Where do you eat, drink and stay?

Crab Benedict. Photo courtesy of AJ’s on the Creek.

The slender island of Chincoteague on Virginia’s east coast has made a name for itself with its wild, storied horses, but provides a relaxing ocean retreat for diners looking to indulge in the summer harvest, the latest catch in the Atlantic, and indulging in the sugary boardwalks.

Drive or go up for caffeine in the morning at Amarin (6141 Maddox Blvd.) On the noisy main drag. It features all the usual suspects along with Vietnamese iced coffee and colored milk tea. then stroll to Sandy Bonnie Donut (6276 Maddox Blvd.) For made-to-order desserts in fun flavor combinations, such as honey glazed fruity grits and caramel glazed with pretzels.

At lunchtime, a good bet is Ricky’s seafood and produce (7432 Bib Road)—A charming roadside shack serving no-frills sandwiches, conch crab sandwiches, clam pies, and other fried seafood. or dive into it Poseidon’s Pantry Gourmet & Deli (6219 Maddox Avenue) For cold-packed Italian food, BLTs are topped with pimiento cheese, design your own grilled cheese, plus gourmet groceries and handcrafted beer.

A delicate mint cone from Island Creamery.

Store fresh produce in Live Wetrafin (6382 Maddox Blvd.)where you can also find local meat and blackberries outside, and Church Street Production (6493 Church Street), which serves freshly chopped vegetables and herbs and fresh farm eggs. When it comes to seafood, it’s best to drive about 20 minutes outside the island Shanti Rai (32157 Chincoteague Rd., Wattsville)a market the size of guppies full of fresh catch off the boat.

Afternoon ice cream is a battle between rotating snack foods in Mr. Webby (6201 Maddox Boulevard.) And a rainbow of homemade scoops, including several vegan and sugar-free options, at Creamery Island (6243 Maddox Blvd.). For more sweets, Pony Tails Taffy (7011 Maddox Avenue) It’s a wonka-esque wonderland — chewing gum in every imaginable shape, a rich candy, and a saltwater candy. then go sundial books (4065 Main Street) For both cookbooks sprawled out onto the gorgeous beach.

As the sun goes down AJ’s on the creek (6585 Maddox Blvd.) It is a popular destination for white tablecloth crab, fried oysters and giant steaks – as it is Bell’s Prime Seafood and Steak (4040 Main Street). casual fast food, Famous Pizza and Sub Shop (6689 Maddox Blvd.) Crispy and crunchy pizza for all ages.

where to stay

Photo of Refuge Inn by Jumping Rocks Inc.

Airbnbs and private home rentals are the best way to experience a relaxed island sensibility, often including ocean access and gorgeous Instagram sunsets. Otherwise, families are well served by refugee hostel (7058 Maddox Blvd.) Thanks to the kid-friendly amenities: a pool, a hot tub, and a selection of cute ponies. Rooms start at $125. For a romantic getaway, the Channel Pass Inn & Tea Room Bed and Breakfast (6228 Church Street) It offers nine rustic-chic rooms with rates starting at $135, plus breakfast with pastries fresh from the oven and sumptuous afternoon tea.

Things to do

Sunrise over Chincoteague.

14000 acres Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge (8231 Beach Road), on Assateague Island, features an epic beach with easy surfing, hiking and biking trails through bird-filled swamps and plenty of pony watching. Get out in the water with Captain Barry’s Backbay Tours (6262 Marilyn Street)A hands-on and entertaining educational tour of the vibrant coastal ecosystem.

Assateague Lighthouse in Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Lighthouse photo by Casey Manera/USFWS.

Connie Cheng Icons.
This article appears in May 2022 The Washington Affair.

parenting writer

Neven Martell is a parenting, food and travel writer whose work has appeared in Washington PostAnd The New York TimesAnd flavorAnd men’s magazineAnd luckAnd Travel + LeisureAnd hostility worldand many other publications. He is the author of eight books, including It’s So Good: 100 Real Food Recipes for KidsAnd The Red Truck Bakery Cookbook: The Gold Standard Recipes from America’s Favorite Country Bakerysmashing the small press Finding Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip. When he’s not working, he loves spending time with his wife and their six-year-old son, who actually works faster than him.

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