Assateague State Park

​Assateague's Day-Use and Beach Areas

What’s in the day-use area?

The day-use area has a camp store/gift shop, concession stand and a bathhouse with warm showers. Lifeguards are on duty in the beach area from 10 am to 5 pm from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The day-use area is open from 7 am to sunset.

Frequently Asked Questions

Insects on Assateague Island

Proper Food Storage - Protect Your Food From Horses

Pony Express Gift Shop and GrillThe Pony Express Giftshop and Grill

Open seasonally, from mid-May through October. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Pony Express features homemade sandwiches and salads, delicious ice cream and fantastic daily specials. The Giftshop and Grill also offers snacks, cold drinks and souvenirs.

Check out the Pony Express Giftshop and Grill Menu.

Viewing the Assateague Horses Safely

During your visit to Assateague, you will most likely encounter at least a few of the island's most popular residents. Petting or feeding the wild horses may seem like a harmless and fun thing to do, but the consequences can be terrible. For your safety and the safety of the horses, please obey park regulations and do not approach, touch, or feed the Assateague horses.

Stay at least a "bus length" or 40 feet away, but remember that may still be too close depending on the circumstances. If horses approach you, back off and retreat to a safe distance. Do not take food to the beach unless in a cooler that is zippered or secured with a nylon strap. Even then, if horses approach your food, you must move away.

Assateague horses do bite, kick and can carry rabies. These horses are WILD, and they don't behave like domestic horses. Treat the horses with respect - move back and stay safe.

What's the difference between the National Park and State Park day-use areas?

  • The State Park day-use area offers a concession stand with restaurant and gift shop, bathhouse with warm showers and flush toilets, and life-guarded beaches (10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Memorial Day to Labor Day).
  • The State Park day-use service charge is also good for use of the marina for clamming, crabbing, and fishing.
  • (Use of the boat ramp is covered by a service charge of $10.00 for Maryland residents and $12.00 for out-of-state residents.)
  • State Park day-use charges are $4.00 per person for Maryland residents and $6.00 per person for out-of-state visitors.
  • During the off season, the charge is $3.00 per vehicle for Maryland residents and $5.00 for out-of-state residents (cash or check only accepted at entrance station).
  • Golden Age Passholders, children in car seats, Active Duty Military and Veterans enter free of charge at all times. Annual Passes may be purchased for $75 for Maryland residents and $100 for out-of-state residents. All passes must be clearly displayed within vehicles.

National Park Day-use Areas

The National Park day-use areas include life-guarded beaches during the season at their “North Beach.” They also offer swimming at their “South Beach”, but there are no lifeguards there. Facilities include chemical toilets and cold showers. There are walking trails and sites for boat launch, clamming, crabbing, and fishing. National Park charges are $25.00 per carload per week.