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Things to See and Do in Ocean City, a Summertime Hub on the Maryland Shore

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For a laid-back beach resort, Ocean City makes it surprisingly easy for you to fill your slate, especially in the action-packed summer season. Read and relax on the beach? Check. Dance to live music? Check. Work on your golf swing? Check. Reel in a white marlin for the record books? Check. And even when all your boxes are ticked, you'll soon find something else fun to do.

Explore the boardwalk


Walking the planks of Ocean City’s boardwalk, you come to understand the appeal of this popular seaside town - not much has changed here in the last 50 years or so. The enticing smell of Thrasher’s Fries still competes with the caramel popcorn at Fisher’s, and the funnel cakes from the Alaska Stand. There's a real nostalgic pleasure to playing old-timey games in Marty’s Playland arcade, the carousel at Trimper’s Rides is one of the oldest still operating in the US. You can dig even deeper into local, coastal history with a walk around the Life Saving Station Museum.


  • The Ocean City Boardwalk, Inlet to 27th Street, Ocean City, Maryland 21842; Tel: 1-800-OC-OCEAN; Website: The Ocean City Boardwalk

  • Trimper's Rides, S. 1st Street and the Boardwalk, Ocean City, Maryland 21842; Tel: +1 410 289 8617; Website: Trimper's Rides

Miles of sand and surf


Stretching nearly 10 miles from the inlet to the Delaware state line, Ocean City’s scrupulously clean beach draws visitors to Maryland’s only shoreline. The widest section and most public facilities are at the southern end - the sand narrows as you move north away from the boardwalk. Daytime diversions revolve around sand, sun, and surf, but summer evenings are filled with organized entertainments: free concerts, open-air movie screenings, family Olympics, and fireworks shows. There are novelties and diversions everywhere, from sand sculptures in front of the Plim Plaza Hotel to professional "telescope" photographers who roam the beach taking souvenir portraits.


  • The Ocean City Beach, Inlet to 146 Street, Ocean City, Maryland 21842; Tel: +1 800 OC OCEAN; Website: The Ocean City Beach

  • Telescope Pictures, 4805 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Maryland, 21842; Tel: +1 410 289 0685; Website: Telescope Pictures


Cruise Coastal Highway


With the top down and the radio on, a cruise along Coastal Highway in the afternoon is a classic Ocean City experience. Of course, you don't need a convertible to enjoy a leisurely drive and regular city buses run the length of town too. The highway forms a kind of buffet of dining options and amusements, where you grab a snack, duck into a bar for a happy hour, shop for surfwear at Quiet Storm, or challenge the kids to a round of mini golf at Planet Maze.


  • Quiet Storm, 7409 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Maryland 21842; Tel: +1 410 723 1316; Website: Quiet Storm

  • Planet Maze, 33rd Street and Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Maryland 21842; Tel: +1 410 524 4386; Website: Planet Maze


Sailing from Talbot Street Pier


From May through October, charter boats stand ready at Talbot Street Pier to take you sport fishing for the famous white marlin, tuna, and other deep-sea prizes often caught in these waters. Or head to the bay for a leisurely 2-hour tour on The Happy Hooker, from which you can fish for flounder, croaker, and rockfish. If you want to get out on the water, but you don't care about casting a line, your other options range from a fast ride on the OC Rocket speedboat, an eco-cruise on the Assateague Adventure, or a kid-friendly, pirate-style voyage on the Duckaneer.


  • Talbot Street Pier, 311 Talbot Street on the Bay, Ocean City, Maryland 21842; Tel: +1 410 289 9125; Website: Talbot Street Pier

  • The Duckaneer, 311 Talbot Street on the Bay, Ocean City, Maryland 21842; Tel: +1 410 285 3500; Website: The Duckaneer


Visiting Assateague Island


Ocean City and Assateague used to share a landmass, but a storm in the 1930s separated them. Just 7 miles from the Inlet at Ocean City's southern end, Assateague provides a natural alternative to Ocean City’s commercial attractions. Wild ponies roam the island, where a nature preserve keeps the beaches pristine. Both Assateague and Chincoteague on the Virginia side are prime locations for bird watching, fishing in the surf, or swimming in a protected cove.


  • Assateague Island National Seashore, 7206 National Seashore Lane, Berlin, Maryland 21811; Tel: +1 410 641 1441; Website: Assateague Island National Seashore

  • Assateague State Park, 7307 Stephen Decatur Highway, Berlin, Maryland 21811; Tel: +1 410 641 2120; Website: Assateague State Park