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Assateague and Chincoteague

We knew we wanted to go camping along the national seashore and be able to see wild horses and ponies.  So we set off trying to find out where can you camp with the horses along the beach.  We found two options.  The Assateague National Seashore offers camping as does the Maryland State Park Service.  We managed to find two nights in a row at the state park so that’s what we booked.  We were very excited to be able to camp here.  You do need to book up well in advance and keep looking even if you don’t find anything.

Camping with wild horses and ponies means you can't leave a lot sitting around your campsite that they can get into.

Camping with wild horses and ponies means you can’t leave a lot sitting around your campsite that they can get into.

We managed to find two nights in a row a few months before arriving in summer and booked online at the Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources and it was very easy.  However, be warned that not all sites have electric – even for RVs.  We didn’t realize this and when we checked in were told the rules of running a generator.

As night falls, the horses will still be active.  This one went directly through our camp site.

As night falls, the horses will still be active. This one went directly through our camp site.

We spend the first night with no electricity or running water – good thing we were in a self-contained motorhome but they managed to get us a site with electric the next night.  We like our air conditioning too much!  On the non-electric sites you can’t run your generator past 10PM.  It was breezy but it isn’t for everyone.  And the campground staff in the office couldn’t have been any nicer or more accommodating.  They were wonderful.

Horses were common to see just about any time.

Horses were common to see just about any time.

The thrill of seeing wild ponies and horses walking through your campsite is incredible.  These beautiful animals will bed down for the night near your campsite if they want to and they will wander through your site also.

The beach is the other main attraction to camping at Assateauge and it is fantastic and right over the dunes from your campsite.

The beach is the other main attraction to camping at Assateauge and it is fantastic and right over the dunes from your campsite.

We didn’t stop in Chincoteague on the way up and many people have said it is a great experience seeing the horses go between the islands so that might be a great time to include both.

The camp store also has a cafe with picnic tables right on the water (well, with dunes between you and the water).

The camp store also has a cafe with picnic tables right on the water (well, with dunes between you and the water).

But if that timing isn’t right, you really owe it to yourself to book a few nights at Assateague Island – either through the state park or national park.  The campground has a great cafe and camp store with picnic tables right on the water.  There is also a nature center for kids and of course the seashore.

Camp Store location at Assateague.

Camp Store location at Assateague.

At night it is quiet and peaceful and the stars are beautiful.  This is what camping is all about and it is a rare experience to be able to be this close to the ocean when camping.  Only the dunes separate you from the ocean.

Horses roaming freely with the campers at Assateague.

Horses roaming freely with the campers at Assateague.

RV Road Trip Note:

This is part of the series of blog posts on a fourteen day road trip from St. Petersburg, Florida to the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania with stops along the way north and south with no real planned itinerary.  We did this trip in our 30 foot class A motorhome in late July/early August with two bicycles strapped to the back.  This leg of the trip was from Virginia Beach to Assateague via a nice stop in Berlin, Maryland and a pleasant drive up US 113/13 through farmlands and wonderful produce stands to stop at.

 

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