Early Spring in Ocean City

You can usually judge how far away the “in-season” is by how many cars are in the Inlet parking lot. Free parking is still in effect until April 1, as always, (Monday – Thursday parking is FREE until May 27th) but as the spring and summer months creep closer and closer, more cars begin to line the spaces on the outskirt of the Inlet lot.

In Maryland we can’t really judge how close we are to consistently warm days by whatever the temperature is now. Until it’s really summer, the temps move up and down as fast as the roller coaster on the Jolly Roger pier. But when more cars are filling the Inlet lot, you just know: Sunnier, warmer days are on the horizon.

But there’s no one on the pier itself quite yet…

If you can catch a rare sunny and warm day in March, even before it’s officially spring, you’re one of the lucky ones. You’ll be accompanied by locals and day-trippers taking advantage of the nice weather (and the free parking and dog-friendly boardwalk!), but there still aren’t too many people, the beach is clean and empty, and it really feels like this small piece of the world is your oyster. Slowly, more cars are filling up the parking spaces in the Inlet lot, and the sun is shining down on the workers who are greasing up the Jolly Roger and Trimper’s rides for the summer and putting a fresh coat of paint outside the boardwalk shops. 

Out on the Boardwalk by the playground and the Firefighter’s Memorial.

Now until Memorial Day weekend is the calm before the storm of traffic and beachgoers and car shows and festivals. We’re excited for all that stuff too, but the pigeons and gulls prefer when they can sunbathe in the parking lot without being chased away by cars, and there’s something to be said about a beach that’s got nothing on it but footprints and a few wanderers taking in the view. 

Even when you try to chase them off the beach, they don’t ALWAYS move.
Enjoy a near deserted winter beach

If you can get out to Ocean City in early spring, you really ought to do it! The beach is all yours.

Sadly, the rides aren’t open just yet…
…But the Life-Saving Station Museum IS open!
And Nanticoke, the Native American sculpture on the Inlet boardwalk, is always around.
The Caroline Street Stage will soon host its weekly musical acts,
And soon you, too, can enjoy this view from the top of the ferris wheel.
Until then, it’s walks under the pier that keep us entertained.
On a clear day, you can even see all the way out to Assateague Island (though not quite this close-up).
And from Assateague, you can see Ocean City.


Kristin is a writer and photographer in Ocean City, Maryland, and is the content manager for OceanCity.com and other State Ventures, LLC sites. She loves getting reader-submitted stories and photos, so send her an email anytime. She also works part-time at the Art League of Ocean City and the Ocean City Film Festival and lives just off the peninsula with her dog and fiancé. Her photos can be found on Instagram @oc_kristin.

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