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Ocean City

Ocean City Overview

Ocean City, Maryland is a 10-mile barrier island stretching from the Sinepuxent Bay to the Delaware line along the Atlantic Ocean and is comprised of several key areas, including downtown, midtown, uptown, and West Ocean City. For many families, Ocean City vacations have been a summer tradition since early childhood.  Throughout the town, tourists and locals can be seen soaking up the sun on the beach, wandering the boardwalk, enjoying the many amusement parks and attractions, shopping, and exploring other adventures Ocean City has to offer. Ocean City’s beach is complimented by a wide range of amusements, restaurants, outdoor activities, and events to provide memorable experiences for all ages, all year round.

Ocean City Beach

Did you know that Ocean City’s beautiful beach is one of the largest and cleanest beaches in the entire nation?  Not to mention 100% FREE.  Access points at every corner make it effortless to get to the beach, whether staying for a week or just coming for a day-trip.  Ocean City’s 10 mile stretch of beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, relaxing, walking, or building sand castles either by yourself, with a few friends, or the entire family.  Be sure to stop by one of the numerous rental stands to pick up umbrellas, chairs, body boards, and other accessories that will make your day on the beach even more enjoyable, and keep an eye out for guys and girls of Scopes, who will help the memory of your vacation live long after you leave the sand through stunning professional photos.


Downtown Ocean City & Boardwalk

Downtown Ocean City runs from the Inlet to 28th street and includes the world famous boardwalk, historic hotels that have been around since Ocean City was founded, City Hall, the Lifesaving Museum, numerous marinas, and endless attractions and shops.  The boardwalk is an epicenter for activity in Ocean City and has been a staple of Ocean City vacations since it was built in 1902 as a walkway between a few oceanfront hotels.  These famous boards are home to numerous hotels, restaurants, rides, amusements, and shops.  After an afternoon of attractions and shopping, enjoy fresh cut fries from Thrasher’s, soft and hand-dipped ice creams from Dumser’s or Kohr Bros, fresh caramel popcorn from Fisher’s, or delicious saltwater taffy from Dolle’s for a memorable seaside snack.

Midtown Ocean City

Midtown Ocean City ranges from 29th street to 61th street.  Along this stretch of beach and Coastal Highway you will find numerous surf shops, restaurants and miniature golfing locations.  The many condos and hotels in the midtown region of Ocean City are ideal for vacationers who want to be centrally located with easy access to restaurants, amusements, and the boardwalk, while staying a away from the hustle and bustle of downtown.

Uptown Ocean City

The Northern region of Ocean City is 61st street to the Delaware line and is home to many of the high-rise condos and hotels that can be seen when crossing the Rt. 90 Bridge.  Here, you will find many full-time residences as well as shopping malls, movie theaters, and many of the most popular bars and restaurants.  The Original Greene Turtle, Liquid Assets, Blue Fish, Bayside Skillet, and many other award winning restaurants offer breakfast, sushi, seafood, hamburgers, steaks, and everything in between.  If your’re looking for a great ambiance while you dine, Horizon’s in the Clarion has an award winning wine list and a spectacular view of the ocean.

West Ocean City

West Ocean City, or ‘West O’ as the locals call it, is home to many of the full-time residents,  the Tanger factory outlets, two go-kart tracks, world class golf courses, OC Paintball, and waterfront restaurants like Harborside Bar and Grill, Sunset Grille, and the Shark on the Harbor.  Located at the center of West Ocean City is the commercial fishing harbor, providing deep water docks and access to the inlet for deep sea fishing boats, scallopers, lobster boats and many other commercial and personal vessels.  Harbor Day, held in October, is a time to celebrate the rich maritime heritage of our region.  Be sure to stop by the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center in West Ocean City as it greets you on your way into town on Rt. 50.

Ocean City Restaurants

Whether you consider yourself a food connoisseur or are just famished from a day on the sand and surf, there is a wide variety of Ocean City restaurants offering fine dining, casual fare, street food, snacks, ice cream, pastries, and everything in between.  Ocean City restaurants provide visitors with an eclectic assortment of dishes that are sure to please any palette.  Maryland blue crabs reign supreme as the king of seafood, but many Ocean City restaurants offer lobster, scallops, oysters, and a cornucopia of fresh fish directly off the docks.

Not only do Ocean City restaurants offer tasty eats, but many strive to achieve an atmosphere that accentuates their food offerings.  Some restaurants have beautiful views of the Ocean or Assateague, while others boast the amazing sunsets over the bay. Waterfront restaurants and inland eateries dot the boardwalk, bay, and Coastal Highway, making Ocean City a culinary destination as much as a family vacation resort.

Ocean City Nightlife

Nothing beats a relaxing day on the beach, but Ocean City doesn’t really heat up until the sun starts to fade over the bay.  There are many bayside bars and restaurants that provide spectacular views of an Ocean City sunset.  Macky’s Bayside, Fager’s Island and many other establishments hold daily sunset rituals that signify the transition from dinnertime to party time.  Most Ocean City bars have live entertainment, nightly specials, and special events all week long, giving tourists and locals plenty of nightlife entertainment options to chose from.  If the bar scene isn’t for you, or you’re looking for a more family friendly environment after the sun goes down, take advantage of the free concerts and movies on the beach that take place weekly, or stroll the neon light studded boardwalk and take in all the attractions it has to offer.  Walking on the beach by moonlight is serene experience for those wishing for a more relaxing evening.   The beach is never closed to the public, so you can enjoy it anytime you get the urge for some sand between your toes.

