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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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