7 Reasons to Book a Trip to Ocean City This November

By Kelsey Thomas

Ocean City, MD is gorgeous all year round, however there is something truly spectacular about the area in November. There’s still just as much to do as the summertime and you can even start getting yourself in the holiday spirit. With off-season deals and events you don’t want to miss, we’re here to share with you the top 7 reasons to book a trip to Ocean City this November.

1: Less Crowded

This might be a given, but there’s obviously way less people in the area during November. This means you can make the absolute most of your stay by enjoying all of your favorite activities without the hassle of trying to not run into others. It allows you to feel and act like a true local. You can take a nice, relaxing bike ride or walk on the boardwalk or chill on the beach without worrying dodging people.

2: Warm Ocean Water

With the sun still shining brightly, the ocean water is still refreshing and not painfully cold. In fact, the average Ocean City ocean temperature in the fall is 66.2°F. That’s the perfect weather to take a dip when you get too hot on the beach or to walk along the shoreline with your feet in the water.

3: Perfect Season for Golf

With over 17 championship courses, Ocean City is the ultimate place for golf lovers to visit in the fall. After all, it is the perfect season to go golfing. Some popular ones include Eagle’s Landing Golf Course, Ocean City Golf Club, Ocean Pines Golf Club and Rum Point Seaside Golf Links.

More of a mini golf fan? Ocean City is also filled with places to go play some putt putt. Try to hit a hole in one at Nick’s Beach Ball Golf or put your skills the test at Old Pro Golf’s indoor courses.

4. Deals All Around

The off-season deals are off the charts in Ocean City. Many hotels and vacation rentals run off-season specials, which means you can put that saved money to more awesome activities in OC, like pressing your luck at one of Ocean City’s casinos. Many restaurants also offer a variety of food and beverage specials on the off-season. You’ll really be able to get the biggest bangs for your bucks.

5. Winterfest of Lights

Ocean City’s Winterfest of Lights is an annual tradition that has become a family-friendly favorite. Starting on November 18, 2021 and running all the way until January 2, 2022, Winterfest takes you on a majestic journey through thousands of lights and animations. For admission that is only $5 for people 12+ and free for anyone 11 and under, you can see the 50 foot lit Christmas tree, explore holiday exhibits, visit the gift shop, sip on delicious hot cocoa and much more… talk about staying in budget!

6. Holiday Shoppers Fair

The annual Holiday Shoppers Fair is taking place November 26-28, 2021 and is the perfect opportunity to purchase unique holiday gifts. With over 150 vendors, you can shop from all things handmade products to themed items like nautical, candles, photography, florals, jewelry, ceramic and more. There are even door prizes and children’s activities, so be sure to bring the whole family to partake in some holiday fun.

7. Relax Before Holidays

With all this talk of the holidays, November can also be a time where many start to stress about everything coming up. Ocean City is the perfect place to unwind and relax before diving into a full month of events and activities. You can focus on yourself for a bit before having to worry about friends and relatives. Besides, we all deserve a little self-love here and there.

So with all that’s said and done, there’s really no reason to not book a stay in Ocean City this November. There is truly something for everybody, whether you’re looking to relax, be on the go or tune into that holiday spirit.

A Great Oppor-tuna-ty to Catch Some Fish

Upcoming Ocean City Fishing Tournaments in 2021

By Kelsey Thomas

It is without surprise that Ocean City, Maryland houses dozens of fishing tournaments throughout the year. In fact, the fishing history in Ocean City goes way back. Some of the city’s most popular events are coming up and they are definitely ones that you do not want to miss. It’s time to grab your fishing pole and mark your calendars for these o-fish-al Ocean City Fishing events.

Sept. 3-5, 2021: 63rd Annual OCMC Labor Day White Marlin Tournament

The Ocean City Marlin Club will be hosting their annual Labor Day White Marlin Tournament, which happens to be the oldest white marlin tournament on the east coast. This is a 2 of 3 day offshore tournament open to all anglers and no entry fee is required for OCMC boat members. A trophy will be rewarded to the ‘Master Angler’ and prizes will be given for the largest tuna, the largest mahi mahi and the most billfish releases.

