things to do in ocean city

Things to See & Do in Ocean City

Experience All Ocean City has to Offer

While Ocean City is absolutely one of the most relaxing coastal vacation destinations around, it can also be one of the most exhilarating. There are so many exciting, family-friendly ways to spend your time on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Spend a Day on the Water
From the Assawoman Bay to the Atlantic Ocean, Ocean City’s waterways are perfect for dozens of water activities.

Wave Runners & Jet Skis
Speed across Isle of Wight Bay and over rippling waves as water sprays up behind you. Venture out with a friend and try to spot dolphins in the surf. Area rental companies make sure this is a fun and safe experience. Outfitters make sure you are properly trained before driving the craft, and most companies give you a designated riding area to explore. Remember to always keep on the lookout for others sharing Ocean City’s waterways with you—that goes for other boating enthusiasts and wildlife! 

Soar above the water and see the best views of Ocean City and Assateague Island from the air. More and more people have discovered the joys of defying gravity and flying among the clouds. One of the most popular beach activities, parasailing, can actually be done without even getting your feet wet, unless you want to. Either way, as you float higher and higher in your harness, the last thing you’ll be thinking about is the water. You’ll be too busy watching for wildlife and taking in beautiful views of the inland bays and city landscape.

Rent a Boat
Pontoons, fishing boats, cruisers, skiffs—the possibilities are endless. Just choose your craft and set out on your own voyage in the surrounding waters. Pontoons and deck boats are great for families—enjoy an afternoon cruising, swimming and tanning in Assawoman Bay and the many inlets. Or if you’re craving some speed, rent a cruiser. And, of course, experienced anglers can skip the charter and rent their own skiff for a fishing adventure. Whatever your passion, renting a boat is one of the best ways to experience the abundant and beautiful waterways and ocean that surrounds Ocean City.

It’s a passion shared by millions around the world—the coveted feeling of riding a wave. Sure, from the beach it looks easy, but surfing actually requires strong swimming skills, good balance, arm strength and a whole lot of determination. The best way to get a good start surfing is by taking a lesson or two for the basics. Ocean City surf schools will teach you how to get from lying down on your board to standing up (without toppling over), how to pick the perfect wave and how to fall without hurting yourself. By the end of the day, you may be a little waterlogged, but you’re sure to have had some fun. There are designated surfing beaches, but if you come when the lifeguards are off duty, every beach is a surfing beach.

Great for exploring Ocean City and Assateague Island’s remote coastal areas, kayaking gives people an up-close view of some of our country’s last preserved natural beaches. Spot wildlife and migrating birds, coast through tall marshes and enjoy the quiet solitude of nature. Take a kayak tour and allow a guide to lead you through unspoiled areas while explaining the ecosystem and wildlife around you. 

From nature excursions to high-speed cruises, there is a wide variety of public cruises to choose from in Ocean City. Kids and families will love the pirate-themed cruises for quality entertainment on the water, while couples may enjoy a sunset cruise aboard a sailboat or yacht. There are also excursions for dolphin watching, fishing, bird watching and nature viewing. 

Tiki Tours
Ride along the waters of Ocean City in style aboard a tiki-themed boat. These tours are perfect for birthday parties and other celebrations, along with just gathering for some party fun on the water.

Standup Paddleboarding
The bays of Ocean City make the perfect location to try standup paddleboarding. When you want to get more of a workout in, SUP is the ultimate sport to take to the water! As you paddle on a surfboard-sized board, you may even spot a dolphin or other marine life. The great thing about SUP is that you can enjoy it alone or with a group. Gather your friends or family members for a day paddleboarding and explore the area’s many waterways. For an exciting twist on SUP, try nighttime paddleboarding. Everything you love about SUP, with the beautiful Ocean City skyline lit up in the background. Seek out our fabulous local businesses for more information on renting paddleboards.

