Assateague Island National Seashore Hotels

Enjoy the Assateague Island National Seashore hotels. Located just 8 miles south of Ocean City, Maryland, Assateague Island National Seashore is a 37 mile long gem. Enjoy primitive camping on ocean and bay sides of island and nature trails and seasonal nature programs.

There are miles of beaches, bike paths, and and acres of undeveloped natural habitats, making it a wonderful place to spend a day or to vacation here. You'll see wild ponies wander the marshes, birds chase the waves , crabs unearthed by the water and brown pelicans on the water. Large schools of fish can be seen off shore and dolphins play just outside the breakers. You might even see a whale in the late summer. Camping of all types is available in the park.

In addition to camping, fishing, and beach-going, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy, well entertained and in awe during a visit. Continue reading our Assateague Island National Seashore Hotels guide to plan your vacation here. You can also visit all the best Virginia Beaches here.

Avoid the Crowds….and the Bugs!

If you plan to camp, make reservations. The crowds are not the biggest problem. Mosquitoes, biting flies, and ticks are abundant from April through September, and mosquitoes are especially a problem beginning at the end of July and following a heavy or steady rain. They're also much worse on the bay side of the island, so try to get an ocean-side site if you're camping in the national park. Your best bet for avoiding the bugs is to wait until it gets cold enough to kill them all off. The good news is that sea breezes from the Atlantic keep the mosquitoes pretty much off the beach itself, so near the surf is safe.

Assateague Island National Seashore Weather – When to Visit

Some 40,000 spectators crowd in here each July to watch the famed Chincoteague Wild Pony Swim. That's when the horses that inhabit part of this barrier island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia are rounded up for a 3-minute swim across the channel. Beach resorts in the area, including Ocean City, Md., attract thousands of visitors each summer. Rooms at the best hotels are expensive and can be hard to come by.

The best time to visit is during the spring (March – May). The area is part of the Atlantic flyway for migrating shorebirds, and everyone can enjoy the bird-watching. The roads, beaches and hiking trails through the woods and dunes are quiet and uncrowded. And best of all, you might snare a private viewing of the shaggy brown and white horses that make this place so famous.

Best Assateague Island National Seashore Beaches

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Assateague Island National Seashore – South Beach

This is a public swimming beach located within the Assateague Island National Seashore. It is well known for great summer surfing, kite-boarding, and amazing surf fishing. There is a kayak launch area at the end of Ferry Landing Road, and many educational walking trails on the bay side and in the dunes.

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Assateague Island National Seashore – Eastern Shore

Famous for its wild ponies, this pristine beach setting has been unchanged for centuries. It can be accessed from the Virginia side, just .25 miles from Chincoteague. These beautiful white sand beaches are perfect for camping, nature walks, bird watching or simply resting on the beach and watching the waves. Be sure to visit the iconic Assateague Lighthouse built in 1867.

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Chincoteague Island

One of the most gorgeous beaches found on the Atlantic Coast is the one at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. The white sands of this windswept barrier island are a major reason for visitors to flock to this area. For beach lovers, there are many miles of seashore to enjoy, including a recreational beach, wild beach and the Toms Cove Hook.

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Assateague State Park

Assateague State Park is two miles of ocean beaches offer swimming, beach combing, sunbathing, surfing and fishing. The bay side offers visitors the chance to explore secluded coves by canoe or kayak. The marsh areas have a variety of wildlife, including deer, waterfowl and feral horses.

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Life of the Marsh Nature Trail

Life of the Marsh Trail is a 0.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Berlin, Maryland that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, nature trips, and bird watching. It leads to a great beach area that you will find less crowded.

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Best Assateague Island National Seashore Area Tours & Activities

Kayak Tour around Chincoteague and Assateague Islands

This grand kayaking adventure will take you to the most remote areas of Assateague Island. Most days we encounter the wild Chincoteague ponies grazing along the marshlands, but always remember these are wild animals and some times you see them and some times you don't. We know all the best locations to view the ponies so we do get to see them 75% of the time. We will also get the chance for some great photo opportunities of the Assateague Lighthouse, one of the oldest running lighthouses in the country. We might even get to see a few of the unique and rare birds migrating through Assateague Island. Book your Chincoteague & Assateague Islands Kayak Tour here.

OC Bay Hopper- Lunch Cruise in Ocean City with Drinks

If you're looking for a truly unique lunch experience come hop onboard with us for our Lunch Cruise! On this 2 hour experience, we set up a table for you and your group onboard, pick up your lunch and drinks, then we cruise around the bay. Enjoy your meal and drinks from one of Ocean City's staple restaurant…on a boat! Book your OC Bay Hopper Cruise here.