Sept. 11, 2021: 20th Annual Ocean City Fishing Center 9/11 Memorial Spot Tournament

This memorial tournament is an opportunity to come together on the anniversary of one America’s most tragic days. It is a great event to bring the whole family to, as there are multiple age categories to enter in. The entry fee costs only $5 and prizes are rewarded for each category.

Sept. 12, 2021: 16th Annual Bahia Marina Flounder Pounder

This 1 day flounder fishing tournament held at the Bahia Marina is great for all ages. You have the option to fish from your own boat or to rent a skiff, skimmer or pontoon from the marina. Sign-ups will occur from 8:30 am to 9:00 am and you must fill out an entry form to enter the competition. There is a $50 fee for the boat and captain, as well a $25 fee for each additional angler.

Sept. 17-18, 2021: 42rd Annual Charles Kratz & Scott Smith Challenge Cup

The Ocean City Marlin Club and Cape May Marlin and Tuna Club are going to compete is this friendly 2 day billfish release tournament. Each club must have a minimum of 6 teams and you are only eligible if you are a boat member at either club.

Oct. 9-10, 2021: 5th Annual Ocean City Inshore Classic

This 32 hour tournament is an inshore only event with categories for Rockfish, Flounder, Tautog and Open (Bluefish, Grey Trout, Speckled Trout, Sheepshead, Black Drum, Red Drum and Croaker). There is a $75 registration fee per boat and captain, with an additional $50 fee per each angler. There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes, as well as payouts for the biggest fish in each category.

Photo Courtesy of Ocean City Inshore Classic

Oct. 15-17, 2021: 2nd Annual Bishop Broadbill Bash

The Annual Bishop Broadbill Bash is a 2 of 3 day tournament with an entry fee of $600. Eligible fish include Swordfish, Bigeye Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Longfin Tuna and Wahoo. There will be a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prize for the single heaviest swordfish and Tuna and Wahoo prized sponsored by Atlantic Tackle and Sunset Grille.

See here for the full list of rules and regulations.

Berlin Restaurant Week 2021

Come out and enjoy the 2021 Berlin Restaurant Week!

Continue reading “Berlin Restaurant Week 2021”

Axe Throwing in Lewes!

Axe Throwing in Ocean City!
Continue reading “Axe Throwing in Lewes!”

Trimper’s SunFun OC 2020

Images from Trimper’s Rides

While Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of the summer season, summertime is a state of mind in Ocean City. From Oct. 2–4, Trimper’s Rides will host its inaugural SunFun OC. The event, beginning at noon each day, will feature food, music, arts and crafts vendors and games and rides for $2.

Trimper’s legendary amusement park, located near the Ocean City Inlet, will boast arts, crafts and food vendors in the park, as well as a sidewalk sale in the Inlet Village featuring some of your favorite Ocean City retailers. There will also be live music, a DJ and karaoke, day and night, all weekend long.

Experience all of your favorite rides and games from Trimper’s for just $2 all day during SunFun OC. Marty’s Playland will also have half-off video games during the SunFun weekend. Nana’s Hot Chicken will be feeding hungry guests at the center of the outdoor rides, offering $2 deals on hot dogs, chicken on a stick, homemade cookies, cake pops and iced tea.

SunFun OC, a family-friendly event, will adhere to COVID restrictions and safety protocols.

For more information, visit SunFunOC.com

Ocean City Restaurants Serve Up the Best of the Region

By Arielle Patterson

Ocean City is a laid back coastal community with something to offer all ages and interests. The same goes for local restaurants. From beach bars with a view of the ocean and family-friendly eateries to fine dining dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, Ocean City’s culinary scene is sure to be a memorable part of your visit.

Located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Ocean City diners have the luxury of indulging in some of the freshest seafood offerings around. Much of the seafood on local menus comes straight from the Atlantic Ocean. Area chefs take advantage of the region’s bounty, including sea bass, bluefish, croaker, flounder, Atlantic and Spanish mackerel, tuna and more. When dining out, be sure to look for blackboard specials or ask your server about the “fresh catch of the day.” You’re sure to enjoy a meal that’s straight off the dock and caught by local watermen.

