Or, for an even more alliterative title, the Top 5 Businesses to Barhop while Boating on the Bay. In other words, these are five bayside bars in or adjacent to Ocean City that can be reached by boat and are guaranteed to provide you with a good drink and an even better view. If your favorite barhopping-by-boat stop wasn’t mentioned, be sure to let us know what makes it so great and we’ll give it an honorable mention!
This list isn’t numbered, but if it was, The Angler would probably weigh in at #1 for the best boating bar stop. There are tons of cool places to explore while out traversing the Atlantic, but the Angler is one that offers you the total out-on-the-boat-in-the-summer experience — even if you have to come by car.
If you do sail your way there, you can anchor at the marina, then hop out and hit the dock bar to enjoy drinks or anchor yourself at a table and order the catch-of-the-day. And if you come by car, you can always embark on one of their nature cruises, scenic cruises or deep-sea fishing adventures. So basically, even if you’re stuck with a four-door clunker like I am, you can at least pretend to be a skilled seaman of the Eastern Shore.
“There are a lot of boats and restaurants that are located on the bay, and many that you can get to by boat, but only one that will come and pick you up — and that’s here at Seacrets Jamaica USA,” says Seacrets Marketing Manager Jackie Miller in this video by Unscene Productions. One of the more popular, and sometimes pretty crowded, summer destinations, Seacrets offers a water taxi service that shuttles passengers from their boats straight to the restaurants’ bayside beach. Beat the parking lot crowd and sail your way to Seacrets.
While it’s just over the Maryland-Delaware line, getting to Harpoon Hanna’s from the more western side of Ocean City can take what feels like hours on a busy summer weekend. It’s almost not worth the clam strips and the gorgeous view off the Fenwick Island shore, except it is — especially when you can get there via the waterways instead of the highways. Dock at Hanna’s and you’re already just a stone’s throw away from their Tiki Bar, where you can sip on a fruity island drink and watch all the other boats go by just past your umbrella.
When inquiring what bayside restaurants are the best bayside restaurants in Ocean City, Macky’s always comes up high on the list. During the summer season you’re welcome to sail your way to the restaurant at night and enjoy the bar, the entertainment and the general nightlife, but it’s also a great place to bring the family for a meal, too. Take the kids out on the boat, get some crabcakes and chicken strips in the restaurant, and then if you’re feeling adventurous, walk just a few feet east to Odyssea Watersports and partake in a spontaneous jet ski ride. That’s dinner and entertainment. Just give yourself plenty of time to digest first, and maybe don’t jet ski if you did hit the bar beforehand.
M.R. Ducks, an Ocean City tradition, is similar to The Angler in that it’s a viable option for those who don’t own their own boat but wish they did. The restaurant is known for hosting big fishing tournaments and providing fishing charters off the Talbot Street Pier. That pier also offers free docking and even sells marine fuel, making it super boater-friendly. Even if you come in your own boat, your kids will still be begging to ride on the Duckaneer Pirate Ship, where they’re guaranteed to have a “swashbucklin’ good time” of their own.
If you’re sans children and drinking your way down the bay, be sure to order the Chug A Duck. Trust me — a decoy filled with Amaretto and Natural Light, chugging the duck is an essential part of the Ocean City barhopping experience.