One can hope that Spring is just around the corner, but the trees are still bare, and a jacket is still needed when venturing outside. However, there are still reasons to visit OC even when it’s still too cold to swim in the Ocean. In fact, if you visit off season, you can catch a glimpse of an altogether different Ocean City from the well known summer time resort. A place where there are wide open spaces void of tourists, a place where you can walk and walk without having to navigate your way through the crowds, and a place where there are no lines!
You can take walks along our 10 mile beach, in fact you can easily walk for miles along the beach without bumping into anyone. Man’s best friend can also enjoy the wide open space and freedom that they can’t be part of during the summer. Bring your family, friends and a football and have a block of beach all to yourself to play a friendly game of football.
Stroll down the Boardwalk and enjoy the sounds of the Ocean which go almost unnoticed during the hustle and bustle of the summer months. Easily find a seat to rest your weary legs, sip a coffee, admire the view and absorb the peace and quiet of an off season Boardwalk. Bring your four legged friend with you to appreciate the experience. Ride a bike any time of the day along the Boardwalk and you may just discover something new from your previous visit. Dandy Don’s on 12th Street and the Boardwalk rent bikes year round.
Assateague Island is another great place to enjoy the fresh air, while bundled up in sweaters and gloves. Void of mosquitoes, take one of the many nature trails, or walk the beach and look for wild ponies and deer. Try a bike ride through the Island too.
Berlin is a town where, whatever the season, the stores are open for business. Walk or bike around the whole town to see the historic buildings and charming homes that line the streets. There are always plenty of places to find lunch or dinner, or just a cold, wet refreshment, before you are on your way again. Burley Oak will serve up one of their home brewed craft beers to quench you thirst, or Drummers Café in the historic Atlantic Hotel will provide a casual lunch or fine dining dinner experience.
It’s true, when it’s cold outside, it’s good to have indoor attractions to visit. The Convention Center, with its new Performing Arts Center, has a constant stream of events occurring every week. The selection is so diverse, you are sure to find something to interest you, and base your visit around. Some of the highlights include the Ballet of Cinderella on March 7, the Home and Condo Show March 20, and the Easter Craft Fair April 3.
Other big events happening outside the Convention Center include our famous Annual St Patrick’s Day Parade on March 14. Wear your green and join the thousands lining the streets to watch the bands, dancers, floats and more, celebrate their Irishness. The celebration continues long after the Parade is over in many of the bars and restaurant in town. Shenanigans on the Boardwalk have their 5K run on March 14. If you are at the North end of town, Harpoon Hannas have a St Patty’s Day celebration after the Parade with specials on drinks and also Corned Beef and Cabbage, of course.
The Spring Restaurant week starts April 19 and runs through May 3. Many of the most popular restaurants in town participate in this event where Special Restaurant Week fixed menu options are available at fixed prices, giving guests the opportunity to try something new or visit your favorite place for a great price. Check out a complete list of all events happening in and around Ocean City.
The Life Saving Museum on the Boardwalk at the Inlet is open every weekend from 10am till 4pm through April 1. Here you can discover, among other things, the history of Ocean City, the Boardwalk in times gone by, creatures indigenous to Ocean City’s waters in the Aquarium Room, and the history of the US Life Saving Service on the Eastern Shore. It’s definitely worth a visit.
Keep active indoors by having a game of golf at Old Pro’s 68th Street and 136th Street indoor golf. Or try ice skating at the Carousel which is open Friday through Mondays. Check their websites for exact times.
The Ocean City Center for the Arts has its opening reception on the first Friday of each month, from 5pm – 7pm, showcasing new exhibits of regional and local artists. This beautiful Bayside facility has a two storey gallery and is open to the public.
The parks in Ocean City which are bustling in the summer, take on a slower pace in the spring. Northside Park has ample space whether it’s an early morning stroll, or an afternoon jog you want. The kids can play in the playground or fish off the pier no matter what the weather, just wrap ‘em up warmly!
So with plenty to do at a relaxed pace, what you really need is a great deal on your accommodation to entice to come, right? Lucky for you, the hotels know this, and so they have tempting packages available to fit your budget and your interests. With so many to choose from, you are sure to find one that is perfect for you.
The Grand Hotel has a Couples Massage Package to spoil and rejuvenate yourselves, or try their Local Brew Package for a different kind of refreshment. The Clarion Hotel, the Dunes Manor and the Paradise Plaza Inn all offer sweet deals for those who book early. For more details and a complete list of hotels in Ocean City, go to https://www.oceancity.com/hotels.
So while we are all dreaming of our summer vacation in Ocean City, we can, in reality, still enjoy our favorite resort, no matter what the weather or time of year. Come visit Ocean City off season to get you through the winter and make summer come more quickly, and experience the resort you thought you knew so well, in a whole new light.