When you first arrive in Ocean City, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the number of fun and exciting things there are to do here! Should you stay at the beach, hit the open seas or visit local attractions? Here are some of our top picks of things you and your family won’t want to miss during your visit.
Thrilling Activities in Ocean City
Spend the Day at an Amusement Park
No matter what your taste in amusement parks, Ocean City has something for everyone! From crazy thrill rides to carnival-style amusements, to smooth, easy rides for the little ones, OC has what you are looking for! On the boardwalk and beyond are multiple amusement parks with rides to make you dizzy, scared or even soaking wet.
As perpetual backseat drivers, kids love getting behind the wheel. Go-Karting is their chance! Tracks are available for kids as young as seven. Or, adults can test their skills and challenge each other on more advanced tracks. One thing is for sure—once that checkered flag drops, have your foot on the gas and get ready for fun!
Some of the best views of Ocean City can be found high above the boardwalk … 800 feet high in the air. Experienced guides guarantee a safe, smooth ride, and you might not even have to get your feet wet. Check out the OC skyline or try to spot some dolphins. The best part is that no experience is necessary for this exhilarating ride.
Get a Birds-Eye View of OC
Air tours provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences and spectacular views of the ocean and land that make up Ocean City. Choose between a bi-plane with an open cockpit or a traditional enclosed cockpit tour. Either way, flying above the city is sure to be a thrilling experience. All tours operate out of the Ocean City Airport.
If it’s chills and thrills you’re looking for, then find your fill in Ocean City. Local haunted houses will have your heart pumping and your hands sweating. As you turn the corner, be ready to scream. Looking to hear local ghost lore? Ghost Walks feature storytellers who walk you through Ocean City’s haunted history.
Activities on the Water in Ocean City
Ocean City is an angler’s paradise! Reel in yellowfin tuna and blue marlin just a short distance off shore in the Gulf Stream or drop a line in the bay, or off one of the many piers, for some flounder. Local fishing outfitters and charters are ready to set you on course for a fishing trip to brag about. If you’re into competitive fishing, be sure to check out one of the many tournaments happening in Ocean City’s waters throughout the year.
Rent a Boat
Explore the bay waters around Ocean City on your own by renting a pontoon, deck boat or small cruiser for the day. Some local businesses provide fishing rods, water skis, tubes and kneeboards, so you’ll have plenty of action on the water.
Cool Off on a Speedboat Cruise
It’s 90 degrees, you’ve been in the sun all day, and you’re craving a cool breeze. Sounds like the perfect time to jump on one of Ocean City’s speedboat cruises. Imagine blasting across the ocean at top speeds. Feel the wind and cool mist on your face, just don’t forget to take off your hat.
Waverunners, Jet Skis and Jetavators…Oh My!
Take on the waves in your own watercraft. Fast and fun to drive, jet ski and waverunner rentals are a great way to cool off and get your adrenaline pumping after a day of lounging in the sun. Jetavators, flyboards and hoverboards are three unique water activities capable of performing aerial tricks and dives—make your day on the water an extreme adventure! Local companies provide training and equipment.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
Stand up paddleboarding, or SUP, is one of the fastest growing water sports in the country. Ocean City’s serene back bays are the perfect place to give it a try. SUP rentals and instructions are available for all skill levels, and it’s incredibly easy to learn.
Relaxing Activities in Ocean City
Hit the Shops
You can’t beat the shopping in Ocean City! There’s more than just gifts and souvenirs—find the trendiest apparel, top-of-the-line surf and beach gear, beautiful, one-of-a-kind jewelry and more! Shopping abounds on the boardwalk, uptown, downtown and just a few minutes away at the Tanger Outlets and West Ocean City.
Hit the Arcade
The old midways of 1920s-era amusement parks eventually transformed into the modern-day arcade. OC arcades are constantly being updated with state-of-the-art virtual reality games.
Cruise the Boardwalk
Ocean City’s world-famous boardwalk is an experience in its self! Take a morning bike ride or rent a tandem for the whole family. Indulge in two of the boardwalk’s most prized food staples—salty boardwalk fries or a cone of old-fashioned soft serve ice cream. There is tons of food, fun and history on the boards!
Take the Tram
Walking the boardwalk is exhilarating but exhausting. If you want to see everything the boards have to offer without hoofing it, take the Boardwalk Tram. One low fee allows you to see, smell and experience this OC highlight. You can even purchase unlimited rides for the day.
Take a Day Trip
Don’t limit yourself to just the beach! Plenty of exciting destinations are just a short drive away. Get back to nature on Assateague Island or go shopping in Downtown Berlin. Slip down over to Salisbury for a stroll through the local zoo or award-winning museums. Or head to Pocomoke for an adventure in the Cypress Swamp.
