Assateague Island sits along the eastern coast near the spot where Maryland and Virginia begin to touch. The National Park Service safeguards the 37-mile island's varied ecosystem, in which wild horses brought there by 17th-century colonists still trot freely near the salt marsh. In 2009, a trio of college pals made it their mission to introduce nature enthusiasts to this dynamic wilderness. After Tom Simon, Neil Nimrichter, and Dale Barber left The Ohio State University with degrees in Environmental Science and Adventure Recreation, the friends were drawn to Assateague's complexity and coastal beauty as a spot to begin their careers. Today, their company, SuperFun Eco Tours, leads customers on various kayaking explorations of the island's wonders, quenching theirs and their customers’ thirst for adventure by exploring the areas of the island accessible only by boat or human catapult.
Ocean Aviation buoys bystanders above the air currents of coastal Maryland, laying out a giant's-eye view of Ocean City and the surrounding area. A 30-minute tour takes wing from the Ocean City Airport, leading passengers on a northward sojourn over West Ocean City, Ocean Pines, the Isle of Wright, and numerous cloud topiaries. A quick bank to the east crosses the Route 90 bridges before a southern turn unveils the Ocean City skyline and boardwalk before powered sky kites glide above the shallows of the Atlantic Ocean and impressive estates on the South Point. The tour concludes with a pass over the town of Berlin, followed by a landing back at the airport. A maximum of three passengers on each tour ensures that the experience remains intimate, whether aeronauts choose to gaze out the window or focus eyes on the in-flight cartoon.
Ayers Creek softly ripples by the idyllic location where Steven and Suzy Taylor run their kayak and canoe center. Despite being situated near Ocean City, the watery spot is quiet except for the occasional stirring of a duck, heron, or standup paddleboard. Steven has been a neighbor to the animals in this stretch of coastal Maryland since childhood, and the couple now operates their business from their own bankside property. Both Suzy and Steven spent decades mastering the waters on their own before they began giving tours of the salt marshes and wetlands. Steven, an environmental consultant, often narrates on these tours, reliving his boyhood awe for visitors as groups encounter deer and fly-by cameos by bald eagles. Committed to preservation, the Taylors sprinkle guided adventures with educational factoids about the area's diverse ecology as paddlers conquer the headwaters.
Lightship Overfalls, a floating-lighthouse ship built in 1938, recently earned designation as a National Historic Landmark. During the last 11 years, the Overfalls Foundation has restored the once-ailing ship, repairing its now-cheerful red hull and completely reworking its electrical system to accommodate an underwater drive-in theater for dolphins. The Overfalls Foundation continues to maintain the ship with the aid of hardworking volunteers and member support. Membership grants holders a 10% discount off select items from the Overfalls Ship's Store, such as clothes, books, and collectibles, as well as exclusive access to email announcements about news, meetings, social gatherings, and other events hosted by the Overfalls Foundation. Trained ship guides lead complimentary tours above and below the decks, allowing guests to discuss the difficulties of life before Dramamine and explore a vessel that played an important role in maritime history. The Overfalls Foundation also welcomes volunteers to assist with ongoing ship maintenance, development, and social projects.
With fishing boats, charters, and dolphin- and whale-watching trips departing from dawn until dusk, the captains at Fisherman’s Wharf keep the docks buzzing with activity. This organized schedule of comings and goings can be attributed to the fact that three generations of the same family have been overseeing the fleet and learning the ropes for more than 70 years.
The blue waves foam, disturbed by something massive in the depths. Then, in a flurry of spray, a humpback whale breaks the surface, slapping the water with its gray and white fins. This exhilarating sight is frequently afforded to guests of Cape May Whale Watcher. Helmed by Captains Jeff Stewart Sr. and Jr. alongside Captains Miles, Jack, and Jim, the company’s fleet of two provides comfortable, fast-paced passage to some of the favorite haunts of marine mammals on the eastern seaboard. Knobble-jawed humpbacks and smooth-skinned finbacks are often found frolicking and playing in the teeming ecosystem of Delaware Bay and the surrounding ocean, and the Stewart family offers a guarantee that if no whales, dolphins, or porpoises are spotted, tourists receive a complimentary, never-expiring voucher for another venture. Besides their cetacean-spotting voyages, the vessels run historical lighthouse cruises and catered sunset tours.