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The best week to visit Ocean City

Okay, obviously every week is the best week to visit Ocean City, but if you want to treat yourself to an inexpensive vacation that won’t break the bank (who doesn’t want that?), there is a best time to come to the beach. This year, that time is between August 27 and September 10: a time to wrap up your summer vacation, take in what might be the last exceptionally warm days of the season and relax with your toes in the sand. And save money. That’s important, too.

It’s almost Ocean City Hotel Week

What is Hotel Week? 

Technically it’s Ocean City Hotel *Two Weeks, but that name doesn’t really roll off the tongue as well. It’s two of the last weeks of summer where hotels and motels in the area offer up their best deals and discounts of the season to encourage you to visit from the end of August to the early days of September. You can find bargain-priced lodging and even get a free night’s stay at participating hotels; just check out all the deals on the Hotel Week website right here

What is there to do during this particular week?

If great deals and beach bargain prices haven’t convinced you to book a few nights in Ocean City, maybe all the events happening in town during those two weeks will. Many of the events listed below are family-friendly and free, and most are the last ones of the season. 

Sundaes in the Park (8/27, 9/3): Enjoy live music, make-your-own sundaes (for a small fee) and fireworks at the last two Sundaes in the Park of the summer. The upgraded fireworks show is sure to end the season with a *bang!* 

Concerts on the Beach (8/30): It’s the last concert on the beach this summer, right at the heart of the beach and boardwalk at the Caroline Street Stage. Bring a blanket or chair and listen to free live music from 8 to 9:30 p.m. 

Movies on the Beach at 118th Street (8/30): The last free, family-friendly movie night will take place, weather permitting, at 8:30 p.m. Just bring a beach blanket and maybe some popcorn. 

Sunset Park Party Nights (8/31): Watch the sun set over the Isle of Wight Bay while enjoying live music and refreshments from approximately 7 to 9 p.m.   

Labor Day Movie Night (9/2): Just like Movies at the Beach, but at Northside Park at 7 p.m. 

100 Nights of Lights (til 9/4): Since late May, colored lights have been illuminating the sky and the sand by the Inlet every night. Labor Day is your last chance to see the spectacle, from 9 to 11 p.m.

Brown Box Theatre’s Hamlet (9/8 – 9/10): Free outdoor Shakespeare at Northside Park on the 8th and Sunset Park on the 10th. Fun for the whole family (especially if they find fun in murder and treason). 

Brews on the Beach (9/9): This one’s a bit more geared toward the adult crowd, but the oldest craft beer festival in Ocean City is taking place on September 9 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., right on the beach. Enjoy local beer, music and food. 

Now that most schools in the region don’t start back up until after Labor Day (September 4), there’s all the more reason to bring the kids for one last hurrah on the beach. 

How can I snag the best deals possible? 

Plan your trip ahead of time and do some research–it’ll pay off in the end, literally. Our Ocean City forums are a good place to start. Locals and tourists post about their favorite places to eat, sleep and have fun, and a common topic that comes up time and time again is where to do these things on a shoestring budget. Whether you’re looking for a cheap restaurant or deals on mini golf, you can just choose your category and narrow down your results by searching key terms (i.e. “cheap,” “budget,” “save money”). 

We also have discount gift certificates and guides like this one (sadly, some of those summer events have already passed, but it’s a helpful guide if you plan on coming back during the off-season–which, by the way, is another way to vacation cheaply during the colder months). 

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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