Chincoteague is only a 3 hour drive outside of DC but it feels like a world away, it was perfect for a long weekend trip. Show of hands: Did you read Misty of Chincoteague in middle school? If you didn’t, maybe you read The Babysitters Club and the name rings a bell because Mallory was obsessed with the Misty book series? In case you haven’t, here’s a quick back story on this beautiful island and its famous wild ponies.
According to legend, the wild ponies arrived on Assateague Island after surviving a shipwreck off the Virginia coast and have lived on the island ever since. The Chincoteague ponies, who actually live on Assateague, became famous after Misty of Chincoteague was published in the 1940s (Scroll down to see Misty’s hoof prints immortalized outside the town’s movie theater). My mom and I arrived about a week after Pony Penning Day, a tradition dating back to the 1920s. On Pony Penning Day, they round up the ponies and swim them back to the mainland to be auctioned off. All the funds go to the fire department, who are the official caretakers of the wild ponies.