Assateague Island, straddling the Maryland/Virginia border, is a place that should be included on every bucket list. I visited several times as a teenager with my parents and continued the tradition recently with my husband and daughter.
The island is 37 miles long; the northern part is located in Maryland, with the bottom third located in Virginia. You can visit the national park side for a $25 entrance fee. We stayed on the state side and camped. The island is famous for its wild horses that freely roam the beaches and campsites.
Camping cost us $30 per night. We arrived to discover that the ocean was a short walk from our campsite, and that the beach was clean and quiet. It was just like having our own private beach, and that experience did not change throughout our visit. After some time spent setting up and playing on the beach we drove to dinner where we passed a mother and a three-week-old colt.
When we returned to our site, we watched the sunset from the beach as well as the horses walking along it. That night, as we were sitting by the campfire, four adult horses and the three-week-old colt visited us. They lay down next to our fire; the baby was allowed to sleep. The group rested for about two hours. Once the baby woke up, they were off again to another campsite.
We ourselves woke early the next morning to search for seashells and watch the sunrise. We found sleeping horses on our walk down the beach and many horseshoe crabs. We were the only ones on the beach for over an hour.
We were only there for two days this time, but Assateague Island instantly became a must-visit for summer. In fact, we’ve already excitedly begun planning our excursion for next summer, which will be much longer. Wildlife, horses, the ocean, and beach fun await every island guest.