A Bucket List for the Beach
The History of Ocean City, Maryland
Ocean City, Maryland began as a fishing village with much potential. Issac Coffin saw this potential and began building a cottage in the area for guests in 1969. Many people would visit by stage coach and ferry to access the beach. The first hotel, The Atlantic Hotel, opened on July 4th, 1875, attracting visitors with beautiful views right by the sea. As Ocean City started to become a vacation destination, vacationers would travel from Berlin, Maryland by the Ocean City Railroad. The terminal would end at now Sunset Park, a beautiful place to watch the sun go down. Forming the land to what Ocean City is today, a major hurricane in 1933 destroyed the train tracks and shaped the inlet amidst the separation of Assateague Island.
Ocean City has been loved by all who visit and began to grow into a commercial and recreational fishing area based off of the inlet fishing port. There is a plethora of activities, water sports, dining, and not to mention the glistening waves against the shore. After the post-war boom and the construction of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Ocean City was ready to become one of the biggest vacation spots on the East Coast. Now, it has grown exponentially with high rises, incredible entertainment, and hundreds of rooming and shopping options. It’s hard to decide what to do during a stay in this exciting destination, especially during a first experience of the area.
Countless businesses in Ocean City have fantastic accommodations and friendly staff, but it is difficult to squeeze in every interesting activity in a short amount of time while exploring. With more time to discover hidden gems and knowing many connections on the shore, locals have insight on their personal must-do activities while visiting this resort town.
Ten Fun Things to Do in Ocean City, Maryland
1. Start the day off by watching the sunrise while biking the boards.
Before going over the Route 50 Bridge, stop by Pedego Ocean City to rent a bike for the day. Be sure to bring your camera for the picturesque view of the sun as it cascades above the Atlantic Ocean. As you listen to the rhythmic rumble of the planks below you, watch the sky project reds, oranges, pinks, and yellows onto your face. “The view on the Route 50 Bridge welcomes you to OC. It is especially beautiful at sunrise and sunset, and makes the ride enjoyable,” states local, Mary Mergott. You don’t want to miss this work of art.
2. Munch on some classic OC Boardwalk snacks.
No boardwalk can beat the delicious eats here in Ocean City. “One of my favorite things to do in Ocean City is walk the Boardwalk because of the various shops, arcades, and restaurants that never bore me,” proclaims local, Karsten St. Amant. Whether you want seafood at The Shrimp Boat, steamed crabs at Blu Crabhouse and Raw Bar, or a surfing atmosphere at the Longboard Café, you will not be disappointed by any of the options you will find. While you can get classics such as Thrasher’s fries, Fisher’s popcorn, or Fractured Prune donuts, also explore the many opportunities of entertainment at Seacret’s, Fager’s, or Shenanigan’s Irish Pub. There is always a new food to try and perfect beach lunches from Bad Monkey or Billy’s Sub Shop. To fully immerse yourself into the food culture here, go on an OC Foodie Tour to take a bite of these many delicious meals.
3. Have a blast at Jolly Roger Splash Mountain and Amusement Park.
Every kid’s dream will come true as you walk under the arch of Jolly Roger, a water wonderland! Take a slide down the Stealth waterslide, family slides, or racing slides for an exciting, fun time with your loved ones. Slow down the excitement with a relaxing trip down the Lazy River or in the Wave Pool. Perfect for all ages, there are attractions for the little ones to adults who want to have their inner child come out for the day! Jolly Roger Splash Mountain is planning on opening. However, be sure to check their website for Coronavirus updates and changes to the park.
4. Challenge your loved ones to games with mini golf and arcades.
Keep that competitive streak going by visiting a themed mini golf course like Jolly Roger Treasure Golf or Jungle Golf! Bayside Arcade will make any adrenaline rush continue as you race to get the highest score. Don’t forget to fuel yourself during all this excitement with the ice cream, snowballs, and popcorn they provide at the arcade. Bringing together the family after a day of games, work together in an escape room to create a bond that will make you never forget your trip at Ocean City.
5. Eat a crab cake while watching the boats come in at the harbor.
The Angler will give you a perfect opportunity to check off this activity, as they have a perfect view of the boats on the bay with their signature seafood menu items. Enjoy a classic Maryland crab cake you can’t get anywhere else while you observe the very talented fishermen that caught crabs fresh for your meal.
6. Take day trips to Assateague to gawk at the ponies and to Victorian-styled Berlin.
Legend has it that the ponies of Assateague Island National and State Park survived from a shipwreck off the coast on which they inhabited. Now today filled with majestic, wild horses, Assateague is a must-visit for any tourist who wants to submerse themselves in the nature of the Eastern Shore. Gorgeous beaches, stunning greenery, and lively animals will put a smile on your face. Stop by the Visitor Center to learn about the history of species on the shore or go on a tour to see the sights with a local perspective. Paddle boarding and kayaking are always wonderful activities to take in the beauty as well.
Want to take a trip away from the beach for a day? Drive on down to America’s Coolest Small Town filled with rich history, Victorian-styled buildings, and shopping and food opportunities everywhere! Go to one of the first hotels that started everything in Berlin, the Atlantic Hotel, and walk inside to feel like you are transported back in time. The hotel will provide incredible service, delicious, gourmet food, and a fancy atmosphere perfect for a date night and anyone that visits. You can even book a room above the restaurant and meeting rooms! For a retro diner vibe, eat hamburgers and drink milkshakes at Rayne’s Reef, a classic diner on Main Street. You will often find this artsy, quaint town close down Main Street for big events like Oktoberfest, the Jazz and Blues Festival, the National Fiddler’s Convention, the Peach Festival, and the Spring Celebration. You should definitely try to find a time you can experience these incredible events to understand the amazing community that makes Berlin so lovable.
7. Have some fun in the sun by going on the Rocket, parasailing, or jet skiing.
Venture out on the water to create your own adventure on the open sea. Zoom on the Rocket with water splashing across you as you pass by the coast. Experience the wake on your own by renting jet skis and other fun rides with Odyssea Watersports or Bayside Boat Rentals. No matter what, you will find a time to connect with the water with Sail Alyosha, the OC Bay Hopper, and the Liquid Limo. In Ocean City, you will have countless activities to cool off and bask in the sun!
Courtesy of Odyssea Watersports
8. While on the beach, collect some shells and get a telescope picture.
As you put out your chair on the sand, go on a treasure hunt for the beauties of the ocean. Find some cute tiny shells perfect for jewelry or if you’re lucky, find a conch shell. To capture all your beach memories, make sure to get a picture you can clip onto your suitcase as you leave or your keychains to always look back at the fun Ocean City gave you.
9. Watch the lights of boats and the skyline as you reach the top of the Ferris Wheel.
Ocean City at night looks like a light show as the stars and shops light up the land as if it is day. Another opportunity to take in the views is the Ferris Wheel that gives the highest point above the beach and bay. It is such a memorable opportunity you would not want to miss.
10. End the night with delicious dinner and ice cream for dessert.
Lastly, make a reservation or be greeted by a compassionate host that will sit you at a table in a restaurant fit for your cravings, but don’t get too stuffed to save room for a sweet treat. Get some ice cream at Scoops Ice Cream or Dumser’s, filled with hundreds of flavors and tastes as sweet as your trip.
No matter what activity you book, restaurant you visit, or beach you go to, Ocean City will make you feel at home with a community that surrounds you with a perfect vacation experience!