Assateague Island National Seashore#3 in Best Things To Do in Ocean City, MD
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.
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#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.
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