Affordable and kid-friendly too, Ocean City, specializes in the classic American beach vacation. Stroll along the Boardwalk, and you'll find adrenaline pumping amusement park rides, far stretches of powdery sand, scrumptious blue crabs, and plenty of souvenir shops. Bright carnival ride lights twinkle as families frolic to Ocean City Beach; intrepid sun-seekers parasail across the water; and the squeals of children are heard playing inside the arcades to Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum. But you can power down at Ocean City too. Bait and tackle shops are a surplus, and a daytrip to the serene Assateague Island National Seashore is only a 20-mile drive down the coast. Visit all the best east coast beaches here. Continue reading and visit Ocean City NJ!
Weather – When to Visit Ocean City
The best time to visit Ocean City is from late May to early September, just be prepared for average highs in the mid 80s and a little humidity. There will also be a lot of crowds, and hotel rates that are double the cost of visiting in spring, so consider booking several months in advance. Budget travelers might want to consider the winters: Average low temperatures are in the lower 30s, keeping room rates down. But be warned that local hotels and inns close down for the off-season.
What Should You Pack?
When figuring out what to pack for the beach, there are two tips to keep in mind. First, forgetting an item isn’t the end of the world. Unless you’re heading for a remote, deserted island, chances are you can find a store where you can pick up the extras. Second, don’t stress out over making a packing list when there’s a stress-free beach travel essentials list for you below:
- Sunglasses and hats offer much-needed sunscreen and flip flops are perfect for navigating hot, sandy beaches. Go pack them now so you’re not kicking yourself later.
- What about those little items that make beach visits so much more enjoyable? For a little extra comfort on your trip, make sure you pack: Lip balm, sunscreen, bug spray.
- Beach toys and goggles are a must for kids. Building sandcastles and viewing the underwater wonders are perennial favorites.
- Take a first-aid kit with you. Hopefully you’ll only have to worry about a few minor scrapes from seashells, but having your own kit handy is a good precaution.
- Beach Bag – Your beach bag will likely contain a few of the items mentioned above. For a well-rounded bag, consider tossing in sunscreen, lip balm, bug spray, first-aid kit and water-proof baggies.
- Beach Gear – No matter who’s supplying the gear, look to have the following items on hand: beach bag, beach chairs, beach towels, beach umbrella or tent, beach cart and a cooler.
- Remember: Don’t wait until you’re parched to drink. When you’re out in the heat and sun, it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking regularly. So take along a water bottle as well.
5 Best Ocean City Beaches
This beach is Ocean City’s central location. This gorgeous beach is truly in the heart of all the action. Although it’s typically one of the most crowded beaches during the summer, it’s also one of the most fun. With quick and easy access to all the excitement of the boardwalk, snacks, treats, dining, and amusements, the 9th Street Beach is also right next to the famous Ocean City Music Pier.
Waverly Surfing Beach
The local surfing community treasures this ideal beach. It’s a bit off the beaten path on the north end of the island and features an incredible view of the Atlantic City skyline. Surfers gather on this beach to enjoy some of the best waves the ocean has to offer. If you’re looking to find a less-crowded, more isolated spot to spend the day on the beach, Waverly is it. And it’s especially perfect for watching surfers.
Not too long ago, a pier once stretched out into the sea along this quaint beach at the far south end of Ocean City. After a storm destroyed most of the pier, pilings stood as a remnant of what once was and became an Ocean City trademark. Now, the pilings have been removed, but the 59th Street Beach still remains one of the island’s best. It’s definitely worth beaching here for an escape from the boardwalk madness, and some spectacular views.
This beach is close to the dining and shopping that’s available on 34th and Asbury and West, and it’s a central location for vacationers who live and rent in the center of Ocean City. With quick and easy access to the mainland grocery stores, restaurants, and shopping, 34th Street Beach is a perfect place to spend the day without having to travel far for anything else.
Corson's Inlet State Park
This beach is truly a gem, and can expect this beautiful beach to be (mostly) void of human activity. Be sure to pack a cooler because there isn’t anything around. If you’re not one to walk or prefer the supervision of lifeguards, Corson’s Inlet might not be for you. However, for everyone else, this place is one of the best-kept secrets in Ocean City.
Ocean City Attractions
Ocean City Boardwalk
Even if you're only passing through Ocean City, you can't help but spend time on the boardwalk. This kitschy three-mile long pedestrian route is flanked by soft sand and the Atlantic on one side and a mish-mash of hotels, eateries, souvenir shops, bars and rides on the other. Most of the area's popular sites can be found here, including Ripley's Believe it or Not!, the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum and Trimper's Rides and Amusements.
Assateague Island National Park
If you tire of tourist-filled Ocean City, you may want to consider a day-trip to nearby Assateague Island National Park. This long, lean island — which begins just south of the resort area and stretches on to Virginia — is famous for its herds of wild horses, which are said to have taken over the island after surviving a Spanish shipwreck several centuries ago. Beautiful views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Sinepuxent Bay make Assateague a popular hiking spot.
