Exploring Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Even though I’m a native of Williamsburg and my husband has lived here for more than 30 years, neither of us had explored the Eastern Shore. Unlike most girls of my generation, I had never read the famous tweens book Misty of Chincoteague, because the book Black Beauty about an abused thoroughbred made me cry buckets of tears and I swore off of equestrian titles after that trauma. I’m glad I corrected that omission before we made this trip, because it made seeing the wild horses of Assateague Island all the more magical.

We started off with our little trailer across the amazing Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel to Kipptopeke, where we spent two nights, venturing up to Cape Charles for a day of jet skiing, shopping, and dining, then up to Onancock for a delightful lunch on the marina before heading up to Chincoteague for two more nights. Chincoteague may be our new favorite place! (But OBX is still in the running.) We liked the small-town feel and protected wildlife areas. It was only a 4-mile bike ride from our KOA campground to the ocean at Assateague.

We saw the wild horses as soon as we drove on to Assateague Island. What joy to hear them whiny to each other as their family group ran along the side of the road! The marshes were home to the usual egrets and herons this time of year. Across the marshes we could see more wild horses grazing, but the only evidence of them visiting the beach was tiny hoof prints and tiny …. um … well, you know.

The beach was unusual because you drive right up to the dune and park. On one side of the dune is the majestic Atlantic Ocean, on the other side of the dune and parking area is calm Tom’s Cove, where it was easy to wade or calmly float protected from the wind and tumult of the ocean waves.