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Ocean City

Ocean City, MD Beaches

10 Miles of Free Sandy Beaches! 3 Miles of Boardwalk!

Captain's Table Restaurant, Ocean City, MD

What's so Great about Ocean City MD Beaches?

10 miles of sand and surf with the boardwalk, hotels, condos, and restaurants

Ocean City, Maryland boasts a stunning 10-mile stretch of pristine Atlantic coastline. This expansive beach is the town’s heart and soul, attracting visitors from near and far who flock to its soft sand and refreshing waters. From sunbathing and swimming to building sandcastles with the kids, Ocean City’s beaches provide endless opportunities for fun and relaxation.

Ocean City’s Boardwalk: Your Beachfront Playground

Stretching for three miles alongside the ocean, Ocean City’s iconic boardwalk is a hub of activity and entertainment. The sights, sounds, and smells of the boardwalk are quintessential to the Ocean City MD beaches experience. Take a leisurely stroll, indulge in delicious boardwalk treats, browse the charming shops, or enjoy thrilling rides at the amusement parks—the boardwalk has something for everyone.

Ocean City MD Beaches: More Than Just Sunbathing

The appeal of Ocean City MD beaches extends beyond soaking up the rays. Water sports enthusiasts can rent kayaks, paddleboards, or take surfing lessons. Fishing charters are available for those who dream of reeling in a big catch. The wide, flat beach is also perfect for beach volleyball, frisbee games, or a relaxing jog along the shoreline.

Family Fun on Ocean City MD Beaches

Ocean City MD beaches cater to families of all ages. Children will have a blast splashing in the shallows, building sand masterpieces, and exploring the tidal pools. Numerous events and activities take place on the beach throughout the summer, from movie nights and bonfires to spectacular fireworks displays, creating unforgettable memories for the whole family.

Does it Matter Where you Stay or Go on the Beach?

Check out our guide to help you settle on exactly the right section of beach.

Ocean City, MD is a continuous 10-mile sandy beach. The sand and water are equally beautiful along the entire beach, but you’ll find differences with what is on the land in each area and the crowds.  Downtown beaches are the busiest, because of the boardwalk and the high concentration of lodging options.  The crowds on the beach spread out as you head north and you will find more condos to rent.  

In This Guide:

Scroll down the page to read about the different areas, read the Beach FAQ, and watch an aerial tour of the beach. 

FAQs about the Beach in Ocean City, MD

Answers to the most common questions

Beaches

Always. The beach is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the Ocean City Beach Patrol is on duty 10 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. Always obey the Beach Patrol’s instructions, swim near a lifeguard at all times, and have a buddy with you when you’re in the surf. NOTE: Town Ordinances prohibit throwing balls/Frisbees and other sports on the beach between 9am and 5:30pm from May 30 to September 15.
Category: Beaches
There is plenty of Free parking in the West Ocean City Park and ride. There you can buy an all day bus ticket that will take you pretty much anywhere worth going in Ocean City. There’s not a ton of free parking in town but the Park and Ride is one of your best bets. You can pay to park at the meters around town and in the Inlet. Here’s more information on municipal parking.
Category: Beaches
All locations are accessible for the physically challenged.
    • Boardwalk at Worcester Street
    • Boardwalk at Caroline Street
    • 3rd Street & St. Louis Avenue next to Skate Park
    • Boardwalk at 9th Street
    • Boardwalk at 27th Street
    • S. Division Street Transit Center
    • Park & Ride on Rt. 50, just west of Harry Kelley Bridge
    • Transit Center on 144th Street

PUBLIC RINSE-OFF STATIONS

Rinse-off spigots are provided at the following locations:
  • Caroline Street (4)
  • Inlet Beach (4)
  • 9th Street (2)
That depends, but there’s an algorithm. Two beaches are reserved every day as ‘surfing beaches’ and their locations rotate daily. In addition, one section of beach along the inlet is reserved for surfers. It’s open Monday to Friday during the summer, except on July 4. Check out our surfing page for more information. To discover today’s surfing beaches or learn about the OC surf report:
Category: Beaches
Surf fishing is welcomed in Ocean City, but for safety’s sake, regulations require you remain 50 yards away from anyone on the beach or in the water between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. There are regulations against luring sharks and chumming.
Category: Beaches
Pets are allowed on the beach and boardwalk from October 1 to April 30 in Ocean City and any time on Assateague; however, pets must be leashed at all times and the owner is responsible for removing any waste. There are lots of pet friendly hotels in town. Also,  The Ocean City Dog Park is on 94th Street, bayside.
Categories: Beaches, Pets
Yes, public bathrooms can be found at the following locations: Boardwalk at Worcester Street Boardwalk at Caroline Street 3rd Street & St. Louis Avenue next to Skate Park Boardwalk at 9th Street Boardwalk at 27th Street S. Division Street Transit Center Rinse Stations can be found at: Caroline Street (4) Inlet Beach (4) 9th Street (2)
Categories: Beaches, Boardwalk
Yes, the Town of Ocean City provides beach wheelchairs at designated locations from 10am to 5pm daily, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Chairs are available from the Beach Patrol and must be used within a block of where they are picked up. Chairs can be rented at the following lots: Inlet Lot, 7th St., 30th St., 40th St., 48th St., 59th St., 70th St., 81st St., 89th St., 94th St., 107th St., 120th St., 130th St., 139th St., 145th St.
Categories: Beaches, Boardwalk
As of May 1, 2015, the Clean Air Smoking Ban is in effect. All public smoking on the beach/Boardwalk must be confined to designated areas.
Categories: Beaches, Boardwalk
YES! You do not need a license or any permission to metal detect on OC’s beaches, but it is prohibited on Assateague. The Ocean City beach is 10 continuous miles of all sand, has a large number of daily visitors, and get frequent coastal storms, which is all great for metal detecting.   If you have lost an important piece of jewelry or metallic item on your visit to the beach, try contacting one of the local metal detecting specialists on theringfinders.com.  Many have high success rates on finding your item for a very reasonable fee. 
Category: Beaches
Yes, Bonfires are allowed on the beach, but you must first get a permit. Bonfire must be a minimum of 75 feet away from the dunes and only untreated, natural wood may be used in the bonfire. The bonfire permit only covers the singular date and location specified.  Additional locations or dates will require additional, separate permits. The person obtaining the permit must be present during the hours of the bonfire and be over 21.  More information on bonfires on the beach at Assateague and in Ocean City is available here.
Category: Beaches
Yes, you may set up your sun shade, canopies, pop-up tents and umbrellas however they must be behind the lifeguard towers so their view to the water is not obstructed.  Nothing between the line of lifeguard towers and the water.
Category: Beaches
During the summer season, the Ocean City Beach Patrol is on duty from 9am- 5pm.
Category: Beaches

