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14 Fun Things to do in Ocean City Maryland

Ocean City is a resort town with a reputation for fun and relaxation. With its miles of sandy beaches, a boardwalk lined with shops and restaurants, and endless opportunities for watersports, it is a popular destination for families and couples alike. There is a long list of fun and exciting things to do in Ocean City Maryland (OCMD).

In high school, I would visit Ocean City at least once every summer. It takes roughly 3 hours to drive from northern Virginia to OCMD, making it a great adventurous day trip from DC. We would drive up early in the morning, grab a box of hot donuts from Fractured Prune, head to the beach, and spend all day in the water. After we had our fill of sun, we would make the drive back, and be home by midnight.

Ocean City is still one of my favorite getaways since there is something to do for everyone in our family. It is incredibly family-friendly, and during certain seasons it is dog-friendly too!

Here are some of the must-do activities that make Ocean City, MD a destination you simply can’t miss!

14 Top things to do in Ocean City, Maryland

Jolly Roger Amusement Park

Jolly Roger Amusement Park is a popular family-friendly attraction located in Ocean City, Maryland. It’s one of the largest amusement parks in the region and offers a wide range of entertainment options for visitors of all ages. 

This amusement park features a variety of rides and attractions. It also has Splash Mountain which offers a refreshing escape with water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and kiddie play areas.

For guests that love golf, they have several miniature golf courses to explore.

Northside Park

This is another favorite when it comes to things to do in Ocean City, MD. This public park offers a diverse range of amenities and activities that cater to visitors of all ages. 

It features a softball, baseball field, soccer field, multipurpose field, fishing lagoon, footbridge, two playgrounds, and several other amenities. 

In the wintertime, the park is home to the Winterfest of Lights, a holiday light show that is held each year from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.

Ocean City Boardwalk 

ocean city boardwalk
Photo Credit: Iphy from Travel Choreography

The Ocean City Boardwalk is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Maryland. It stretches for approximately three miles along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline and is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, arcades, and amusement rides. Most Ocean City activities take place along the boardwalk and Coastal Highway.

The boardwalk has countless restaurants and food stalls to grab a bite. Don’t miss out on trying Thrasher’s French Fries, an iconic spot for buying “boardwalk” style french fries and other snacks. For guests with a sweet tooth, The Candy Kitchen is a popular spot for buying saltwater taffy and other sweets.

Ocean City Golf Courses

When it comes to golf courses, this area is a golfer’s paradise. It has a diverse range of golf courses with stunning coastal views, challenging layouts, and well-maintained fairways and greens. 

A few popular golf courses in Ocean City include:

Ocean City Golf Club – This site has two 18-hole courses, the Newport Bay and the Seaside. The Newport Bay course is known for its marsh and bay vistas, while the Seaside course is one of the classic layouts on the Eastern Shore.

Bear Trap Dunes Golf Club – This golf course has 27 holes, divided into three nine-hole courses: the Kodiak, the Black Bear, and the Grizzly. The course is known for its rolling dunes and challenging greens.

Seacrets Distilling Company

Seacrets Distillery provides a very informative and entertaining way to try wonderful spirits.

They offer tours and tastings to the public. These guided tours take visitors through the distillery, where visitors can learn about the art of distillation and the process of creating spirits such as rum, vodka, gin, and whiskey. 

The tastings allow visitors to sample the different spirits and learn about how to pair spirits with food.

Trimper’s Rides and Amusement Park 

Opened in 1893, Trimpers is the oldest continuously family-owned and operated amusement park in the world.

The park is located at the south end of the boardwalk, and it features a variety of rides and attractions, including the 100-year-old Herschell-Spillman carousel.

The park also offers thrilling rides like the Tidal Wave roller coaster, the Hurricane, and the Inverter. For guests who prefer gentler attractions, there are plenty of family-friendly rides and kiddie rides to keep the little ones entertained.

Trimpers is definitely a great place to spend a day with family and is one of our favorite things to do in Ocean City, MD with kids.

