ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Assateague Island National Seashore: Barrier Island Visitor Center

Updated on June 18, 2014

Barrier Island Visitor Center

During a recent day trip to Assateague Island, I made a stop at the "new" visitor center. While the visitor center was completed some years ago, I had not yet taken time to stop and enjoy it. Since I had visited the previous building that housed the visitor center my assumption was there would not be anything new to see at the new building.

It is a good thing that I have no problem being able to admit when I am wrong. And I was wrong. The current Barrier Island Visitor Center in Maryland is great. Definitely worth the little bit of time it takes to pull in to the parking lot and go see what is inside (and outside). Next time I go to Assateague Island I will certainly stop again and enjoy the views, the exhibits, the deck, and the walk across the Verrazano bridge.

Image Credits: Unless otherwise noted, photographs are mine and have been taken during my travels. All rights reserved.

The New Visitor Center

New to me anyway

The original Assateague Island, Maryland visitor center was built in 1967, and was the center that I had visited years ago. I remembered it as a small building with some small exhibits and a gift shop. As I made my book purchases, I could see and hear the kind and engaging park rangers answering questions for the people headed into the park.

Since I felt very familiar with the island, at least with the things I do while at the Island, I hadn’t felt the need to stop at the visitor center again.

In October 2010, the new visitor center was opened. I continued to just drive past for years. I decided to stop during my first trip this year. Inside, The building is a pretty 10,000 square feet of space that houses exhibits, a gift shop, aquariums, auditorium, and park services (both the state park and National seashore park portions of Assateague).

The widow-walled bay side of the building is a great place to just look. I watched the distant water birds from that window for a bit. I wandered the center and watched the native fish in the aquariums. There was a short film presentation in the auditorium while I was meandering, but I chose not to stay and watch. Maybe next time. Instead, I headed outside.

Outside, there are clean and roomy restrooms (always a plus in my opinion), viewing decks, a fire pit with benches, and the waking path to the Verrazano bridge. I walked up to the top of the bridge and watched the fishing boats for a bit. Thoughts about future visits included bringing my book because that deck and rocking chairs are prime areas for sitting outside to read. And thoughts about the kayak I need to have so that I can launch from this area and explore the bay side of the island.

Visitor Center Photographs

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A pony exhibit with a life-sized model foal.Aquariums are among some of the exhibits.Who is really being watched?Entrance to the Barrier Island Visitor CenterRocking chairs on the observation deck.
A pony exhibit with a life-sized model foal.
A pony exhibit with a life-sized model foal.
Aquariums are among some of the exhibits.
Aquariums are among some of the exhibits.
Who is really being watched?
Who is really being watched?
Entrance to the Barrier Island Visitor Center
Entrance to the Barrier Island Visitor Center
Rocking chairs on the observation deck.
Rocking chairs on the observation deck.

Verrazano Bridge

The Verrazano in Maryland is the bridge that crosses the Sinepuxent Bay to connect the Maryland portion of Assateague Island to the mainland. Be careful not to confuse it with the Verrazon-Narrows bridge in New York. The bridges are similarly named because they were both named for Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazano.

The Verrazano bridge I’m referring to is located on Maryland Route 611. It is also a historical waymark at N 38 14.842 W 075 09.128 18S E 486688 N 4233272. It is a two span bridge that provides a span dedicated to walking and biking traffic. Parking is located on either side of 611. Many folks use this area to enter the area by foot, bike, or small boat like a kayak.

I am very glad that I walked the bridge during this most recent trip.

Verrazzano Bridge Photographs

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Does something look familiar?

If something about the approach to Assateague on Maryland Route 611 looks familiar, perhaps it's because you've seen the movie Runaway Bride. This popular 1999 movie starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere was filmed in Berlin, Maryland. This stretch of road and line of trees is easily recognizable.

My Visit to the Visitor Center - And other points of interest

This was just a small glimpse at the Assateague Visitor Center. I enjoyed my stop so much that I had to share with you. If you are ever in the area, I hope you take time to stop and enjoy some of the exhibits, or gifts, or just sit in the chairs and rock. I will also visit other points of interest in the area.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)