Assateague Island is in Maryland’s coastline, south of Ocean City. The park is divided into the state park and the national park. The difference is the state park is closer to the bridge and the access road, has concessions, hot water showers, flushable toilets and charges per person. The national park is typically less crowded, you can bring alcohol, you can use grills, pets are allowed and also has weekly and yearly pass specials. I chose the national park, because I had a one year national parks pass, so I was able to enter for free instead of paying $25. My National Parks pass lasts a year and costs about $80 but I definitely used it’s worth at several parks. It cost me $30 a night to secure a campsite at Assateague and there’s a $10 fee each time I made modifications.
I’d recommend booking way in advance to secure your spot. Camping at the National Park, I wanted to secure a spot on the beach versus Bayside and those book up very quickly. Also, I wanted to ensure my camping site was close to the parking lot so loading and unloading gear wouldn’t be so tedious.
There’s so much to do at the parks, such as OSV (Over-Sand Vehicles), crabbing, fishing, kayaking/canoeing, beach bumming, wildlife viewing, seasonal bike renting. The wild horses are dangerous and the park rules should definitely be followed for both visitor safety and safety of the horses. There’s little cubbies under the picnic tables to store your food, because they do come to your tables for a taste. I know first hand as they nibbled on some ketchup we accidentally spilled.
Sunsets were amazing and best viewed on the bayside, oceanside was amazing for sunrises . There weren’t too many bugs when I visited as a tropical storm was on the way and the wind helped. Our bug zapper caught about 30 sand flies and a small handful of large flies. The outdoor showers were clean, the composting toilets weren’t for me so I used my camping pee bag and in the mornings drove to the Visitors Center for flushable toilets.
You can even visit with a day pass and use a tour guide to ensure you see wildlife and go sand duneing under the sunset. Tons of outfitters and even a place to rent tiny homes to stay at the park. Contact me via Instagram or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more planning assistance!