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24 Reasons to Visit Ocean City in 2024

There are many, many reasons to visit Ocean City, but we have come up with just 24, to inspire and encourage you to visit Ocean City Maryland in 2024.

Our Beautiful Beach

The beach in Ocean City is a continuous 10-mile stretch of clean sands, and it is all FREE. Whether you choose to build sandcastles, swim or boogie board in the ocean, or just lay back with your eyes closed and listen to the distant voices and the sound of the waves, this beach is spectacular. Downtown beaches are usually the busiest, and the summer crowds thin slightly as you head north. The waves can be powerful, so always take care on the beach, and do not swim if a life guard is not present. The beach is guarded by Ocean City Beach Patrol from 10am – 5.30pm from the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend.  Off season, the beach is the perfect place to take a long walk and get those cobwebs blown away! 

On the Boardwalk

The Ocean City Boardwalk is an experience all on its own! The Boardwalk is three miles long and lined with hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and amusements.  It is perfect for a morning bike ride or an evening stroll. Whether during the off-season or at the height of summer there’s always something going on along the boardwalk.  Bikes are only allowed at certain times during the season, and pets are allowed off-season only. The Boardwalk itself is open 24/7, and some businesses stay open year round, especially on weekends, and if the weather is decent. As the summer grows closer, more stores will open, until all businesses open all week during the peak of the Ocean City tourism season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  You can’t visit Ocean City and not visit the Boardwalk, no matter what time of year you visit!

Lots and Lots of Hotels

Ocean City has some of the finest hotels on the east coast, from low cost motels, to high end resorts. Pick the level that’s right for you and your family, and enjoy your stay in our beautiful resort. Some just provide a bed, some offer suites, restaurants, swimming pools, activity pools, entertainment and more. Even if you don’t stay at one of the finest, you can still enjoy eating dinner in many of them, and often hotel restaurants do not have the same wait times that other restaurants in the summer season have. You could also consider a visit off season and enjoy lower rates in a more expensive hotel! Check out a full list of Ocean City hotels here.

An Abundance of Restaurants

Ocean City is full of them! From grabbing a quick snack while walking the Boardwalk, to getting pizza delivered to your hotel room, to eating crabs outdoors, or having a romantic dinner overlooking the bay, it’s all here!  We all have our favorites, but to get the full experience, try a new place each time you visit and you might just discover a hidden gem. Check out Ocean City restaurants here.

Love on Tap at Seacrets

On FeBREWary 24th 2024, come to Seacrets for Shore Craft Beer’s Love on Tap Craft Beer Festival! There’s live music from Big House Band and Mike Donato, unlimited beer tastings, a commemorative cup, and a chance to talk to the local brewers about their beer! Tickets are available here. This is an over 21 event. Special Hotel Packages available here!

The Ocean City Film Festival

Did you know Ocean City has its very own film festival? Started in 2017, the festival has grown each year, building a community of filmmakers both locally and internationally. The films they show are unique and diverse and shown in venues in and around Ocean City including the Performing Arts Center, hotels, and restaurants.  The Ocean City Film Festival  is a collaboration with the Art League of Ocean City, based in Ocean City, Maryland. This year the festival is March 7-10th 2024.

Springfest

Springfest in Ocean City MD

Springfest Ocean City is often called the official start of summer in Ocean City Maryland, as each spring, the resort welcomes the arrival of warmer weather (hopefully!) and celebrates the oncoming season.  Springfest is a four-day extravaganza that takes place at the south end of the Boardwalk at the Inlet Parking Lot and has become an annual favorite among locals and tourists for its wide array of activities, entertainment, food, and craft tents. This year Springfest is May 2-5th.

The Ocean City Air Show

The Ocean City Air Show returns to Ocean City, this year on August 24-25th and will feature the Italian Air Force Frecce Tricolori. Find your spot on the beach, and sit back to enjoy the show. This is a busy weekend, so don’t expect to get anywhere fast after the show ends. Instead, leave the car where it’s parked, and spend the rest of the afternoon and evening enjoying the sites and sounds of Ocean City, and all the restaurants and entertainment there is on offer. The Air Show is on both Saturday and Sunday, so be sure to catch at least one of the days, or really go for it and enjoy both!

Waterfront Dining

What’s better when coming to Ocean City, than dining waterfront? Probably not much. That’s why you need to visit as many waterfront restaurants as possible while you are here. Any restaurant with a view of the water will remind you that you are on vacation, and it’s time to relax. Whether it’s a full meal you enjoy, or just a cocktail, make time for this most Ocean City of activities.

Trimper Rides

Photo by Ashley Janser

Trimper Rides on the Boardwalk has been providing fun for all ages in Ocean City since 1890, and is America’s oldest continuously single family run amusement park. Their 1912 antique carousel is still spinning! Stop at Trimper’s to ride the Himalaya, crash bumper cars, and bop Whac-A-Moles! Shoot Skee-Ball and find all your favorite nostalgic arcade games at Marty’s Playland. Introduce your kids to Trimper’s and start a family tradition of fun to continue for generations.

Nightlife in Ocean City!

Many people come to Ocean City with their children, but if you have someone to watch the kids, or you are traveling kid free, then get out and experience the nightlife in Ocean City. Start with dinner, then a walk along the Boardwalk, then head to a bar or nightclub and dance the night away! There’s lots to choose from, you might sit under the palm tress at Seacrets, join in the 1812 overture at Fager’s or watch the sun set while listening to live music at The Angler. After all, you’re on vacation!

