Since the 17th century, people have been attracted to the golden shores of Ocean City, and it has become one of the most popular destinations along the East Coast. With vintage charm, an All-American feel and attractions that delight people of
all ages, Ocean City is a staple destination for many travelers headed to the coastline. Whether you’re venturing on a family-friendly getaway or a romantic excursion, this sunny locale will make you fall in love with the ocean.
As one of the boardwalk’s oldest attractions, Trimper’s Carousel was first constructed in 1902 and installed in 1912. In fact, it’s the country’s oldest and longest continuously operating carousel. The kids will love the intricate designs and bright lights of the ride that features two stories of painted animals.
Assateague Island National Seashore:
Known for its roaming wild ponies, Assateague Island is a must-see for any family or equestrian lover. Since the 1600s, ponies have trotted through the beaches and pine forests freely here. The 37-mile barrier island is home to a large population of the animals, although they are divided by a fence that distinguishes between Maryland and Virginia.
Would you like to explore a bit of the past during your stay? Head over to the Ocean City Life-Saving Station, which documents the history of what is now the Coast Guard. This quaint museum also features exhibits that display what it was like on the boardwalk years ago, as well as aquariums with local marine life.
Things to Do
Ocean City is known for its unbelievable sunsets and sunrises, so be sure to catch at least a few of nature’s colorful spectacles. If you like to stay active on your vacations, there’s no better time to go for a jog along the shoreline than when the sun is rising in all its glory.
Stretching for about three miles, the Ocean City boardwalk is a great place to go for a leisurely stroll, bike ride or tram ride to take in every sip of the scenery. Bring the whole gang along to the boardwalk day or night and experience an entirely different spot. Once the sun goes down, you’ll see bright lights and lively attractions like rides, arcade games and performers.
Want to get away from the foot traffic along the shore? Head over to Northside Park, a 58-acre complex that serves as the ideal spot in town to have a picnic, play some games or just relax. As Ocean City’s largest green space, Northside Park features baseball, softball and soccer fields, as well as playgrounds and walking paths.
No matter what time of year you are traveling here, there is likely to be an event that can add a whole new element to the experience. If you’re here in the fall, you cannot miss the Ocean City Oktoberfest, while holiday travelers must attend the Winterfest of Lights. Ocean City Sunfest is another popular event for locals and out-of-towners alike. Sunfest is the city’s most popular festival, and features family-friendly attractions, food, music and arts and crafts.
Top Restaurants and Shopping
If you are looking for some retail therapy while you’re on vacation, you’ve come to the right place! Ocean City is full of amenities for the shopaholic in the family, including the boardwalk and local boutiques. Those who love finding one-of-a-kind antiques should head over to Snow Hill and Berlin to snag some treasures.
Seafood lovers can enjoy some of the freshest and best-prepared seafood around. Spicy steamed crabs and other fresh catches may never have tasted as good as they do here, but the cuisine doesn’t end there. You can find thick, juicy steaks, eastern shore fried chicken, smoky barbecue and more. There’s sure to be something to please the entire family!
Check out spots like Hemingway’s at the Coral Reef, Fager’s Island or Schooner’s Restaurant. With national chains and local eateries available, you can taste something new and exciting everyday if you’d like. Love going out to breakfast? Check out Soriano’s - a popular diner with breakfast classics and innovative new dishes.
Whether you want to party with the locals or enjoy your vacation at a leisurely pace, Ocean City offers distinct areas where you can take it as you wish. If you’d prefer a quieter stay, head north of the boardwalk, as the boardwalk is where the majority of locals and travelers come. Vacation rentals will provide you with an escape from the population density during the peak season.
For more info on the area, make sure to check out our full guide to
Ocean City, MD vacations