Driving onto Assateague from the Maryland side on Route 611, the Assateague Island Visitor Center appears to the right of the road before you cross the Verrazzano Bridge. It’s worth a stop in before a camping trip or even just a day spent on the island, because even if your only plan is to lay on the beach all day, having just a basic knowledge of all the land and sea life that inhabit the state park will make your trip all the more fulfilling. Especially when you see one of the species you’ve just met in the Visitor Center out enjoying life in its natural habitat.
Aquariums, exhibits, maps of the park, informational brochures and a film about the island’s famous wild ponies can all be found in the Visitor Center, which all but functions as a local wildlife museum. There’s also a touch-tank, which recreates the region’s marine habitats and provides a kid-friendly ecological education tool. It’s a pretty cool concept for adults, too: Stick your hand in, pick up something slimy and learn something new! The photos below depict just a small sample of what you’ll find in the Assateague Island Visitor Center touch tank and out in the wild.
Kristin is a writer and photographer in Ocean City, Maryland, and is the content manager for OceanCity.com and other State Ventures, LLC sites. She loves getting reader-submitted stories and photos, so send her an email anytime. She also works part-time at the Art League of Ocean City and the Ocean City Film Festival and lives just off the peninsula with her dog and fiancé. Her photos can be found on Instagram @oc_kristin.