Ice Cream Cruise Ocean City

Don't miss out on this iconic cruise that we have to offer! A classic family outing and a spectacular experience for all ages. They scoop an award winning, small batch, Maryland made ice cream onboard, known no other than Taharka Brothers Ice Cream. Come discover your favorite flavor on a boat! Is is Honey Graham? Is it Key Lime Pie? Is it Roasted Strawberry? Or maybe it's another one of our unique flavors! Book your Ice Cream Cruise Ocean City here.

Ocean Sailing on a Sail Catamaran from Ocean City

Join Captain Steve Butz and prepare yourself for a very different Ocean City attraction! You will depart heading out for an unforgettable sail on the Atlantic Ocean. Watch OC fade into the horizon as the crystal clear Atlantic Ocean waters surround the boat. The fun really begins when the diesel engines cut off and the boat moves along effortlessly under only the power of the wind. Yes, this trip is about sailing! Pods of dolphins, often playfully, swim right off the bow of the boat, making a once in a lifetime natural experience! If the wind allows, they will also include a short leg sailing along the OC coastline. Book your Ocean Sailing on a Sail Catamaran from Ocean City here.

Ocean City Sunset Cruise

This is a wonderful cruise to really capture how amazing mother nature is. When you're onboard with us, you don't have to worry about getting in front of the crowds to try and get your sunset picture, we bring your front and center. This will always be our most popular cruise, so don't wait to book! Book your Ocean City Sunset Cruise here.

Best Assateague Island National Seashore Area Restaurants

Assateague Crab House $11 – 30

The menu at Assateague Crab House is suited for almost everyone with many of the Delmarva region's most popular seafood dishes. Try their popular fried chicken, steaks, and St Louis style ribs. You can order a half dozen steamed crabs or one of their All-You-Can-Eat specials. Menu Telephone: 410-641-4330 Web: Assateague Crab House

The Crusty Crab $11 – 30

This place serves the best broiled crab cake ever.  The atmosphere is quite eclectic but the service and food is top notch.  Food is fabulous and prices are great! Telephone: 757-824-5437 Web: The Crusty Crab

Oaked 110 Whiskey & Wine Bar $11 – 30

Serving Lunch and Dinner with an array of menu items such as Shrimp & Crab Ceviche, Smoked Deviled Eggs and Shrimp & Grits to name a few. Relax on the patio listening to live, local entertainment. Menu Telephone: 443-234-5324 Web: Oaked 110 Whiskey & Wine Bar.

The Shark on the Harbor $11 – 30

Enjoy great food with healthy ingredients. They use organic produce from local farmers and seafood from the commercial fishing harbor. All food is natural with no preservatives or antibiotics. Fresh. Local. Organic. Taste the difference. Telephone: 410-213-0924 Web: The Shark on the Harbor

The Surfside Rooster $11 – 30

Serving sizzling breakfasts served with homemade biscuits, grits, and everything your mother used to make to mouth watering lunch and dinners full of famous fresh seafood like Chef Jeff's crab cake and their very own Southern fried chicken. Menu Telephone: Web: 443-664-8166 The Surfside Rooster

Best Assateague Island National Seashore Area Hotels

26 Comments

  1. Sergej

    Hello there,

    I find tour destinations so heartwarming. This article has just melted my heart with captivating tells about this fascinating Assateague Island National Seashore hotel. Can someone book in at this time of the year? I have traveled to so many places worldwide, and when I hear of natural habitats, I want to go so badly. The scenery has just amazed me through reading your article. It seems the most beautiful place to spend a vacation. I will share this article with friends and family. It has made it into my bucket list of must-see places.

    Thank you for sharing,

    Sergej. 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks so much Sergej, and I am glad you enjoyed your visit to my Assateague Island National Seashore Hotels guide.

      Reply
  2. Sunil Raviteja

    After reading this article, it’s hook our mind to visit this amazing Islands. With the detailed information I can easily plan to stay there and spend a best time with my partner like site seeing, swimming, surf fishing, sun bathing and beach combing etc. I’m sure a lot of people would like getting away to a place like this where they can relax and enjoy natures. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome.  Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations, and for taking the time to leave me comments.

      Reply
  3. Herman

    Greetings, and what an awesome-sounding spot. Wild ponies taking a dip should be really fabulous. The dawns on the waterfront side should likewise be marvelous to see. It is extraordinary to see that there are still a few places left on this planet where enormous wild creatures will appreciate the absolute most important pieces of land in the world alongside two or three huge vacationers. I have a specific connection to ponies on the seashore. Our little girl had her first ride on a pony when we went horseback riding in Iceland a couple of years prior. Assateague Island should be much hotter, however!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, hotter and beautiful!  I have always loved riding horses on the beach and do it every time I am in Mexico.  It is wonderful, especially along the beach.  Glad you enjoyed my Assateague Island National Seashore Hotels guide.

