Ocean City Maryland - Cool Stuff to Do in OCMD All Year Round

Ocean City, Maryland - View From the Pier Looking North

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Ocean City, Maryland is a 10 mile stretch of sparkling white sand and surf, a Boardwalk, restaurants, bars, amusements parks, miniature golf, shopping, frequent festivals and special events.

Of course, a mid Atlantic beach resort offers all the typical fun of a summer vacation, and Ocean City, Maryland has done so since the Atlantic Hotel opened on July 4, 1875. While much of the old town has been lost to storms and real estate development, downtown Ocean City still retains a quaint, old fashioned charm.

Its pristine beach is wide, safe, and well guarded. Ocean City, Maryland is a wonderful place to visit all year round with each season offering its own special appeal.

A barrier island set between the Atlantic Ocean and Sinepuxent Bay, Ocean City is great place for fishing and bird watching. The level terrain make it a highly walkable town whether you prefer long strolls on the beach a low tide, or a walk down the 2 1/2 mile Boardwalk.

Ocean City Maryland - 100 Year Old Carousel

(photo by Dolores Monet)
(photo by Dolores Monet)

Ocean City Maryland in Summer

I can think of no place that I'd rather be than on the beach in Ocean City. The soft sand, the clean beach, and the rhythm of the waves create both excitement and serenity. Summer water temperatures rise to a comfortable 70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Waves run between 3 to 6 feet high, great for body surfing, bogey boarding, board surfing, or just plain having a wonderful time.

After the guards leave the beach at 5:30 PM, you can surf fish, swim-at-your-own-risk (sometimes it's so beautiful, you can't help yourself), chat, read, or enjoy the peachy golden glow of late afternoon.

On any spot in Ocean City, it's a short walk to the Sinepuxent Bay to watch a glorious sunset.

There are restaurants galore, shops, and a multitude of fanciful miniature golf courses featuring dinosaurs, jungles, and tropical paradise themes spread within walking distance of almost anywhere you care to stay.

Accommodations include 1 - 3 bedroom condos, townhouses, large single homes, motels, and hotels to fit any budget. There are funky old time apartments, or luxury dwellings - ocean front, bay side, and in between.

For the best fun for the whole family, check out Trimper's Rides, a collection of rides at the south end of the Boardwalk which included indoor vintage rides including a 1902 Hershell-Spellman Carousel, the oldest continuously running carousel In the USA.

Marty's Playland, just north of Trimper's is a large arcade offering vintage and new games, an Ocean City classic since the 1930s; open every day of the year except Christmas Day. The claw machines, or the miniature cranes of Diggerville are nearly 100 years old.

Several Head-boats offer off shore fishing in the Atlantic Ocean or the Sinepuxent Bay

Ocean City Life Saving Museum - check out the history of Ocean City with the special exhibits, including shipwreck artifacts, old time bathing costumes, old photographs of Ocean City's bygone years all presented in a beautifully restored old building once slated for the wrecking ball. The museum also offers interesting material on the history of the US. Life Saving Service, a federal organization created before the US Coast Guard to aid ship wrecks and shipwreck victims.

Waves at Ocean City, Maryland

(photo by Dolores Monet)
(photo by Dolores Monet)

Ocean City Maryland - Fireworks

(photo by Dolores Monet)
(photo by Dolores Monet)

Fishing in Ocean City - Croakers

(photo by Dolores Monet)
(photo by Dolores Monet)

Ocean City, MD in Summer

Events

On the 4th of July, Ocean City offers two excellent fireworks displays; one near the south end of the boardwalk and another at Nothside Park on 127th Street and the Bay. Every year the Boardwalk Fireworks display follows a live concert. You can spread out your blanket in the sand and enjoy the beach, the smells of popcorn and cotton candy and watch the skylight up to celebrate Independence Day. (Traffic and parking is terrible in town on the 4th of July. If you plan to attend the downtown firework display, leave your car at the Park and Ride on the west side of the Rt 50 Bridge and take a bus or walk over the bridge into town.)

The Art League of Ocean City at 94th Street offers an ongoing exhibit that features the work of local artists. The Gallery is open Tuesday - Thursday from 11:00 AM to 4:00PM and Friday til Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. On the first Friday of every month, the Art League presents an art reception that is open to the public.

The White Marlin Open is the world's largest bill-fish tournament with over 250 boats and huge prizes, from August 3 - 7, 2015.

Fishing during the summer months can bring you flounder, black sea bass, surf kingfish, and sand sharks. Late summer brings in pan sized blue fish, sea trout, and croakers. For detailed information on Ocean City fishing, check out Sue Foster's site, Fishing at the Beach where she details who is catching what, where they are catching fish, and the kinds of bait and equipment they are using.

Birdwatching is great on the beach, at the inlet, or on the Bay. Wetland areas offer waders including Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Tricolor Heron, Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Green Heron, and Glossy Ibis.

