Ocean City, Maryland

Boardwalk Empire

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What's it like to live in Ocean City?

What should people expect of Ocean City Maryland?

Basically there are multiple Ocean Cities that exist depending on when you go.

During summer, it’s families. Exactly what you’d expect from a cross section of a diverse state. Mini golf, boardwalk fun time, beach, souvenir shops, and so on. Restaurant scene is markedly improved over the last decade.

In the off season it is much quieter but stays interesting until winter really kicks in, and until spring is serious about being here.

Then there are event weeks, both official and unofficial. Pay attention to those. They can make it less family friendly.

What should people expect of Ocean City Maryland?

I have gone to OC every summer for 46 years and with my kids for the past 13. Same place, oceanside, up north near the DE border. Lots of families there. It has changed a lot over the past decades but what hasn't?

For me, what to expect depends on how you do it. With kids I also don't look at it as a vacation but a family trip. For me a vacation kid free and I laze around, do nothing but read, and someone brings me a drink with an umbrella in it. Kids require considerably more effort.

If you stay in a hotel, you will be eating out the whole time and that can be expensive. We stay in a house with a kitchen and only eat out a few times. I bring tons of food. So I still cook and have dishes and such. We completely unplug do no TV, no video games, no phones except for texting and calling friends. We do not plan every moment of our time but figure it out as we go.

We don't go to the beach in the morning because it is crazy crowded. Mornings are for board games, puzzles, mini golf, going to see a movie. Afternoons are for the beach when it is less crowded. Since we stay so close to the beach, we do not make it big production and only take towels, water bottles, some sand toys, boogie boards.

We never go anywhere at night because everything is just packed. If we go to the boardwalk, we go early and just to play games. The early evening on the beach is always fun, before it gets dark. We do not like crowds in general so we tend to avoid events, but that is just how we are (has nothing to do with the pandemic).

People call the beaches nasty but at least up north, they drag them every night so they are actually pretty clean. The lifeguards are top flight…we have had the same guard for the past 20 years. We always get Scopes.

I accept that people can be jerks but we also always make "beach friends" every year.

So that is my take on it. Not everyone will agree with me and that is OK. We keep it mellow, accept that nothing is perfect. I have never felt unsafe there but again, we tend to avoid crowds and going places at night.

What is it like to live in Ocean City, MD?

It's becoming more and more of a year round city. But compared to now with approximately 10 - 20,000 people in town, it swells at mid June through Labor Day with 250,000 people (at least) bustling along an 11 mile, 6 block average with peninsula. There are the sweet spots/times in April, May and then especially in September, October and November. The registered voters, full-time residents number under 10,000 people and many of them go to a warmer climate in the winter. From the staying in Florida or traveling to surf at Costa Rico, Panama and other Central American countries. Since the 60's and prior to 9/11, many surfers from Ocean City went across the globe to seek out far away places to surf. Like Indonesia, Morocco, the Caribbean, Central and South America.

If you live there for a Summer, You Will make some lifelong friends with people you normally of would not associated with or even have met. But if you are an introvert, you would go "crazy" in season but love the off season when the town is virtually empty. Salt air, sun, sand and surf during the day with a vibrant nightlife. That's the summer. Crowded perhaps, but you can easily escape the crowds within a 20 drive into rural Delmarva. Traffic is crazy in the summer. People get around on bikes, scooters and an inexpensive, reliable and numerous bus Mass Transit. Ocean City is "The Family Resort", low crime, kind of expensive (supply and demand) but you can find local eateries for the cheap. Plus, there are plenty of performers of various media providing free live entertainment on the boardwalk every night.

The Ocean City Department of Recreation and Parks is probably the finest organization and facilities, I have ever scene or participated in and continue today with my kids. They host a plethora of organized events, sports, indoor and out, co-ed, recreational, drop-ins, activities for all ages, dog obedience classes, Tai-Chi, "Date Nights"(parents can drop off the kids for fun activities while they go out together). Literally, they offer SO MUCH.

Living in Ocean City Maryland