Catch Up on a Good Book
Take the ultimate escape by packing a good read or pick one up while you’re here. Immerse yourself in a nice piece of fiction or nonfiction—whatever your preference may be. Ocean City is home to a slew of bookshops that feature everything from the well-worn vintage classics to the latest thrillers.
What better time to treat your body right than on vacation? Pamper yourself at one of the many area spas, offering skin and body treatments, massages, facials and manicures. Or, if you really want to find your “center,” take in a yoga or pilates class at one of our local gyms.
Outdoor Activities in Ocean City
Go on an Eco-Adventure
Away from the bustling boardwalk, there are still pristine natural beach areas with swaying marsh grasses and plenty of wildlife. Thankfully, exploring these areas is surprisingly easy. Just head over to Assateague Island, rent a kayak or bicycle, and explore the island. Or, take a guided nature cruise right from Ocean City and allow a professional naturalist to walk you through the eco-system and point out the incredible wildlife. You may even see a wild pony or two.
Parks and Playgrounds Abound
Ocean City has tons of places where kids and adults can let loose and play! Check out the views of Assateague Island from Inlet Park. Northside Park has 58 acres of fun featuring sports fields, a fishing lagoon, walking paths and more. There are parks for children, parks for dogs, parks for volleyball enthusiasts—there’s something for everyone at Ocean City’s parks!
In Ocean City, finding crabs is easier than finding a cab. Pick up a fishing net, some string and some chicken, and head to the bayside of the island. The crabs will bite the chicken on one end of your string, and you can scoop them up in the net. Now you’ve got yourself a nice appetizer. No license is required for crabbing, but regulations limit each person to one bushel of crabs. All crabs you keep must be male and at least five inches from point to point.
Some of the finest golf courses on the East Coast are just minutes away from downtown Ocean City. Renowned course designers and beautiful surroundings have made this region one of the fastest-growing golfing destinations in the country. This activity is extremely popular, so remember to schedule your tee time well in advance.
Play Some Putt-Putt
Maybe you’re not ready for those pro courses. Or maybe you simply enjoy playing golf surrounded by wild animals, waterfalls, pirates and spinning windmills. Either way, there are plenty of colorful and extravagant mini-golf courses in and around Ocean City.
Drive on the Beach at Assateague
Miles of unspoiled beaches await! Whether you want to get a glimpse of the local landscape, you’re into surf fishing or you are an Over Sand Vehicle (OSV) enthusiast, you will love this seaside adventure! An OSV permit is required, so be sure to plan your excursion ahead of time.
Watch a Fishing Tournament Weigh-In
Watch sport fisherman bring in their catch to be weighed. Weigh-ins are an exciting event that anyone can come and watch. Some of the best tournaments on the East Coast happen right here—the White Marlin Open, Capt. Steve Harman’s Poor Girl’s Open, as well as the Big Fish Classic. Check out the Fishing Tournament schedule for these and many other exciting tournaments.
Compete in the Family Beach Olympics
Every week on the 27th Street Beach, you and your family can take part in a beach-themed competition. These free “Olympic” games include events like a sand castle contest, tug-of-war, relay games and more. Will you go home with the gold?
Arts and Entertainment in Ocean City
Visit a Museum or Gallery
If you’re looking to brush up on your history, peruse art and more, then you’ve come to the right place. Spend the afternoon in one of Ocean City’s unique museums. Learn about the preservation of local heritage. Tour a historic home to learn about the lifestyle and upbringing during a bygone time. Marvel at the works of art found in the many galleries offering new exhibits year-round.
Dance the Night Away
Get the dance party started one night a week at the Caroline Street Stage. Head downtown with family and friends for this free event featuring a family-friendly DJ. Or, spend the night bouncing around the local nightclubs. From rock to reggae, jazz to hip hop, you’ll have a great time busting a move once the sun goes down.
Attend a Festival
Ocean City has become a hub for many festivals and the city plays host to one almost every weekend. From food, beer and wine to classic cars and air shows, there’s a summertime festival for everyone’s interests. Mark your calendar for one of the many live music fests featuring local bands and musicians, as well as national recording artists. See our calendar for a full list of festivals and events.
Listen to Live Music on the Beach
The quintessential Ocean City evening must include a lawn chair in the sand and live music as the sun sets. There’s always a variety—from tribute bands to local favorites. There are also special outdoor concerts on the beach throughout the year, so finding a place to jam is never a problem.
Watch a Movie Oceanside
Grab your beach chair and beach blanket and enjoy a movie beside the ocean. The entire family will enjoy the free movies on the beach every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 27th Street Beach or 118th Street Beach. Grab a snack from one of the boardwalk vendors, sit back and relax.