Gulls include Laughing Gulls, Ring Billed Gulls, Greater Black Backed Gulls, and Lesser Black Backed Gulls. Commonly seen Terns include Common Terns, Fosters Terns, Royal Terns, Least Terns, and occasionally Caspian Terns.

Osprey and Brown Pelicans can be seen regularly at the beach and on the Bay.

Late summer brings Skimmers, Sanderlings, and Oyster Catchers.

Oceant City, Maryland - Ferris Wheel

Ocean City, MD in Fall

Ocean City is beautiful in the Fall. The crowds have thinned dramatically, and the waves seem higher and crisper. There is less humidity in the air and the beach is cooler yet the water is warm enough for swimming comfortably, often into October.

Events:

Delmarva Bike Week centers in Ocean City in mid September (actually the last week of summer, but after Labor Day seems like Fall). Motorcycles invade the Eastern Shore for themed activities, displays, workshops, entertainment, special vendors, and fun. If you are not interested in motorcycles, you will be when you check out the incredible variety of types of cycles there are. (September 17 - 20, 2015)

Gem, Mineral, and Jewelry Show in mid September at the 40th Street Convention Center features classic, antique, and contemporary jewelry as well as loose stones, gems, beads, and all jewelry related items.

SunFest , September 24 - 27, 2015.. For 36 years, Sunfest has been held at the Inlet Parking Lot on the southern tip of Ocean City featuring 180 crafters, food, hayrides, and entertainment. The huge extravaganza happens during Ocean City's best weather and admission is FREE!

Berlin Fiddler's Convention in late September. Main Street, Berlin, a few miles west of Ocean City hosts a free concert, an acoustic fiddling contest, crafters, and food vendors in the quaint, historic town.

October festivals include the Family Campfire on the Beach, Winefest on the Beach, the Ocean City Coin and Currency Show, Harbor Day at the Docks (highlighting OC's maritime history and heritage), and Oktoberfest at the Convention Center on 40th Street.

Endless Summer Cruisin' at the Convention Center, 4001 Coastal Highway. From Oct. 8 - 11, 2015 you can check out 1500 hot rods at a car show featuring street rods, classics, and custom creations.

Holiday Shoppers Fair at the 40th Street Convention Hall featuring Christmas related crafts, and holiday items. Nov. 27 - 29.

Winter-fest of Lights. In late November until January 2, a small train takes you on a trip through a world of Christmas lights including religious and secular themes. At 127th Street, Northside Park.

A Victorian Christmas in Berlin with horse and carriage rides, home tours, and music. Events go on the whole month of December in the quaint town of Berlin, several miles west of Ocean City, south of Route 50.

Ocean City Maryland - Fall Fishing and Birdwatching

Fishing

In the Fall, the bluefish come in with the cooler water, as well as Tautog, striped bass, and sheepshead.

Birdwatching

Fall is the time to check out migratory birds as well as sandpipers, waders, and fall warblers. Late fall bring sin the Great Cormorants, Red Throated Loons, grebes, Brant's Geese, and Mergansers. Migratory ducks include Scoters, Scaups, Eiders, Red Heads, Gadwalls, and Buffleheads.

Ocean City - Empty Winter Boardwalk

(photo by Dolores Monet)
(photo by Dolores Monet)

Ocean City, Maryland in Winter

I love the stark winter beach and the nearly empty Boardwalk in the winter. Ocean City is usually a bit warmer than further inland due to the warmth of the Gulf Stream current. And if it's cold, you can wrap up and enjoy the brisk, clean ocean air.

Events

Nautical and Wildlife Art Festival at the 40th Street Convention Hall at the end of January also features a craft show

East Coast Commercial Fisherman and Aquaculture Trade Expo on the last week in January at the 40th Street Convention Hall.

Fishing things start to cool off in winter but you may catch some big stripers (Rockfish). The mackerel run offshore begins sometime in March.

Bird Watching - Winter is a great time for checking out birds in Ocean City. Besides the ducks that winter in the area, you may see an occasional pelagic (those birds that spend most of their time out at sea) such as Razorbills, Murres, and Skua. Gannets are a common sight as they fly over the ocean. Some charter boats offer winter birding trips out to sea where you may see Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Dovekies, Black-legged Kittiwake and Atlantic Puffin.

Ocean City - Approaching Storm

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Ocean City in Spring

After being cooped up all winter, there is nothing like the fresh air and sunshine at Ocean City. Property owners are out sprucing up their buildings and there is a general buzz of excitement. The beach is relatively empty but often warm enough to spend a pleasant day walking or relaxing.

Events

Ward World Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition and Art Festival. Check out the incredibly beautiful carvings of wildfowl by master carvers and artisans at the 40th Street Convention Center April 24 - 26. 2016.

