Ocean City is a popular oceanfront resort city on the coast of Maryland. Many things draw visitors -- skyscraper hotels, clean beaches, the boardwalk, restaurants, beachfront lodging, amusement parks and the large convention center -- but a simple bay sunset may be the greatest pleasure. Visitors range from families escaping the more urbanized Western Shore of Maryland to conventioneers soaking up the sun to teenagers enjoying the first taste of vacation without adult supervision
Ocean City is a beach resort town located on a barrier island along the Atlantic Ocean, on the east coast of the Delmarva Peninsula. The city is located in Maryland, with the adjacent beach town of Fenwick Island just over the border in Delaware. The city is about 10 miles long, running from the Ocean City Inlet to the south to the Delaware border to the north, and a few blocks wide. The downtown area is in the southern part of the city and contains the boardwalk, amusements, arcades, restaurants, shops, and older homes and motels. The central and northern parts of the are situated along a strip on Coastal Highway and are home to hotels, high-rise condos, restaurants, bars, shops, the convention center, and newer housing developments. The city has a year-round population of 7,102 as of the 2010 Census but attracts between 320,000 and 345,000 vacationers on summer weekends and sees about 8 million visitors annually. Many visitors to Ocean City come from other parts of Maryland and the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, with other visitors coming from Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The peak time for tourists to come to Ocean City is between Memorial Day weekend in late May and Labor Day weekend in early September. In June, the city is a popular destination for Senior Week, where recently-graduated high school seniors come to Ocean City to spend a week with their friends.
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Ocean City enjoys, for the most part, a mild humid subtropical climate. Summers are hot and humid with occasional thunderstorms, while winter is cool with most precipitation in the form of rain (though light snowfall and sleet is sometimes experienced, particularly in areas further from the ocean). Spring and autumn share mild temperatures and fair weather. Hurricanes and tropical storms are rarely concerns, but they do affect the area once or twice in a decade, typically as a much less intense storm.
There are three ways to get into Ocean City by car. U.S. Route 50 (Ocean Gateway) provides access to downtown Ocean City from the west, crossing the Sinepuxent Bay on the Harry W. Kelley Memorial Bridge. Maryland Route 90 (Ocean City Expressway) provides access to northern Ocean City from the west, crossing the Assawoman Bay on the Assawoman Bay Bridge. Delaware Route 1 (Coastal Highway) provides access to Ocean City from Delaware to the north.
From the Baltimore area, follow Interstate 97 south to U.S. Route 50 east. Follow U.S. Route 50 east across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and continue along U.S. Route 50 east to reach downtown Ocean City or take the exit to Maryland Route 90 east for access to northern Ocean City. Ocean City is about 150 miles/3 hours from Baltimore.
From the Washington D.C. area, follow U.S. Route 50 east across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and continue along U.S. Route 50 east to reach downtown Ocean City or take the exit to Maryland Route 90 east for access to northern Ocean City. Ocean City is about 150 miles/3 hours from Washington, D.C.
From the Philadelphia area, follow Interstate 95 south into Delaware and take Exit 4A to Delaware Route 1 south. Follow Delaware Route 1 south to Milford and take the exit to U.S. Route 113 south. Follow U.S. Route 113 south into Maryland and take the exit to Maryland Route 90 east for access to northern Ocean City or the exit to U.S. Route 50 east for access to downtown Ocean City. Ocean City is about 150 miles/3 hours from Philadelphia.
From New Jersey or New York City, follow the New Jersey Turnpike south to the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Continue into Delaware along Interstate 295 south and Interstate 95 south and take Exit 4A to Delaware Route 1 south. Follow Delaware Route 1 south to Milford and take the exit to U.S. Route 113 south. Follow U.S. Route 113 south into Maryland and take the exit to Maryland Route 90 east for access to northern Ocean City or the exit to U.S. Route 50 east for access to downtown Ocean City. Another option is to follow the Garden State Parkway south to Cape May and take the Cape May-Lewes Ferry across the Delaware Bay to Lewes. From here, follow U.S. Route 9 west to Delaware Route 1 south to reach Ocean City. Ocean City is about 250 miles/5 hours from New York City.
