Ocean trips are the best in summer, especially when you live in a landlocked area. For residents on the East Coast, heading to the beach can be simple with a vacation to Ocean City, Maryland. Kids can be entertained for a week straight with games, rides and delicious sweets. There’s also plenty for parents to do. Whether you are looking for free fun or can spend some money, there’s something for everyone in Ocean City.

1.) Visit the Boardwalk

Head down to 1st street where you can find the Ocean City boardwalk. Parking is simple. There’s a big lot that is generally not extremely full, especially if you can go at an off time. Double check that you don’t lose your parking ticket though, because a lost parking ticket can be up to a $60 fee.

Walking the boardwalk is a treat for kids and adults. You can look at souvenirs, enjoy the ocean view, and watch the other tourists. Catch a trolley to see what the whole boardwalk has, and get off at the stops where you want to go. The trolleys are a quick and reliable form of transportation that works well for families with kids. More adventurous, athletic couples can rent surreys, fun cycles, BMX bikes, Choppers, regular bikes, and tandems. Try Bike World at 6 Caroline Street in Ocean City to rent bikes on the boardwalk.5 Things to Do in Ocean City, Maryland - Theresa's Reviews - www.theresasreviews.com

On the boardwalk, take old time photos for a special way to remember your trip. There’s also several places to stop for food, including Piezano’s Pizza for a quick slice of pizza. Grab lemonade at numerous places along the boardwalk for a treat to help you cool down. For a real treat, order a pit beef sandwich at Boog’s Barbeque, but don’t attempt to order the ketchup for your Thrasher’s Fries there. Both Boog’s Barbeque and Thrasher’s Fries are Ocean City, Maryland traditions, so visit at an off time when the line won’t be so bad.

5 Things to Do in Ocean City, Maryland - Theresa's Reviews - www.theresasreviews.com

While walking the boardwalk, check out the awesome, giant sand sculptures. Created with simple tools, artist Randy Hoffman makes the biblical sculptures that you traditionally see on the boardwalk with a plastic knife, water, and glue. To really get the most of the sand sculpture experience, visit OC Sandfest August 23-30, 2015. Master sand sculptors will create sculptures and hold demonstrations as well as lessons. You could join in a family sand sculpting competition, which will give awards to the best sculptures.5 Things to Do in Ocean City, Maryland - Theresa's Reviews - www.theresasreviews.com

As you visit the boardwalk, come prepared with tools to beat the heat, especially in the summer. Wear plenty of sunscreen. Kids will enjoy mist spray fans to make the heat more bearable. Visors, baseball hats, or sunglasses can keep the sun out of your eyes. You can find plenty of benches where you can rest too.

2.) Entertain the Kids with Games and Rides on the Boardwalk

On the boardwalk, you can find lots of arcade games. Since the arcade games are generally in the shade, it’s a great way for the kids to cool off for a few minutes. Another fun place to stop is Trimper’s Haunted House. The haunted house provides a cool ride through dark tunnels as well as a reasonable amount of gore and surprises. Even though kids under age 5 can ride in the haunted house, the carts make really sudden moves that can make it better for kids old enough to hold on tight.

5 Things to Do in Ocean City, Maryland - Theresa's Reviews - www.theresasreviews.com

Visit Jolly Roger at the Pier to get on a Venetian, double-decker carousel. From the second story of the carousel, the view is awesome. You can see all the rides from a bird’s eye view.

5 Things to Do in Ocean City, Maryland - Theresa's Reviews - www.theresasreviews.com

You can try out another carousel ride at Trimper’s Rides, which is a historic amusement park that has been around for over one hundred years. The majestic carousel has stunning lights in the middle and a variety of wild animals to ride, including giraffes and zebras as well as traditional horses. With three layers of animals, you can find animals that move up and down as well as sedentary animals. Strapping kids onto the animals is simple and keeps kids on very well, although you can also join your kids on the ride to ensure little ones’ safety. 5 Things to Do in Ocean City, Maryland - Theresa's Reviews - www.theresasreviews.comAt Trimper’s Rides, you’ve got plenty of rides that younger kids can enjoy. Some are inside, so you can still enjoy yourself if it rains. Outside, the bounce house is a fun stop. Kids can run through it twice, and they can get on it with other kids. Toddlers can visit the teacup ride, which has minimal turns, unless you want to twist the middle steering wheel to make it turn more. 
5 Things to Do in Ocean City, Maryland - Theresa's Reviews - www.theresasreviews.com

There are plenty of rides for kids of all heights and ages. Inside Trimpers, there are two separate sections of bumper cars with one for shorter kids and one where older kids or adults could play. Outside, another ride to try is the hot air balloon ride, which is a simple and enjoyable ride for kids old enough to sit still.5 Things to Do in Ocean City, Maryland - Theresa's Reviews - www.theresasreviews.com

One tip for visiting the rides at Trimper’s Rides is that a wristband might be worth the money if you’re going to ride for the whole afternoon. Wristbands cost $26 and are good for unlimited rides for the entire day.

