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6 places to watch the Ocean City Air Show

6 Places to Watch the Air Show

It’s that time of year again:  the Ocean City Air Show! The rumbling of the US Air Force’s elite jet team, the Thunderbirds, and WWII bombers will be constant in Ocean City the weekend of June 11th and 12th.  Ocean City, MD is the only place to see antique aircraft, elite US jet teams, and all kinds of aerial feats perform over the beach and boardwalk. The OC Air Show has featured the US Navy Blue Angels, the US Air Force’s Thunderbirds,  the B-2 Spirit, a strategic bomber with stealth technology, U.S. Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a C-17 Globemaster III, a P-51 Quicksilver Mustang demo, Para-Commandos and more. 

Before tailgating the spectacular plane show, you should consider where you’re going to watch it – and how you’re going to get there. The crowds can be daunting so plan ahead to maximize your enjoyment and minimize your frustration.


Watch the Ocean City Air Show on The Pier

Pier in Ocean City MD
Ocean City, MD Pier

This one might need some strategic planning and early wake-up calls, but from the fishing pier provides a beautiful perspective of the Atlantic Ocean on a good day. Imagine what it’ll be like with those planes screaming past you while you’re standing literally on top of the ocean! You might want to bring your own shade with this option though.

The beach near Ninth Street

ocean city boardwalk

The air show is designed for the beach crowd, so of course anywhere on the Boardwalk is a perfect spot. The Boardwalk will be open throughout the show.  What makes this area so crucial is that it has a comfort station. Presto! No long walks to bathrooms or begging Boardwalk shop owners to use their bathrooms. Parking around this area might be congested though, so consider taking the Ocean City bus for $3.

Watch the Ocean City Air Show On the water

oc air show

Not a fan of crowds and annoyed by parking logistics? Skip the land route and just go straight to the ocean. Instead of rubbing elbows with complete strangers, you can be a little choosier with your guests and maybe squeeze in a little fishing in between. Hopefully they won’t get scared by the Bombers! Bring a boat or take a trip to one of Ocean City’s several marinas to get a more secluded air show experience. Check out the regulations on where you can drop anchor before you set sail this weekend.

Private party in a condo

air show weekend

For a different angle and for a full weekend trip, consider getting the gang together and renting a room someplace. There’s dozens of hotels on the boards or facing the beach – all you really need in this case is good friends and balcony. 

West Ocean City

oc airshow from west oc

When the Thunderbirds practice is subject to when they arrive in town, but if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to catch their practice which usually occurs sometime on the Friday before the show. You can usually catch them practicing in West Ocean City, and West O restaurants like the Shrimp Boat and the new Pier 23 lot make for perfect viewing spots.

The Drop Zone

blue angels animation oc air show

My favorite place to be for OC Air Show weekend! On the beach around 14th Street and 15th Street, jump teams parachute in this area. With paid passes, visitors also get less crowded experience, professional narration and enhanced sound in this area. Also included are portable bathrooms and food vendors. But most importantly, you’re right in the center of the action. To buy tickets, visit the OC Air Show site here.


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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