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  1. #1
    vacamum
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    ocean city with children

    Hello,
    My family is going to O.C. in July. We have stayed on the Boardwalk in the past but we now need a suite for our growing family.
    We booked at the Castle in the Sand. Anyone have any thoughts about this hotel.
    We had first booked at the Days Inn on the Boardwalk, but found the reviews not that great and the staff at the hotel were not that helpful or friendly.
    Any help would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    JustBeachy`
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    We stayed at the Castle In the Sand a few years ago. The room was very nice and clean, the staff was very friendly and it had a great pool (and pool bar that made a great mudslide). The grounds were really cute and well kept. I have no complaints about it.

  3. #3
    Beth'sOC
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    My sister always stays at Castle in the Sand. She loves the fact that she can book a room right on the sand. We make a mini fenced in yard in the sand for the kids to play in so they dont get cramped up in the hotel room. Plus we love to walk down to the bar and fetch lunch when we get tired of cooking in the suite. Truly a great place to stay with kids, you wont be dissapointed. The staff is always pleasant and we've never had any problems staying there.

    They also have a kids tent where they plan crafts and activities. The pool is a great size with a shallow section and a high dive section. They have TONS of chairs to use so you wont have to fight for a lounger.

    I know the buffet downstairs may be tempting but its mediocre. You'll do better going out to eat or cooking in your suite.

    I hope you enjoy castle in the sand as much as we do!

  4. #4
    nlfissel nlfissel's Avatar
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    I have never stayed at the Castle in the Sand. However, we have been staying at a condo a few steps away from the hotel for the past 15+ years. From reviews on this forum, TripAdvisor, and casual conversations with people who have stayed there, the hotel should serve you well. I would say that they probably have one of the best reputations for quality in OC.

    We have patronized Coconut's, the outdoor beach bar & grill at the Castle many times and have always enjoyed the outside atmosphere. Food is good, but nothing special, we just like the atmosphere. The Castle's neighborhood is first rate and very family oriented. The Castle is the only hotel on the oceanside for many blocks up and down the coast from it. Everything else is condos. Therefore, the area is mostly made up of families and mature/responsible adults.

    I hope you have a great trip to OC!

  5. #5
    vacamum
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    Thanks

    Thank you all for the great reassurance with my decision to stay at the Castle. Now...how difficult was it to get to the boardwalk from the hotel. The staff told me about a bus...just concerned with getting on with 2 small children and a stoller!! Any suggestions?

  6. #6
    nlfissel nlfissel's Avatar
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    I believe the bus stops somewhere behind the hotel along Coastal Highway. I have never rode the bus nor do I have children (yet), so I am not sure how easy/difficult it would be to ride the bus with them. However, I would avoid the bus w/children after the sun goes down (from what I hear, it is often a wagon full of drunks!).

    Since the hotel is on 37th Street, you are 12 streets north of the end of the boardwalk, could walk this from the hotel (not too bad, about 12 blocks), but with children, could be too far. You can catch the boardwalk tram from the North end of the Boards (25th Street). Way too far to walk from 37th street to the south end of the boards where all the activities are.

    We always drive to the boardwalk area and park in one of the municipal parking lots in the inlet area. However, it can be difficult to find a spot after dinner sometimes. If you are going late afternoon/early evening there should be no problem.

  7. #7
    JustBeachy`
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    I don't recommend the bus. you may get a ride down to the boardwalk, but good luck getting a ride back. We took the bus one time from 33rd Street down to the inlet and ended up walking the whole way back because every bus on the way back was totally full. A lot of people love the bus and it is a great bargain, but to me, an inconvenience. I'd rather drive and look for a parking spot.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Z06RL's Avatar
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    I wouldn't reccommend the bus either. The street is so busy that it's almost dangerous with small children and there's not a lot of sidewalk space. We've never had any difficulty driving down to the boards at night. You might have to park a block or two off the boards, but perhaps the best thing would be to park in the inlet. Gee, I can't wait to go.

  9. #9
    vacamum
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    Thanks again

    Boy,
    I am so glad I joined this forum. You have all given me great info. I am not even going to attempt to take the bus to the boardwalk. I think you guys have really helped me avoid a nightmare with 13, 3 and 1 year old children and a double stroller on the bus....or trying to get on the bus
    So I will keep asking questions!!
    Any advise on the best boat tour to see the wild ponies or any other activities for a family with small children? Also which water park you might reccommend?
    Thank you again!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member OCGuy's Avatar
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    I've got 4 kids ages 5 to 13. We go every summer and have tried all of the amusement parks.

    Trimper's is best for a range of ages and if you get there in the afternoon they have an all you can ride wrist band good until around 6pm. Getting there at 3 and staying until 6 usually works good for my kids. Jolly Roger is solid second choice, but if you like water parks it has a great selection. Pier Rides has a fairly limited set of rides, mostly geared for older (10+) kids. We also go to the 65th Street Slide and Ride (I even went there as a kid!) every year and the kids love that - we usually do the 1 hour slide for them there. ey also have Bumper Boats, min golf (poor course though) and other fun stuff to do there.

    If you go to Assateague stop at the vistor center - they have tank where the kids can touch lots of sea life. Its a long walk for 1 1 year old, but about a mile north of the State park Bath house ther eis a large Whale bone in the dunes (actually in the flat beyond the ned of the dune line) - you will see it if you walk along the main beach.

    There is a great playground at Northside Park on127th Street and also a crabbing pier there.

    Driving to the boardwalk from the Castle in the Sand is not a problem (but there might be lots of traffic if you go around 7pm) and there is almost always parking at the Inlet parking lot.

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