The Angler experience makes me want to use words like “discovered” and “underrated” because the feel is so laid back. In reality, the iconic Ocean City bar is beyond being discovered by anyone. Most of us know where it is and what it is all about. Similarly, too many people talk about how awesome a place it is for it to be considered underrated, but what I’m looking to get at here are the whys.
Why, when you’re in the middle of a crowd in one of the most populated areas of Ocean City,do you get this vibe of quiet and discovery? Why do you leave feeling as if the experience was better than you expected it to be, even though you went in with pretty high hopes? My working theory is that the Angler has such a particular ambience (vibe?) that it feels as if it’s your regular place right from the first time you walk through the doors.
Great views at the Angler
One of the distraction attractions is that, since it is so close to a working harbor, it is easy to forget you’re at a bar and restaurant. In fact, the Angler is part of the working harbor, sending out a fishing boat each morning that returns in the afternoon. I feel as if that has to be part of it. A lot of times on vacation, you’re getting away from the idea of work. At the Angler, it is clear that there is real work being done by real people every day.
Take a good hard look
The other thing it is easy to forget is that the ocean is a real thing. I know it’s pat to say, but it also is worth repeating that the ocean doesn’t know that it is an attraction. It doesn’t know anything, it just is. And the creatures in it just are, and the creatures that fly above it just are. They’re doing their thing and we get to see it, if we venture out. In addition to their regular menu, the Angler has three sightseeing trips each night that allow participants to get a different perspective on the bay. Yes there often are dolphins and the occasional school of fish or even skates, but there also are views of Assateague, close encounters with Seahawk nests and, most critically, a view of the land from the sea that really puts the massive ocean and the tiny island of Ocean City into sharp relief.
Enjoying an afternoon at the bar
I really enjoy what I’ll call a 3 p.m. bar. I’m a grownup and have very little to prove. I’ve learned that there’s nothing wrong with an afternoon at the bar, followed by a nap, a night out and a trip back to the bar. If you go to the Angler at 3 p.m. during the shoulder season (September, October, May and June) you will be one of maybe 50 or so people enjoying the experience of having enough space to stretch out. People come and go, visiting one of the boat rides (parasailing, jet skis, etc.)or just generally wandering though the marina. It’s like a show on a television you aren’t in charge of. You can watch or not, but it provides a kind of background noise that can takes up only the amount of attention you’re willing to devote.
More evenings than not, there’s a band booked at the Angler and if you’re not familiar with the experience of catching a live band on the water you totally are missing out. Letting the breeze keep you cool, letting the staff keep you glass full and letting some of the most talented musicians in the region keep you entertained is really one of the best ways to spend a late summer’s evening.