Assateague Island National Seashore

#3 in Best Things To Do in Ocean City, MD
Assateague Island National Seashore picture1 of 3
Assateague Island National Seashore2 of 3
Moelyn Photos/Getty Images

Details

Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Recreation Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.6

scorecard

  • 4.5Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

If you tire of tourist-filled Ocean City, you may want to consider a daytrip to nearby Assateague Island National Seashore. This 37-mile-long island – which begins just south of the resort area and stretches on to Virginia – is famous for its herds of wild horses, which are said to have taken over the island after surviving a Spanish shipwreck several centuries ago. Beautiful views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Sinepuxent Bay make Assateague a popular hiking spot.

Many recent visitors said the park was a highlight of their trip and not to be missed, praising the beauty of the area, as well as the helpful rangers.

The easiest way to get to Assateague Island is to take the Ocean Gateway to the Stephen Decatur Highway, which leads south to the Verrazano Bridge (about a 10-mile drive). The park is open throughout the year, but hours vary depending on the season. Vehicle entrance to the park costs $20 for a seven-day pass. For more information, visit the National Park Service website. Keep in mind: The National Park Service manages the Maryland district, or Assateague Island National Seashore. Two miles of the Maryland district are managed by the state (this area is known as Assateague State Park). The Virginia district is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. If you want to visit multiple areas, you'll have to pay separate entrance fees.

See all Hotels in Ocean City, MD »

More Best Things To Do in Ocean City, MD

Ocean City Beach1 of 11
Ocean City Boardwalk2 of 11
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Ocean City Beach

When the summer rolls around, head to the Ocean City Beach for sun, sand and surf. Running along the entire 10-mile-long east coast of the island, the beach offers the perfect spot to spread your towel. If you're looking for a rowdier atmosphere, recent travelers recommend sticking to the southern end of Ocean City, where the neighboring boardwalk makes for great people-watching and seafront dining. For a quieter, family-friendly stretch of sand, head north past the boardwalk; although there are fewer amenities here, you won't have to deal with the hustle and bustle of passersby.

Recent visitors applauded the cleanliness of the beach and boardwalk and appreciated the family-friendly atmosphere of both. Perpetual crowds were a common gripe among reviewers. Travelers suggest visiting early in the morning or late afternoon if you don't want to share the sand with too many of your fellow vacationers. You can also save some cash by bringing your own equipment instead of forking over money to rent chairs or umbrellas.

Read more
Chris Parypa/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Ocean City, MD »

Explore More of Ocean City, MD

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The 50 Most Beautiful Places in the World

Let these gorgeous destinations inspire you to travel more.

Holly JohnsonJanuary 16, 2020

50 Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

From relaxing weekend getaways to epic adventures, these honeymoon trips will help couples create memories to last a lifetime.

Kyle McCarthyJanuary 8, 2020

The Cheapest Days to Fly: A Guide to the Best (and Worst) Times to Travel

Use these tips and tricks to get the best deal on your next flight.

Lyn MettlerDecember 23, 2019

30 Top Florida Weekend Getaways

Spend sun-filled days exploring Florida's beautiful beaches, cities, parks and small towns.

Gwen PratesiDecember 9, 2019

The Best Travel Backpacks for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel backpacks using recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerNovember 25, 2019

30 Top Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit at one of these relaxation-focused properties.

Kyle McCarthyNovember 21, 2019

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

Holly JohnsonNovember 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

Gwen PratesiNovember 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

Christine SmithNovember 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

Nicola WoodNovember 12, 2019