Watch wild ponies roam freely, relax on Atlantic beaches, and explore marshlands, forests, dunes, and more from the protected coastline of Assateague Island National Seashore. This 48,000-acre barrier island rests off the coasts of both Maryland and Virginia. The area is unique because it’s constantly being reshaped by steady winds and ocean waves altering the island’s landscape.
Camping at Assateague puts you near an abundance of outdoor activities, scenic ocean views, and one-of-a-kind wildlife viewing opportunities. RVers have several camping options in the area, including two National Park Service (NPS) RV campgrounds within the national seashore’s boundaries.
If you’re heading to this East Coast island in your rig, here are six campgrounds to consider for your visit.
Assateague Island National Seashore Campgrounds
1. Bayside Drive-in Campground
The two NPS campgrounds on Assateague Island are located in the seashore’s Maryland district. The Bayside Campground allows guests to immerse themselves in the island’s wild nature.
The campground features sites for dry camping, accommodating both RVs and tents. Each site is equipped with a fire ring and picnic table, and there are vault toilets and cold water shower facilities on-site. From March 15 through November 15, campers must make reservations for their stay. All days outside of this period are first come, first served. There’s a maximum stay limit of 14 days. Reservations can be made online at Recreation.gov.
2. Oceanside Drive-in Campground
Camp on the beach at the seashore’s other campground. Nestled within the dunes, the Oceanside Campground offers incredible views and wildlife viewing. What Oceanside lacks in amenities, it makes up for with its proximity to the beach.
Featuring asphalt RV pads, rig owners and tent campers alike can dry camp at this location. There are vault toilets and cold water shower facilities within the campground. Like the seashore’s Bayside campground, from March 15 through November 15, campers must make reservations for their stay. All days outside of this period are first come, first served. There’s a maximum stay limit of 14 days. Reservations can be made online at Recreation.gov.
Other Campgrounds Close to Assateague Island National Seashore
3. Assateague State Park Campground
On the northern end of the island, you’ll find Assateague State Park. This Maryland state park offers a pure beach camping experience for both tent campers and RVers. If you’re ready to get a little sand in your rig, then this is the campground for you.
With more than 300 campsites, the campground offers both dry camping and electric hookups (available in G Loop and I Loop). Most of these campsites can be reserved from the last week in April through the last weekend of October. Reservations can be made online. The campground has shower and restroom facilities, a dump station, and potable water. The campground is big rig and pet friendly (certain loops), and each site has a fire ring and picnic table.
The Chincoteague Ponies Make Their Annual Swim Across the Channel from Assateague Island
4. Sun Outdoors Chincoteague Bay
While this new upscale campground is on Chincoteague Island in Virginia, it’s less than a 5-mile drive to Assateague Island National Seashore. If you’re looking for modern amenities and resort-style camping and glamping near the national seashore, then this Sun Outdoors location has everything you need.
RVers can choose from more than 100 pet-friendly, full-hookup sites, some of which offer incredible waterfront views. You can also rent cottages and glamping accommodations if you’re not traveling with your rig. The resort features a swimming pool, a clubhouse, sports courts, shower and restroom facilities, and a laundry room. The campground opens at the beginning of June, and reservations can be made online.
5. Jellystone Park Chincoteague Island
Less than a mile from Assateague Island, this Jellystone Park is a great basecamp for families looking to explore the area. Campers will be near the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, the Assateague Lighthouse, the Swan Cove Trail, and Assateague Beach.
There are a variety of ways to stay at Jellystone Park, including partial- and full-hookup RV sites, cabins, glamping tents, primitive tent sites, and RV rental sites. The campground features amenities that kids and adults alike will enjoy, like a waterpark; an outdoor pool; bike, kayak, and paddleboard rentals; and more. Reservations can be made online.
6. Shad Landing Campground
Located within Pocomoke River State Park in Maryland, Shad Landing offers a getaway for campers looking to dodge the Assateague Island crowds. Located near the Pocomoke River and less than 30 miles from both the national seashore’s northern entrance and Chincoteague Island, campers can enjoy everything from fishing and kayaking to forested hiking and biking trails.
With more than 170 campsites, some of the campground loops offer electric hookups and are pet friendly, while most sites are for dry camping. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire ring with nearby shower and restroom facilities. There’s a dump state on-site and three of the loops are open year-round for camping. Reservations can be made online.