A tour of the entire Ocean City, MD beach

Featured Oceanfront Hotels
Top Choice! 360°

Grand Hotel Oceanfront

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Popular

Ocean City Hotel Group

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Staff Pick 360°

Hilton Oceanfront Suites

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Boardwalk 360°

Park Place Hotel

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Princess Royale Hotel

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Downtown: Beaches from the inlet to 27th

The downtown area (southern end) attracts a much larger crowd and is a little more lively.

  • The famous Ocean City boardwalk runs from the inlet parking lot to 27th Street.
  • The highest concentration of hotels deliver the highest concentration of beach goers.
  • The inlet has a large parking area and many day-trippers use this beach.
  • Home to the pier and the inlet.
  • More fishermen and a trickier place to swim.
  • More public bathrooms.

Midtown: Beaches from 27th to 62nd

The midtown area is less crowded and has its own charm:

  • Favorite of locals
  • Fewer hotels and more condos
  • Home to many fabulous hotels with spectacular sunset views (on the bayside.)

Click on the 360º image of the beach behind the Hilton Hotel at 38th Street to see what you can expect when you come to Ocean City, MD.  Move the image around with your cursor.  You will see the Hilton itself.

Click on the 360º image of the beach behind the Hilton Hotel at 38th Street to see what you can expect when you come to Ocean City, MD.  Move the image around with your cursor.  You will see the Hilton itself.

North Ocean City: Beaches from 62nd to Delaware Line

The beaches in North Ocean City are the least crowded and perfect if you want to get away from it all.

  • Known as “condo row,” North Ocean City still has a lot of oceanfront hotels, but they are separated by large condo buildings.
  • The Princess Royale and the Ashore Resort and Beach Club are self-contained resort properties where you don’t ever have to leave the beach.
  • If you are coming to Ocean City to participate in events at Northside park or you want to visit several of the local craft breweries in Delaware, these are the closest beaches.

Beaches on Asssateague Island

If you don’t like all the development in Ocean City and you really want to get away, then Assateague Island is the beach to try.

  • There are two parks, the National Park and the State Park.
  • Camping is available on Assateague
  • You don’t have to get a permit to have a bonfire.
  • Pets on leashes are allowed.
  • Great place to surf fish – you can even drive onto the beach with a permit at the northern end of the national seashore.

Accessing the Beaches

The beach is free, and parking is plentiful

Accessing the Beaches

The Ocean City beaches are easily accessible either from the boardwalk, or through entry paths located at every block above 28th. Hotels and condos have their own access ways. Bike racks are located at many of the entry points. See a list of Wheelchair accessible beaches. There are parking lots and metered spaces downtown. Free street parking is available at most entry points as you head north.

Ocean City Beach Rules

Pet policies and town ordinances

Beach Rules

  • Use of the beach is free; no beach tags needed, and is open to the public 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • No ball-playing, Frisbee-throwing, or Kites of any kind  between 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily from May 30 to September 15, by Town Ordinance.
  • No Pets allowed on the beach or boardwalk Between May 1st and September 30th.
  • Glass containers and alcohol are prohibited on the beach.
  • No skim boarding between 10:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
  • No surfing between 10:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., unless in designated surfing areas. Two surfing beaches are announced daily.
  • Surf fishing is permitted in Ocean City, but be sure you are at least 50 feet away from swimmers

Public Bathrooms

Where they are when you need one

Public Restrooms by the Beach

  • Boardwalk at Worcester Street
  • Boardwalk at Caroline Street
  • 3rd Street & St. Louis Avenue next to Skate Park
  • Boardwalk at 9th Street
  • Boardwalk at 27th Street
  • S. Division Street Transit Center
  • Park & Ride on Rt. 50, just west of Harry Kelley Bridge
  • Transit Center on 144th Street

Rinse-off spigots are provided at the following locations:

  • Caroline Street (4)
  • Inlet Beach (4)
  • 9th Street (2)

Wheelchair Accessible Beaches in Ocean City