The little town of Chincoteague, on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, has a special place in my heart.
My family has been coming here for thirty years, and my memories of childhood are littered with summer days spent on the seashore, followed by nights in mom-and-pop seafood restaurants and the best ice cream shops. While, in recent years, the town seems to be changing more than ever, it still retains its historic charm as a player in the fishing and oyster canning businesses.
Its main street is full of traditional homes built in the characteristic Eastern Shore style, with a screened-in porch that juts out the front of the house and provides some relief from the island’s resident mosquitoes.
There are also several quaint and charming bed-and-breakfasts along the street. These are complete with gardens that erupt in colour in the warmer months and wrap-around-porches with rocking chairs that look like the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning, before the heat of the day sets in.
Even the library seems to fit the coastal vibe of this place. There’s a lovely green space behind it that overlooks the water; of course, it also features a statue of Chincoteague’s most popular literary character, the pony named Misty.
You won’t find tiki bars and wild spring-breakers in this sleepy town, and that’s exactly what makes it so endearing. It seems hitherto untouched by development (although each year that seems less and less the case)- giving the comforting impression of the town being frozen in time, a beloved place to return to year after year. And I certainly hope to do so for many more.
Is there a meaningful place like this for you? Tell me about it in a comment, I’d love to know what makes it special for you.