#3. Chincoteague Island, VA

Median home value: $237,500

The island is best known for its annual pony swim where wild ponies swim across the Assateague Channel from Assateague Island to Chincoteague. Magical, right? The popular event, which typically occurs in July, is central to Marguerite Henry’s 1947 novel “Misty of Chincoteague,” which was adapted into a movie and beloved by multiple generations of young readers.

But year-round residents of Chincoteague, a 7-mile long barrier island along Virginia’s Eastern Shores, don’t just enjoy wild pony sightings. They’re also treated to cameos by bottlenose dolphins, great birdwatching and an abundance of ice cream shops. The island also boasts undeveloped beaches that are truly tranquil. 


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