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chincoteague vs. outer banks

pittsburgh, pa
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chincoteague vs. outer banks

hi all- we've been going to chincoteague for the last 16 years and may decide to hit the outerbanks this summer. for all the have been to both which town in the outerbanks seems the closest to chincoteague? i love chincoteague and always say i'll try somewhere different next year, but once youve been there, its addicting!! thanks in advance!

Beach Haven...
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1. Re: chincoteague vs. outer banks

Hi sunshine, we had stayed in South Nags Head for years but we haven't been there in a few years. We have been going to Chincoteague since 1987. I know exactly what you mean about it being addicting. We go again the end of the month.

When we stayed in South Nags Head we were below all the stores and restaurants which was nice because it was more quiet . We had an oceanfront house which we loved. So in Chincoteague we drove to the beach and in the Outer Banks we drove to the restaurants and the stores. We always enjoyed the Outer Banks and keep saying we're going back.

I have an idea for you ,go to the Outer Banks for a weeks stay and on your way home spend some time on Chincoteague to get your fix.lol

Bruceton Mills...
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2. Re: chincoteague vs. outer banks

I'll share a few thoughts. We've been going to Chincoteague since AJ's was a fast food place. (Long time ago). We used to have a timeshare in Duck, NC on the Outer Banks.

I think the comparison depends on why you like Chincoteague. We like the birds, ponies, walking trails, etc. We like the small town vibe of Chincotegue. Notice I didn't say sitting in a beach chair working on my tan.

Those things are hard to find in the Outer Banks. To me, its more based on beach things and restaurants. Nothing wrong with that but its a lot different than Chincoteague. Of the places around Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, Duck and Corolla I would say none compare.

Ocracoke might be a good comparison but we haven't spent the night down there. There may be other places down that way too.

Many people really like it down there. We just got tired of it. Too many people. Too much traffic (at least towards Duck).

Hope I didn't paint an overly negative picture. Many people plan their vacations around the Outer Banks and they probably know something I don't.

Harrisburg, Pa
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160 posts
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3. Re: chincoteague vs. outer banks

I haven't been to Chincoteague since 2000. Prior to that, my family started going there in 1980, we went every year until about 1993 when we started alternating between there and the outer banks.

They really are two different places. Chincoteague is a small town with the neat small town feel. Family eateries and traditions are everywhere. OBX has much more beach action in the north and very very small village feel in the southern beaches (south of nags head). The OBX has fantastic beaches, a little more to do for the teens (without the ocean city like feeling). The beach is litteraly a walk from your door in some cases whereas at Chincoteague its at minimal a bikeride away but for most people a car ride away.

The beaches at Assateague are not as "available" there is really just a few lots. But the wild life and horses are far superior than the OBX.

Both have a lot of pluses and few minuses, you can't go wrong either way. One thing that is really much worse in chincoteague is the misquitos. The seafood (shell fish) selection is better in Chincoteague whereas the OBX has more resturaunts and shops.

Harrisburg, Pa
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160 posts
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4. Re: chincoteague vs. outer banks

one other item, the accomodations on Chincoteague are not as modern in most cases as the OBX...the OBX had a big boom in real estate. Chincoteague is much more affordable, but the OBX is certainly not unaffordable. The large beach homes though do make you dream of hitting the lottery!

Virginia Beach...
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for Ocracoke
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5. Re: chincoteague vs. outer banks

If you like the feel of Chincoteague, you may love Ocracoke NC. It is a 40 minute ferry ride from the end of Hatteras Island.

It is further down the banks, but so much worth it.

A quaint village with shops, artisans, restaurants, and not a putt putt course to be found! Park your car and bike around.

Also a lot of history with the British Cemetery, lighthouse etc...

We think Ocracoke is the addicting island! (Although we visited Chincoteague last fall and loved it too)

pittsburgh, pa
14 posts
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6. Re: chincoteague vs. outer banks

thanks everyone for posting your thoughts and advice on where we should vacation.

we've decided to head back down to chincoteague, it literally is our home away from home. and i haven't had any muller's since last year in july!

since one of the posters mentioned more teen related activities we may decide to go to OBX in a couple of years (my dd is 9 and still addicted to seeing the ponies). thanks again!

kim and lillian

Port Allegany, PA
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7. Re: chincoteague vs. outer banks


We have vacationed in both Chincoteague and throughout the Outer Banks several times. Much depends on what you enjoy doing. Last July we went to Chincoteague and found the ocean to be still quite cold and the fishing didn't seem to be as good as it had been in the past. What was unusual was that we didn't get one mosquito bite.

