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“Timing is Everything”

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Assateague Island National Seashore Campground
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 December 2013

Assateague opens its reservation system's 6 months in advance, but it's not down to the minutes. So I always set a calender alert for around 6 months prior to when I want to go and start checking everyday. Spots fill up fast. We enjoy the Spring and Fall. It may be too chilly to swim, but that isn't our thing anyway; you can still sit on the beach and the evening chill compliments the campfires nicely. The kids are also back in school. In the summer, it is filled with bugs and mosquitoes.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Aussiesig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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64 - 70 of 107 reviews

Reviewed 7 November 2013

A great campground on the beach, close to Ocean City, MD. Have camped here in the early and late summer in the oceanside campsites, love to stay here, great view, waking up to the ocean sunrise, and falling asleep to the sound of the waves. The only downside is the flies, but that is no fault of the national park. Once the sun goes down, you can relax with a campfire and look up at the stars. You can see wild horses, especially in the early morning hours. There are a variety of campsite options, from the sand, to the dunes, tucked within some shrubs, and then there are sites closer to the road that are more grass and some cement. The bathrooms consist of vault toilets but they are enclosed in a structure larger than an outhouse with lighting when it gets dark, there is also an outdoor shower. The campground is sold out almost every weekend and most weekdays during the summer, especially with the online reservation system, but the campground is not so crowded that you can't enjoy it. The first weekend in September had only a few campers, much different from the rest of the summer. The National Park also has some trails to walk along and explore, and they offer back country camping if you're willing to make the hike. Nothing beats pitching your tent on the soft sand, walking steps to the ocean, and staying on the beach the rest of the night with a warm fire and a sky full of stars, only to wake up to another day of sun and sand the next morning.

Room Tip: Oceanside campsites closest to the water
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank kelUSA13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2013

WE love to camp. If you take great food and beverages this can be a 5 star way to travel. the island has several sites for hike up the beach to truly rough it. Good placed for campers. Our favorite is the tent areas of which there are several areas, some away for RVs. Summer can be brutal in a tent but fall and spring it is the best beach camping we have every done. We have been coming here for almost 30 years. Bring bug spray. Great nature trails. They suffered some damage but are being redone by park staff and there are still several that are good. Horses are great but do not feed them, like the birds, if you do they will pester you for a long time. Horses will go in your tent or screen enclosure if you leave the door open, we found out the hard way. But since we learned to zip the door when we are not in them, we have had no problems. National park rangers are all great as long as you are not stupid. Ocean City MD is so closed you can have a great formal meal and shortly be on the beach sleeping under the stars. One problem we have had on other camping trips that you will not will have here is bears.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank jjbjWashingtonDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2013

State park nearby charges a bit more for camping and less secluded (but better suited for car homes). Beach is nice and horses are beautiful, but may be a bit annoying (one of the horses pushed my wife inside the tent).

Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
Thank 18maxima
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2013

I camped at the National Park for a few days last week, and had a pretty good time. The wind was blowing off the bay, and carrying a ton of flies onto the beach, and into the camp ground. They really runied the trip for me, but it's not the park's fault. When the wind is blowing off the ocean, it's great.

If you're planning on camping on Assateague, and aren't sure if you should stay in the National Park, or the Maryland State Park, my advise is go to for the National Park, but here are the pros and cons, so you can decide for yourself...

National Park:
Pros: Bigger park, bigger camp sites, nice beach, really nice bay beach too, 2 beautiful clamming/crabbing areas, more places to see the horses, less rules (alcohol is allowed, the dogs are allowed anywhere in th park, longer leashes ok, camp fires on beach ok), well maintained.
Cons: No hot water in the showers, no flushing toilets (all pit toilets, but well maintained), $15 fee per car to get into the park, even if you've already paid for camping (only have to pay the fee once)

Maryland State Park:
Pros: Nicer beach, longer quiet hours, bath houses with hot showers, and flushing toilets, nice playground for kids, no fee to enter the park.
Cons: Smaller camp sites, costs more per night than National park, a lot of rules (dogs are only allowed in very limited areas and have to be on short leashes, no alcohol allowed, no fires allowed on beach), no clamming/crabbing spots.

Room Tip: Try to get a spot close to the ocean. Loop 2, site 30 is a good one. The spots on either side are pr...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank Amanda K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2013

We were on the Bay side for just a night this week - campsite was lovely, nice view and private enough for our taste. The entire park is an absolute delight, we love all the nature especially the ponies and birds. Yes, this is a real campground, so basic outhouses and cold showers, yet the beauty and places to explore make it so worth it. We grilled dinner in the firepit and car camped in the Subaru for the night, we expected more bugs since we were looking out on a marsh, but it wasn't too bad. Nice walk at dawn the next morning and when we returned to our site there were seven ponies hanging around, so we got to watch them as we had our breakfast. Camp hosts are quite clear about the 11am departure, and we packed up early and went to the beach for the day. South beach was much less crowded, no concession or lifeguard though. Can't wait to return!

Room Tip: When reserving a spot, click on the pictures to take a look. The walk-ins on the beach can be a bit...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank HighMooring
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2013

This was the fifth time in nine years that I camped here for the weekend with friends. Despite the unbearable heat (2010) and swarms of Deet-resistant mosquitos (2006), camping at Assateague National Seashore always results in fond memories. Returning this year after a two-year hiatus, I noticed that the NPS Ranger station has now moved to a better building and the toilets and shower areas in the Oceanside group campground are now concrete buildings instead of wooden stalls. However, the most remarkable change I noticed this year is how much smarter the wild ponies are. On our first night of camping, we secured non-perishable food (chips, bagels, etc.) in lidded plastic boxes under the picnic tables. The perishable food was stored in varous coolers wedged under the picnic table benches. The following day, we found one of the plastic containers sitting angled between the bench and the tabletop, lid undone and chips gone. After some discussion on whether the culprit was horse or human, one of the ponies later demonstrated it was one of them when it poked its head under the table, in full view of humans, and began to pull at one of the lidded boxes. Lesson learned: keep lidded containers secured in the cars! The coolers tightly wedged beneath the picnic benches survived overnight forays by the horses, but you might just as well secure the coolers in the cars, too.

I don't know how long the group campground has had recycling bins (a welcome addition!), but I remember we used to have to drive our recyclables out to the campground entrance years before, as that was the only location for recycling. The ranger station also has information on guided kayaking tours and Saturday morning yoga on the beach. Sadly, after taking sunrise photos of the horses on the beach, I went back to my tent, slept in, and missed yoga.

Other tips I'd like to share: 1) Freeze some of your bottled water so you have cold water to enjoy over the weekend, 2) Buy firewood from the vendor farthest away from the campground entrance to get the most for your buck, 3) Bring sturdier beach umbrellas that can withstand strong seabreeze, 4) Canopies are great to have over the picnic tables, 5) Don't encourage the local wildlife (horses, deer, seagulls) with human food, 6) Douse campfires before leaving (you don't want anyone walking over hot coals in the dark of night/dawn)

Enjoy!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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5  Thank CCC_wanderlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Assateague Island National Seashore Campground

Address: 7206 National Seashore Ln, Berlin, MD 21811-2551
Region: United States > Maryland > Berlin
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Berlin
Number of rooms: 104
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Camping is available only in the Maryland district of Assateague Island. Campers are reminded to bring firewood, sunscreen, insect repellent, screen tents for shade and insect protection, and long tent stakes to anchor tents in the sand and wind. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Assateague Island National Seashore Campground Hotel Berlin

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