      Reply
  4. Alejandra

    Assateague Island National Seashore sounds like a great place to spend a couple of days after a long time at home, after reading your article, it looks like it has everything to spend a couple of days of complete relax, I like the idea of visiting a place with a nice beach to go for long walks, and thanks a lot for sharing great information to let us know where is the best time for a visit, as I don’t like mosquitos or ticks. 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You will enjoy the Assateague Island National Seashore 🙂  It is a great place for long beach walks.  Please let me know if you need any additional information.  Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  5. Bill

    I love beaches first off I have visited 2 beaches that are in Virginia Ocean view beach and Virginia beach. 

    I was in the Navy and I’ll bet this beach the  Assateague Island National Seashore has its problems do the jellyfish run in this area, like Ocen view beach during the spring you couldn’t get in the waters the Jellyfish is like solid, so we would go the Virginia beach it’s issue was crabs much better to deal with.

    Are you able to rent horses to ride up and down the beach’s are are they all wild.

    Thank You 

    Bill Wright    

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Most jellyfish you encounter at Assateague will not sting but some do, particularly those with color.  There is no horseback rentals on Assateague, you must take your own horse…which you can do.  It is worth just to see them though.  Thanks for taking the time Bill to leave me comments.

      Reply
  6. Norman

    Getting away to an island-like paradise or so where you can relax and enjoy nature is a great position to be in. What you are posting here is pretty amazing and I am sure that a lot of people will like to get away to a scene like this where they can enjoy nature. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Norman.  Glad you enjoyed and thank you for visiting my Assateague Island National Seashore Hotels guide.

      Reply
  7. Kwidzin

    I just stumbled upon your article here and i have to say, i found it very interesting indeed. I love reading stuff like this. Especially after the past year and half almost on lockdown with travel restrictions. It makes you feel like chucking your bag upon your back and heading on out there to walk around the world.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, it does.  My bags are ready to go!  I live here though, so thinking where my next beach adventure is going to be 🙂  Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  8. Andy

    Hi, and what a fantastic-sounding place. Wild horses taking a swim must be truly spectacular. The sunrises on the coastal side must also be fabulous to see. It is great to see that there are still some places left on this earth where large wild animals get to enjoy some of the most valuable bits of real estate on the planet along with a few tens of thousands of tourists. I have a particular attachment to horses on the beach. Our daughter had her first ride on a horse when we all went horseback riding in Iceland a few years ago. Assateague Island must be a lot warmer though! Best regards, Andy

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks Andy for your visit to beachtraveldestinations.com and for taking the time to leave comments.  I am sure your daughter would enjoy vacationing to Assateague Island National Seashore.

      Reply
  9. Mimie

    National Seashore – Eastern Shore captured my heart. I have never seen wild ponnies in real life and would love to visit this place with my family. I am positive that we will love this place.

    And the white sand looks beautiful. I can imagine myself taking pictures with my camera already. Thank you for sharing wonderful places. I will definitely share this with friends and family.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Mimie, and I do believe that you would love vacationing to Assateague Island National Seashore.  Thanks for taking the time to leave me comments.

      Reply
  10. Bernard Breytenbach

    Now this is a place I must visit sometime. I love being close to sea when on holiday. I have never heard of assateague island, but it sounds so amazing.

    Love the pictures of the horses and would be great to see them in real life at the beach. Especially when they race each other. Kayaking is also something I love to do. I hate mosquitoes as they love me too much. Thank you for warning of them and the great post!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Glad you enjoyed Bernard!  Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave me some comments.

      Reply
  11. Aly

    Wow, Assateague Island National Seashore is absolutely a beautiful place! I would love to see the wild ponies frolicking on the shore and basically living their best life. 🙂 

    Thanks for the tips on when to visit. I often like to avoid big crowds, but sometimes it can’t be avoided if you want to see something amazing. I’d really love to see those ponies swim… even if it’s with 40,000 other people. 

    Thank you so much for sharing this magical destination!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Aly, thanks for visiting beachtraveldestinations.com.

      Reply
  12. LineCowley

    I have never heard of Assateague Island, so thank you for introducing me to the gem. It sure looks amazing. The swimming race between the horses sounds very interesting and different. I would love to be there to watch the migrating birds, and a kayak trip will certainly be on the agenda.

    Great tip that if you are camping, to get a site on the ocean side, rather than the bay side, in the hope to have less mosquitoes and biting insects. 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Glad you enjoyed!  I lived in Alaska for 22 years and so I know all about those pesky mosquitoes!  I love my home, Florida.  But Assateague Island National Seashore is something to see and enjoy!

      Reply
  13. Ann

    I as many other tourists would love to see the “wild” horses on the beach. I have found out that the park has two herds. And a fence divides the Maryland and Virginia boundaries.

    Although called wild, Assateague’s horses are descendants of domesticated animals that have returned to the wild. But I would not get to close to them, just in case.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      No, I don’t believe getting up close and friendly is a good idea 🙂  But they are beautiful!  Thanks for your visit to my Assateague Island National Seashore Hotels guide.

      Reply

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