Camping at Assateague Island

Imagine waking up and stepping out of your tent and viewing a beautiful sunrise right on the beach. The sounds of wild ponies and seagulls surround you, a nearby shuffling of a deer, and the smell of the ocean instead of the hustle and bustle that comes with staying in a resort or hotel at the beach.

Assateague Island is a beautiful National Park located just outside Ocean city Maryland stretching into Virginia. It is home to many wild ponies and deer roaming freely on the island. Assateague has many spectacular views and beautiful beaches, it is a perfect spot for a romantic, or family oriented camping vacation. If you still have a need to see the tourist areas, it is only a short drive to Ocean City Maryland.

There are many activities during the summer months including swimming (with a lifeguard present), surf fishing, crabbing, clamming, and canoeing just to name a few. There are also ranger-guided tours, walks, talks, and demonstrations. It does not get any closer than Assateague Island National Park.

Camping is only allowed on the Maryland side of Assateague Island. Campsites are located on the bay-side or on the ocean and are open all year round, with a few closing due to wildlife nesting, hunting and severe weather. You can choose to have a walk in site or a drive in site. There are also back-country camping sites for backpackers and people who want to paddle the island. All campsites have a grill, picnic table, drinking water, cold-water showers, and a chemical toilet, excluding back-country, having a fire pit and no drinking water. Pets are allowed with some restrictions. Your pet must remain, on no longer, than a 6-foot leash at all times. Pets are not allowed anywhere on a lifeguard beach, back-country sites, and on nature trails. The heat and hand sand can be harmful to your pet. As tempting as it may be please do not feed or try to pet any of the wild animals on the island. The wild ponies will bite and kick.

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On Assateague Island, there are two-ocean side and four bay-side back-country campsites, which require a $5.00 fee at a first come first serve basis. Group’s sites will accommodate 13-25 people with an unlimited amount of tents and vehicles, at $30.00 a night during peak season and $16.00 a night off-season. Family sites are more restricted with the max of six people for $20.00 a night, and are located on either bay or ocean side. You are only allowed to have two tents standing on the family sites. No fires are permitted on the Oceanside campsites. During peak season, April 15 -October 15, reservations are required and can be made on-line. Group reservations must be made all year round. During the off-season, sites are first come first serve and a lot of the activities are not available.

Looking for an unforgettable family vacation that will not bend your pocketbook, Assateague Island is a perfect choice. The camping sites are a fraction of the cost of staying in a hotel and you cannot get any closer than staying right on the sand at Assateague Island.