Ocean City Essentials

OCUmbrellas

Coming downy Ocean for summer vacay?

Here are five essential facts about O.C.–

1 The beach in Ocean City is always free. Crowded, but free. OCBeachGina

But there may not be a place to lay your blanket on some of the narrowest areas but you can usually find a place at the southern end where the sand seems endless (and hot) all the way to the surf.

2 This ain’t no Waikiki but you can find some surfing action.OCSurf

Whether you brought your board or just like to watch, surf beaches are posted for every weekday in summer. On weekends, stick to your boogie board.

3 Park your car and leave it. Coastal Hwy. can be its own parking lot.

It costs $3 to ride the tram on Ocean City's Boardwalk.

It costs $3 to ride the tram on Ocean City’s Boardwalk.

Take the bus, take the tram, take a bike. Leave your car alone if you possibly can. Traffic is fierce especially at night. The Beach Bus costs $3 for 24 hours of carefree transportation. At night it’s so popular you just might meet the love of your life. And if a party in Dewey is your destination, you can catch the Delaware’s DART bus at Maryland’s last stop on 144th Street. the DART bus actually goes all the way to Lewes. The Boardwalk Tram is $3 a ride for the 20-plus blocks of the boardwalk. Expensive but worth it if you or your whining kid just can’t walk another block. Here’s the whole schedule. Want a bike? There are plenty of rentals. It’s easy to find a place; go online or pick up Sunny Day magazine for a coupon.

4 Bring your clubs — or pick up a putter.

Ocean City has lots of golf courses. They come in regulation size or mini.OCGolf

If you prefer your golf to have manicured greens, lovely clubhouses and maybe a water view, you can take your pick here. The list includes Glen Riddle, originally the home of horse racing legends Man O’War and War Admiral, and Eagle’s Landing, with gorgeous bay views. All of them are on the mainland.

But if you like plastic lions, sharks or fountains filled with blue water, mini-golf is for you. All are located right on Coastal Highway: Old Pro Golf has six courses, including two indoor courses. Professor Hakker’s Lost Treasure Golf on 139th brings a bit of Indiana Jones adventure to life. And Lost Galaxy Golf on 33rd takes putt-putt golf out of this world. (Sorry, I just had to…)

5 Ocean City is more than a beach.

The Ferris wheel on the Ocean City pier offers breathtaking views of the city and ocean.

The Ferris wheel on the Ocean City pier offers breathtaking views of the city and ocean.

What else is there to do when you need a break from sand and surf? Glad you asked. Here’s a very partial list.

Coastal cruises: Both fast Sea RocketO.C. Rocket, and slow Assateague Adventure.

Fishing.

Horse racing and slots at Ocean Downs.

Water sports, from kayaking to jet-skiing to parasailing.

Outlet shopping. Tanger Outlets has a small center in West Ocean City (on the western side of the Route 50 bridge) and a huge array of stores in Rehoboth.

Frontier Town, a 50-year-old Old West town on the way to Assateague. It’s still fun.

Amusement Parks: Jolly Roger has go-carts; Pier Rides draws the crowds at night; Trimper’s Rides was established back in 1887 and has lots of indoor rides for the littlest riders.

© Text Mary K. Tilghman

Photos courtesy Town of Ocean City Tourism Office
© Photo of beach, Ferris wheel and tram by Gina Truitt

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