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REALLY NEED ADVICE Chincoteague/Assateague next weekend

Massachusetts
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REALLY NEED ADVICE Chincoteague/Assateague next weekend

Seeing the ponies has been on my bucket list all my life, but I can never seem to drive down there. I find myself with a window of opportunity to vacation July 21-25 (give or take a day on either end) and thought this would finally be the time.

But now I see it's right before the Pony Swim!

I really just want to sit on a beach and watch the ponies. Maybe bike around and take some pictures. I don't care about fancy hotels, but don't want to take the trouble to camp either.

I can't stay long enough to see the Pony Swim on the 27th, but it seems I'll be there for all the hoopla beforehand.

My question: Since I know nothing about this event or the area, should I go down and look forward to experiencing a festive vibe and prepare to stay farther away (I assume hotels are booked up), or am I going to get down there and be frustrated with the mobs and not be able to relax and enjoy the ponies?

Williamsburg...
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1. Re: REALLY NEED ADVICE Chincoteague/Assateague next weekend

Even though you won't be there the actual day of the swim, the roundup begins on Saturday, July 23, and continues through Monday, July 25. There will be crowds of people, although not nearly as many as on Swim day. Here's a link to a guide for the event: www.chincoteague.com/pony_swim_guide.html

To sit on a beach and watch ponies, go to the Maryland side of Assateague. The Maryland herd is managed differently than the Virginia herd, and it's not unusual to see the Maryland ponies on the beach or wandering among the campsites there. Here's a link to the NPS National Seashore site: https:/…horses.htm

For hotels, you will probably have to stay farther away from Chincoteague; some Chincoteague hotels have minimum stay requirements, but you can check with the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce, and they may be able to help you find a place to stay. chincoteaguechamber.com/visiting/accommodati…

Massachusetts
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2. Re: REALLY NEED ADVICE Chincoteague/Assateague next weekend

Thank you so much! This is sounding good to me. Is there a particular beach I should go to on the Maryland side that has more pony sightings? And I assume I should go before the round up on the 23rd to see them?

Also, I think we would bring bikes. What's a good (free, if possible) place to park the car and start biking from?

Williamsburg...
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3. Re: REALLY NEED ADVICE Chincoteague/Assateague next weekend

The Assateague State Park, or the Maryland side of the Assateague National Seashore - check the website in my previous post for info. No, the Maryland side is entirely separated (by a fence) from the Virginia side, so has nothing to do with the round-up on the Virginia side.

I have no ideas for biking, sorry.

Massachusetts
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4. Re: REALLY NEED ADVICE Chincoteague/Assateague next weekend

Oh! I think you just provided me with a crucial piece of the puzzle I was missing, thank you! I didn't realize they only round up the Virginia herd. So basically nothing changes on the Maryland side (except maybe more people are there around now)?

One more question: if I did entertain the idea of camping (on Assateague's Maryland side where the ponies roam) should I expect high winds? I have read reviews of people saying their tents got ruined.

Baltimore, Maryland
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5. Re: REALLY NEED ADVICE Chincoteague/Assateague next weekend

This time of the year you may find it impossible to find a camp site on Assateague. It can get breezy but your biggest problem will be skeeters! If there is a breeze it keeps them away. If you put up your tent properly you shouldn't have a problem with "high" winds. Unless there's a storm coming up the coast you'll just have breezes. Good luck. I've been to Assateague many times and the ponies like to rest on the sand. But they don't hang around for long. But Zoey is quite correct. You'll see many more ponies on Assateague up close and personal than the Virginia side. Don't touch, don't feed and stay a good distance from them.

6. Re: REALLY NEED ADVICE Chincoteague/Assateague next weekend

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