Pontoon Boats · Jet Skis · Kayaks · Seadoo Trixx
If you can bear to tear yourself away from Ocean City for a day,
there's plenty of nearby places to visit including
Assateague and Berlin
Wallops Island & Chincoteague
Pocomoke & Snow Hill and more
In Ocean City, especially during the summertime, it’s nearly impossible to be bored. But even though there’s always something going on here in OC, the best way to see your vacation reach its fullest potential is to explore the peninsula a little bit and discover the beauty of Ocean City’s surrounding regions.
If you’re only in town for the weekend, you might not want to venture outside the 2.25 miles of the boardwalk. That’s understandable. However, if your stay is a bit longer or you’re planning an upcoming vacation, try stepping outside your comfort zone for a day, or even just a few hours–there are nearby beaches, islands and historic towns that are just a hop, skip and a jump (or: bike ride, drive or a boat ride) away.
If you feel like venturing away from the barrier island for an adventure, Ocean City is only minutes away from the scenic Assateague National Seashore, where you can spend a day hiking or kayaking while immersed in nature and wildlife.
Of course, the Assateague beach is beautiful too, just wilder. In fact, OC and Assateague were once the same island, until the infamous storm of 1933 formed the present-day Ocean City Inlet and separated the two beaches. Now, Ocean City is known as the more bustling tourist’s beach, while Assateague is the home of about 150 wild ponies and a favorite of all nature lovers. Say hello to the horses, catch some rays and then go kayaking on the bayside. You can check out this and other Worcester County Parks by clicking here.
The historic town of Berlin sits just a few short miles from Ocean City and offers unique antique shopping and small town dining opportunities.
We’ve said it a thousand times, but it’s worth repeating that Berlin is still, to many, America’s Coolest Small Town. From exploring the town’s abundant art scene to checking out the antique stores and other local businesses, there’s lots to do in Berlin.
Wallops Island and Chincoteague
Wallops Island & Chincoteague Island
Ocean City is just a short drive from the NASA Flight Facility at Wallops Island, which is one of only four major rocket launch sites in the US. NASA has been launching rockets and research mission from this Eastern Shore
testing center since 1945. Resupply rockets for the International Space Station, moon missions, scientific balloon research, education programs, and more emanate from Wallop’s Flight Facility. Explore WallopsIsland.org to find information about Wallops Island Flight Facility, including launch dates, viewing locations, hotels, restaurants, and area activities to keep you entertained while you’re waiting for lift off!
Chincoteague Island is a gateway to Assateague (the southern third of Assateague is actually in Virginia), so that means that there are ponies here, too, and even an annual Pony Swim, where thousands of spectators have been gathering for almost 100 years to watch the wild horses take to the water. Chincoteague also offers cruises, a thriving fishing scene and even hang gliding. The island itself is gorgeous, so it’s definitely worth checking out all of their dining, shopping and lodging options.
More Day Trips from Ocean City
Shopping mall? Check. Abundant restaurants? Check. A Maryland University of National Distinction, just in case you decide you love the town so much that you want to spend two to four years there earning your degree? Check. If that’s not enough for you, Salisbury is also home to the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, an internationally renowned museum with the world’s largest collection of decorative and antique decoys, as well as the free Salisbury Zoo, the River Walk and great craft beer breweries.
Pocomoke & Snow Hill
Pocomoke is a riverfront town that is home to the Delmarva Discovery Center–a museum dedicated to all things local culture. Art is always worth exploring, so you can download the Beach & Beyond Art Guide to start your artistic wanderings. Pocomoke City is dubbed “the friendliest town on the Eastern Shore,” so don’t be afraid to stop by!
Snow Hill is a great little town, located on the south banks of the Pocomoke River with ample opportunities to shop or enjoy nature. It’s also the home of Furnace Town, an outdoor museum that gives visitors the authentic experience of being in a 19th century village, and it’s well worth the day trip.
Tangier and Smith Islands
Tangier and Smith Islands are some of the only inhabited offshore islands in Maryland and both offer amazing experiences in their own right. Board a ferry in Crisfield (about an hour from OC) and take a scenic cruise, rent some kayaks or feast on some of the best crabcakes and seafood known to man. If you make it to Smith Island, don’t forget to indulge in a Smith Island Cake, Maryland’s official state dessert.
Tangier Island is actually located in Virginia, so here we’ll segway into the fun, nearby day trips available in the “va” part of “Delmarva.”
Bethany, Dewey and Rehoboth Beach
Travel down Coastal Highway far enough and you’ll soon find yourself in Bethany, then Dewey and then Rehoboth Beach. Each of these beaches is a unique experience in its own right, and each has phenomenal options for shopping and dining and, of course, beach. Instead of rambling on about how all three of these beaches would make for a super fun day trip, I’ll just lead you to our Coastal Delaware guide for more information.
Other Day Trips
If you feel like staying local, the Casino at Ocean Downs is located right in Ocean Pines, just a short drive through West Ocean City away. At the casino, you’ll find over 800 slots, video and virtual games and live horse racing. If craft beer is your pleasure, the Ocean City area is home to nearly 21 craft beer breweries, so grab a designated driver or hop on a bus to tour and taste the best beers on the Shore. If you don’t mind jumping in the car to check out some world class beauty, then check out the scenic byways that traverse our county and the Delmarva Peninsula. There is the Cape to Cape Scenic Byway, the Blue Crab Byway for drivers and the View Trail 100 for the bicyclists. With so much activity, natural beauty, and fascinating culture located around Ocean City, the day trip possibilities are practically endless. Below you will find information and ideas to help guide your next day trip from Ocean City.