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Single mom seeks Chincoteague help

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Chuluota, FL
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Single mom seeks Chincoteague help

I'm a single mom w/ 3 pony-crazed kids. This will be our first trip to Chincoteague and I am seeking tips, advice and suggestions for where to stay, what to do, and getting the best view of the pony swim on a modest budget. My kids are 9, 7 & 7 (yes, twins). Thank you.

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1. Re: Single mom seeks Chincoteague help

The best way to see the pony swim with kids is to see the swim BACK! There are about 50,000 people who watch them swim over, and about 5,000 that watch them swim back -- its much easier to see.

Try and get a boat captain to take you out to see it -- that avoids standing and waiting for hours and hours and you will be more comfortable. You will still have to leave early in the morning to be sure to get there.

There are a number of places to stay that are economical choices -- it depends on how many days you want to stay. There are cottages that you can rent by the week -- or some motel rooms that have small kitchens so that you can make your own meals most of the time.

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2. Re: Single mom seeks Chincoteague help

We've been twice. The first time we watched from Memorial Park, the second time we were over near the piers, closer to where the ponies hit land. I'm short, and the best view for me was from Memorial Park. Then take the shuttle bus or walk to the fairgrounds. Seeing the horse parade and then seeing them in the pens gets closer looks. If you come early in the week, you can see some in the pens on Assateague.

The boats tend to book up early, and the pricing is pretty expensive for the reputable ones.

If you don't already have a place to stay booked, book now! Some places have a minimum stay requirement during Pony Week. The first year we went, there was a snafu with our reservation, and we ended up staying in Salisbury, Maryland. That meant a lot more driving back and forth for us.

I'll echo RacingMoon - seeing the swim back (Friday morning, usually early) is the best! Much lower crowds, and easier to see the ponies going back up close.

Chincoteague Island
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3. Re: Single mom seeks Chincoteague help

My sister (also a single mom) and her 9 year old triplets LOVE to visit us every summer. There are cottages, and also campgrounds for inexpensive lodging. My nephews & niece spend as much time at the beach as possible. You can buy a Duck Stamp for $15 and that gives you one full year of free admission to all Federal Wildlife Refuges (all around the US), including the Chincoteague Refuge and beach access. Otherwise, get a weekly pass because daily rates are going up. There is an INCREDIBLE refuge with interactive activities and tours and a knowledgeable and wonderful staff, as well as a beach, with shower and bathroom facilities. (BRING BUG SPRAY if you go in the woods!) You can rent bikes here or bring your own - Chincoteague is a flat island - good for bikes for even small kids. The carnival is going all during pony swim week and you can have lots of fun there. We also have a local bowling alley (with bumpers for kids), movie theater & an oyster museum. NASA is located just off the island and they are set up for kids with all sorts of fun things to do & see (you can have your picture taken wearing a spacesuit!) There is a town trolley (25 cents to ride), boat & bus tours and as usual, the best things like sunsets and exploring are free. As for the ponies - pony swim can be crowded! I prefer to watch the ponies parade by our house on Main St. on their way to the carnival grounds. Otherwise, I agree with Racing Moon, the trip back is a bit less crazy! Also, if you can get your kids up early, watching the cowboys run the herd up the beach before the swim is unforgettable. This takes place usually at sunrise a few days prior to the swim. The northern herd is rounded up and brought down the beach to join the southern herd and all the ponies then are penned and examined by a vet to be sure they are healthy enough for the swim. When you get to the island, check with the Chamber of Commerce for exact times and dates. Also, there will be free trolleys to & from the swim. Enjoy your trip!

Bruceton Mills...
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4. Re: Single mom seeks Chincoteague help


As far as I'm concerned the only is in a kayak. You get closer to both Assatague and the ponies. I've lost track of who does the kayak tours now but someonw can help. Here's a link to stories from our two visits and pictures we took.


The two years look a good bit different due to the difference in tides.

Any boat you could get on would be better than being in Memorial Park.

Go walk around the carnival grounds and see the pony herd in the pens. Pretty cool to see them all there. Also, stop by the auction. Interesting to see the reaction of some of the kids there.

Those pointing out to go see the swim back are correct. Simply not as crowded. Not as many ponies either but still very cool.

5. Re: Single mom seeks Chincoteague help

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