The Original Fractured Prune

This is hands down one of the best donut shops in Maryland. Guests can come up with unique and creative donuts with a wide variety of flavors from classic glazed to more adventurous options like maple bacon and s’mores.

The donuts are fresh and made to order. A few flavors to try include Blueberry Hill, Banana Nut Bread, and the classic with honey dip. If you’re looking for a delicious and unique donut shop in Ocean City, Maryland, then Fractured Prune is the place to go.

Ocean City Beach

Family with dog at Assateague Beach

The beach is a must-do activity for any visit to Ocean City. The beach here is very long, wide, and sandy. Beach lovers can soak in the sun on the beautiful sandy shores or participate in water sports like surfing and paddleboarding. 

The beach has a lot of cafes, restaurants, shops, rides, and things to do. For guests who want to relax on the beach, there are places to rent beach chairs and umbrellas.

The beach often has things going on where guests can enjoy some beach volleyball, sandcastle contests, kids’ face painting, dance parties, and more.

Baja Amusements

Baja Amusements is a family-friendly place to take the kids for a few hours. 

The park features multiple go-kart tracks suitable for different age groups and skill levels, including single and double-seater karts. Visitors can enjoy friendly racing competitions and experience the thrill of zooming around the tracks.

In addition to go-karts, Baja Amusements has a 19-hole mini golf course, 2 climbing walls, Spin Zone Bumper Cars, plus 2 kiddie rides that include a Frog Hopper, and a Carousel. 

Parasailing Adventure in Ocean City

For thrill-seeking visitors in OCMD, parasailing is a great adventure to try. 

Guests soar over 300 feet high above the waters of the Atlantic Ocean while taking in panoramic views of the Ocean City coastline and Assateague Island. Flights last between 8-10 minutes.

Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum

The Ocean City Life-Saving Museum offers visitors a captivating glimpse into the rich maritime history and heritage of the area, highlighting the courageous efforts of the U.S. Life-Saving Service and the evolution of coastal rescue operations. 

It is packed with an intriguing historical collection of artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays that showcase the history of life-saving efforts, maritime equipment, shipwrecks, and the evolution of Ocean City as a popular beach destination.

It has two levels of unique history to see. There are some hands-on learning activities upstairs in the kids’ section. Downstairs there are a few sea creatures that you won’t want to miss!

Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Like most resort towns, Ocean City has its very own Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Ripley’s showcases a fascinating collection of oddities, curiosities, and unbelievable exhibits from around the world. It offers an entertaining and interactive experience that appeals to visitors of all ages who have a curiosity for the strange, unusual, and extraordinary.

Seasonal Festivals and Events

Ocean City, MD hosts a variety of seasonal festivals and events throughout the year. Some of the more notable events include Springfest and Summerfest, both featuring live music, food, artisans, and vendors.

Entertainment geeks will not want to miss out on the OC Film Festival and Ocean City Comic Con.

Related Content: Things to Know Before Going to Your First Comic Con

Assateague Island National Seashore

While Assateague is not located directly in the coastal city, it is one of the most popular things to do near Ocean City. Assateague is a barrier island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia. It is home to a variety of wildlife, including wild horses, and sea turtles. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and hiking.

One of the highlights of Assateague Island is the wild ponies that roam freely throughout the island’s various habitats. Observing these horses in their natural environment is a memorable and heartwarming experience.

If you are looking for camping near Ocean City MD, Assateague has incredible campsites right along the beach. It is not uncommon for wild ponies to visit campers, and even steal their food!

Where to Stay in Ocean City 

There are lots of great places to stay in Ocean City, MD. From luxury resorts, family-friendly hotels, cozy bed and breakfasts, or vacation rentals, this area has something for everyone. 

Here are some of our recommendations:

Francis Scott Key Family Resort

Francis Scott Key Family Resort
Photo Credit: Francis Scott Key Family Resort

If you are traveling to Ocean City with kids, you must book your stay at the Francis Scott Key Family Resort. With over 2,250 reviews it is one of the most popular beach resorts in the city.

