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Explore the famous Ocean City, MD Boardwalk
3 Miles of Boardwalk dotted with shops and restaurants
Boardwalk tram, bike and pet rules
Hotels, Thrashers fries, Fishers Popcorn, and lots of ice cream
Tour the Ocean City Boardwalk
3 Miles of Fun, Sights & Sounds Starting at the Inlet to 32nd Street
Explore the Ocean City Boardwalk, an iconic East Coast landmark fronting onto the Ocean City beach and the Atlantic Ocean. The Ocean City 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.
Scroll down to get all the insider tips and tricks to enjoy the Best of the Ocean City Boardwalk. The award-winning boardwalk is home to amazing hotels, fabulous restaurants, and attractions befitting a world-class seaside resort. Ocean City has a traditional boardwalk, with games, rides and barkers right alongside the kinds of sweets and salts you’d expect. Boardwalk fries, soft-serve ice cream, and popcorn, combine in the air to add to your memories of walking along the boards enjoying the afternoon and exploring the area.
The Ocean City Boardwalk is Always Open
The Boardwalk itself is open 24/7. The businesses along the boardwalk are individually owned and operated and have their own schedules as to when they are open. Most businesses will open on weekends as the season nears and then be open all week during the peak of the Ocean City tourism season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Please check with individual businesses for specific hours.
Some Popular Businesses Along the Ocean City Boardwalk
Ocean City Recommends
Each year, Ocean City hosts a Best of Ocean City voting in over 50 different categories. the Best of the Boardwalk is one of our major categories along with Best Activities, Best Bars and Best Restaurants. As for the winners of the Best of Ocean City on the Boardwalk, Thrasher’s Fries always wins the best French fries, in fact, we quit publishing that poll because it’s a foregone conclusion on who has the best fries. We do have voting for the best caramel corn, the best sit-down restaurant, the best pizza on the boardwalk and more. If you are looking for a great view, try Harrison’s Harbor Watch which overlooks the inlet and has one of the best raw bars in town. The Kite Loft wins our best boardwalk shop most years. Check out the Best of Ocean City winners below.
Best of Ocean City: The Boardwalk
|Caramel Corn||Fisher's Popcorn||Dolle's Candyland|
|Boardwalk Shop||The Kite Loft||Souvenir City|
|Boardwalk Stands||Golden Plate Sub Shop||Alaska Stand|
|Sit-down Restaurant||Harrison's Harbor Watch||Shenanigan's Irish Pub|
|Boardwalk Bar||The Purple Moose Saloon||Cork Bar|
|Boardwalk Pizza||Tony's Pizza||The Dough Roller|
|Boardwalk Candy||Candy Kitchen||Wockenfuss Candy|
|Fries||The Original Thrasher's French Fries||Shotti's Point Cafe|
Things to Do on the Boardwalk
Starting at the inlet, you will find stores that offer specialty pet stores, museum stores, jewelry stores, many t-shirt shops, surfing stores, and much more. The most famous boardwalk amusement can be found inside Trimper’s along the inlet parking lot. The Trimper’s Carousel has been giving children and adults rides since 1912, making it the oldest continuously operating carousel in the country! The two-tiered Herschel-Spellman Venetian style merry-go-round was built in 1902 with elaborately painted animals as well as benches for the young or old. All will love the mirrors, decorations, and whimsy of this beautiful icon of Americana, making it well worth the trip – and the price! Trimper’s may be one of the main attractions, but there are also of other amusements and activities for the whole family. The old Pier Amusements is now operated by Jolly Roger and is home to many famous rides, including the Slingshot, 1001 Nights, Tornado, Looping Roller Coaster, Giant Ferris Wheel, Hurricane, Crazy Dance, Morbid Manor 3D, bumper cars, Bear Affair, Rockin’ Tug, Family Himalaya, and Ripley’s Mirror Maze. If you’re not in the mood for rides, you can enjoy the midway games or souvenir shops as you stroll along the inlet area. Ripley’s Believe it or Not, marked by the giant mechanical shark emerging from the buildings destroyed siding, caps the end of the building where Jolly Roger and Trimper’s are located.
Where to Eat on the Boardwalk
Sweets, Treats & Fast Eats
All along the boardwalk you will find ice cream, popcorn, candy, and classic boardwalk style food such as fried dough, pizza, & hot dogs. OceanCity.com Favorites: Thrashers Fries, Fisher’s Popcorn, & Dumser’s Ice Cream
Restaurants & Pubs
Ready to sit down and enjoy a meal or drink while watching the boardwalk activity? You will find casual dining along the entire boardwalk featuring many different styles of food. We love Backshore Brewing at 10th Street. It’s the only brewery actually in Ocean City and if you go, ask for Nate. He’s the brewer there and will make you feel welcome! Shenanigan’s Irish Pub is a favorite year-round, but particularly on St. Patrick’s Day. If a Guinness or Smithwick’s calls, this should be your destination. They have great burgers too!
Popular Boardwalk Places to Eat & Drink
Hotels on the Boardwalk
Hotels, motels, condos, and even a B&B overlook the ocean along the boardwalk. The Grand Hotel & Spa, the Park Place Hotel, the Boardwalk Hotels, some of the Harrison Hotels, the Hyatt, as well as the Dunes Manor, which sits just beyond the terminus of the boardwalk, are just a few of the oceanfront hotels you can choose for your Ocean City vacation. If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the boardwalk, there are also numerous hotel options just off the boards on the ocean block.
The Ocean City Boardwalk dates back to 1902 when several hoteliers decided they and their guests needed a way to walk easily between their places of business while enjoying the view of the ocean. The result was a wooden walkway that was removed at high tide and stored on the hotel porches. In 1910, a more permanent boardwalk was created for the visitors and residents of Ocean City. It originally ran five blocks, but was extended to 15th Street the following decade. When the boardwalk was destroyed in the great storm of 1962, it was rebuilt to its current length, running from the inlet through 27th St., ending just before the Dunes Manor Hotel. In 2012, the Ocean City Boardwalk underwent a complete renovation whereby the old splintering and rotten boards were replaced with new wood, while retaining the old-fashioned feel of its historic past.
Famous Landmarks on the Ocean City Boardwalk
Inlet Indian on the Ocean City Boardwalk
This oak carving of an Assateague Indian was presented to the people of Maryland by the artist, Peter Toth, in 1976. The artist has donated totem carvings to each of the 50 states over the years. The tree from which Peter carved this member of the Assateague Indian tribe, a subset of the Nanticoke who still live in this area, was over 100 years old.
United States Coast Guard Tower in Ocean City
Construction on this tower began in 1934 to stand watch for the life-saving station and to watch for German U-boats during World War II. While not open to the public, this five-story structure stands sentinel to the Ocean City Inlet and adjacent to the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum.
Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum on the Boardwalk
Take a tour of the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum for an exciting look at Ocean City’s unique history. The original life-saving station was built in 1878 between North Division Street and Caroline Street. In 1890-1891 a larger building was constructed in front of the original station, which was used to house a life-saving boat. After being abandoned mid-century, the building was slated for demolition, but was saved in 1977 and moved to its current location. It was carefully restored and now houses museum exhibits that portray the history of the U.S. Life-Saving Service and the history of the town. Exhibits include:
- The Boardwalk of Yesterday,
- Davy Jones’ Locker
- Sands of the World
- Surf’s Up!
- Aquariums featuring local marine life
Ocean City Pier Building
This building was constructed in 1926 where it replaced a building finished in 1907. The second floor was originally a ballroom. The original building contained a dancing pavilion, skating rink, bowling alleys, pool room, and refreshment booths.