The island resort town of Chincoteague (pronounced shin-coh-teeg), which means "large stream or inlet"—also known as Chincoteague Island—exudes a pleasant aura of seclusion. Small, but bustling, with affordable eateries and myriad shops, it is eminently walkable. Within a few minutes' drive or an easy bike ride, relatively uncrowded beaches stretch northward for miles. Small inns and B&Bs abound. And then there are the ponies. More than 300 wild horses live on Assateague Island. Every July, the ponies are rounded up and herded across a channel to be sold at auction in Chincoteague. The annual Pony Swim was made famous in Margeurite Henry's 1947 children's book Misty of Chincoteauge, and for nearly 100 years the event has drawn crowds to Virginia's Eastern Shore.


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