My friends and I used to rent a cottage when we came to Chincoteague, as it was more economical than a hotel for four or more of us, and we liked having our own kitchen and room to roam around. Among several companies handling cottage rentals are Chincoteague Resort Realty, 6378A Church St., Chincoteague Island, VA 23336 (tel. 800/668-7836 or 757/336-3100;, and Chincoteague Vacation Rentals, 7038 Maddox Blvd., Chincoteague Island, Virginia 23336 (tel. 757/336-1236;

Most of Chincoteague's accommodations are small, family-run motels and bed-and-breakfasts. Even the Best Western Chincoteague Island falls into this category . Although not owned by a local family, the Quality Inn Chincoteague, 6273 Maddox Blvd. (tel. 800/221-7490 or 757/336-6565;, was until recently the venerable Mariner Motel.

The island's modern, built-to-order chain motels are the Comfort Suites, 4195 Main St. (tel. 800/228-5150 or 757/336-3700; fax 757/336-5452;, and the Hampton Inn & Suites, 4179 Main St. (tel. 800/426-7866 or 757/336-1616; They stand next to each other beside Chincoteague Channel in town. Both have heated indoor pools but neither has a restaurant.

As with any summertime beach destination, you will pay the highest rates from mid-June through Labor Day weekend in September, with spikes on July 4th and during the last week in July for the annual pony penning.

Bed & Breakfasts

Chincoteague has several bed-and-breakfasts, including Cedar Gables Seaside Inn, 6905 Hopkins Lane (tel. 888/491-2944 or 757/336-1096;, with a screened outdoor swimming pool and a master suite with climb-up cupola rendering a 360-degree view of the marshes north of town.

In the village are Inn at Poplar Corner, 4248 Main St. (tel. 877/336-6111 or 757/336-6115;, where I'm especially fond of the Main View room and its balcony overlooking Main Street and Chincoteague Channel; 1848 Island Manor House, 4160 Main St. (tel. 800/852-1505 or 757/336-5436;, which consists of two houses joined by a charming guest lounge; The Watson House, 4240 Main St. (tel. 800/336-6787 or 757/336-1564;; The Channel Bass Inn, 6228 Church St. (tel. 800/249-0818 or 757/336-6148;; and Miss Molly's Inn, 4141 Main St. (tel. 800/221-5620 or 757/336-6686;

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.