by Marta Millere in Cool Travel on Wednesday 5 March 2014

Every summer, as the sun starts to warm up the coast of the North Atlantic Ocean, exhausted tourists flock to Assateague Island. More than half of this 60km long island belongs to Maryland and the rest is part of Virginia, but the whole thing is basically owned by feral (‘wild’) horses, who have no problem hanging out with humans. And that is exactly what they do, with the greatest of ease. [This post got more than 1,600 comments on our Facebook Wall! Check it out]

They can be seen tanning on the beach and strolling on the side of a highway, but apparently their favorite past-time is to terrorize tourists, eat their packed beach lunches, and destroy campsites.

Don’t believe me? Listen to this story from a guy on Reddit: ‘I made the mistake of falling asleep with a bag of kettle corn at my side. Woke up to one horse breathing heavily directly into my face and another horse with most of its face dug into the popcorn bag next to me’.

These horses, or ponies to some, step into the spotlight and forget their naughty deeds once a year for the the annual Chincoteague Pony Swim. This swim has occurred every summer since 1925 and can gather up to 40,000 spectators. If you go, be prepared to wait for long hours with the crowds in the hot sun. During the brief threee minute event, the wild horses swim across the Assateague Channel when the tide is calm so that the young ponies are safe from any strong currents.

Planning a romantic getaway? The next Chincoteague Pony Swim will take place on 30 July, 2014.