Where to Stay, Where to Eat and What to Do With Your Family in Ocean City
Ten miles of beautiful beaches and a bustling boardwalk make Ocean City, in Worcester County, Maryland a favorite family vacation area.
Swim, build a sand castle, fish in the White Marlin Capital of the World, or play 18 holes at Eagle's Landing Golf Course. From Assateague Island National Seashore and State Park's breathtaking wild horses to romantic bed and breakfasts, antique shops and galleries, to intriguing museums, here is your guide to the best things to do and places to visit in Ocean City, Maryland.
On the Boardwalk
Strolling the boardwalk is a national pastime, and Ocean City Boardwalk ranks right up there'noted as one of the country's top 10 boardwalks by both National Geographic Traveler and USA Today. Numerous hotels and restaurants flank the 3-mile activity-filled walkway, where Trimpers Rides and Amusements features a 1902 hand-carved carousel, the Tidal Wave Coaster and many more fun and exciting rides.
Other boardwalk attractions include Flashback Old Time Photos and Funcade Family Fun Center'a seasonal spot with 12 skeeball lanes that have operated since the 1960s. Skateboards and bicycles are allowed on the boardwalk for limited hours, from Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Bring your own equipment or rent some.
Ocean City offers endless opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, surfing and paddle boarding, where you can choose to explore coastal bays by kayak, canoe through The Nature Conservancy-protected Nassawango Creek Preserve, or explore scenic Pocomoke River State Park.
Outfitters are available, helping to connect vacationers with the surrounding environment they know so well. Operating in Snow Hill, Pocomoke River Canoe & Kayak Company accommodates novice and experienced paddlers. You'll see the northernmost stands of cypress trees in the U.S. and wildlife, from egrets and bald eagles to sun-worshipping turtles or playful otters. Fish for large-mouth bass or perch while paddling, too. Pocomoke River State Forest and Park is a great place for hiking and biking while the nearby Delmarva Discovery Center is full of hands-on discovery opportunities and a live otter exhibit.
Thirty minutes from Ocean City, lies the gorgeous Assateaugue National Seashore, where Assateague Outfitters rents single, or double kayaks, canoes and stand up paddle boards, in cooperation with SuperFun Eco Tours. Hourly, daily and weekend rates are available and a 'beach hut' stocks sun block, ice cream or souvenirs. SuperFun Ecotours also provides guided educational tours that introduce visitors to Assategue's beautiful natural and cultural wonders.
Whether you explore quiet creek waters or Maryland's coastal waterways, Ayres Creek Adventures rents kayaks, canoes and stand up paddle (SUP) boards. Experienced 'paddlers,' that are well acquainted with the creek and its wildlife, direct eco-tours featuring top-of-the-line equipment, safety overviews and basic paddling instruction. And don't miss their famous full moon paddles!
Click here for complete information on all the scenic water trails, complete with rental and tour listings.
Where to Eat
Numerous Ocean City restaurants feature spectacular views, with great food and service. Fager's Island Restaurant and Bar is a perfect place for watching stellar sunsets, while savoring award-winning American and Pacific Rim dishes, and one of 32 wines by the glass. At brunch, order blueberry-ricotta pancakes and a Bloody Mary, while the kids enjoy French toast and bacon, or chocolate chip pancakes.
Fabulous oysters await customers, at Ropewalk OC. Comfortable surroundings and fresh ingredients are hallmarks of this dining destination, where the kid's menu includes fried clam strips as well as burgers and soft serve sundaes.
Decades after Angler Food and Spirits first opened, guests continue to enjoy sunset views that some people call 'the best at the beach.' Kids of all ages will enjoy watching boats in the harbor while eating chicken wings or mouthwatering prime rib.
For something with true local flavor, The Shark on the Harbor is the real thing, using locally sourced and sustainable seafood, for a menu that changes daily. Getting creative with whatever the daily produce may be is what they're all about, like getting a bushel of fresh radishes and turning it into roasted radish and crab soup. On any night you might find steamed clams and shrimp, crab cakes, bison burger or maybe smoked chincoteague oysters with lemon vinaigrette. Whatever it is'it's all good and all fresh.
For more than 30 years, Ocean City Fish Company has paired dinner and drinks with beautiful harbor views and free boat docking. 'Boat-to-table' favorites include steamed crabs, whole lobster or broiled sea scallops, as well as steaks and daily specials. Butterfly shrimp and clam strips join burgers and 'dogs' on the Little Fins menu, too.
Kayak to lunch at Macky's Bayside Bar & Grill where there's a private white sand beach and plenty of fresh seafood dishes, plus beef and chicken entrees. Kids can order macaroni and cheese, burgers or try the fresh catch. Put your feet in the sand while eating with the family at Lenny's Beach Bar & Grill at The Clarion Hotel, or enjoy a fish taco at Fish Tales in Bahia Marina.
Where to Stay
Hotel prices dip in August to September during "Hotel Week." Special discounts and free nights at many hotels encourage vacationers to extend their visits. Stay three nights and receive 15 percent-off. Stay a bit longer for additional savings with a four-night stay at 20 percent-off and five nights for 25 percent-off. Additional hotel rooms, private apartments and cottages feature one night's lodging for free after you stay for a certain number of nights.
Ocean City, with plenty of water activities, as well as weekly free family events, from concerts on the beach to laser light and firework displays, might just be the perfect beachfront destination for your summer getaway or family vacation. Click here for more information on Ocean City and everything there is to see in Worcester County, Maryland.