When most people think of Maryland, they often think of Ocean City, the world-famous resort town on the Atlantic! This is a guide of the best things to do in Ocean City MD (for first-time visitors)!
Located between the Isle of Wright Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Ocean City boasts a boardwalk full of attractions, including restaurants, shops, and more, as well as a gorgeous beach to spend the warmer days in Maryland.
As you can imagine, the activities in Ocean City are endless, making it a popular vacation spot for people living along the East Coast and just about everywhere else.
In this article, check out some of our top picks for things to do while enjoying the warm weather in Ocean City, including family-friendly places and more!
Best Time to Visit Ocean City
Generally, people visit Ocean City between May and September, with the start of the Maryland beach season being Memorial Day. However, this is also the busiest time of the year for Ocean City, so you should expect crowds everywhere you go.
Also, hotels tend to be a lot more expensive during the peak season. With that said, it’s not ideal to visit during the other months because it can get quite cold.
To get the best out of your trip, it’s recommended that you start booking and planning a few months in advance to get the best deals.
Best Things to Do in Ocean City MD
Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum
The Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum is a great place to start your trip in Ocean City for history buffs.
Here, you can learn more about the history of this beach-front town, as well as the importance of the United States Life-Saving Service.
The museum features changing exhibits to check out, as well as collections, tours, and a museum shop.
Between May and October, the museum is open every day from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, and between November through April, it’s open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am – 4:00 pm.
The admission rates are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, military, and children between 12 and 18, and free for children under 11.
Address: 813 S Atlantic Ave, Ocean City, MD 21842
Trimper’s Rides and Amusement Park
What better way to spend a trip to Ocean City than checking out an amusement park? Trimper’s Rides and Amusement Park is considered to be the oldest continuously family-owned amusement park in the world.
Some of its most popular rides include the Herschell-Spillman Merry-Go-Round, the Tidal Wave coaster, and the Bill Tracy Haunted House.
You can also check out the arcade games and bumper cars if more thrilling rides aren’t your thing.
Finally, be sure to check out the delicious chocolate, popcorn, brownies, biscotti, and other foods at the Sticky Fingers Dessert Bar. The park opens every year in April.
Address: 700 S Atlantic Ave, Ocean City, MD 21842
Enjoy Craft Beer in Ocean City
Aside from all the beachside fun, Ocean City is also known for its breweries and craft beer. Boasting over 18 breweries in the area, you can check out a variety of brewery tours and tasting rooms during your trip.
You can also check out Fin City Brewing Company, which is the oldest brewery in Ocean City.
The beers here are dedicated to Ocean City’s fishing industry. Finally, on your way to Ocean City, you can also stop at Burley Oak Brewing Co. in Berlin, which is known for its highly-rated beer.
Seacrets Distilling Company
While on the topic of distilleries, you should also check out the Seacrets Distilling Company in Ocean City. This is where the award-winning Seacrets Spirits is handcrafted.
The distillery is also known for its spiced & gold and white & coconut rums, smooth vodka, refined gin, and flavored vodkas, as well as bourbon and American whiskey.
You should also check out their tours, which are $15 per person and includes 3 tastings that you get to choose from. Each tour can have 15 people.
Address: 111 49th St, Ocean City, MD 21842
Ocean City Golf Courses
For those who enjoy golfing, you should definitely not miss out on the opportunity when visiting Ocean City!
There are plenty of golf courses in the Ocean City area, including the Bayside Resort Golf Club, Baywood Greens, and Ocean City Golf Club.
Each of the golf courses features 18 holes and is located around 15 minutes away from hotels. You can also get incentives and passes if you come with larger groups.
Ocean City Golf Groups also provides some of the cheapest prices for golfing in the area, so be sure to check the website for booking details.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
If you’re looking for something unique during your trip, be sure to check out Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium in Ocean City.
At the Odditorium, you’ll get to see everything from two-headed animals to the world’s rarest egg. The museum includes 12 galleries and more than 500 exhibits, so you’re sure to find something spectacular.
It can take around 45 minutes to 1 hour to tour the museum. The hours of operation are Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Address: 401 S Atlantic Ave, Ocean City, MD 21842
All Friends Coffee Shop
This seasonal coffee shop is a must for anyone visiting Ocean City between May and October. Here, you’ll get to try some delicious brews, including espresso, cappuccino, and americano.
You can also try out some of their homemade breakfasts, sandwiches, pastries, and desserts. All Friends Coffee is the place to be whether you want something energizing to start your busy day of touring or if you just want a nice place to relax during the season.
