Every so often, you wake up, excited to be on vacation in Ocean City, ready to enjoy the beach, pool, and Boardwalk, then you look outside and it’s grey and wet! Not to worry, there are plenty of things to do in and around Ocean City on a rainy day. Obviously, when there are severe storm and tornado warnings, you’re going to want to seek shelter and stay safe before you seek out a rainy day boredom-buster, but if the day’s simply rainy and overcast, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your gray-skied vacation.
Use the lack of sunshine to your advantage today and learn something new! There are several unique and interesting museums in the area, and which one you decide to visit will depend on where you are, whether or not you’ve got kids in tow and where your interests lie.
The most well-known museum in the region is conveniently located on the Ocean City boardwalk at the Inlet. Ocean City’s Live-Saving Museum was built in 1891 and is well-preserved, being one of just a handful of Live-Saving Stations used today for historical and educational purposes. Visit the museum and learn all about the Live Saving Service of the early 20th century, see tons of relics from Ocean City’s history and set aside some time for the kids to play in the Little Keepers Day Room. Take your time, and the Life-Saving Museum can keep the whole family busy for several hours.
On the other end of Coastal Highway, just on the border of Fenwick, DE, is Sea Shell City: a nautical novelty store downstairs with a DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum upstairs. Take the time to read about historic shipwrecks, or just look at the memorabilia and quirky artifacts (including the terrifying corpse remains of a “mermaid”). If you find yourself closer to the Salisbury area and have an interest in the local wildlife, Salisbury’s Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art has the world’s largest collection of antique decoys and artwork that emphasizes the beauty of wildfowl.
Find out what classes and events are currently being offered at the Ocean City Center for the Arts, or just swing by and peruse the two-story gallery that displays new art from local and regional talents every month. The OCCFA also offers an art library, a pottery studio and a gift shop, plus some of the best bayside sunset views that Ocean City has to offer (after all, the sun could decide to come out and brighten up the evening). Alternatively you can go out on a photo adventure:
I try to get out, take photos and talk to people at least four days every week, because I like to write and, since I don’t write fiction, that means I have to go do stuff. Even though it was threatening this week, I really wanted to get into town during foul-ish weather.
ESCAPE the rain and have fun doing it!
Have you tried an escape room? Surprisingly, it’s great for all ages, and is also a good bonding time, where everyone has to work together to escape a room in a certain time by solving clues. There are several in Ocean City, and while they are great all year long, they are especially great on a rainy day! With locations downtown, midtown and uptown, there’s no need to have to travel far in the rain to find one, and each location has different rooms to choose from. Check them out here.
Swing around a golf club
Burn off steam while taking shelter from the rain and taking part in what might as well be the official sport of Ocean City: mini golf. Old Pro has two indoor locations: an undersea adventure course at 68th street and a safari village course at 136th, both climate-controlled, open year-round and featuring arcades for additional fun. If you’re far into your vacation and are already mini-golfed out, opt instead for the family-friendly Escape Room on 118th Street, and give your brain a bit of a work out.
Believe it (or not)
You knew this one was coming. If you find yourself at the beach or boardwalk while in the midst of a torrential downpour, head inside to Ripley’s Believe It or Not on Atlantic Avenue. In Ripley’s two-story museum, you’ll find over 500 oddities, exhibits and artifacts (interested in shrunken human heads? Rare animal skeletons?) that can certainly keep a family busy until the storm passes.
Catch a flick
Flagship Cinemas in West Ocean City is open 7 days a week showing the latest movies, plus you can catch a movie for only $6.50 on Tuesdays. The tried-and-true rainy day tradition of hitting the movie theater never fails to please, especially when you can hear the rain hitting the roof of the theater during a down pour, and know you are sitting on your comfy power recliner, which is also heated, enjoying the latest blockbuster! Check out what’s playing today here.
Hit up the mall
There’s the Ocean City Outlets in West Ocean City, a somewhat-more-expansive Tanger shopping center in Rehoboth and, for when it’s too wet outside to weave in and out of stores in an outdoor mall, the totally-indoors Centre at Salisbury. Stay local and take a walk around Gold Coast Mall on 115th Street, or visit those little shops dotted around town that you never seem to find time to explore!
You’ve been putting it off for far too long, but now that there’s nothing to do outside, head to the spa and treat yourself to a massage, a haircut or relaxation treatment at the Creative Day Spa inside the Princess Royale Hotel. That’s why it’s called treating yourself.
The most obvious rainy day activity, but possibly the most popular among every demographic, is eating. If you can’t decide where to go, we have some helpful guides for crabs, pizza and restaurants voted the Best of Ocean City–maybe just choose somewhere that isn’t only known for their spectacular outdoor seating. Find somewhere with a window so you can watch the storm clouds roll by, or visit a restaurant inside a hotel you have never visited before. Hotel restaurants often have less waiting times than other restaurants, and you get a sneak peek at possibly your next place to stay when you visit.
Splash in the Puddles!
No matter what the weather, Ocean City will give every guest the vacation of their dreams. Embrace the rain outside and jump in the puddles with the wet sand in your toes. As you walk down the Boardwalk cooled off by the rain, soak in the beauty and peace without all the people. Kids will love being encourage to splash in the puddles, something not encouraged when they are at home. However, if the rain just isn’t your thing, you can always catch up on plans for the next day by booking reservations at restaurants or planning other activities such as parasailing or jet-skiing. Let the rain be your inspiration to go out of your comfort zone in Ocean City, Maryland!
For a full list of events in Ocean City Maryland, click here.
This article was updated on 5/24/22–ed.