Of course, a trip to Maryland is not complete without some of the Chesapeake Bay’s famous blue crabs. This sweet, succulent crab meat can be served in a variety of dishes at Ocean City restaurants. Blue crab is steadily available April through December, with soft-shell crab season ending in October. Enjoy crab meat for breakfast in an omelet or atop eggs benedict. Try rich dishes like creamy crab dip and cream of crab soup or enjoy an authentic Maryland broiled crab cake. The best way to enjoy crabs on a hot summer’s day can be done from the comfort of your hotel or rental home. Hard-shell crabs are properly served steamed, seasoned with Old Bay and served on newspaper with mallets for cracking them open.

It’s not just seafood that local restaurants are sourcing locally. Many restaurants also utilize fresh produce, eggs, dairy, meat and more from nearby farms. Chefs will cater their menus to the seasonal harvest from area farms, providing you a flavorful meal with a true taste of the region. Your taste buds will celebrate as you savor each bite of a delicious dish creatively cultivated by a local chef at one of Ocean City’s restaurants.

Be sure to finish every meal in Ocean City with dessert. Ocean City has been known for crafting old-fashioned sweets for decades. Try homemade candies, rich fudge, saltwater taffy, flavored popcorn and a cone of ice cream that will cool you down after a long day in the sun.

Ocean City’s Local Libations

No matter what type of cuisine you’re enjoying, be sure to wash your food down with one of Ocean City’s local libations.

Ocean City’s craft beer scene has been booming, as local brews take over the taps at bars and restaurants. A trip to Ocean City is not complete without getting a pint of one of the local microbrews. These come from small-batch breweries, that are best known for having specialty or seasonal flavors. Many of Ocean City’s beers are made with non-traditional flavors and local ingredients from farms, including fruit, honey and even nuts. While the techniques are top-of-the-line, these beers are served in a casual environment to fully embrace the laid-back lifestyle of Ocean City.

Just a quick drive from the boardwalk are several wine bars that offer a variety to sample and purchase. Spend the day at a winery, on acres of exquisite vineyards, where the grapes are grown to produce award-winning wines. You can also find bottled wine at a local liquor store or wine cellar. Local wine bars offer a mellow atmosphere to swirl and sip your vino.

If you’re looking for something that packs more of a punch, look no further than Ocean City’s distilled spirits. Fruit flavored vodkas complement the local favorite Orange Crush. Mix it up and try a Ruby Red Crush made with Ruby Red Grapefruit vodka from a local distiller.

So, raise a glass, growler or pint of your new homegrown libation, and toast to Ocean City’s local flavor.

New Rides, Attractions and Safety Measures at Trimper’s

Trimper’s Rides may be a Maryland landmark, but this season, the oldest continuously family-owned and operated amusement park in the country has undergone a transformation. In addition to 10 new and renovated rides, management is introducing fresh food and beverage outlets, a “Thrill Pass” swipe card, “Pay One Price” wristbands (for day and night) and free Wi-Fi. They’re also implementing safety measures to keep their guests and staff safe as the country continues to battle the coronavirus. 

In the off season, the Trimper’s team scoured the country for rides. In addition to thrillers like the Shot Drop Tower (that propels riders down a 100-foot vertical drop), they found renovated classic rides like the Tilt a Whirl and Round Up that haven’t been seen at the park since the ‘80s.

Click here for a Trimper’s Rides coupon.

“It’s not all about new and fancy,” says Antoinette Bruno, a member of the original Trimper’s family and the park’s new CEO. “We wanted to bring back historical rides and revitalize the park back to its former glory.” 

For the vintage rides located in the Carousel House, the Trimper’s team — consisting of direct descendants leading back to founder Daniel Trimper, along with some of its longtime staff and new management members — are consulting their archives and those of the Maryland and Worcester historical societies to ensure the renovation is accurate. 