Ocean City Beach
When the summer rolls around, head to the Ocean City Beach for sun, sand and surf. Running along the entire 10-mile-long east coast of the island, you're sure to find the perfect spot to spread your towel. If you're looking for a rowdier atmosphere, recent travelers recommend sticking to the southern end of Ocean City, where the neighboring Boardwalk makes for great people watching and seafront dining.
Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum
If you're interested in learning a little area history, head to the southernmost tip of the Boardwalk to the Ocean City Life-Saving Museum. Housed in a former U.S. Lifesaving Service and Coast Guard building, the small yet interesting museum traces this tourist hotspot back to its days as a small fishing village. Here, you'll see exhibits dedicated to Ocean City's development, as well as to local sea life and artifacts recovered from old shipwrecks.
Trimper's Rides & Amusements
Since the late 1800s, Trimper's Rides and Amusements has dominated Ocean City's entertainment scene. With more than 100 rides — both indoor and outdoor — you're sure to find something to suit the whole family. Let your tots fly high on the Airplanes ride, or take to the seas in the Bumper Boats. Your older kids might enjoy the thrills of the Avalanche and the Freakout. But because this is one of the most popular spots in Ocean City, expect hefty price tags. “It's not necessarily cheap, but it's a lot of fun.
Best Restaurants in Ocean City
Bennie's Bread & Rolls $11 – 30
We have gluten free pizza, prepared foods and pastry options. Call us for current items and availability. Telephone 609-398-9450 110 Web: Bennie's Bread & Rolls
Hula Grill $11 – 30
Chef Rihl e brought the taste of Hawaii home to the New Jersey shore.
Serving American, Seafood, Polynesian and Hawaiian cuisine. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten options available. Telephone 609-399-2400 020 Web: The Hula Grill
Varsity Inn $11 – 30
Varsity Inn has proudly serve Ocean City since 1969. Located two blocks from the beach and open year round. Check out there awesome eggs, super sandwiches, delicious burgers, and of course their famous baked Jersey tomato soup! Outdoor seating is available. Telephone: 609-399-1500 Web: Varsity Inn
OC Surf Cafe Under $10
The OC Surf Cafe offers vegetarian friendly options, vegan options and gluten free Ooptions Telephone: 609-391-9555 Web: OC Surf Cafe
Spadafora's Down East Restaurant $11 – 30
Welcome to Spadafora's! They provide the largest & freshest selection of fish and shellfish on the island. Their soups, salads, and desserts are homemade on the premises as well as our fried seafood which is hand breaded and cooked in pure, cholesterol free vegetable oil. Telephone: 609-398-6154 Web: Spadafora's Down East Restaurant
Best Ocean City Nightlife
Ocean City, New Jersey is a popular tourist destination thanks to its wide beachfront, world-famous boardwalk and great summer weather. The town is also known for having prohibited the sale of alcohol since its founding, however, and as a result it can be a bit challenging to navigate the local nightlife scene.
Best Hotels in Ocean City
Featuring free Wi-Fi access and a rooftop swimming pool, this hotel is just under a quarter of a mile from the beach. An on-site garden deck provides the perfect place for guests to relax. Each room includes a coffee machine and a stove, the kitchenettes include kitchenware and a microwave.
Harris House Motel
The Harris House is steps away from Ocean City's world-famous beach. Along with their unbeatable location, they also take pride in their ultra-clean rooms and facilities and superior customer service. Amenities include a large heated pool, free parking, complimentary beach passes, free Wifi, DirectTV and fresh coffee in the mornings.
The Crossings is a condominium-hotel resort just steps from all Ocean City has to offer… from lovely beaches and a scenic boardwalk, to fantastic restaurants and unique shopping. Accommodations include 70 privately owned condominium units. The Crossings offers all the amenities you need along with a spectacular location that's easy to get to.
Port-O-Call has been an idyllic family vacation resort noted for its excellent service and fine surroundings since 1966. This luxury hotel is located in the heart of Ocean City, New Jersey overlooking the Ocean City Boardwalk, beach and the Atlantic Ocean. Inside the Port-O-Call, you’ll find a remarkable, friendly ambiance.
Beach Club Hotel
On the boardwalk and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the Beach Club has an ambiance unlike that of any other hotel in Ocean City. Here you'll be welcomed with warmth, taste and style in a spirit of uncomplicated hospitality. Enjoy their heated, oceanfront pool, spacious sundeck and beach view dining.
Wild Dunes Inn
Imagine spending your vacation in a luxury suite – spacious and completely furnished. Imagine being so close to the warm, inviting sand, the sparkling ocean waters, and the fun-filled boardwalk that they are just steps from your door. Imagine being able to boat and fish, play golf or tennis, swim in a heated pool and luxuriate on a sun-drenched deck. Activities close to the inn include sailing and kayaking, boat rides, jet ski rentals, surfing, bicycling, golf, arcades and a variety of amusement parks.