These days, Ocean City is a year round resort, although a trip here in the summer can be very different from a winter visit. If you are looking to get away from it all, time to relax and focus on family and friends, this is the place to be during the fall and winter. It’s a much slower pace, but that can be a good thing! You can choose to do nothing, or you can choose to take advantage of all that off season Ocean City has to offer.
In case you were wondering, the Ocean City Boardwalk never closes! Although less businesses are open during the off season, you can always find somewhere open to get a coffee, French fries, or buy a sweatshirt. A walk along the Boardwalk during the quieter off-season may be even more enjoyable than in the hot, busy summer months of July and August. Grab a coffee and enjoy the almost 3 miles of safe, car free boards. Take advantage of less people and ride a bike from one end to the other, any time of the day!
Hop in the car and take a trip to Assateague Island National Seashore. Assateague is well known for it’s wild ponies. Located just 8 miles from Ocean City is a nature preserve that anyone can enjoy. Take a nature tour, watch the birds, or check out the visitors center before the Verrazano Bridge. The park is always open for a quick pony peek but call ahead for tour times and information.
Looking for some indoor entertainment? The Escape Room offers visitors of all ages the chance to exercise their brains, and solve the clues to escape the room! There are three locations in Ocean City, and the 118th location is open year round. Old Pro Golf has two indoor miniature golf courses in Ocean City. Putt-putt is always one of our favorite things to do in the summer months in OC, why not play putt in the winter, too? Safari Village indoor mini golf is located on 136th Street and Undersea Adventure mini golf is located on 68th Street in Ocean City. There are also family arcades at each location.
Interested in something educational? How about one of Ocean City’s museums? There are a few in the area that are open during the off-season. The Ocean City Life-Saving Museum is on the Boardwalk at the Inlet takes you back to the old days of life saving in Ocean City by featuring amazing saves and notable guards, but that’s not all; there are also fish tanks, sea life tanks, and shipwreck exhibits. The DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum is on the Ocean City-Fenwick Island boarder and features 10,000 rotating artifacts from shipwrecks in our area and across the world. There are hands-on exhibits pulled from shipwrecks, too!
Check out all the Fall events happening in town. There’s Sunfest at the end of September, trying hard to hold on to the summer season, and Endless Summer Cruisin, where even the most unknowledgeable person can marvel at the design of older cars during the free Boardwalk parade each morning, at the beginning of October. Then there’s Shore Craft Beer’s OCtoberfest, the best craft beer festival on the Eastern Shore at Sunset Park in Downtown Ocean City on October 23rd, and various Halloween activities sprinkled throughout the end of October.
The Art League of Ocean City is located on 94th Street in Ocean City and is open year-round. Look at over 30 years worth of artwork that rotates from art league to art league in the Ocean City area. Check out many types of different medias and styles of work by local artists. Stop by the Art League to see if there are any workshops that you may like to participate in. The Art League of Ocean City is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm.
Don’t forget about all of Ocean City’s restaurants! If you’re coming to Ocean City and looking for something good to dine on, you’re in luck. You most likely won’t have to wait to be seated, prices are typically lower, there are more specials, and your service may be more enjoyable. Some of our restaurant suggestions during Ocean City’s off-season are: 28th Street Pit n Pub, Longboard Cafe, Billy’s Sub Shop, Pickles Pub and the Original Greene Turtle.
Winterfest of Lights is Ocean City’s most dazzling attraction from November 18th, 2021 to January 1st, 2022. This year, the festival will run five days a week instead of seven, and the hours will stay the same each day. Visitors can head to Northside park on Wednesday – Sunday from 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. The Winterfest of Lights is located in Northside Park: 127th Street and the Bay in Ocean City. With more than 1 million lights and hundreds of displays to walk through, this is a great family tradition for everyone to take part in.
Have you ever been to Berlin? Berlin, MD is a small historic town only 6 miles from Ocean City. This town is home to many antique shops, local art galleries, great restaurants, and beautiful historic homes. The Atlantic Hotel was built in 1895 and is decorated in Victorian décor. The hotel is open year round and features a nice bar and restaurant. There are several really good restaurants and cafes dotted throughout the town, some with live music and local artwork on display. There are a handful of boutiques, gift shops and antique stores lining Main Street that you could spend hours in.
Shopping in Ocean City is always an option in the off-season. There are many specialty shops in Ocean City that adapt their hours based on seasonal fluctuations. The Ocean City Outlets on Rt 50 is located in West Ocean City. There are many stores from which to choose including Bed, Bath & Beyond and Marshall’s.
Drive only 30 minutes west of Ocean City to check out the Salisbury Zoo. The town of Salisbury has a modest zoo that makes for a great day-trip in the Ocean City area. The zoo is open every day, year-round, from 9:00 am until 4:30 pm except Christmas Day and Thanksgiving. The Zoo is located at 755 South Park Drive, Salisbury, MD. Admission is free! Some of our favorite animals at this zoo are the prairie dogs, bison, turtles, flamingos, and sloths.