Only in Ocean City

While in Ocean City, visit some fun attractions that you won’t find just anywhere

Area Amusement Parks
The pier at the boardwalk is home to one part of Ocean City’s largest amusement park, Jolly Roger at the Pier. Get a bird’s-eye view from the area’s tallest Ferris wheel, and try out some of Ocean City’s exciting amusement rides like the Slingshot, which shoots you into the air like a cannonball. Jolly Rogers’ 30th Street location is home to Splash Mountain, the largest water park in Ocean City, as well as Speedworld. If you’re feeling brave, ride the Cyclone, the world’s first cart coaster! Made up of 40 go-carts with twice the horsepower, the ride is over 1,500 feet long, five stories tall and has 78 pilings.

Jolly Roger
Jolly Roger at the Pier

Trimper Rides of Ocean City has been entertaining guests since 1893 and is the oldest continuously family-owned and operated amusement park in the world. Open morning until night, you can ride the thrilling Tidal Wave coaster or the Himalaya, drive bumper cars, enter a haunted house if you dare and much more. Or challenge yourself to fun games and try to win a prize.

Trimpers Rides
Trimper’s Rides

In West Ocean City, Baja Amusements has eight different go-kart tracks, ranging from a Rookie Track for ages 4 to 7, to the Road Racer Track, Ocean City’s fast half-mile track, featuring single- and twin-engine karts for maximum speed. Baja also showcases a safari-themed mini golf course, carousel, two climbing walls and kiddie rides the whole family can enjoy.

Baja Amusements

Grand Prix Amusements boasts seven go-kart tracks, including the favorite Grand Prix Track, which features a half mile of banked curves and racing action. For riders 16 and older, reach speeds of up to 30 mph on the Pro Track, the first of its kind in Ocean City. Want something other than go-karts? The amusement park is filled with loads of other attractions, such as a 90-foot-long slide, bumper boats, batting cages and an arcade.

Grand Prix

At Frontier Town you can enjoy a water park or float along the lazy river, slide down a variety of water slides or play 18 holes of mini golf.

Frontier Town

Visit a Local Museum or Gallery
Discover the world’s first Mermaid Museum, located a few miles away from Ocean City. This first-of-its-kind museum opened last year on the second floor of the historic Odd Fellows building on Berlin’s Main Street. Learn about the mythical mermaid through artifacts and historical records from around the world.

The OC Life-Saving Station Museum, located in the original 1891 U.S. Life-Saving Station on the southern end of the boardwalk, showcases Ocean City’s past and the history of the U.S. Life-Saving service (now known as the Coast Guard). 

In nearby Salisbury, nestled next to Schumaker Pond, The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art features the world’s largest and finest public art collection of decorative and antique decoys. 

In downtown Pocomoke City, the Delmarva Discovery Museum strives to preserve and educate visitors on the region’s culture and natural heritage.

Explore Assateague Island
Just a few miles south of Ocean City, a pristine piece of paradise awaits at Assateague Island. This 37-mile-long hidden gem is part of the national and state park systems. A trip to Assateague is perfect for lounging on the beach, hiking undeveloped natural habitats and spotting the native Assateague wild horses, along with other wildlife. 

Learn more about Assateague Island on one of the fun and educational nature cruises. Assateague Adventure nature cruises are kid-friendly, interactive tours featuring a marine animal touch tank, bird watching and more.

Get a Bird’s-Eye View of Ocean City
View Ocean City from above aboard one of Cloud Dancer’s two-passenger bi-planes. These air tours provide once-a-lifetime experiences and spectacular views of the ocean and bays that make up Ocean City.

Familiar Favorites

Certainly, there are a number of new activities to enjoy in Ocean City, but visitors can also find classic vacation activities from local attractions.

Play Some Putt-Putt
Ocean City has many unique and challenging mini golf courses. All of the courses, indoor and outdoor, have different and elaborate themes, including Renaissance castle, prehistoric dinosaurs, undersea adventure, temple of dragons and more.

Saloon-Style Souvenirs
Nothing can be as entertaining as watching your family members dress up as saloon girls, pirates, gangsters and cowboys and then having the photos to prove it. Flashback Old Time Photos has two locations, which means two opportunities to have some laughs and take home a memorable photo.