Springfest at the Inlet Parking Lot on the southern tip of Ocean City is held the first full weekend in May. It features arts and crafts, entertainment, food vendors, and more under a big top.

Ocean City Air Show on June 11 - 12, 2016. A free air show that can be seen all along the entire length of the Boardwalk featuring military jet demonstrations, sky divers, formation flying teams, celebrity pilots, and Coast Guard demonstrations.

Arts Alive at 125th Street. 100 artists displays ceramics, drawings, paintings, fiber arts, glass, wood carving, and sculpture with a juried art show. Including children's activities. June 25 - 26, 2016.

Maryland State Firemen's Association Conference and Parade. As spring goes into summer, check out the Fireman's Parade! The conference is from June 18 - 24, 2016.


Fishing

Early in the spring, catch a boat out to sea for the mackerel run. In shore catch stripers, blues, and kingfish.

Bird Watching Spring is time for the return of migratory local birds, including gulls, and waders as well as spring warblers and Willets. In spring, anything is possible!

Ocean City - Sunset on the Bay

(photo by Dolores Monet)
(photo by Dolores Monet)

Ocean City, Maryland

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Off Season in Ocean City Maryland - the Empty Beach

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Ocean City Life Saving Museum

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Ocean City, Maryland - View From the Pier

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Comments 15 comments

juneaukid profile image

juneaukid 6 years ago from Denver, Colorado

I remember Ocean City well as my youngest daughter was a chef at the Bayside Skillet back in the late '80's. Your hub certainly brought back memories!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States Author

Hi, Richard! Good to see you! I've been going to the Ocean for quite a long time. They've gone crazy with the building (again) during the past real estate boom but they can't wreck the beach. It's my home away from home.

The Bayside Skillet is still there (on 77th Street). My parents used to live on 68th Street.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

Wow- I feel like an idiot for never visiting Ocean City when I lived nearby. So many fun thing to do!


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota

What a great place to go for a vacation. I can't believe how many things you can do here. Thanks for the great pics and videos. Nice hub:)


EnLydia Listener 6 years ago

Ocean City Md was the first vacation place my husband and I went to after we got married...even though that was 30+ years ago, it has wonderful memories for me....it is a beautiful and relaxing place.


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Nice post... and a nice place, too!!!!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States Author

Thank you, Simone - my favorite place in OC is the beach!

Twin - I've sold myself on some of these events as I wrote the hub. The air show sounds like great fun! Thank you!

Enlydia - well, the place has changed a lot in 30 years. They've really built it up. But the beach is actually better what with the beautiful sand dunes they have rebuilt. Thanks for stopping in!

carolina - I love it! Thank you!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Lovely pictures and I so want to visit the East Coast - one of these days!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States Author

Audrey - ain't America great! It's so huge with so many wonderful places to see, one could never see them all. Thanks!


eventsyoudesign profile image

eventsyoudesign 6 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

Great article. I was born in Baltimore and have visited Ocean City when I was little. We also frequented Betterton. Is that the correct spelling? This article brings back a lot of memories for me. I spent a lot of time on the beach with my grandparents. Plus we lived in NJ and visited the ocean in the summer a lot. Thanks! Teresa

P.S. Your photographs are fabulous! You are very artistic.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States Author

Teresa - oh boy, Betterton! I remember when they had rides at Betterton, when the hotel was still there. We went there on the Port Welcome. Thank you so much!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Great hub jam packed with information and fabulous photos about beautiful Ocean City, MD. You have definitely done this resort justice and I like the way you gave activities and events that occur year round. Though I usually frequent Delaware's beaches because they are closer to my home, hubby and I often go to Ocean City for special events. Am looking forward to catching the Winter-fest of Lights this year when our nephew is with us. It's always a wonderful holiday activity.

Am voting this hub up across the board except for funny.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States Author

Hi, Happyboomernurse - thank you so much! I used to spend a lot more time down there, and we used to run up to Delaware quite often. Actually, I've never been much on the events myself, spending most of my time outside - I am a total beach nut.


Marian Lawson 3 years ago

I enjoyed so much your view of Ocean City. Having lived in the near by city of Salisbury for many years, I had the pleasure of going to Ocean City many many times. Loved the time spent there. Dolly's pop corn, Thrasher's french fries , and Alaskan Stand hot dogs, always my favorite food places among the good resturants to have a wonderful dinner. Now I live in Florida ,don't get there as often as I would like.But still have good merories of OC


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 3 years ago from East Coast, United States Author

Marian Lawson - thank you so much for stopping in! Just talking about the 4th of July and how most of us, in my family anyway, think that the beach at OCMD is The Best Place for fireworks ever! The boardwalk at twilight, when the lights begin to come on, the cool sand, the Ferris Wheel in the distance, the smell of popcorn and fried stuff, kids running around with glow sticks, everyone spread out waiting in happy anticipation - it is perfect!

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