Assateague Island National Seashore | TOMS COVE VISITOR CENTER

Toms Cove Visitor Center

Toms Cove Visitor Center


The visitor center for the Virginia unit of Assateague Island National Seashore is called Toms Cove Visitor Center.

8586 Beach Road
Chincoteague, VA  23336


  • March-November: daily from 9 AM to 5 PM
  • December-February: Friday through Monday from 9 AM to 4 PM
  • Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas days

Times may change, so check the National Park Service’s official Operating Hours and Seasons web page for the latest schedule.


  • Ranger-staffed information desk where you can ask questions and pick up brochures on Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
  • Sign up for daily Ranger-led activities
  • Book and souvenir store
  • Touch-tank aquarium
  • Obtain backcountry camping and Over Sand Vehicle (OSV) permits
  • Restrooms
Book and souvenir store at Toms Cove Visitor Center

Book and souvenir store at Toms Cove Visitor Center


You can get backcountry camping and OSV permits at the Toms Cove Visitor Center. Camping is not allowed in the Virginia section of the park, but you can set out on a 13-mile hike to the closest backcountry campsite in Maryland. See the Camping web page for details. OSV permits allow you to drive on the beach. See the Beach Driving web page for details.


During the summer season the park offers Ranger-guided tours and other activities, including crabbing and clamming lessons, kayak tours, surf fishing, and educational talks. Activities vary from day to day and some cost money. A listing of the current activities can be found on the National Park Service’s Ranger Guided Programs web page for Assateague Island National Seashore. You can sign up for some activities at the Visitor Center.


Unlike the Assateague Island Visitor Center in Maryland, Toms Cove Visitor Center does not have much of an exhibit area, but it does have what is called a “Touch Tank.” This is an aquarium of marine life that you can actually pick up. The tank features horseshoe crabs and Whelk shells with the critters still in them. If you have kids, or are a curious adult, be sure to check out the tank.

Touch Tank at Toms Cove Visitor Center

Touch Tank at Toms Cove Visitor Center

Shell with critter inside

Shell with critter inside


Allow 15-30 minutes for your visit to the Toms Cove Visitor Center.

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Last updated on April 1, 2020
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