Come one, come all, to Ocean City, one of the country’s most universally appealing and family-oriented beach towns. From mini golf to championship golf, roller coaster rides to waters slides, and funnel cake to crab cake, fun takes over Ocean City every summer. So, book your Ocean City beach rental today and start planning your vacation. Do you have tips on how we can improve our Ocean City, Maryland vacation guide? Feel free to share your suggestions with us.
Ocean City’s 10-mile stretch of beach is open to the public and despite how crowded it gets in the summer, it’s squeaky clean. Sun worshipers flock to the Ocean City Beach in droves – on any given day, you’ll see folks body surfing, tanning, parasailing, and fishing. For some private time with nature, take the kayak into Ocean City’s surrounding bays. Or take a boat out to sea and reel in your lunch; after all, Ocean City is the “White Marlin Capital of the World.” So, try Ocean City surfing, fishing, or parasailing, or just stick to the shore and relax all day.
Of all Ocean City, Maryland attractions, the sun-kissed Ocean City Boardwalk is the standout. Three miles of souvenir shops, street vendors, restaurants, arcades, and theme parks make up the Boardwalk, which is the place to be in Ocean City. Whether you’re people watching or floating down a lazy river at the Splash Mountain Water Park, you’re probably having a good time on the Boardwalk.
Here’s a drill down of top Ocean City, Maryland attractions on the Boardwalk (which are mostly located at the Ocean City Pier).
- Jolly Roger Amusement Park – At the Jolly Roger, Ocean City, ride the Hurricane, Looping Roller Coaster, or a bumper car.
- Splash Mountain Water Park – If you dare to enter the Rain Forest, a giant tree house, watch out for all kinds of watery peril – your little one may shoot you with a water gun! For even more adventure, ride the water coaster Master Blaster or slide down the 45-foot Stealth Mark III. To relax, take a trip down the Lazy River.
- Speedworld – Start your engines… real-live race tracks, video games, go karts, and mini golf will certainly ignite your family’s competitive side.
- Lifesaving Station Museum – This Victorian building was the station of the “lifesavers,” brave individuals who rescued victims of shipwrecks. Now, it’s a museum paying tribute to Ocean City’s maritime history.
- Trimper Rides and Amusements – Take a spin on the antique carousel and take your pick of more than 100 rides!
- Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum – The weird and the bazaar are the norm here.
- Fun City – Are you a talented gamer? Then snap up a prize at this mega arcade.
- Buccaneer’s Booty and Game World Arcade – Haven’t gotten your fill of mini golf and video games yet? Well, Buccaneer’s has all of that and more, plus a pirate ship for the kiddos to play on.
More amusement can be found outside of the Boardwalk, like at Baja Amusements and Planet Maze and Laser Storm. They each have, you guessed it, an arcade and mini golf! (The latter also has laser tag, though.) Another great family find is Frontier Town, a unique western theme park with gun fights, pony rides, and more.
Like min golf, real golf is one of the top things to do in Ocean City, Maryland. This hasn’t always been the case, but with championship courses like Eagle’s Landing, Ocean City is quickly developing a reputation as a great golf destination.
So, Ocean City’s got amusement parks, golf courses, and the beach. What else does a tourist need? How about horses? Ocean Downs, featuring harness horse racing in the summer, and the Holly Ridge Farm, offering horse riding lessons and trail rides, are two excellent equestrian Ocean City attractions to consider for your itinerary. (Though, we’ve no doubt your itinerary's probably full by now.)
For the museum lovers out there, the town of Ocean City, Maryland has a lot to offer. The Art League of Ocean City displays the work of local artists, while the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art displays, well, wildfowl art. But not just any wildfowl art – the museum boasts the most comprehensive collection of this decoy-turned-artistic inspiration.
There’s also the Wheels of Yesterday Museum, which will keep classic car enthusiasts entertained for hours; the historic Victorian Costen House; Furnace Town, a 19th century village with nature trails and historic buildings; and the Mount Zion One Room School House, a restored school from the 1800s.
Ocean City hosts all kinds of regular summertime events downtown, at the Boardwalk, and at its local parks, so make sure to take a look at the city’s event calendar every morning! If you don’t, you might miss out on a free concert.