The resort boasts a number of kid-friendly facilities including 2 swimming pools, playgrounds, an arcade, and a free miniature golf course

It is located one mile from the beach and boardwalk and just steps away from the Ocean City Factory Outlets.

Lola B’s Bayside Beach Bungalow

If you are looking for a more private stay, we recommend booking this two-bedroom beach bungalow. It is a bayfront location and only three-quarters of a mile from the beach. Beach chairs, a boogie board, and sand toys are all provided!

If you’re still not convinced, Lola B’s is located within the sought-after Montego Bay community. Your stay includes access to two pools. a kid’s wading pool. tennis courts, and more. It is also dog-friendly!

Atlantic Hotel, Inc

The Atlantic Hotel is one of Ocean City’s most iconic hotels. The original hotel was built in 1875 and was called “a marvel in architectural beauty and excellence”. Today, the Atlantic Hotel sits right along the famous boardwalk with unimpeded views of the Atlantic Ocean.

This hotel is popular with couples. Fully furnished apartments are also available for families of up to 8 people.

FAQs on Things to do in Ocean City, Maryland

What is Ocean City Maryland best known for?

Ocean City, Maryland is best known for its beaches, boardwalk, family-friendly atmosphere, and water sports.

There are a number of shops, restaurants, and arcades along the boardwalk, so guests are sure to find something to stay entertained. With the Atlantic Ocean right there, guests can enjoy a variety of water sports, such as surfing, swimming, and sailing. 

Is Ocean City Maryland worth visiting?

Yes, Ocean City, Maryland, is definitely worth visiting, especially for guests looking for a classic beach vacation experience on the East Coast. 

Ocean City has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mid-Atlantic region along with a great selection of restaurants and entertainment.

Are beaches in Ocean City Maryland free?

Yes, the beaches in Ocean City, Maryland, are generally free and open to the public. There may be fees or charges for certain amenities and services, such as parking, beach equipment rentals like umbrellas and chairs, and activities offered by private vendors along the beach. 

How do you spend the day in Ocean City Maryland?

There are many things to do in OCMD so we recommend planning to stay for more than a day. If that is not possible, there are still many ways to visit Ocean City in one day.

Start by heading to a local café or breakfast spot for a delicious morning meal. Next, walk or bike along the boardwalk exploring the shops, restaurants, and arcades.

Plan to enjoy some lunch at one of the numerous restaurants in OCMD. 

Spend the afternoon at the beach. Relax in the sun, swim in the ocean, or visit Trimper’s at the south end of the beach.

Enjoy a memorable dinner at one of Ocean City’s seafood restaurants or waterfront eateries. 

For guests interested in nightlife, catch live music at a local bar, enjoy a nightcap at a beachfront lounge, or take a leisurely stroll along the illuminated Ocean City Boardwalk.

How far is Ocean City, Maryland?

The distance between Ocean City, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., is approximately 140 miles (225 kilometers). It normally takes around 3 hours to drive from Washington, D.C., to Ocean City. The distance and time is about the same from Baltimore.

Keep in mind that these driving times can vary based on factors like traffic congestion, weather conditions, and the specific route you take.

Final thoughts on Things to do in Ocean City, Maryland

There you have it! Ocean City, Maryland is a great place to visit for a beach vacation. There are miles of sandy beaches, a lively boardwalk, and a variety of water sports and activities.

From parasailing to walking the boardwalk or just spending a day at the beach, there is a lot to do no matter what type of vacation visitors are looking for. It is easy to see why it is considered one of the best cities in Maryland.

Cecilia

Cecilia is a bubbly Filipino-American with an affinity for constant change...that or a 10 second attention span. Refusing to sit still, she travels the world, in pursuit of adventure, excitement and meaningful experiences. She holds a Masters degree in International Development and Public Policy, and a BA in Business Management.

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