If, during your visit to Ocean City, Maryland, you do not go the beach at least once, you are definitely in the minority, and you are definitely missing out. We have one of the cleanest, not to mention the longest, strips of pristine coastline of any beach resort on the Atlantic Ocean. I have lived here my whole life and I have been to the beach more times then I could count, but it never gets old to me, and I have managed never to lose the sense of gratitude
I have for getting to live in such a wonderful little city by the sea. Sometimes I go on short trips to the mountains, thinking that I am so sick of the boring flat coastal plains of Eastern Maryland. However, when I am off in the Shenandoah Valley or in the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee or North Carolina, or the high country of Maine’s great north woods, even in these places of extreme and breath-taking beauty I realize I could never abandon living by the sea. There is a great lure in its mystery and vastness, a sense of wonder for the secrets it holds. Even the tallest of the misty mountains of Appalachia, the most dazzling foliage of the great hardwood trees of the North, could never surpass the majesty of the wine-dark waves of the mighty Atlantic. In addition, some of the most beautiful coastline of that Ocean is right here in Ocean City, especially on Assateague National Seashore.
The beach in Ocean City spans the entire length of the resort, about nine miles, all the way from the inlet at the southern end of the resort, to the Delaware line at the northern end of town. From the inlet to 26th Street, the Boardwalk runs along the beach. This is a good place to hit the beach if you are going to be there all day; you can walk right up the boardwalk to get food and drink (make sure to stay hydrated!). Every one or two streets there will be a blue rental boxes at the entrance to the beach throughout the entire length of Ocean City. At these, you can rent umbrellas, beach chairs, tubes, rafts, boogie-boards and other beach stuff by the half-day, all day, multiple days or all week.
On most streets from Memorial Day to around the third week of September, lifeguards are posted on every street from 10am to 5:30pm. There surf in Ocean City is usually not at all rough; it is actually calm most of the time. The surf is perfect for kids who are learning to swim or would like to enjoy some boogie boarding without being pummeled by rough surf conditions. From what I have heard from local surfers, despite the small to medium sized waves, Ocean City is still a decent place to surf. From Memorial Day to Labor Day there are to designated surf beaches, one in the north and one in the south end of town, that rotate daily. You can ask the lifeguards or call K Coast Surf Shop at 410-524-8500 for the location of the surf beach as well as surf conditions for the day.
You can surf fish off the beach in Ocean City in the morning until 10am and in the evening after 530pm, as long as you are no within fifty feet of anyone in the water. The inshore water of Ocean City are full of flounder, sea bass, bluefish, rockfish, and trout that you can reel in right off the beach or off the big ocean pier at the inlet. There are plenty of bait and tackle shops in town, and if you aren’t content with fishing off the beach you should definitely book on off-shore fishing charter; the Atlantic waters off the coast of Ocean City offer some of the finest game fishing in America.
If you don’t like leaving the beach with you and all your stuff covered with sand, use a street with a beach entrance that has a hose to wash off before getting in your car or going to your room; some streets have them, some don’t. I always like to get in the pool after swimming in the Ocean; its refreshing somehow. Remember, always use sunscreen, even if you are already tan or think you have a high tolerance to sun light. It only takes a two or three hours to burn, but this is so easily avoidable, just put sunscreen on any exposed skin every 4 to 5 hours. I hope you learned something useful for your vacation, and I look forward to seeing you here in Ocean City!