From the Pittsburgh area, follow Interstate 76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike) east and take Exit 161 in Breezewood to Interstate 70 east. Follow Interstate 70 east into Maryland. Continue along Interstate 70 east and take Exit 91A to Interstate 695 south. Follow Interstate 695 south and east and take Exit 4 to Interstate 97 south. Follow Interstate 97 south to U.S. Route 50 east. Follow U.S. Route 50 east across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and continue along U.S. Route 50 east to reach downtown Ocean City or take the exit to Maryland Route 90 east for access to northern Ocean City. Ocean City is about 350 miles/7 hours from Pittsburgh.
From the Norfolk area, follow U.S. Route 13 north across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and continue along U.S. Route 13 north into Maryland. In Pocomoke City, turn onto U.S. Route 113 north and follow that route north. Take the exit to U.S. Route 50 east for access to downtown Ocean City or the exit to Maryland Route 90 east for access to northern Ocean City. Ocean City is about 140 miles/3 hours from Norfolk.
The closest airport with commercial air service to Ocean City is the Salisbury-Ocean City-Wicomico Regional Airport near Salisbury, about 30 miles west of Ocean City. This airport is served by American Eagle flights from American Airlines hubs in Charlotte and Philadelphia. Rental car service is available at this airport. Visitors may also fly into Baltimore-Washington International Airport near Baltimore or Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, which are served by a wider selection of airlines. From here, you can rent a car or, in the case of Baltimore-Washington International Airport, take the BayRunner Shuttle to the West Ocean City Park and Ride.
The closest train station to Ocean City is Wilmington Station in Wilmington, Delaware about 120 miles to the north. Wilmington Station is served by Amtrak trains operating on the Northeast Corridor between Washington, D.C. and Boston along with some long-distance trains, and SEPTA Regional Rail commuter trains running along the Wilmington/Newark Line from Center City Philadelphia. Rental car services are available at the station. From Wilmington Station, rent a car or take DART First State buses to Ocean City.
DART First State's Route 208  runs from Rehoboth Beach, DE to the 144th Street Transit Center at the intersection of Coastal Hwy and 144th St in Ocean City making stops in towns along the Delaware coast on the way. Shore Transit's Route 203 provides access to Ocean City from Salisbury while Route 503 provides access to Ocean City from Pocomoke City . Both Shore Transit routes terminate at the West Ocean City Park and Ride in the summer months when the park and ride shuttle is in operation and terminate at the South Division Street Transit Center at all other times. Greyhound Lines provides intercity bus service between the Baltimore Greyhound Terminal and the West Ocean City Park and Ride, with the portion of the route between Salisbury and Ocean City operated by Shore Transit.
- Coastal Highway Beach Bus, ☎ . Spring-Fall: 24 hours daily, Winter: Su-Th 6:20AM-11:35PM, F-Sa 24 hours. The Coastal Highway Beach Bus serves the entire length of the city, running from the South Division Street Transit Center near the Inlet to the 144th Street Transit Center near the Delaware border. The bus follows Philadelphia Avenue southbound and Baltimore Avenue northbound between South Division Street and 15th Street and Coastal Highway between 15th Street and 145th Street. Buses are frequent and quick during the day but can be slow at night due to crowding. $3 for a day pass; $1.50 for a day pass for senior citizens, disabled persons, Medicare card holders, and non-resident Senior Bus Pass holders; Free for children under 42 inches in height, ADA Certified Disabled card holders, and resident Senior Bus Pass holders.