“In the weeks before opening, we’ve had a crew of 30 workers working with toothbrushes, Q-tips, cotton balls and soft cloths to lovingly—I mean lovingly—cleaning the historical rides that families have enjoyed season after season,” says General Manager Mike O’Neil, a 25-year veteran of the amusement park industry. “We’re revering the old, all while bringing in the new.”

This season, that means new uniforms, games, concessions, rides and safety protocols. 

In addition to the “Thrill Pass” swipe card that will help limit cash transactions, new safety measures include additional hand washing and sanitizing stations, along with free disposable masks and gloves for every guest. Rides will be sanitized between every use, and the whole park will get scrubbed down each evening. Trimper’s employees will be temperature checked each day and wear masks and gloves at all times.

 “We’re working with local officials and Governor Larry Hogan to make sure Trimper’s is a safe place for families to enjoy a day of sunshine and boardwalk magic,” says Bruno. “Trimper’s Rides has been part of the boardwalk and the Ocean City community since 1893. We’ve brought a lot of joy to people in challenging times. This summer will be no different.”

What I Love About Ocean City

Local Expert Shares What She Loves about Ocean City

By Arielle Patterson

There are so many reasons to love Ocean City. From the bustling boardwalk overlooking the ocean and the bayside attractions to the charming towns nearby, Maryland’s coastal city has so much to offer both first-time and long-time vacationers. I asked a local expert what they love about Ocean City. Here’s what she had to say.

What do you love most about Ocean City?

Susan Jones, Executive Director of the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association: “Our community is unlike any other. Whenever there is a need, it seems as though, through connections, there will be a way to fulfill the need. Whether it is to lend a listening ear, extend a helping hand or to raise funds, needs are always met. Having grown up here, I have seen our city grow from humble beginnings to thriving corporations employing many locals. Even though there are big hospitality businesses, the intimate feeling of knowing your neighbor still exists.”

How would you describe life in Ocean City?

Susan Jones: “We are truly a unique destination. There are so many diverse businesses, so we are able to offer a variety of accommodations, dining and attractions to fit budgets of all sizes. Hospitality is our heritage, so we roll out the welcome mat all year long. While summer is always the best time to visit, as everything is up and running, the shoulder seasons offer a slower pace. Winter in OC is peaceful and quiet; there’s nothing better than bundling up and walking on an empty boardwalk.”

What is your favorite thing to do with your family?

Susan Jones: “Being on the water is our happy place. We are fortunate to be boat owners and love to cruise around the back bays. Whether we are just riding and listening to music, crabbing or fishing, just being on the water makes everyone relax. I love to pack a picnic basket and just anchor up and take in all the sights and sounds.”

What is your favorite “hidden gem” in Ocean City?

Susan Jones: “This is a tough question as there are many! The OC Lifesaving Station is a great way to learn about OC and there are so many unique artifacts and sands from all over the world. I first visited when I took a group of hospitality students to learn some of the history. I also love the Assateague Visitors Center; their touch tanks and movie on the wild ponies really showcases all that charms of Assateague.”

What’s your favorite beach or outdoor attraction to go to and why?

Susan Jones: “Honestly, I love to hop on the giant Ferris wheel on the pier! Being on the top provides an amazing view of Ocean City and Assateague. It’s a great place to take pics! Again, anything on the water is my happy spot, so jumping in a kayak and paddling around is quite peaceful. Ayres Creek Adventures offers eco-tours in calm waters with limited boating and they have an amazing moon paddle.”

Ocean City Fire Department

Protecting the Life and Property of Ocean City

By Arielle Patterson

It’s summertime in Ocean City, which means more visitors to Maryland’s coastline ready to enjoy some fun in the sun. As you walk the boardwalk, lounge on the beach, experience local attractions and unwind in your hotel or rental home, the Ocean City Fire Department wants you to have a safe visit while you’re here.

The Ocean City Fire Department (OCFD) is an all-hazards response department. “We handle any type of emergency,” says Ryan Whittington, firefighter, medic and bomb tech for the OCFD. “From a medical emergency to any type of incident on our roadways, at a hotel and also on our waterways.”

