Ocean City, New Jersey Travel Guide

The close-nit community of Ocean City, New Jersey enjoys a sunny seaside existence in the summer. While its coastal locale makes it an inviting town year-round, good beach weather’s a must for a true Ocean City vacay; as the temperature goes up, so do travelers’ expectations - Ocean City’s been consistently hailed a top family beach destination. But let’s set the hyperboles aside for a second and really get to the bottom of what makes this place so special. In fact, if you’ve got insider tips for our free Ocean City travel guide, please share them. As soon as you decide to take the family to Ocean City, book your Ocean City NJ vacation home!

What to Do in Ocean City, New Jersey

Ocean City Family VacationOcean City, NJ rentals sit on a barrier island with fourteen beaches. Three of those beaches cater to surfers and the rest are reserved for less hazardous swimmers and sunbathers, making them super safe for kids.

If you want to take more than just a dip into the ocean, go on a deep sea fishing excursion. Charters like the Rainbow III and the North Star invite all varieties of tourists to reel something in. For the more accomplished anglers, there’s sport fishing, a favorite time killer for locals.  

The only attraction that genuinely rivals the Atlantic Ocean is the Boardwalk. The two-and-a-half-mile Ocean City Boardwalk hums with bikers, joggers, shoppers, and a general jumble of sightseers all day. The majority of the town’s tourist must-sees are conveniently confined to the Boardwalk.

Like Playland’s Castaway Cove, featuring roller coasters, bumper cars, and other kid-friendly amusements. And Congo Falls Adventure Golf, where families get competitive with surprisingly challenging 18-hole games of mini golf! Solo grownups can play a round at the Ocean City Golf Course on Bay Avenue.

But not everything’s so happy-go-lucky here. The Ghost Tour of Ocean City will add a dose of excitement to even the most leisure-filled beach trip, introducing you to the town’s darker side.

For extended stays, try to squeeze in a day trip to nearby Atlantic City, Philadelphia, or New York!

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What to See in Ocean City, NJ

While we don’t blame you for dozing off to the sound of waves on your private patio, or endlessly gazing out at the glittering ocean, we do suggest you get out there and see what’s up at the Ocean City Boardwalk from time to time. Because chances are, there’s something seriously entertaining going on. From the street magician to the passing pedestrian, there’s a lot to set your eyes on.

One particular sight worth stopping by is the Music Pier – a historic venue that hosts concerts throughout the year.

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Where to Shop and Eat in Ocean City, NJ

After you’re cooked yourself in the sun, it’ll be time to cook something else to eat. Beyond preparing a cheap meal in the kitchen of your Ocean City vacation rental, there are many family-friendly dining options in the area. Here are our picks for the top restaurants in Ocean City, New Jersey.

  • BreakfastTigerlilly Café – If you’re lucky, you just may enjoy some live music with dinner. It’s the breakfast menu, though, that’s responsible for this restaurant’s top-notch reputation. 
  • Mack & Manco Pizza – If you’ve got picky eaters in the family, head to this noncontroversial pizzeria.
  • White House Subs – Grab a fresh sandwich for lunch at this historic sub shop.
  • Ocean City Island Grill – Your little ones will have no trouble finding an appetizing entrée on the menu at this American diner.
  • Augie's Omelet House – Feel like an omelet? Then there’s a table with your name on it here. 
  • Bagels by the Beach – Like bagels? Like the beach? You'll probably like this.
  • Crab Trap Restaurant – What’s a trip to the coast without a seafood-focused meal or two?
  • Martino's Italian Restaurant – The spaghetti can’t be beat!
  • The Chatterbox – Start off your day with some steak and eggs or take a break mid-day with basket full of shrimp. This casual restaurant serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

With all the moolah our Ocean City New Jersey summer beach rentals will save you, you’ll have coin leftover for a little souvenir shopping.

  • Downtown Ocean City – A number of specialty shops, boutiques, and even art galleries stretch from 6th to 11th Street. Need something to read on the beach? Drop by the Bookateria Two.
  • The Ocean City Boardwalk – Whether you’re looking for a bathing suit or salt water taffy, you’ll find it here. Cool shops like the Bag Boutique and Shirt Shack are located here.

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When to Visit Ocean City, NJ

Besides booking one of our Ocean City NJ house rentals, what months or even days make for a great getaway? Fortunately, all kinds of parades and special events take over the Ocean City Boardwalk spring through early fall. So, no matter what specific date you visit, you’re bound to be thoroughly entertained. And thoroughly sunburned, too, if you don’t wear sun block.

Highlights include the Miss New Jersey Pageant in mid-June, the Antique Auto Show in late June, and variously themed nights in July and August. For example, every Thursday, it’s Family Film and Fun Night. As you might expect, Ocean City’s a great place to spend a spring or summer holiday, like the Fourth of July.

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What to Know About Ocean City

Ocean City NJ vacations are rated "PG." Alcohol isn’t sold here, bikers can’t go for a ride at night during the peak travel season, and surfers are restricted to certain parts of the coastline… all in an effort to keep the town as accommodating toward families as possible. After all, Ocean City used to be called “A Moral Seaside Resort.” And in practice, that nickname’s not out of date.

This is great news if you’re traveling with children, or you’re just looking for a beach vacation without rowdy revelers.

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What to Bring to Your Ocean City Rental

While your Ocean City beach house rental will come equipped with many of your wants and needs, it goes without saying that you’ll need plenty of sun block and summertime attire. Most of your activity will revolve around the beach and the Boardwalk, so dress comfortably and unpretentiously!

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Local Services in Ocean City

Maybe you’d like to see the sights on a bike, or maybe you’d like to go deep sea fishing. Ocean City tourism services are here to help! Bike rentals, fishing charters, pet sitters, and more, are all available for your use. And don’t forget – Ocean City’s a top resort destination for families, so expect tons of amenities and conveniences that have your kids in mind.

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Getting to Ocean City, New Jersey

Ocean City’s an easy drive from many Northeastern cities. If you’re flying in, your best bet is the Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

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Why Ocean City, NJ Vacation Rentals?

If you’re planning an Ocean City, New Jersey vacation, you’re probably traveling with a small or large group – in other words, your family. Why would you reserve a hotel room? Ocean City summer rentals are not only luxurious and spacious, but affordable. Be the hero of your trip by booking an Ocean City vacation house instead of a hotel room.

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