- West Ocean City Park and Ride shuttle, ☎ . Summer: 6AM-2AM daily; also operates during Springfest, OC Cruisin', Bikefest, and Sunfest. Shuttle bus that operates between the West Ocean City Park and Ride and the South Division Street Transit Center, with a stop at the Tanger Outlets. $3 for a day pass; $1.50 for a day pass for senior citizens, disabled persons, Medicare card holders, and non-resident Senior Bus Pass holders; Free for children under 42 inches in height, ADA Certified Disabled card holders, and resident Senior Bus Pass holders.
- Boardwalk Tram, ☎ . Springfest: Th-Sa 10AM-midnight, Su 10AM-6PM; Memorial Day weekend-Labor Day: 11AM-midnight daily, 10AM-midnight during holiday weekends and special events; September 2PM-10PM daily until Su after Labor Day, Th-Su 2PM-10PM the following weekend; Sunfest: Th-Sa 10AM-midnight, Su 10AM-6PM. The Boardwalk Tram runs on the boardwalk between the inlet and 27th street and stops at nearly any location, taking a half-hour to complete the journey. Near the pier, the tram takes a detour from the boardwalk and travels near the ocean. $3 one-way, $6 unlimited ride pass from 11AM-4PM, $20 for 8 rides with discount fare card.
Ocean City is very easy to walk and easily navigable. You might end up waiting to cross Coastal Highway in summer due to heavy traffic. Make sure to cross roads at crosswalks as jaywalking is prohibited.
Driving should be avoided in Ocean City because of very heavy traffic with frequent congestion. Ocean City is still easily navigable if you're used to heavy traffic, streets are well marked and the entire city is just one long strip. In the downtown area, southbound traffic follows Philadelphia Avenue while northbound traffic follows Baltimore Avenue. From north of the downtown area to the Delaware border, Coastal Highway serves as the only north-south through road, carrying three travel lanes and a right lane for buses, bicycles, and right turns in each direction.
Parking can be hard to find and also comes with a cost. The Hugh T. Cropper Inlet Parking Lot offers easy access to the beach and the boardwalk and contains over 1,200 parking spaces. Upon entering, a ticket is obtained and upon leaving, the ticket and payment is given to the lot attendant. The parking rate at the Inlet Parking Lot is $3.00 per hour between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day and $2.00 per hour between April 1st and Memorial Day weekend and between Labor Day and October 31st. Free parking is available at the West Ocean City Park and Ride, with a shuttle bus connecting the lot to the South Division Street Transit Center. There are several smaller paid parking lots and on-street metered parking located in the downtown area between South Division Street and 10th Street and a few lots in the northern part of the city. The smaller parking lots and on-street metered parking utilize Cale pay stations, and parking can also be paid with the Parkmobile app. The smaller parking lots are open 24 hours with a 12 hour time limit for parking; the parking rate is $2.00 per hour. Parking for boat trailers is available at the lot at 100th Street. At this lot, parking costs $10 a day or $50 a week between April 1st and October 31st.
Many taxi services are available, ranging from '50s classic cars to modern mini vans. You can hail a cab on the street and most local cabs go by a zone fare system. Always ask the cab to run the meter or run away!
By ride-hailing services
Upon entering Ocean City via the Route 50 Bridge, visitors are greeted with towering hotels, the hustle and bustle of the boardwalk, kite-flyers on the beach and lots of fishing boats and other recreational boaters. Ocean City's 10 mile long ocean beach is definitely the main attraction in Ocean City.
- Located in the south end of Ocean City, the historic boardwalk features various beachfront attractions, including shops, restaurants, lodging, as well as entertainment and amusement options.
- Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, 401 S Atlantic Ave, ☎ . Summer: 10AM-5PM daily, March, Oct-Nov: Sa-Su 10AM-5PM. You won't miss this building, as it's on the boardwalk and has a giant moving shark embedded in the outer walls. It's not a cheap sideshow tourist trap, as you might expect, but rather a really big and engaging museum devoted to the strange. Adult: $11, Child $8.
