Assateague Island National Seashore is my favorite place to visit in Maryland. The beaches are gorgeous and less crowded than the public beaches. There’s also 125 wild horses that roam the island, which is really unique and fun to experience.
There’s lots of options on the island, ranging from camping, hiking, or just spending the day at the beach. After visiting Assateague Island a couple times, here’s the answer to 5 questions you might have while planning your trip.
1. How do I reserve a campsite?
Camping is very popular at Assateague, so you need to reserve your spot 6 months in advance. Reservations are required March 15 through November 15. The summer months are the busiest, so even planning in advance might not secure your spot. I suggest trying for fall, spring, or winter, if you can’t book a spot during the busy summer months.
There are 148 campsites, including beach sites, tent sites, RV sites, and horse trailer sites. You can reserve your campsite here. Recreation.gov also has an app you can download to keep track of your reservation.
Assateague Island has a $25 entrance fee per car, but you can purchase an annual pass for $45. Active military members can enter the park for free.
Campsites cost $30 a night.
4. What are the camping rules?
You are not allowed to bring firewood from other states, but there are several places to buy it around Assateague Island. Just check the shops and gas stations on the way there. Don’t forget to bring your own lighter and fire starter!
The campsites have cold showers and chemical toilets, but you should bring your own water. My husband and I camped in April, and the showers were not in service, which makes sense because it was pretty chilly. Keep that in mind if you’re planning a camping trip in the off season. However, the showers were open when we went on a beach trip in July.
5. What about a beach day?
The beaches at Assateague are my favorite on the east coast. It’s such a beautiful place to put your toes in the sand. Even if you can’t reserve a campsite or only have time for a day trip, you have to check out the beaches here.
Even in the peak of summer, the beaches here are far less crowded than the public beaches, due to the entrance fee. It gives you the feeling that you’re on an exclusive beach, which is amazing.