OCFD is made up of volunteer and career personnel. There are over 200 members in the Volunteer Division and over 100 in the Career Division. OCFD covers the 10-and-a-half mile stretch of beach area and West Ocean City, while also providing aid to Worcester County and Sussex County, Delaware. The department receives about 6,000 calls each year, with many during the busy summer season.

When people think of any fire department, a group of first responders putting out fires first comes to mind. In addition to fire and rescue protection, the OCFD also oversees medical care, fire prevention, fire safety education and a marine unit that performs water rescues.

When you visit Ocean City you may have a chance to interact with members of the department, in emergency and non-emergency matters. According to Whittington, one of the most common non-emergencies the department responds to is people getting locked out on their balconies. The department urges visitors staying in a hotel or rental property with a balcony understand the locking mechanism on the door and to not sit on or lean over the balcony.

Other common summer calls to the OCFD include people not using the crosswalks across Coastal Highway, unattended cooking and grilling, texting and driving, and walking and texting on the streets. However, not all of people’s interaction with department personnel is grim.

“We’re not only there during someone’s bad day or their worst day, but we also interact with them on more positive things,” Whittington says.

The department does a lot of public service and community engagement. It’s not uncommon for children and their parents to take a tour of the fire station. The firefighters will even let kids hop in the driver’s seat of a firetruck and get their pictures taken.

“We’re so welcoming. We want kids to learn some fire safety tips while they’re here. Firefighters are your friends,” Whittington advises. “There’s never a reason for you to be scared. If you ever see a firefighter and know that you need help, feel free to ask us. We try to build that relationship and foster that.”

It’s not just kids who are welcome to visit the station and ask questions, locals and visitors alike are also encouraged to do the same. OCFD has a number of resources for people to take advantage of, including simply stopping by a firehouse and speaking to the firefighters. The department shares fire safety and emergency tips on their social media channels, including informative videos that are light and made to educate all ages.

For travelers to Ocean City, Whittington suggests knowing where smoke alarms and the exits are in your hotel or rental property. It is also incredibly important to know the address of your accommodation at all times. It’s not uncommon for the department to receive a call from someone who is visiting and doesn’t know their address, making it challenging for the first responders to assist them.

Learn what you can do to keep yourself and others safe when you visit Ocean City. Don’t be afraid to seek out knowledge and advice from the friendly members of the Ocean City Fire Department.

Ocean City Paid Parking

Paid Parking Begins April 1 in Ocean City

With Ocean City’s summer season just around the corner, the city will resume paid parking. Ocean City’s paid parking season begins April 1 and runs through Oct. 31.

Parking Rates in Ocean City

Parking rates are $2 per hour on the street and in municipal parking lots. The Inlet Parking Lot is $3 per hour. There is a 30-minute grace period for all vehicles.

Handicapped vehicles (those with a valid handicapped license plate or visible placard) can park on the street or in municipal lots for free for up to one hour.

Inlet Parking Lot Rates

April 1–May 21: Free parking Monday–Thursday, $3/hour Friday–Sunday

May 22–Sept. 30: $3.50/hour daily

Oct. 1–31: Free parking Monday–Thursday, $3/hour Friday–Sunday

Street Parking and Other Municipal Lot Rates

April 1–May 21: Free parking Monday–Thursday, $2/hour Friday–Sunday

May 22–Sept. 30: $3/hour daily

Oct. 1–31: Free parking Monday–Thursday, $2/hour Friday–Sunday

How to Pay for Parking in Ocean City

Ocean City uses the “Pay by Plate” parking feature. This system allows drivers to forgo placing a receipt on their dashboard. Instead, they will enter their license plate number into one of the nearby solar-powered kiosks.

  • Enter your license plate number into the kiosk then press the green button.
  • Insert coins or your credit card and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • To complete your transaction, press the green button.
  • After you park, you are free to explore all there is to see and do in Ocean City.

Click here to read about things to do in Ocean City.

You can even extend your time in the spot via the ParkMobile App. Download the ParkMobile App for free on the iPhone app store, Google Play store for Android devices or the Microsoft store for Windows phones. You can also visit ParkMobile’s website to access the service.