campfire on the beach; pick up a free fire permit from the Tom Cove visitor center beforehand. If the weather is warm, remember to bring bug repellent. For travelers who use our world travel planner, Chincoteague Island holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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2,301 reviews
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  • Visited Chincoteague NWR. It has a fine introductory center and a vaiety of walks in the refuge.Be sure and spray bug repellent, there are mosquitos galore. I took 3 mile walk around a marsh and it wa...  more »
  • Beautiful beach, but if you go to the visitor center or the lighthouse dress in full on mosquito gear. Like 100% deet and long clothes... The center was worth the run in. The beach there's no mosquito...  more »
  • Beautiful place, we really enjoyed our visit to the refuge and beach. Been there in May, not crowded at all, no mosquitos, enjoyed nature a lot!  more »

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Where to stay in Chincoteague Island

Long-term visitors can rent one of the many vacation homes that dot the island. For a short stay, hotels and bed and breakfasts are located on the shore and in the small town center on the island.
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