So this past weekend I went camping with friends at Assateague Island National Seashore in Berlin, Maryland. We had booked the campsites months ago because we knew they filled up fast. You can camp at the State Park or the National Seashore. My friend Cindy had mentioned her and some of her college friends (and their friends) had booked 3 campsites on the bay. Cheryl and I decided camping at the beach with wild horses sounded awesome! We booked a campsite next to theirs and invited a few of our college friends to come with us. You can have 6 people, 2 tents and 2 cars at each campsite.
Cheryl and I worked from home on Friday so that we could leave as soon as we were done with work. We had A LOT of stuff so luckily it was just the two of us in the car. My parents camped a lot when they were younger and their stuff is still in great condition so we brought it along with us. We hit a lot of traffic on the NJ Turnpike (construction is close to done though) and when we got into Deleware.
Assateague Island is actually located in 2 states. You can only camp on the Maryland side, but you can go to the beach on the Virginia side if you want. My GPS originally had me going to the Virginia side, but luckily we figured it out before we went off course. We got to the Verrrazano Bridge (no, not the NY one) around 6pm. We paid at the toll booth ($15 for a 7 day pass) then checked in at the ranger station for our campsite. Now you can also camp in 2 different areas, the bay and the ocean. We booked next to where our friends had already booked in the bay, but in the future I would definitely love to camp right on the beach!
We saw horses as soon as we got to our campsite and all along the road coming in. They pretty much just wander around, but there are signs everywhere not to get close because they will kick/bite.
We set up our tent and our dining net over the picnic table. That took a little longer than expected because I never set it up over something before. After that we all moved over to our friend’s campsite because they were the most secluded and we didn’t want to annoy the people around us. The campsites are very close together. They built a bonfire and we had burgers for dinner. Our other friends got there a little after we were done eating so we helped them unload and set up. At this point it was around 8 and getting dark. We had beers and made smokes by the campfire. It was a lot of fun. Cheryl brought her bluetooth radio so we listened to music too.
One of the guys, Ryan, decided to make us all shots. I really have not been able to handle shots the past few years so I sipped at it for a little, but then passed it off to my friend’s boyfriend to finish.
We had all read online (and saw signs) about quiet hours from 10pm-9am. Once 10pm rolled around we decided to pack up some coolers and walk over to the bay area on the end of the campground. There were no campsites down there so we figured we might be fine. No one bothered us! We had music playing, a dance party in the water, beers and a campfire.
It was a blast. We stayed down there until around 12 or 1 and then headed back to get some rest. Everyone staying with us on our campsite decided to stay up for a little. We played Cards Against Humanity. I got exhausted around 1am and headed to bed. They stayed up until about 3am. Luckily when I have been drinking and I am tired I sleep like a rock so I didn’t hear anyone come into the tent.
The next morning Cheryl and I had planned to go for a run. The bridge to the island had a cool running/biking path and all the roads had a path as well. I was very hungover when I got up around 7:30am. My feet also felt very swollen. I think I was dehydrated so I had a lot of water. I woke Cheryl up around 8am and we had coffee and half a bagel. We headed out to run around 9:15am. I had originally thought the route was 3 miles to the bridge and 3 miles back. It was actually 4 miles each way so we decided to make that our long run of the weekend. We saw only a few horses around the bridge area and a few other people out biking and running.
The middle of the bridge had a really pretty view. It was not super sunny out, but it was pretty hot. We got tired toward the end and started run/walking. Once we got back everyone was cooking breakfast so I had some eggs and bacon. Next was a part of the weekend I had been dreading. The campsites have places for fires, a picnic table, a pot bathroom and cold water showers. Now when I say cold I mean COLD. It was slightly ok since I was still hot from my run, but I am not a fan of cold showers. I had to tough it out though. Then I got ready to head to the beach!
The weather the day before when we were driving there was gorgeous! Blue skies and warm. Of course the next day the sky was full of clouds all day, but at least it was still warm out. I did some tanning, but mostly drank and hung out with everyone on the beach. Cheryl and Matt dominated in cornhole and Cheryl even got to use her hammock on the beach.
I had brought some chips with me to the beach so our lunch was really just that and beer. Most people headed back around 2 or 3 to eat. We stayed longer and headed back around 4. When we got back we realized we were out of beer so a few people went to replenish supplies. I took a COLD shower again and we moved back over to our campfire circle. Maya and Ryan who’s campsite it was had to leave that night, but we stayed there since it was still the farthest from other people.
We built another bonfire and started cooking burgers and hot dogs. As we were cooking the sky opened up and it started to rain. We scrambled to get everything inside a car or our dining next to keep it dry. After about 15 minutes the clouds rolled off and we headed back to the bonfire. As it got darker I wanted s’mores. I had seen on Pinterest people making s’mores with Reece’s peanut butter cups instead of just chocolate. SOO GOOD! I had 3! Definitely something to try if you are making s’mores and love peanut butter.
A lot of people were tired the second night since we were up so late the night before. A few of us headed back to the bay when quiet hours started. We just hung out and talked and listened to Disney Pandora. It was fun, but then it started to drizzle again so we packed up and headed back.
Sleeping that night was a lot more difficult. I hadn’t really had a lot to drink and even though I was tired the rain kept waking me up. I got some sleep, but I was pretty tired the next morning.
I got up around 8am again (I can’t sleep in) and started cleaning up. The trunk of the car was a mess so I unloaded everything so we could pack it up nicely again.
I shared a tent with my sister and my friend Lauren. Lauren had wanted to bring her air mattress. I was against it because I didn’t think we could all fit on it, but we did and it was really comfortable! I did still sleep in my sleeping bag and if I had wanted there was space next to the air mattress for another sleeping bag.
After we packed up we were originally going to go to the beach, but it was still cloudy and rainy. We decided instead to head over to Ocean City and walk on the boardwalk and get lunch. The boardwalk was nice. I had never been there before. It started to rain as we were walking, but I had grabbed my umbrella. We found this awesome car though!
We walked back and forth and decided to get lunch around 12 so we could start driving home at a decent time. We decided on The Dough Roller. I don’t eat pizza that often, but when I do it’s always something different. I am not a plain pizza kind of girl. I need stuff on it. Cheryl and I decided on BBQ Chicken pizza with red onions. Cindy split the pie with us and it was delicious!
Camping was a lot of fun. We had read a lot of reviews since no one had been there before. It said the bay side was very buggy (mosquitos), but I must say I didn’t get bit at all! We used a lot of Deet and had a citronella candle and mosquito sticks, but not sure if all that was even necessary. We also head they were very strict about quiet hours. The first night we went to the bay, but we were talking and stuff when we got back at 1am and no one bothered us. It was less crowded on Friday too. Saturday we left again for the bay at 10, but when we came back I head a lot of other campsites being loud and no one really bothered them.
I would definitely go back and camp on the beach. Listening to the waves roll in and waking up right on the beach in the morning sounds amazing. I would also get a group campsite. You can have unlimited people and cars and it would make it easier with the larger sized group that we had.
Have you ever been to Assateague Island? Anything else I didn’t experience I should try if we go again?