3.) Drive down the Coastal Highway

Although most of your adventures in Ocean City can take place on the boardwalk, venture out and see the rest of the area. You might find more affordable beach condos away from the boardwalk that still have an awesome beach view. Driving down the Coastal Highway can show you a new variety of places to visit.

Try several restaurants. For breakfast, lunch, or dessert, eat at Dumser’s Dairyland Restaurant. You can get delicious blueberry waffles topped with ice cream, or pick up a milk shake. Around Ocean City, you can find two Dumser’s restaurants on the Coastal Highway as well as three ice cream shops on the boardwalk.

Have a hankering for some meat? Abbey Burger Bistro has a most exotic menu, with items that include the Peanut Butter Burger, Lamb Burger, and a Bison Burger. To order white meat, ask for the Chicken Burger or the Turkey Burger. Vegetarian options also look delicious, especially the Fried Green Tomato Burger. With such delectable vegetarian options, the menu has some surprising options that might offend strict vegans. On the Build a Burger menu, you can order wild boar, elk, and even kangaroo. For a special treat, get the top of the line Kobe beef. The cheeses also come in a variety of gourmet styles.

5 Things to Do in Ocean City, Maryland - Theresa's Reviews - www.theresasreviews.com

For a traditional meal at Ocean City, pick up a bushel of crabs. The Crab Bag at 130th Street has delicious steamed blue crabs. Your order comes with a mallet to help you eat the crabs the way the true Marylanders do. When you eat in the restaurant, the all you can eat crab meal might be the best deal. Another appealing choice is half an order of crabs with half an order of ribs with a side of baked beans and cole slaw. You can check out my photos from The Crab Bag as well as from playing miniature golf at one of the many mini golf stops on the Coastal Highway on my Instagram page @theresa_reviews.

4.) Head to the Beach

All along the Coastal Highway, you can find beach stops. There’s plenty of free parking. During busy times of the year, there can be some competition for parking spots. The awesome thing about parking is that the spots border the beach so you can jump out of your car in your bathing suit with your beach gear in tow without having to walk far.
5 Things to Do in Ocean City, Maryland - Theresa's Reviews - www.theresasreviews.com

The beach is one of the biggest attractions of Ocean City. Because there are so many spots to sunbathe along the coast, it’s unlikely to be too crowded unless you visit on a holiday. Most of the locals bring umbrellas, which you can also rent at the lifeguard stations.

One of the fun traditions at the Ocean City beaches is to get professional photos from Telescope Pictures. The friendly photographers know how to work well with kids and can get even the most active kids to sit in photogenic poses. Getting the photos taken is completely free, so it’s up to you if you want to order any when you visit their storefront location.

5. Visit Assateague Island

About a fifteen minute drive from the boardwalk, you can stop by Assateague Island in Berlin, Maryland. The location is known for its wild horses. Since the beach is animal friendly, you can also bring dogs on leashes. For $15, get a week’s visitor pass to the Assateague Island National Seashore where you can also find camping spots. The National Seashore has a fee that doesn’t apply to the Assateague State Park, which charges individual fees.

5 Things to Do in Ocean City, Maryland - Theresa's Reviews - www.theresasreviews.com

If you’re looking for awesome photos of horses during your trip, bring a telephoto lens. A lot of the horses keep their distance from people. Some of the wild horses cool down in the bogs and marshes that are far from walking paths. Even when the horses do wander to your spot on the beach, the regulations require that you keep your distance.

Horses aren’t the only animals you can spot here. Some other wildlife are the Great Blue Heron, the Saw-whet Owl, and Fowler’s toads. You can also see the Northern Diamondback Terrapin, Maryland’s State reptile. Horseshoe crabs and Ghost crabs also scuttle along the beach.

At Assateague Island, the white sands and gentle waves make it a great place to visit. You can fly your kite, surf, or put up a hammock. During your visit, plan some outdoor activities too. Go kayaking and hiking to see more of the barrier island.

Tips During Your Visit to Ocean City

  • Book your rental ahead of time. What you think might be an off time could end up coinciding with a large event.
  • Bring snacks or stop by a grocery store in Ocean City. With plenty of amazing restaurants, you can stretch your budget by eating some less expensive meals. Alternate between eating out and making small meals at your beach condo.
  • Plan for whatever the weather may bring. Take a jacket and jeans in case it is windy or rainy, even in the summer.

About The Author

Owner And Editor
Google+

Theresa has been writing since 2010 in magazines and online. Her lifestyle and parenting expertise has been featured in publications, including ShopSmart and Scholastic. She earned an M.Ed in Elementary Education from Vanderbilt as well as a BA in History from Flagler College, and she is a certified teacher.