The Kitty Hawk-Nags Head part of the Outer Banks is very commercialized with many restaurants, miniature golf courses, malls, etc. Roanoke Island is a very nice place to visit. There is an aquariam there and historical sites and a nice walking path through the town.

South Nags Head is south of the commercialized area and closer to Oregon Inlet where there is very good fishing.

Hatteras Island is less commercialized and has a large area of National Seashore where there are no homes on the beach.

A four wheel drive vehicle is nice to have in the Outer Banks as it will get you to places you can't get to otherwise.

Ocracoke has beautiful white sand beaches and the fishing is good. The beach is part of the Nathional Seashore and there are no homes on the beach. Water temperatures are usually warmer than at Chincoteague. Many people use bikes the whole time they are at Ocracoke and never use their cars. Other than the beach, fishing, and browsing through shops and Kayaking there is not a whole of other things to do especially for kids.

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8. Re: chincoteague vs. outer banks

We live in Pittsburgh also...and we have gone to Chincoteague 10 times out of 10 years and OBX 8 times out of 10 years. We actually go to Chincoteague enroute to OBX. We rent a vacation rental for 3-5 days in Chincoteague. Then continue down to OBX via State Route 13 and over the Cheasepeake bay bridge & Tunnel and we always stop at the pier on the bridge for our son to enjoy and to have a nice lunch after checking out at 10 am in Chincoteague. We usually leave PGH around 11pm and drive through the allegheny mountains along the turnpike brfore the fog set in and is a driving hazard in the early morning hours. I also love getting across the bay bridge during the night in a fraction of the time instead of jammed traffic during the day. We arrive in Chincoteague at 7-8 am but one time I really made time along the drive an arrived at the gate of asseateague upon it's openning at 6am. With a Toddler, driving at night is a breeze since my son actually slept the entire route with out incident. We were actually greeted along the beach during this ealy morning hour by a entire herd of wild ponies striding by us us as we walked the beach enjoyinh our first breath of the delightful salt-water air. We also enjoy riding the bike trails much better on asseteague bird loop than OBX.

We continue down to OBX for the rest of the trip to the beach-front house for 5-7 days since we can get rentals for either amount of days.....So why not enjoy both areas like we do almost every year?

State College...
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9. Re: chincoteague vs. outer banks

We've been going down to Chicoteague for the past 15 years. Yes, we also say we're going to try someplace new, and even with the closing of a few favorite restaurants, we still like the Chincoteague ambiance.

A quick story to consider...the first year we went to chicoteague, it was with a 9-month old infant. In the middle of our stay, along came a hurricane (Emily, I think) and we evacuated to Dover Delaware for a night, and went back to chincoteague after the storm passed.

A few years later, we considered outer banks, based on the glowing recommendations of a close family friend, but decided to go back to chincoteague. (The friends were going to outer banks the same week). You guessed it; another hurricane (Felix?). Being a little smarter the second time, we made a quick hotel reservation in Princess Anne MD; just enough away from the coast to be away from the brunt of the storm. It took us about 30 to 45 minutes to evacuate. At breakfast the next morning, we ran into our friends from the outer banks. Turns out they too had been forced to evacuate due to the storm, sat in traffic 12 hours to get off of the outer banks, and were staying in an emergency shelter in a nearby high school.

I think we've managed to be vacationing in chincoteague every time a major storm has hit. But it's never ruined our vacation. (Although our friends now call us to find out when we're going, so they pick a different week!) Yes, you may have to bike or drive to the beach, but when bad weather hits, you have more options.

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10. Re: chincoteague vs. outer banks


This is not in answer to your question, but a question for you instead!

We our planning our first vacation to Chincoteague and our first vacation with a dog.

I know dogs are not permitted on the Refuge portion of Asseteague Is. You aren't even allowed entry if you have a dog in the car. But I've read that the MD portion of Asseteague allows dogs on certain beaches.

Here is my question: Crossing from Chincoteague, can you access the MD portion of the island w/o going through the Wildlife Refuge? I don't want to cross over the bridge from Chincoteague only to have to turn around bc. that portion of the island is all Refuge and won't allow us in w. the dog in the car.

Thanks in advance!