Seventy-five years ago, Marguerite Henry put the little island of Chincoteague on the map when she penned the award-winning book, Misty of Chincoteague in 1946 while staying at Miss Molly's Inn. The movie followed in 1961 and a star was born! The fictional story revolved around a real Chincoteague Pony and the family who owned her. Children and parents, immediately fell in love with Misty, the Beebe family, and Chincoteague Island. The island has become a mecca for Misty-lovers on an annual pilgrimage or adults fulfilling bucket-list dreams from their childhood. Although the annual Pony Swim and Auction takes place on the last Wednesday and Thursday in July, the wild Chincoteague Ponies are visible daily year round in their natural habitat in the marshes and maritime forests on Assateague Island, VA within the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. A grazing permit with US Fish & Wildlife Service allows the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company to graze 150 adult ponies on federal land. Therefore the auction each year serves to maintain that limit and raises necessary funds to help sustain the island fire company. The island community embraces Misty and the wild ponies at every turn. You will find souvenirs galore in every retail shop sporting a pony or the Saltwater Cowboys. You will find pony-themed food items in local restaurants, and venues featuring pony rides, trail rides, or Chincoteague Pony Drill Team performances. The high school mascot is the "Ponies" and the elementary school mascot is the "Colts". It is not uncommon to see a local on horseback going through the drive-through at McDonald's! We love our Chincoteague Ponies and we know you will too. We can't wait to see you in our small town exploring the life of Misty of Chincoteague. We even created a Misty Trail Map to help you find all the interesting stops to make your Misty trip one you will never forget. Check out our Chincoteague is for Horse Lovers Itinerary to discover all the unique horse/pony related must-dos while you are here. Learn about Misty, the Beebe family and our rich island history at the Museum of Chincoteague Island. Visit the local shops. Enjoy casual, coastal dining in an elegant restaurant, take out deli, or quaint little food truck. See the wild ponies (climb to the top of the Assateague Lighthouse when open to get an aerial view across the marsh), enjoy nature trails and miles of pristine beaches, take a boat cruise or kayak around the islands, and end the day with a breath-taking sunset from the balcony of your hotel, Bed & Breakfast or vacation rental. It doesn't get any better! Visit www.chincoteaguechamber.com to begin your Misty journey today and see why Marguerite Henry fell in love with our little island so many years ago.
Posted on 1/7/2021 by Joanne