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The white sand beaches of this windswept barrier island are a major reason for visitors to flock to this beach. This 37-mile-long paradise straddles the Maryland-Virginia border and derives its name from the Native American word that translates to” A Running Stream Between.” The island is perhaps most famous for the wild horses that continue to roam the beaches since the late 17th century. The horses are descendants of domesticated horses brought to the island that reverted to a wild state. Park personnel warn visitors not to pet or feed the horses because they are wild and can bite and kick.

The island consists of 2 parks: Assateague Island National Seashore and Assateague State Park. Assateague State Park is Maryland’s only ocean park and was selected by National Geographic Travel magazine in 1994 as one of the 10 best state parks in the United States. Assateague National Seashore was voted Top 10 National Seashores and Lakeshores by Coastal Living Magazine. Before exploring Assateague, please take time to get to know the island by visiting the Barrier Island Visitor Center just west of the Verrazano Bridge.