Jolly Roger Amusements

Splash Mountain at Jolly Roger

Jolly Roger’s Splash Mountain Water Park on 29th Street offers 18 slides the whole family can enjoy. There are 3 different Kiddie Pools for children to splash around in, as well as the ever popular Rain Forrest full of slides, sprays and laughter. Head Downtown to the Boardwalk, and you’ll find Jolly Roger at the Pier where the rides and fun stretch out along the iconic Pier. The rides include the Looping Star Roller Coaster, the Hurricane, Power Surge, Twister and a two-level Carousel. Are you brave enough to try the Slingshot, or is the famous Giant Ferris Wheel more your speed?

Free Beach Events

Sandcastle building
Sandcastle contest

All summer long, Ocean City has FREE (yes we said FREE) events on the beach including movies and yard games, concerts on the beach, light shows on the boardwalk, OC Beach Dance Party, and free fireworks displays. Make the most of them, they will entertain and tire out our favorite family members all at the same time!

Sundaes in the Park & Fireworks

Photo by Janel Quillen Flynn

One of our favorite summer events is Sundaes in the Park at Northside Park. After a Sunday at the beach, head to 125th street with your beach chair or blanket, and sit back and unwind to live music, and ice cream sundaes! Little kids will get up and dance and join in the children’s activities, dogs will sniff around looking for a pat, but most visitors will enjoy the relaxed pace of this FREE event, and perhaps tap their toes. Until the fireworks at the end of the event wake them from their decompressed state.  A great way to end a day!

Water Activities

Photo by Karen Beardsley

Ocean City is surrounded by water on 3 sides so it makes sense that you should get out on the water and enjoy its many activities and opportunities. You may be the kind of person who just loves the thrill of a jet ski, or maybe you would prefer the slightly gentler task of taking the family out for the day on a rented pontoon boat. Or maybe you just want to leave it all up to someone else so you can sit back and relax without any concentration needed, and go on a tour boat. What ever way you decide to experience it, do try to experience the water while you are here. (Putting your toes in the ocean it just not enough!)

Cruisers Week

The Cruisers visit Ocean City two times a year, in the spring and in the fall, and show off their well maintained and preserved cars. Even if you’re not a car enthusiast, it’s a lot of fun seeing these cars from the past driving up and down Coastal Highway, like in times gone by. But the best part about Cruisers Week for the none cruiser is the FREE Boardwalk Parade each morning on the Boardwalk. Grab a coffee and perch on the wall with others while these grand old dames show themselves off to the watching admirers.  

White Marlin Open

The 51st Annual White Marlin Open will take place in Ocean City on August 5-9th at Harbor Island Marina.  This is the world’s largest billfish tournament. Over 400 boats vie for over $6 million in prize money. Get up very early and watch the parade of boats as they leave in search of their deadliest catch through the Inlet each morning or go to Harbour Island on 14th Street and the bay in the afternoon, as they head home after a day at sea to see the weigh-ins, free of charge.

Sunfest

With over 30 food vendors, free live entertainment on two stages, and a huge selection of arts and craft vendors, there is something for everyone at Ocean City’s Sunfest. Created to extend the summer season, the event now takes place in October, keeping us holding on the those balmy days of summer just a little bit longer. There’s four days filled with something for all the family, including over 250 vendors, live music, craft beer garden, artistic demonstrations, gourmet food and beverages, family hayrides on the beach and kids activities. Remember, admission to Sunfest is FREE! The event at the Inlet Parking Lot this year is October 24th-27th, Thursday – Saturday: 10am – 7pm and Sunday: 10am – 6pm.

Performing Arts Center

The Performing Arts Center at the Convention Center has more and more shows each year. This year’s line up includes The Simon & Garfunkel Story, Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, children’s shows such as Dinosaur World Live, and new shows like Anime Ocean City. Take a look at the line up and treat yourself to a show while here in Ocean City. 

A Little Bit of Culture

If you are all beached out, the Art League of Ocean City may offer some respite. It’s a spacious two story gallery on 94th Street and the galleries display new exhibits of regional and local artists monthly. There’s a FREE opening reception from 5-7 PM on the first Friday of each month to which all are invited. There’s also workshops for artists of all ages and skill levels, a summer art camp program and community events like the Plein Air Painting Competition and Sand Castle Home Tour. 

Ocean City Life Saving Museum
Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum displays the rich history of OC.

The Ocean City Life Saving Station Museum is another little gem that should be explored every year! Learn about the history of Ocean City, or join in their many scheduled events, exhibitions and free summer programs for children held daily on the Boardwalk.  

Romance is in the Salty Air

Park Place Hotel

If you think about it, what could be more romantic than a visit to Ocean City, with ten miles of beach to walk on hand in hand, restaurants and bars on every block, hotels over looking the ocean to watch the sunrise with your loved one, or hotels overlooking the bay for an almost guaranteed spectacular sunset, and just time away together. 2024 should be your year for this!

Winterfest of Lights

It’s a long way off right now, but Ocean City’s Winterfest of Lights is an extravaganza of sparkling, twinkling lights and animated light displays spread over the paths of Northside Park in North Ocean City and well worth visiting. If you have yet to see this marvel, make 2024 your time to experience this fantastical event.  

The Four Seasons

Spring 
summer
Fall
Winter

Most people visit Ocean City in the summer months so they can lie on the beach enjoying the heat, but Ocean City is open 12 months a year, and off season, things just get better and better. The rooms are cheaper, restaurants run specials, and you can often get the beach to yourself. So don’t limit yourself to the busy summer months. Try something different in 2024 and visit off season. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. 

For a list of hotels in Ocean City, click here.

For a list of restaurants in Ocean City, click here.

For a list of events in Ocean City, click here.

For a list of Watersport businesses in Ocean City, click here. 

For things do to in Ocean City, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Anne
Anne
Anne grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, and came across Ocean City for the first time over 25 years ago and shortly after it became her permanent home.  When time allows, Anne still loves to travel. She has been with OceanCity.com since September 2014.

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