Above: Ocean City beach looking South from 65th Street.
Ocean City, Maryland is known by many for its beautiful beach, its family oriented boardwalk, and its fun-filled nightlife. Unfortunately not everyone experiences Ocean City, Maryland during its down time: the winter months. I’ve grown up in the Ocean City area for 22 years, and this is the first year I have experienced it without any kind of schoolwork to occupy my time. In fact, in the summer, I work on the beach, and interact with many tourists everyday. A common question they have for me is, “What is there to do in the winter?”
Sadly, Ocean City, Maryland tends to have a common stigma attached to it that is held by many who are not local and can only assume what the winter is like. That stigma is that the only thing to do in Ocean City is go to a bar. This is just not true! There are tons of things to do in town that do not involve drinking!
Some of the things that you can do in Ocean City throughout the winter months that you can’t do in the summer are ride your bike on the boardwalk and walk your dog on the beach. From May 1st to September 30th, dogs are not permitted on the beach, so once that summer crowd has left for the winter you can bring your fuzzy four-legged friends out to enjoy the sun and sand!
Because of the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having here in Ocean City, many of my friends, myself included, have taken advantage of walking the boardwalk as well as riding bikes. In the summer, bike riding is only allowed early in the morning due to the heavy pedestrian population throughout the day and evening, but in the fall, winter, and spring, you can enjoy a pleasant bike ride any time of the day!
If riding a bike isn’t quite your thing, no problem! Why not just grab a book and a beach blanket and enjoy a nice read? I’ve always enjoyed sitting on the beach with a sweatshirt and a nice book; of course, it would have to be one of those unseasonably warm days!
We have been very lucky this year having experienced so many warmer days here in Ocean City, but there are some days that can be bitter cold! But that doesn’t keep us cooped up inside our homes! There is plenty to do throughout the day!
Ocean City provides its locals and visitors with six miniature golfing locations. You might think, “Miniature golfing in the winter?” But there are two indoor golf locations that are open year round! 68th Street’s indoor mini-golf course is an underwater adventure, where you’ll find pirates, mermaids, and sunken submarines! And 136th streets course is a safari village; you never know what animals you may find there! Miniature golf has always been a pastime for me; so going mini-golfing now at 22-years old with my friends brings out the kid in me again! So grab some friends and relive your childhood!
Another fun thing to do in Ocean City is bowling! Grab some friends, and head to Ocean Lanes on 72nd Street bayside. They have open lanes as well as leagues every night, but the hours of which you can play change daily, so make sure you call before heading over to make sure you’ll have a lane! It’s always fun to just hang out and spark up a little competition amongst friends. The alley also has a concessions area, so the loser in your group could always buy everyone a round of soda and fries!
We all know that going to the movies can be an expensive activity, but in Ocean City, Tuesday is $5 movie night. Whether on a date or just having a night out with some friends, going to the movies on a Tuesday and only having to pay $5 is definitely one of the best things to do when you’re free. Both the Fox Gold Coast Mall movie theater on 115th Street and Fox Sun and Surf 8 Cinema on 142nd Street offer an abundance of movies each night. So head out to the movies next Tuesday!
Along with all these fun activities, you’re going to need some place to eat. Throughout the winter months, some restaurants close up their doors, but there are many that stay open and offer excellent specials at great prices. Sunset Grill, located in West Ocean City, and The Greene Turtle, located in both West Ocean City and North Ocean City, are just two of the numerous places that offer such specials.
Ocean City in the wintertime is not as boring as some people assume and as some locals make it out to be. I recently asked Christina Taylor, an Ocean City local throughout her childhood as well as her twenties, what she likes about the town in the wintertime. She says, “It’s something to look forward to. We pull in so many people in the summer it’s nice to have our town back to ourselves when summer is over.” Just as Christina says, Ocean City brings so many people from other areas of the country into the town over the summer months, and when winter hits, it’s nice to see the town calm and still.
There are many things to do in Ocean City throughout the slower seasons, and these are just a few of those activities. I’m still finding new and exciting things to do with my friends, and there are many more things for you to find on your own. You just have to go out and explore!