Posts Tagged ‘Chincoteague’

The 89th Annual Pony Swim, Chincoteague Island

Monday, July 21st, 2014

“On the shores of Chincoteague the people pressed forward, their faces strained to stiffness, as they watched Assateague Beach. ‘Here they come!’ The cry broke out from every throat.” –Marguerite Henry, Misty of Chincoteague


For over eighty years now, people from all over have flocked to Chincoteague Island for the Pony Swim and Pony Penning Day, an annual tradition that was made popular in Marguerite Henry’s book Misty of Chincoteague. Now in its 89th year, you have the opportunity to attend Pony Penning Day for yourself:

On July 26-27, 2014, the Pony Round-Up will commence, where Saltwater Cowboys will herd around 150 wild ponies into corrals along Assateague Island.

On July 28, the Cowboys will walk the ponies from the northern corral to the beachfront to the southern corral, beginning at 6 a.m. for those who wish to watch.

July 30, 2014 is the Pony Swim, where the Saltwater Cowboys move the herd from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. (If you’re interested in owning a pony of your own, the first foal to swim to shore will be named King or Queen Neptune and will be given away at a raffle later in the day.)

And finally, on July 31, 2014, the Pony Auction will take place, benefitting the islands as a fundraiser and also as a source of size control for the pony herd.

Pony Penning Day is a source of excitement for all who attend, whether you’re there to bid on a pony or simply watch these beautiful animals swim the Assateague Channel.

Need lodging suggestions? Try out these fantastic Inn Virginia members—1848 Island Manor House B&B, Channel Bass Inn, and Miss Molly’s Inn. (Trivia: Marguerite Henry actually stayed at Miss Molly’s in while she was writing Misty of Chincoteague.)

Photo by Bonnie Gruenberg

Photo by Bonnie Gruenberg

Eastern Shore Inns Have Recovered from Hurricane Sandy

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Virginia was one of the places affected by Hurricane Sandy’s October of 2012, and the Commonwealth’s Eastern Shore rested directly in the path of destruction. The hurricane hit numerous InnVirginia B&Bs, but they managed to recover, rebuild, and are still open for business with enthusiastic welcome.

When Sandy and Hank Mayer, innkeepers at the Chesapeake Bay View B&B, first heard the predicted path of the hurricane, they set about putting away anything that could be swept up by the wind. During the worst of the storm, Sandy and Hank stayed at their rental cottage a few blocks away from their B&B. Sandy says, “I put on high boots and waded back to the house to check on everything next day. Lots of water and crazy wind but no damage…We were incredibly fortunate to miss the eye of the storm.”

Another InnVirginia member affected by Hurricane Sandy was Channel Bass Inn. Innkeepers Barbara and David Wiedenheft were overseas in France during the worst part of the hurricane, and they returned home to a flooded cellar and water heaters knocked off their pedestals as well as well as one of their 60-foot redwood trees having moved “about 10 degrees towards the inn.” Barbara says, “Ultimately, we were very, very fortunate and are thankful.”

Now, close to seven months after the storm, the Eastern Shore has rebuilt what was destroyed, and it is as beautiful and inviting as ever. Book a room at Chesapeake Bay View, and explore the numerous activities around Cape Charles. Stay at Channel Bass Inn, and indulge in the beauty and history of Chincoteague Island. Between swimming, sailing, wine tasting, and sightseeing, there is no shortage of exploration on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

For a full list of our Eastern Shore B&Bs, click here.

Have questions or comments? Feel free to join in the discussion on our Facebook page!

inns and scenery along Virginia's eastern shore

By Tara Stoll

Chincoteague Island Events, July 2011

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Parades, ponies, and carnivals. Sounds like a child’s dream, right? Well, actually, these three things are included in an event happening towards the end of this month on Chincoteague Island, the setting for Marquerite Henry’s famous novel Misty of Chincoteague. If you haven’t guessed by now, this event is Pony Penning Day, where the wild ponies of Assateague Island are rounded up by the Saltwater Cowboys and brought over to Chincoteague. This tradition most likely began in the 1700s, but it was not recorded until 1835. Since then, it has evolved into a fully-fledged tourist attraction, including various other events that accompany the swimming, penning, and selling of the wild ponies.

© 2011

What sparked an international interest in Pony Penning Day was the aforementioned book, Misty of Chincoteague. It is the story of a wild pony named Phantom, her foal Misty, and the loving family that buys Misty. You should definitely read it during your Pony Penning Vacation! And while you’re reading it, you should definitely be staying at one of the fabulous Bed and Breakfasts in the area. For the full experience, check out Miss Molly’s Inn, the wonderful B&B at which Marguerite Henry stayed as she penned her novel. Do you see the pun I made there? “Penned”??? “Pony PENNING Day”??? Yeah, okay, it’s not the wittiest of puns, but it’s still sort of clever!

© 2011 Miss Molly’s Inn

There are also a number of other inns in the area that are also wonderful choices, so you have your pick of fantastic establishments!

By Tara Stoll