If you’re tired of doing and more interested in seeing, catch a comedy act at the Princess Royale Comedy Club, watch some local theater at the OC Jamboree, or catch a Delmarva Shoebirds baseball game! And finally, don't forget to take in a sunset or two. (If you're an early bird, you'll be happy to learn the sunrises aren't so bad either.)
When it comes to shopping and eating, it all starts at the Boardwalk, where you can buy everything from souvenirs to t-shirts to popcorn. But let’s take a look at the top Ocean City, Maryland bars, restaurants, and malls.
Ocean City Restaurants
- Liquid Assets – It may look like a liquor store on the outside… and in fact, it is… but it’s what’s on the inside – a restaurant – that counts here. The Liquid Assets restaurant is a favorite among locals and visitors lucky enough to stumble upon it.
- Crabcake Factory USA – Skip this one if you don't like crap cakes. If you love the seafood dish, though, you’ll leave this restaurant stuffed.
- Hobbit Restaurant – Nope, this isn’t Lord of the Rings themed dining, but it is a great place to eat gourmet American food. And we don’t blame you; you’ll get sick of the Boardwalk fare soon enough.
- Fager’s Island Bar – Dining doesn’t get much finer than this… unless you’re not a fan of seafood.
Other great choices for cuisine in Ocean City include the Marlin Moon Grille, Crab Alley, Dough Roller (pizza), and Nick’s Original House of Ribs.
Ocean City Bars and Nightclubs
- Seacrets, Jamaica USA – This massive bar and grill (which is mostly open-air) is a massively popular hangout spot; although you can eat here in the afternoon and early evening, it’s best to stick to drinks and dancing when nighttime comes.
- The Party Block – Three nightclubs rolled into one. Rush, Big Kahuna, and Paddock combine energies for this top Ocean City hotspot.
Ocean City Shopping
If you’re looking for a new outfit, head to the Ocean City Factory Outlets. Otherwise, check out the oil paintings, prints, and posters at the Ocean Gallery World Center and the dazzling collection of kites and toys at Kite Loft, Ocean City.
Here’s the thing about Ocean City – it only really comes alive in the summer, so there’s little reason to come during any other time of year. It might be a little crowded, but the best Ocean City attractions and events can only be experienced in the summertime. Favorite Ocean City festivals include the Maryland International Kite Exposition (April) and the OC Air Show (June).
However, there are some notable Ocean City festivals that make traveling to the city in the fall appealing. Wine Fest on the Beach and Furnace Town’s Celtic Festival are held in October.
Note – Ocean City Senior Week (late May to early June), a celebration of local high school graduates, is a big deal here, so you might want to plan your vacation outside this time frame!
The vast majority of Ocean City, Maryland attractions are seasonal, so check the opening and closing dates of your favorite ones before you book your Ocean City condo rental. Also, expect lots of snapshot-taking crowds in Ocean City. Summertime tourists make Ocean City Maryland’s second-largest city, just behind Baltimore. The good news? Many of Ocean City’s museums and are cheap (if not, free) to get into!
Bring your energy! The kids might even feel a tad overwhelmed by all the things to do in Ocean City, Maryland, so come prepared for a fulfilling, action-packed vacation. Additionally, you’ll want to pack comfortable walking shoes and clothes, and beach wear. Don't forget sunblock!
Ocean City is full of local tourism services that are dedicated to helping you have the time of your life, so take advantage of this. Child care, watercraft rentals, bait and tackle shops, gyms, and everything else you can imagine, are all within close proximity to your Ocean City vacation rental.
If you don’t live close enough to Ocean City to get to it by car, you can fly into the Baltimore Washington International Airport or the Philadelphia Interantional Airport. Once you get there, you’ll need a rental car or taxi to take you to Ocean City – expect about a 3-hour drive.
If you’re planning an Ocean City, Maryland family vacation, it’s crucial that you and the kids have plenty of space to really relax in! Where can you get all that room? Well, you won’t get in an Ocean City hotel. However, Ocean City condo rentals and vacation homes are plentiful and they’re located next to all your most anticipated attractions and activities. The best part is they’re cheaper than hotels.