The shop prides itself on using the highest-quality coffee beans from New York and grass-fed milk from Berlin, Maryland, so you’ll also get a quality breakfast here.
Address: 205 S Baltimore Ave, Ocean City, MD 21842
Ocean City Boardwalk
Ocean City wouldn’t be Ocean City without its famous boardwalk. Over three miles long, this boardwalk features just about everything you can imagine, from restaurants to shops and food galore.
There are also plenty of hotels right on the boardwalk if you want to be in the center of all the fun. At the height of the summer, you can always expect something to be taking place along the boardwalk.
Be sure to try some of the boardwalk fries, ice cream, and popcorn. The boardwalk is always open, but the times the shops are open vary.
Peak season is from Memorial Day to Labor Day, so you can always expect some crowds then. Some popular businesses to check out include Trimper’s Amusements, Thrashers Fries, Fisher’s Popcorn, and Candy Kitchen.
The Original Fractured Prune
Your vacation is not the time to focus on a diet! When in Ocean City, make sure to check out Fractured Prune, where you will be able to create your own doughnuts.
This has been one of Ocean City’s most popular destinations since 1976. You’ll get to choose between a wide variety of glazes, toppings, and doughnut flavors.
Be sure to get there early because many doughnut lovers will line up at the shop early in the morning!
Address: 11615 Coastal Hwy, Ocean City, MD 21842
Ocean City Beach
Of course, you can’t have a trip to Ocean City without checking out its most famous attraction- the beach! The 10-mile-long beach is the perfect place to spend your summer vacation.
Although there are perpetual crowds in the peak season, the gentle waters and sandy beaches are perfect whether you want to go for a swim or sunbathe.
The family-friendly atmosphere also makes the beach a great spot for children and this is why it is one of the most popular day trips from Washington DC and other places in the Mid-Atlantic states!
It’s recommended that you go to the beach during the morning or late afternoon to avoid some of the heavy crowds, and you can also bring your own equipment to avoid spending too much on rentals.
Jolly Roger Amusement Park
Jolly Roger is yet another amusement park that you should check out in Ocean City for a day full of fun and entertainment.
Some of the most popular attractions here include the Giant Wheel, bumper cars, swings, and carousel. It’s especially great for younger children who might not be able to go on some of the more thrilling rides.
You can also go mini-golfing with the family, check out the concession stands, and go for a ride on the Iron Horse Express, a train from 1952! The hours of operation vary, so be sure to check the website for the specific day you want to visit.
Address: 2901 Philadelphia Ave, Ocean City, MD 21842
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park
Outside of all the fun, Ocean City also boasts a rich history. If you’re a history buff, be sure to check out the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park, which is dedicated to the brave Harriet Tubman who risked her life to guide enslaved people to the north to find freedom.
The park focuses on preserving the paths that Harriet Tubman used to help enslaved people escape.
You can visit the Harriet Tubman Byway, which features the Harriet Tubman Museum, the plantation she lived on, and the canal she used to float timber.
The park also features activities for children to learn more about this courageous woman.
Assateague Island National Seashore
Assateague is located near Ocean City and is a popular spot where people stop when they’re traveling to Ocean City. Here, you’ll be able to check out the coastal bays, sandy beaches, and forests.
The Maryland District is open year-round, but again, the peak season is between May and September. You can check out some exhibits at the Visitor Center, as well as the different programs that are available seasonally.
The Maryland District is also popular for camping and hiking along the 37 miles of beach. Biking, crabbing, horseback riding, photography, fishing, and swimming are also popular activities in Assateague.
If you’re wanting to go a little further south, Chincoteague is a wonderful place (in Virginia!) to visit on Assateague Island National Seashore!
Address: 7206 National Seashore Ln, Berlin, MD 21811
Northside Park is considered to be the largest and most popular park in Ocean City.
With plenty of walking and jogging paths, a soccer field, playground, picnic areas, baseball fields, and more, there are plenty of recreational activities to do here for the whole family.
Whether you want to relax and enjoy the beautiful nature with a picnic or challenge your friends to a game of soccer, Northside Park remains one of the best places outside of the beach to enjoy the day with your loved ones.
Address: 200 125th St, Ocean City, MD 21842
This Ocean City tradition is one that visitors shouldn’t miss out on. At Baja Amusements, you’ll get to check out 8 go-kart tracks, mini-golf, and 2 climbing walls. Since 1981, this has been a popular spot for the whole family.