Beachgoers can swim, fly kites, play sports, surf or just relax on the beautiful beaches. The beach is fully lifeguarded and patrolled daily from late April to October. Golf, minigolf, deep sea fishing and more.
- 1 Baja Amusements. ,
- 2 Jolly Roger Amusement Park. ,
- 3 Jolly Roger at the Pier. ,
- 4 Trimper's Rides, S. First St. & The Boardwalk, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Amusement park located at the south end of town where the boardwalk begins. Has been in business for well over 100 years.
- Dive Ocean City. Half day or full day custom SCUBA diving trips in a six pack SCUBA diving charter boat that runs recreational dive trips to some of the best local wrecks and artificial reefs.
- Glen Riddle Golf Club. Glen Riddle has 2 courses open to the public as well as a Ruths Chris Steak House.
The War Admiral course, is routed through mature forest. The course is sheltered from the wind. The Man O'War Course occupies the westerly portion of GlenRiddle and is not.
- Eagle's Landing Golf Course. A seaside golf course.Overlooks Sinepuxent Bay and Assateague Island National Seashore"
- Splash Mountain Waterpark, 2901 North Philadelphia Ave, ☎ . A waterpark centrally located with over 17 different attractions.
- Ocean City Parasail, Talbot Street Pier, ☎ . Check out Ocean City's skyline flying at 800 feet in the sky. Bay-side or Ocean=side rides
- 5 Ocean Downs Casino, 10218 Racetrack Rd (Minutes from Ocean City on route 50 at Racetrack Road), ☎ . Live horse racing, slots, dining, simulcast.
- Ocean City Pier Rides, 401 S Atlantic Ave. Check out the Ocean City skyline from the tallest Ferris Wheel in Ocean City among the many rides offered. The pier has games, food and shops to pass your time.
- Ocean City Rocket, 311 Talbot St (On the bay), ☎ . Cruise the ocean in the fastest and newest speed boats in Ocean City. Coast Guard approved, professional crew and life jackets all add up to peace of mind.
- Ocean City also features outlet shopping as well as grocery and department stores to meet all your vacation needs. Of course, Ocean City has many souvenir shops for mementos of your Ocean City experience.
- Chauncey's Surf Shop, 2908 Coastal Highway, ☎ , e-mail: Chaunceysurf@aol.com. This is said to be the best surf shop in Ocean City; the owner is a very nice guy. There is another location at 5309 Coastal Highway.
- Tanger Outlets, 12741 Ocean Gateway, ☎ , toll-free: . Regular hours: M-Sa 9AM-9PM, Su 10AM-7PM Summer hours: M-Sa 9AM-9PM, Su 9AM-7PM Winter hours: M-Sa 9AM-7PM, Su 10AM-7PM. Tanger Outlets Ocean City offers over 30 name-brand outlet stores to choose from. Coupons and deals are available from the shopper services desk.
Dining options range from fast food, beachfront snack bars and all-you-can-eat seafood to dinner cruises and waterfront dining.
- Mother's Cantina, 28th St Plaza, 2810 Philadelphia Ave, ☎ . Mothers is said to have the best tacos in OC, Great place for a beer or a margarita. Also, the only bar in town that understands and offers vegetarian and vegan options. The Santa Fe veggie burger is delicious.
- Happy Jack Pancake House, 2504 Philadelphia Ave, ☎ . A popular OC breakfast spot. Standard fare continental breakfast, lots of pancake options. Don't be intimidated by long lines! Once seated, service is exceptionally fast and the food is consistently good. Be sure to meet your hostess at the patio door!
- Malia's Cafe, 1800 North Baltimore Ave, ☎ . 7:30-3. Great place for vegetarians right off the boardwalk. Powerhouse sandwiches and black bean wraps are tasty. They also do smoothies.
- Lombardi's Restaurant, 9303 Coastal Hwy.. Delicious pizza.
- Phillips Crab House, 2004 Philadelphia Ave. Excellent seafood, in business for over 50 years.
