Travel reviews by
Assateague State Park
Based on 207 traveler reviews
Sunbather & Mosquito Paradise
Jul 24, 2014 by: JerryLynn M from Hooversville, Pennsylvania
Assateague State Park has been a family favorite for 3 generations in our family. We love everything about the island! First of all, there is nothing there, but sand, beach, animals and bugs! It is a great place to park your rig. You need to make your own fun. If you cannot do that, then a trip there could prove to be miserable. The island horses are such an attraction to the crowds. Great pictures can be taken if you are safe. Be careful: they will kick, bite and get into your food containers. We have seen firsthand that the horses chew through tents and put their heads into open car windows and truck beds. They are beautiful creatures, though! Be prepared for the mosquitoes and horseflies. Bug spray is a must. With that said and out of the way, there is so much to do and see. Fun starts with kids' toys- sand shovels and pails, kites, chalk, boogie boards, volleyball... Bicycles are a plus. The campground is huge and walking can prove to be tiresome. (Bicycles can outrun mosquitoes:) They have a great bike path! We have biked over to the mainland for supplies and eats in the past. They also have a concession stand near the public beach for snacks for the kids and supplies for the camp site. Be sure to stop at the Visitor's Center. It is a very nice and kid-friendly facility. I believe they offer the Junior Ranger Program- kids can earn a badge by performing certain tasks during your stay. The Nature Center in the camp itself is very educational. There is a playground right by there as well. If your visit at Assateague is lengthy, consider going off the island. Ocean City is right up the road. Take the time to do look for things to see and do before you go- mini golf, museums, the Boardwalk, boat chartering- lots of things to see and do. The NASA Wallops Center is about an hour south, as well as Chincoteague Island, Assateague Lighthouse. Salisbury, MD has a zoo and that is about 1 hour west. As far as fun in the campground, we took a flashlight to the beach at night. I was amazed to see how many ghost crabs are wandering about. My husband loves to walk the beach, so he would get up before sunrise and checkout the beach for shells, driftwood and seaglass. And the sunrises... breathtaking. Sunsets are pretty nice, too. Take the time to hike up the beach. We hiked to the inlet across from Ocean City. If you do this, lather on the sunscreen, water and snacks. One year we discovered a whale's skull, another year it was nude sunbathers. (This is illegal, so watch out for that- try to explain that to your children-yikes!) The campground itself is clean. The sites are spacious and there is room between sites for some privacy. The bathhouses are clean, but 4 showers for a camp loop can be tiresome. One loop has electric (H Loop), but it is booked solid most of the time. It is a fantastic place to visit for a camping vacation. We hope to get back there for many years to come!
Love it! But come prepared for the horses...
Jul 16, 2014 by: KMT419 from Salisbury
We live locally but camp here once a year. Great beach and bike riding...can kayak on the bayside of the island too. I know everyone comes to see the horses but please listen to all the signs. In fifteen we have yet to have a visit where a horse didn't tear up a beach chair or someones screen tent because food was left out. They are just like bears in the mountains, they have become very skilled at getting food. Oh yeah and the various herds will fight each other so make sure to stay aware. They are wild animals! Otherwise enjoy the visit and try for a week day. Much less packed.
Camping on Assateague
Jul 13, 2014 by: RSD9653 from Altoona, Pennsylvania
We just got home from our week long camping trip and I can't wait until we can do it all again. One of the nicest campgrounds we've stayed in. The beach is close enough, you just walk over the dune crossing and there you are. Falling asleep to to the sound of the waves, the ponies visiting your site. You do need to be respectful and make sure all food and trash is secure. We had neighbors find that out the hard way.You can not bring firewood from out of the area, but plenty of people around sell it. If you are will to drive just a little, go up MD 611, turn left onto MD 376 about 3 or 4 miles up the road there's a guy who has stacks of dry wood from small buckets for about $2 up to large stacks for about $20. You can be into Ocean City in about 15 minutes if the traffic is good. This just may become an annual trip from now on.
Great beach and beautiful park
Jul 06, 2014 by: TMJC11 from Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
We wanted something a little more quiet than the OC beach so we headed over to Assateague to see the horses and stroll the beach. We loved looking at all the areas inside the park and strolling the beach. Very clean and well maintained. It was great that you can pay 1 price and access the area for a full week
Loop I Campsite and Ponies!
Jul 03, 2014 by: Alicia P from Bowie, Maryland
My husband and I camped at Assateague State Park July 2nd. We loved it! I thought it would be super hot; It was around 90 degrees, but we could barely feel the heat because of the amazing ocean winds. Be sure to bring sunblock for that matter. We initially were going to to go to the national park, but we heard about the better bathhouses at the state park so we changed our reservation. We are glad we did! We had our best camping experience at Assateague island and will be making it a family tradition. The grounds were well kept, and Loop I, I'd have to say, is the best. Right over the sand dune was the beach, which is private for campers. It was like Ocean City, except without the boardwalk and all the businesses. Quiet and quaint! I loved going to sleep and waking up to the sound of the ocean right outside my tent. Each campsite comes with a fire ring and picnic table, so unfortunately, no fires directly on the beach allowed. There's a concrete pad for your camper or car which we liked. So no hiking all of your gear a long way to your tent, unlike at the national park. Yes, there are ponies; though it's not guaranteed that you'll see any. It's the wild, not a zoo. But you are likely to see a few. Coming right off the bridge we saw ponies crossing the street in front of our car. Do not pet or feed the ponies! They are wild animals and it's not a petting zoo. Respect them and they will respect you. In addition to ponies, we saw sika deer in our campsite, jack rabbits, and ghost crabs on the beach. Assateague is definitely the place to come to see wildlife. The rangers were very nice, contrary to some of the reviews we read before. They even let us check in early (12noon), which is uncommon. Check in is at 2pm. They have a camp store that sells food and souvenirs which was nice, and of course the visitor's center before crossing the bridge. Definitely stop there before going over the bridge to learn more about the island. Ok, for the cons. The only thing we didn't really like is how close the campsites were to each other. I wanted a little more privacy, but because there are no trees, you really can't get that. We quickly got used to the area and were surprised at how generally quiet and respectful campers were of each other. It made up for the too-close campsites (and the fact that the beach was right next to us!) The bathrooms were okay, I mean this is camping so don't look for a five star bathhouse. But they do have hot water showers and it is a fairly large bathhouse that wasn't crowded. Before arriving, I was overly concerned about bugs; however neither my husband nor I got one mosquito bite or were bit by biting flies. I think this is largely due to the wind from the ocean coming inland. I heard that camping on the bay side brings more bugs. I did use 100% deet mosquito repellant, but my husband didn't use any and he still didn't get bit. The wind at night was crazy! Bring extra long tent stakes! Overall, it was an awesome experience. Book early because sites go quickly. We can't wait to go back!
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