I recently vacationed in Ocean City, Maryland and as part of that trip, I decided to check out the Assateague Island National Wildlife Preserve.

For those of you who want more from their vacation to the beaches of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, than just a good sun tan, Assateague Island is a good bet for the whole family. Not only is Assateague Island one of the most beautiful natural wildlife preserves in the country, it is also one of the most unique.

Wild horses (the locals call them ponies) inhabit Assateague Island.  These horses have called this barrier island home for hundreds of years.  Currently there are about 300 of these ponies on Assateague and they are split up in herds.  For example, the Maryland and Virginia sides of Assateague have their own herds of these ponies and they are never allowed to cross-mingle.

I decided to take a boat tour of the waters surrounding Assateague Island, which was guided by three locals.  They pointed out all of the different wildlife and told stories of themselves growing up in the area.  I also rented a kayak to explore the shoreline and even got up close and personal with a few curious Assateague Island ponies.  The tour and kayak rentals were very modestly priced and a great way to get to know the area.

It was a relaxing, educational, and rewarding way to spend the day and it was certainly a nice change of pace from the busy beaches.  For someone like me, who loves nature and wildlife, it was certainly worth the short drive down the coast.  There is so much to do on the island, from camping, guided tours, and a lot to do to keep the kids happy, and maybe teach them a thing or two as well.

For more information on Assateague Island you can check out the Assateague Island National Seashore website.