- Bayside Skillet, 7701 Coastal Hwy, ☎ . Very good breakfasts. Specializing in crepes and omletes.
- BJ's on the Water, 75st Street Bayside, ☎ . Excellent seafood dinners and lunches, duck feedings at lunchtime, canoe race in July, hopping bar in the evenings, nice sunset on the bay.
- Belly Busters, 4408 Coastal Hwy, ☎ . Fantastic seafood, good cheap boardwalk fare.
- The Bonfire Restaurant, 7009 Coastal Highway, ☎ . Arguably the best buffet in ocean city, features snow crab legs and prime rib.
- General's Kitchen- The House of Chipped Beef, 7400 Coastal Highway, ☎ . arguably the creamed chip beef in ocean city, great place for breakfast and won't break your wallet, small place so expect to wait in line during peak breakfast hours
- Pizza Tugos, 18th St & 118th St Coastal Highway, ☎ . Open till 4AM. Pizza, subs, and delivers.
- Olive Tree, 127th St, ☎ . The Olive Tree is one of the best Italian restaurants. The setting is beautiful and the food is delicious.
- The Original Thrasher's French Fries, At The Pier, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Since 1929, making only french fries, the line at Thrasher's to buy these fries can be blocks long. The smells are unmistakeable blocks away. Don't expect ketchup, the only condiment is vinegar. The location near the pier usually has long lines, however there are two additional locations between the pier and 8th street with generally shorter lines.
- OC Frogs, at the end of the boardwalk at the inlet. a great place, a lot of locals go here
- Seacrets, 49th street and bayside. Jamaican nightclub scene, good live music nightly, dress code enforced, $10 cover on weekends
- Fishtails, 22nd street and the bay. a nice little place, they even have swings, $5 cover on weekends
- Macky's Bar & Grill, 54th street and the bay. popular bar on the weekends
- Fager's Island, 60th street and the bay. popular bar on the weekends, dress code enforced, $10 cover on weekends
- Clarion Resort FontaineBleau, 10100 Coastal Hwy. (From West RT50E to RT90E to RT528N to 101 Street. From North I-95S to RT1S to RT113S to RT90E to RT528N to 101 Street.), ☎ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Resort, Beachfront location, Smoke-free, family-friendly, Pub and restaurant on-site seasonal $180-240.
- Coconut Malorie Resort, 200 59th St, toll-free: . The 85 suites have been redesigned. Awarded Best Hotel on the Eastern Shore by Metropolitan Magazine. Nestled in the natural wetlands overlooking Isle of Wight Bay.
- Comfort Inn Boardwalk, 507 Atlantic Ave. @ 5th St and Oceanfront (SR 50 E. to Baltimore Ave. Located on 5th St. at Boardwalk.), ☎ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Located on the beach, on the boardwalk, high-speed wireless internet, private balconies, airport is close seasonal $140-180.
- Comfort Inn Gold Coast, 11201 Coastal Hwy. (From south take US 50 onto Coastal Hwy continue north to 112th street take left. From US 113 take RT90 east make a right onto Coastal Hwy continue north to 112th street take left. From North follow RT1 aka Coastal Hwy continue south to 114th street take right into Gold Coast Mall hotel to left.), ☎ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Located on the Chesapeake Bay side, two blocks from Ocean City Beach. Heated indoor pool and hot-tub. Friendly customer service seasonal $180-240.
- Comfort Suites, 12718 Ocean Gateway (Take I-95S toward Newark/Baltimore. Merge onto DE-1 South via 4A. From Bay Bridge - Rt 50 East. Hotel will be on right.), ☎ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. One mile from the beach and boardwalk, outdoor pool with slides, fitness center, surrounded by area golf and entertainment seasonal $200-250.
- Econo-Lodge Ocean block, 14502 Coastal Hwy. (US 50 E., to US 90, to Coastal Hwy. N., to 145th St. Hotel on the right corner.), ☎ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Ocean block hotel - one block from Ocean City Beach, outdoor pool that's heated, room balconies seasonal $150-220.