38 Responses

  1. Robin Masshole mommy

    I love Ocean City. I have relatives in Bethesda so we spent time in OC a lot when I was growing up!!

    Reply
  2. Michele B

    I love visiting beaches wherever we travel to! Looks like Ocean City has a ton of things to offer to do and places to eat. My favorite thing to do at the beach is to walk in the water, and then relax in a chair with a good book!

    Reply
  3. Kita

    That song just popped in my head under the boardwalk I have no earthly idea where that came from lol. I love Maryland and would love to visit next time we are in town it looks beautiful and I would love to see the sand sculptures.

    Reply
  4. Ourfamilyworld

    These are all fun things to do and seeing that smile from your pretty little girl’s face makes me think that she had a blast. I have never been to Ocean City, but it looks like a place worth visiting.

    Reply
  5. April G

    We’re planning on taking a trip to Maryland soon. I think we’d definitely have to visit the Boardwalk.

    Reply
  6. Danielle K

    Sounds like a great place to visit with family. I’d love to see the wild horses so hopefully we can go there someday.

    Reply
  7. Lauren R

    This looks like such a fun place to visit! I love going on boardwalks and eating on there! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  8. Sarh S

    I’d love to go to the Sandfest! I bet there are many amazing things made with the sand. Just hanging out on the beach would be my second choice while there. I’ve never been to Maryland, but it looks like Ocean City is a fun place for all ages.

    Reply
  9. Shonda

    Funny thing is I am presently trying to add one more getaway to our summer. Just one more beach vacation to wrap things up. You images makes me want to consider Maryland. I had not thought of going there.

    Reply
  10. Michelle Hwee

    What a beautiful place! I have actually been here once and it was so much fun! I love the beach/shore and the boardwalk is always so great! Great photos you took! Brings back the memories! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  11. Rebecca Swenor

    It looks like you all had an awesome time in Ocean City. I have never been there but would love to go there some day. Seeing the boardwalk would be so amazing because there is so much to do and see. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  12. Joanne T Ferguson

    I love Maryland and have been there many times when I was little! I have wonderful sand and beach memories and I really enjoy your blog post and seeing the beach sand castles carvings today!

    Reply
  13. Krystal

    I have actually never been to Maryland nor have I heard of this area before! I’m a Florida beach bum so I rarely see other beach cities. The boardwalk looks like a great place to visit and take family photos. The carousel is a nice touch! I wish our beach had a carnival type place for rides.

    Reply
  14. Paula Schuck

    I have always enjoyed beaches and boardwalks. Now they bring back memories of family vacations and lots of fun. We always went to the game rooms and played games to win coins. Then we would trade the coins in for really cool toys and trinkets.

    Reply
  15. Tom

    We live close so this would be an awesome trip to do on a weekend. The boardwalk looks awesome and would be something we have to check out. The burger joint looks absolutely amazing!! I would try the kangaroo just to see how it tastes!!!

    Reply
  16. Nikki

    I absolutely love Ocean City, MD. We used to vacation there when I was a teenager. I want to go back again soon.

    Reply
  17. tammileetips

    I love little beach towns. There is always so much to see and do when you travel to them. This one looks like it would be a blast to take the family to. The food places sound amazing as well.

    Reply
  18. Chantal

    Wow sandfest looks like it would be amazing to attend! I always find the things people can sculpt out of sand to be absolutely amazing, it must take so much time and skill! Hitting up the beach would be the second thing I would do based on your list! Thanks so much for sharing this!

    Reply
  19. Yona Williams

    It’s so funny to read about another city with a boardwalk like this. Whenever I see ‘boardwalk’, I just immediately think of Atlantic City. I think I would be in heaven to attend something like the SandFest – just because of all of the awesome creativity that this type of event brings.

    Reply
  20. Stephanie of The TipToe Fairy

    This looks like a great place for a family getaway. My kids just love going to beach. Any vacation I plan, they always want to know if the beach is involved, lol. The boardwalk looks like a lot of fun. I recently took my kids to their first boardwalk amusement park.

    Reply
  21. Wilcox Family

    My wife first took me to OCMD , years ago and ever since then I fell in love with it, Ocean City is family oriented atmosphere, I have three girls 17,12&2 years old, yeah big gap in between, but I always look forward to my vacation in OCMD, SO TO ANYONE READING THIS REVIEW ,WELL GO SEE FOR YOURSELF.

    Reply
  22. Anna

    I’ve always wanted to go to Assateague Island. I thought it was just for camping but it looks like a lovely day visit.

    Reply
  23. H Evans

    The beach is my happy place.This looks like a great family day I am sure the kids will remember forever.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.