Assateague Island Beach

Assateague Island Beach
Assateague Island National Seashore preserves a barrier island along of the border of Virginia and Maryland. While many Eastern Seaboard islands have been turned over to developers, Assateague has managed to remain a pristine mix of sand dunes and ocean waves. If you’re looking for a place to relax and escape from the crowds and the everyday hustle and bustle, consider leaving the mainland en route to this amazing island.

South of Ocean City, Maryland, and north of Virginia Beach, the island is easy to find from the mainland. A small entry fee is charged to visit the Assateague National Seashore. It’s assessed per vehicle, so if you arrive by foot or bicycle, you can check out the park for free. A separate charge is assessed at the Virginia and the Maryland entrances. Visitor centers are located on both sides of the state line, and are good places to visit, see the exhibits, and get more information about the seashore.

For many vacationers, the biggest draw to the national seashore is the beach. A little quieter and off the beaten path than many Virginia beaches, this beach lies at the intersection of wide-open skies and sand. In the summertime, lifeguards are on duty at Assateague Island Beach Virginia. At this slice of beach, you’ll have the chance to go swimming and soak in the sun, maybe build a sandcastle, or read a good book.

The activities at the unguarded beaches along the Assateague Island National Seashore include many shoreline staples. Shell collecting is a popular pastime along these golden-sand beaches, as is surf fishing and crabbing. A few of the beaches also allow off-road vehicles as long as passes are purchased in advance. Visitors can also enjoy the scenery from the water when traveling by kayak or canoe.

Wildlife watching is another activity on and of the Assateague Virginia Beach Virginia. The island may best be known as the home of wild horses. These are technically feral horses, descendants of once-domesticated animals left on their own. There are two herds of horses—separated by a fence between Maryland and Virginia. Maryland’s horses are watched over by National Park Service rangers, while Virginia’s are a project of the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.

Several local tour companies can bring you up close to the horses and share this unique story of Assateague Island Beach Virginia. Those who have their own horses or have signed up for with a local outfitter can spend some time horseback riding along the national seashore. As long as riders stay in designated areas, they can experience Assateague Island Beach Virginia and Maryland from a whole new vantage point.

As a largely undeveloped island, you won’t find the same amenities or hotels as you would near Norfolk’s Ocean View Beach or Virginia Beach’s resort area. Camping is permitted in the seashore’s Maryland Unit, which can accommodate tent campers and RVs. If you’re looking for the hotels and restaurants, you’ll find plenty of choices in Ocean City, Maryland, and Chincoteauge, Virginia—the two closest mainland cities.

Top image: Bill Crabtree, Jr. / Virginia Tourism Corporation
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