- Fenwick Inn, 13801 Coastal Hwy, ☎ . Only one block from the beach with indoor Pool and Hot Tub. Offering free parking, game room and bar and grill - offering daily specials
- Flagship Oceanfront Hotel, 2600 N Baltimore Ave, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: .
- Hilton Suites, 3200 North Baltimore Ave, ☎ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. The only AAA four diamond hotel in Ocean City.
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 12601 Coastal Hwy, ☎ .
- Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, 1701 Baltimore Ave, ☎ .
- Majestic Hotel, 613 N Boardwalk @ 7th St +1 410-289-6262. Located on the boardwalk. No frills, but the porch overlooking the boardwalk makes for great people watching and relaxation in one of the hotel's rocking chairs. Outdoor pool, apartments and multi-bedroom rooms also available. Complimentary Wi-Fi available. Free, but limited parking on site. Overflow lot two blocks down.
- Park Place Hotel, 208 N. Baltimore Ave, toll-free: .
- Quality Inn Boardwalk, 1601 Atlantic Ave (SR 50 E to Balt. Ave., N to 17th / SR 13 S to Balt. Ave., S to 17th.), ☎ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Located on Ocean City Boardwalk on Ocean City Beach, two oceanfront pools, indoor pool, on-site bar and restaurant seasonal $300-350.
- Quality Inn Oceanfront, 5400 Coastal Hwy. (From Bay Bridge Area, US 50 E to US 90 E to Coast Hwy S to hotel, 6 blks on left.), ☎ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Located right on the Ocean City beach, 2 miles to the boardwalk, private balconies and beach access rooms seasonal $220-320.
- Quality Inn & Suites Beachfront, 3301 Atlantic Ave (US 50 E. ex. Baltimore Ave. Left to 33rd St. and hotel.), ☎ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Located on Ocean City beach, private balconies, seasonal outdoor pool with kiddie pool, heated indoor pool with waterfall hot-tub, game room seasonal $300-350.
- Roadway Inn Oceanfront, 2910 Baltimore Ave (US 50 E. (Ocean City) to Baltimore Ave. N. to 29th St. to hotel), ☎ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Located on the ocean block of Ocean City beach, one block from the boardwalk and beach. Oceanfront indoor/outdoor heated pool. seasonal $180-260.
- Sea Bay Hotel, 6007 Coastal Highway, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: .
- Sleep Inn & Suites, 11 N. Baltimore Avenue@ 1st and Baltimore Ave (From 495 Washington Beltway, take Route 50 east. Merge onto Division Street. Turn left onto North Baltimore Avenue. From Route 1, continue south to Division Street to Baltimore Avenue.), ☎ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Located on the ocean side, great location for beach access and boardwalk entertainment seasonal $190-210.
- Carousel Hotel, 11700 Coastal Hwy, ☎ , toll-free: . Beachfront hotel offering hotel rooms and condominiums.
- Assateague Island, which consists of Assateague State Park and Assateague Island National Seashore, has pristine beaches and wild ponies a short distance to the south of Ocean City. From Ocean City, follow U.S. Route 50 west and make a left onto Maryland Route 611 (Stephen Decatur Highway) south, and follow that route to the park entrance. Assateague Island is a 15 minute drive from Ocean City.
- The Delaware beach resorts to the north offer a more relaxed environment than the bustle of Ocean City. Straight up the Coastal Highway, Delaware Route 1, is Bethany Beach (30 minutes) and Rehoboth Beach (45 minutes). Both Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach are home to boardwalks, shops, and restaurants, with Rehoboth Beach home to tax-free outlet shopping.
- A 50 minute drive west along U.S. Route 50 will take you to Salisbury, the largest city on the Eastern Shore, with a quaint historic center. Salisbury is home to attractions including the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art and the Salisbury Zoo.
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