10,000 step tour: Ocean City Boardwalk

The Ocean City Boardwalk is almost straight with a single curve in its 2 1/4 mile trip along the Atlantic beach.

The Ocean City Boardwalk is almost straight with a single curve in its 2 1/4 mile trip along the Atlantic beach.

10,000 steps is a cinch on Ocean City's boardwalk. All it takes is one round trip on a flat path.

10,000 steps is a cinch on Ocean City’s boardwalk. All it takes is one round trip on a flat path.

You got this, I thought. It’s flat, with no traffic (except the bikes, lots of bikes) and not one turn. It’s the Ocean City Boardwalk, 2 1/4 miles long with the sun rising over the ocean on one side and plenty of sights, smells and sounds on the commercial side. There are plenty of diversions, from little shops selling t-shirts to big restaurants smelling like bacon, history signs and Ferris wheel, and all that beach just calling you.

Where are you? These maps will tell you.

Where are you? These maps will tell you.

It became our mission to walk this every morning. We soon realized it was the same mission for a lot of people who brought their whole families or their best buds or their favorite running partner. We were all looking for the end of the Boardwalk.

I had lots of company touching the yellow dot at either end of the Boardwalk.

I had lots of company touching the yellow dot at either end of the Boardwalk.

It’s easy to find. Park around 27th Street and walk to the Inlet, or park at the Inlet with its enormous parking lot and walk to 27th Street. Then take a round trip walk, stroll, power walk, jog or run. It’s about 10,000 steps without a single extra turn.

I rarely walk the whole thing. I’ve been an OC visitor since the 1970s and we had our set path, but never the whole thing. But, you know, once you get into the swing, it’s fun seeing a little history as you go. At the north end it’s mostly hotels, some from mid-century, some nearly brand new. They give way to the shops and restaurants until you reach the oldest, noisiest, merriest section at the south end where a hurricane nearly a century ago created the Inlet and separated Ocean City from Assateague Island.

How about some culture along the way?

How about some culture along the way?

I gotta warn you. This can be an expensive walk. I ended up by the end of my week with a couple of shirts, salt water taffy, an ice cream cone…you get the idea.

Why you can even learn a little history while you walk.

Why you can even learn a little history while you walk.

Walking the Boardwalk is a tradition. And everybody has a favorite place to go: the kite shop, the Ocean Gallery, one of the ice cream or salt water taffy shops. Ride-fans have two choices, the Pier or Trimper’s Rides near the Inlet.

These sculptures are perennials on Ocean City's beach. I have never actually seen the artist who creates them.

These sculptures are perennials on Ocean City’s beach. I have never actually seen the artist who creates them.

Then there’s the sculptures with the religious theme that are always different and always draw a crowd or the dinosaur sculpture that kids like to play on.

A walk on the boards is a good way to plan your day, discuss the water conditions and the weather, see what’s new since your last visit, decide if this is a beach day or a shopping day, where you’re going to eat dinner.

And when it’s all over, the 10,000 steps were a cinch, weren’t they?

Now I’m ready for that beach blanket and umbrella.

You know you've reached the end of your walk on the northern end of the Boardwalk when you seen the dunes. And the end of the Boardwalk.

You know you’ve reached the end of your walk on the northern end of the Boardwalk when you seen the dunes. And the end of the Boardwalk.

ⓒ Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman

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