Relax in nature on this Virginia barrier island.

Wildlife on Assateague Island
Credit: © Kjell Sandved / Alamy

Set off the coast of the Maryland/Virginia border, this pristine island is home to amazing birdlife and still-wild horses. It’s a relaxed family destination, ideal for lazy picnics and canoe rides along brackish waterways.

Pony Express Nature Tours

Take a guided wildlife tour on a canopied boat to see the island’s famous wild ponies—and even dolphins and bald eagles.

Don's Seafood Restaurant

Attack your dinner with a crab mallet and an oyster knife.

Refuge Inn

Kids will thrill to the pool and playground at this verdant and rambling hotel with a laid-back atmosphere. Spacious suites with lofts and porches are a good value.

Sea Shell Café

Known for clam chowder and platters of fried Atlantic shrimp and Chincoteague oysters, this restaurant hits the spot after a long day of beachcombing.