If you’re with the family, the park features a rookie track for younger children and go-karts with one or two seats. More experienced racers can try the Slick Track, Bullit, or Stock Car tracks.
There’s also a 19-hole mini-golf course and rides for children. The park opens in the spring and closes in the fall.
Address: 12639 Ocean Gateway, Ocean City, MD 21842
Art League of Ocean City
The Art League of Ocean City is a great place for anyone who loves the arts to check out. Here, you will get to see a two-story gallery, pottery studio, art library, and artist studios.
The galleries feature exhibits of local artists that change every month. You can go to the opening receptions for these exhibits every month, workshops, and community events.
If you want to learn more about drawing, pottery, clay, and more, you can even take some in-person classes.
Admission is free and the gallery is open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am-4:00 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 am-4:00 pm.
Address: 502 94th St, Ocean City, MD 21842
Flashback Old Time Photo
Ever wonder what you would look like in a traditional “old-time” photo? Well, now you can find out at Ocean City’s Flashback Old Times Photos!
Here, you’ll get to try on costumes from the 1840s till the 1930s, including cowboy, Victorian, southern, pirate, French maid, and flapper costumes.
This can be a great opportunity for a fun family photo or a memorable trip with your friends. No appointment is necessary, and the shop is located right on the boardwalk.
This photoshoot will prove to be a fun and entertaining experience for the whole family!
Address: 19-B Boardwalk, Ocean City, MD 21842
1.5-Hour Parasailing Adventure in Ocean City
Parasailing is not for the faint of heart, but it’s a wonderful way to have an unforgettable and thrilling adventure while in Ocean City.
With this tour, you’ll be able to soar above Ocean City and get fantastic views of the ocean, boardwalk, and coastline.
A group can have 2 or 3 people, and you can choose to purchase photos after the trip. The tour lasts around 1.5 hours and all equipment will be provided.
You’ll get to soar above the ocean for 8-10 minutes. Anyone between 5 and 17 will have to get a waiver signed by an adult. It is not recommended for anyone who is pregnant, in a wheelchair, or with other medical conditions. The cost of the tour starts at $99.99.
Ocean Sailing on a Sail Catamaran from Ocean City
This tour is the perfect experience for those who want to get out on the water and experience the Atlantic Ocean’s calm waters.
If you’re lucky, you might even get to see dolphin pods! The ocean sailing tour lasts around 2.5 hours and departs from the berth alongside the Pier 23 Restaurant.
The boat travels through the Ocean City Inlet, which is the roughest part of the trip, and then you will go open ocean sailing.
During the summer months, the Atlantic Ocean is gentle and calm, but if the weather conditions are poor, the trip will be canceled (and you’ll get a refund).
Each tour can have a maximum of 6 people. It is not wheelchair accessible, and visitors must be able to get on and off the boat. Ticket prices start at $135.
Ocean City Sunset Cruise
The sunset is always beautiful, but there’s nothing quite like watching the sunset from the beach. With the Ocean City Sunset Cruise, you’ll have that memorable opportunity.
As part of the tour, which is approximately 1 hour, you will spend the evening on the water watching the sunset. The tour also includes wine, beer, and seltzer, which can be purchased separately.
Guests can bring their own snacks, too. The tour meets at the OC Bay Hopper Kiosk and is perfect for groups and couples.
It is not wheelchair accessible, but children can join. Each group can have a maximum of 5 people, providing a more intimate experience. The tour costs $144.
Where to Stay in Ocean City
You will find several options for amazing places to stay in Ocean City. Here are a few of our top picks:
- Aloft Ocean City
- Americana Condos 10th Street
- Atlantic Hotel
- Cambria Hotel Ocean City- Bayfront
- Ocean’s Edge 401 Condo
Did we miss any of the best things to do in Ocean City MD in this guide? Let us know your favorite Ocean City attractions and landmarks in the comments. Thanks!
More Maryland Travel Guides
- Things to do in Annapolis
- Things to do in Baltimore
- Day trips from Baltimore
- Romantic places to visit in Maryland
- Best small towns in Maryland
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Megan is a travel blogger and writer with a background in digital marketing. Originally from Richmond, VA, she has lived all around the world (including Germany, Finland, Norway, etc) but her heart always finds its way back to Virginia. This blog is to help encourage travelers to explore the great state of VA… and its wonderful neighbors! Megan has written for or been featured by National Geographic, Forbes, Lonely Planet, Fodor’s Travel, the New York Times, and more. She has visited 45 US states and 100+ countries… and wholeheartedly believes that Brunswick Stew is probably the greatest food to ever exist.