Assateague Island National Seashore is a beautiful park situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Sinepuxent Bay. It is split between Maryland and Virginia and is most famous for the wild ponies that roam free on the island.
Experience Assateague Island just for the day or try camping for a truly unique vacation that the whole family is sure to cherish. Enjoy quiet, unspoiled beaches and coastal bays without breaking the bank.
A band of wild Assateague ponies sleeping on the beach as the sun rises over the ocean. It's a real treat to witness a scene like this.
Assateague Island National Seashore is situated adjacent to Assateague State Park in Maryland (also known as the Sinepuxent district) and extends south into the Virginia district (Toms Cove), where the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge encompasses the remainder of the island. The National Seashore is owned and managed by the National Park Service.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service owns and manages most of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, with the National Park Service responsible for 448 acres. The National Park service works with the Fish and Wildlife Service to provide public services throughout the Virginia district of the island.
A map of Assateague Island National Park. Click for full view.
Beach camping alongside the famous wild Assateague ponies is a unique experience and we believe that it is the best way to enjoy the island. The beach is beautiful and quiet, the wildlife is abundant and there is so much to do!
Be warned, though…a couple of days is usually never enough! If you are like most people we have encountered, you will desperately want to extend your stay!
Camping is available in the Maryland district of the park only.
There is no camping allowed in the Virginia district. There are campgrounds and other lodging options available in Chincoteague; mere minutes from the park entrance.
Visit our camping page for more information.
A Note About Reservations
Don't rush into making a reservation without doing your homework! We've got all the information for you right here to ensure that you make best camping reservation for your needs.
After a few mornings like this, it's hard to go home.
If beach camping with wild ponies just isn't for you, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy Assateague Island National Seashore without sleeping over.
It's very common for visitors staying in Ocean City to make a day visit to the park. Hoping to catch a glimpse of the famous wild ponies, usually these folks spend most of the day on the beach with some crabbing thrown in for good measure. A stop at the Assateague Island Visitor Center rounds out the day.
If you have more than one day to explore the island, check out the following activities and add a few more to your to-do list!
Note that no pets are allowed in the Virginia district of Assateague Island; this includes inside a vehicle.
Check with the park directly for current rules and regulations.
From the National Park Service as of 02/01/2012
Sinepuxent District (Maryland) - Assateague Island Visitor Center
Phone: (410) 641-1441
Hours: Open all year 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas days.
Sinepuxent District (Maryland) - Ranger Station & Campground Office
Phone: (410) 641-3030
Hours: Open all year. Hours vary with the season.
Virginia District - Toms Cove Visitor Center
Phone: (757) 336-6577
Hours: Hours vary with the season.
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