As our final stop in Delaware, we had the opportunity to stay at one of my favorite campgrounds so far this year. The Delaware Seashore State Park is broken into two sections, one on each side of the Indian River Inlet at Indian River Bay and Rehoboth Bay.
At first glance it doesn’t look like much, but it turned out to be pretty terrific. Since it was off season it was practically empty and we snagged a really great spot. Site 390 was close to the snack shop, but also had views of the inlet. It was far enough from the bridge that we didn’t get bothered by much road traffic and although we couldn’t hear the ocean it was a quick 10 minute walk to the beach.
Jack’s happy place is the ocean and I will say that when Jack is happy with a campground I usually am too. That is a new criteria for me since we traveled so long without a dog, but I love being in a place where Jack is having a good time. In season no dogs are allowed on the beach but since it was November he got to go almost every day. It was also close enough that I was able to walk over a couple times on my work days. Being in a place where I can take nice walks during my work day is another new criteria for me with campgrounds.
One morning I even woke up early and walked over to watch the sunrise. It was really beautiful with a small pod of dolphins swimming close to shore. It’s worth mentioning here that we got incredibly lucky with the weather. It was absolutely gorgeous for most of the week we stayed there and we were fully aware that the weather was unseasonably warm.
We did get a little rain, and yes, this campground does have some standing water when it rains, but thankfully it was beautiful again on my day off. We both wanted to see Assateague National Seashore, because we had been hearing about it since we were kids. There are two sections to the National Seashore and after researching I learned that only the Maryland half is dog friendly. They don’t allow dogs, even in your car, on the Virginia side, so unfortunately Jack had to stay home for the day. Since he was getting lots of beach time, I didn’t feel too guilty about it. One thing I did want to mention before talking about Assateague is how weird it was to cross three states that day. For those who live in larger states you might not know how different states can be, but as someone who lived in the southwest corner of New Hampshire we routinely crossed from NH to Vermont to Mass in a few hours. Although there were distinct differences in the states they were all still New England so in many respects there were similarities. Crossing from Delaware, to Maryland, to Virginia though showed HUGE differences. Keep in mind this was all the same coastal road, but where Delaware was mostly residential, Maryland was huge ocean front high rises. Maryland was also much “kitschier” with tons of mini golf, souvenir shops, and a packed commercial area. Then we arrived in Virginia and it changed again. The scenery became much more rural with more farmland along the route. The three states also have very different tax rules and regulations and the people were very different. This was all in a roughly 50 mile stretch of land and it was pretty weird.
We arrived at Assateague on the Maryland side and stopped at the State Park Visitor center. The State Park and the National Seashore are right next to each other, so you can visit one without the other. This may matter to you, because the National Seashore is a hefty $25 per car to enter. It was free for us with the America the Beautiful pass and ultimately I was glad I didn’t pay for it. I know, I know, people love this place but to be honest I thought it was pretty lame. Yes, tent camping on the beach might be kind of cool, but we only saw one or two horses while we were there, and none of them were cavorting in the water like in the pictures. Actually that makes sense, because horses eat a lot, and the grass is on the other side of the road away from the ocean. The coolest part of the day was when we were driving to the first location and passed a NASA installation and saw some AWACS planes doing touch and go down and ups and flying in circles. The planes had huge communication dishes on top of them and we got to see them pretty close up. Unfortunately the visitor center was closed due to Covid, but I did get a couple of pics.
Most of the horses were off in the distance and if you have a kayak you might want to bring it along. The beach was white and sandy and did allow dogs, but for us at least there wasn’t anything that special about it.
Since it was pretty cold, but beautifully sunny outside we decided to continue on the the Virginia side. This side does NOT allow dogs (even in your car) and costs $10 to enter. Unfortunately on this side all the horses were behind a fence pretty far away, but it did have a very cool lighthouse. The inside was closed due to COVID, but we enjoyed walking up and seeing it.
The best part of the secondhand trip was when we stopped in a souvenir shop. They were having a Three for $25 T Shirt sale and they could make anything we wanted. Lee got one and I got the other two including my new favorite shirt!!!
All in all the day was a bit of a bust but they can’t all be over the top winners. Lee gets more upset by that than I do because he wants my Saturdays to be special. I was happy enough that we got out and once again the sun was shining. Next up we take a short hop down the Eastern Shore and we will see what happens there.
For those who love the ocean, here’s a nice soothing video of the waves at sunrise.
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