Ocean City Nature

Do you enjoy taking in the natural wonders while on vacation?  If so, Ocean City offers numerous tour boats, nature cruises, and natural habitats for you to take advantage of.  Aboard these cruises you can get a glimpse of dolphins, as well as whales, and even see the roaming ponies on Assateague Island.  Birding is another common hobby in Ocean City as there are many herons, pelicans, osprey, seagulls, and other birds constantly soaring over the shore.  Skimmer Island, visible from the Route 50 bridge and just off of Hooper’s Crab House, is known for its nesting colony of the endangered and beautiful bird of the same name.  Jet skis and kayaks can be rented from SuperFun Eco Tours, Ayers Creek Adventures, and many other rental places, so you can experience wildlife in its natural element without disturbing it. With so many waterways and natural habitats in Ocean City, Assateague, and the surrounding areas, nature lovers are exposed to endless possibilities to enjoy the environment.

Ocean City Fishing

Ocean City is hailed as the White Marlin Capital of the World, so it only makes sense that it is home to the White Marlin Open, one of the largest billfish tournaments in the entire world. Each August, international fishermen from all corners of the globe come to Ocean City to participate in this famous annual event that puts millions of dollars of prize money on the line. You don’t have to be a professional angler, however, in order to enjoy the fishing in Ocean City. You can easily fish on bay boats and deep sea charters that include rods, reels, bait and knowledge of the prime locations for fishing.  The Assawoman and Sinepuxent bays are abundant in different species of fish and tuna, mako, and other big game fish are located just miles off the Ocean City coast.  You can also cast your line off of the public piers in town as well as along the Rt. 50 drawbridge, or take advantage of the prime surf fishing from the beach between 9:00am and 6:00pm.

Ocean City Watersports

Are you interested in kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddle boarding, kite boarding, or parasailing?  Ocean City is home to many marinas and family run rentals that can set you up with the equipment and knowledge you need to enjoy the water sport of your choice. Whether you wish to cruise around the bay, ride wake on the ocean, explore Assateague, or sail high above the beach with the seagulls, there is no shortage for enjoyable watersports when on an Ocean City vacation.

Ocean City Golf

If golf is your game, Ocean City is sure to please with it’s 17 championship golf courses that provide amazing views of the bay and rolling landscapes.  They are but a short drive away from the beach and will challenge golfers of any skill level.  For more information on all of Ocean City’s world class golf courses and to book reservations, please see our Golf page.  Also, be sure to download the Golf Now app for discounted tee times that will stretch your vacation budget.

Ocean City Shopping

While on vacation in Ocean City, there are endless opportunities to shop. From national department stores to unique local boutiques, Ocean City literally has something for the inner shopper in everyone.  Not only is the boardwalk abundant in souvenir stores and quaint shops, but there are a myriad of surf shops, like Quiet Storm and K-Coast, along coastal highway where you can find a hot new bikini or even an awesome new surf board. If you need Ocean City apparel, toys for the kids, or beach supplies, be sure to check out any of the dozens of Sunsations shops along Coastal Highway.

If you are willing to step off the island of Ocean City for some shopping experiences, the Tanger Outlets in West Ocean City features stores like Tommy Hilfiger, Gap, PacSun, as well as many more trendy stores. The Rehoboth Tanger Outlets, just about 20 minutes North from the northernmost point of Ocean City, are home to 3 large shopping centers with stores ranging from Coach, and Under Armor, to Old Navy and American Eagle.

If antique stores and a quaint atmosphere is more your thing, be sure to stop by Berlin about 10 miles west of Ocean City.  This historic town is just off Route 50 and Route 113 and is filled with antique shops and quiet dining places.

Ocean City Events

Ocean City is the home of many festivals and events throughout the summer and off-season months.  You can experience live entertainment, arts and crafts, and local food at Springfest, Sunfest , and Harborfest and from Thanksgiving to New Years, you can bring the family to Ocean City to enjoy the Winterfest of Lights at Northside Park on 127th St. Throughout the summer, visitors can enjoy car shows, bike week, arts and crafts shows, antique fairs, fishing tournaments, and numerous concerts and other events at the Roland E Powell Convention Center.

Your Ocean City Vacation Awaits

Whether you are looking for a day trip, weekend getaway, or a complete summer vacation you will have an abundance of places to stay and things to do in Ocean City.  Our Vacation Planner is a great place to start if you want to book a hotel, read up on restaurants, check out upcoming events, or find tons of useful information when planning your Ocean City vacation.


Ann McGinnis Hillyer
Ann McGinnis Hillyerhttps://www.oceancity.com
Ann has been with StateVentures since 1999. She graduated from Duke University, but still loves Maryland -- despite their withdrawal from the ACC. She has worked in marketing and strategic planning for decades, starting with an airline out of Dulles Airport. She moved from Annapolis to Berlin, MD to be closer to Ocean City. She She is based in Berlin, Maryland and can help any client build more business. She loves a camera and any excuse to use it. She also loves fishing and being out on a boat. Ann has two cool children who love the ocean as much as she does. Contact info: amh@maryland.com; 410-703-1970

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  1. considering retirement in the ocean city Maryland vicinity, is there a chamber of commerce that could send me by mail some information of the area? Prefer to purchase a mobile home in a Salisbury/Ocean City area please. Can anyone help me? Prefer a text or phone call @ 3159359923, thank you. Jack Livingston


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