You have to be prepared to hike across sand and pack everything (including water) in, but the back country camping is great if you don't mind sharing sites with people. Like-minded people, but still. Maryland section only, but towards Virginia.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is located on Wallops Island, VA. It is a very short distance from Chincoteague so I am putting it here so I can keep things in a condensed fashion.
The center operates high technical rocket programs and tracks the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. It also works in conjunction with NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, to track weather satellites. It must be working hard with all the hurricanes and super-storms going on around the world as I write this tip.
The Center is celebrating 60 years of exploration 1945 to 2005
Visitors can enter the NASA Wallops Visitor Center
Open: Thursday - Monday (closed Tuesday and Wednesday)
Hours: 10 AM - 4 PM
Admission is free
Phone: (757) 824-2298 or 824-1344
Location: Rt. 175 near Chincoteague Island, Virginia.
The Visitor Center days of operations will change in December
to Monday - Friday (closed weekends) through the winter season
On the Virigina side of Assateague, a few days before the pony swim the Saltwater Cowboys round the ponies up in small corrals that are accessible to the public. If you're looking for good photos, this is the time and place to get them.
It does take the romance out of the event.
Well, I have to say I did not let my VT addiction get the better of me as I did not log on for the entire trip. However, I find it helpful if visiting a VT page for vacation planning it is helpful to find a tip for an "Internet Cafe". Though I did not use the service it was nice to find out that even the sleeply town of Chincoteague had one.
The Vacation Internet is located in the town center. They are open all day, 7 days a week. 8AM to ? (that is on their sign). They offer useage of the Internet starting at $3.00 for 15 minutes and 10.00 for a full hour. This is a bit pricey, but not exorbintantly so.
They offer coffee, Cappuccino, Tea, snacks and sodas.
They are located at: 4407 Deep Hole Road Chicoteague, Virginia
An unconventional place to see some real Chincoteague ponies...
Behind the McDonalds. I know this sounds odd but the McDonalds on this little Island has some of the most beautiful views. On the one side is nothing but salt marsh and a view of the Lighthouse. Behind and to the other side are pony fields.
Captn' Mr. Bob of Payne's Sea Treasures, told me he got this 50Ft tall Viking from a furniture store that went out of business some time ago and is trying to sell it. This thing is huge, standing in a field across from his store. " I got a 50Ft Viking I can sell yah!"
You have to go see Captn' Mr. Bob, he has every thing you could ever want in this little shack that looks like it's ready to come down. If it has to do with the sea he's got it, including real old ship anchors brought up by fishing boats, drift wood, tons of shells, a 4ft wood carved fish, 50 ft tall pirate, it's here!
Every one knows him as "Captn' Mr. Bob" He can to Chincoteague in 1987 and LOVES it there. He is the nicest, & most interesting man we've met in some time, with wonderful little stories about how he collected his jems for sale! He hand picks the shells that the sea captains bring in, he has an interesting brick collection of bricks from all over including India and made a portion of the floor in his shop for the bricks. Captn' Mr. Bob is a very soft spoken man who believes in the barter system and also wishes for his store to be completely automated, ( THE HONOR SYSTEM ) which he does have in place to a point now, alot of his store is outside the building and people come after he is closed and put money in a pan he has set out with a little note that states " Please place payment here, Thank You" and they do, we got there very early and he had not opened yet and there was money in the tin, some people even leave him old bricks from around the world with a little letter about the bricks origin. We enjoyed talking with him for a while and he even sign a copy of the article about him & the store in the "Chincoteague Beacon" dated Sept 18 2003, the just ran that day!
Half way up the street, you can't miss it!
3376 Ridge Road, Chincoteague Island
Biking through the refuge. See my travelogue for my biking adventure through the refuge, but there are many ways you can go along the trails. The area is flat, so you should not have too much difficulty getting around.
Once you cross over into Assateague Island, after paying a small fee, you can go back and forth with your pass for the period of time you are granted, and free guided tours are given of various aspects of the island and refuge of which you can partake.