10 Best Things To Do in Ocean City, New Jersey
We Love This Happy Seaside Town
Meet Ocean City
This Jersey Shore city first came on the scene as a 19th-century resort town, and has been charming East Coast vacationers ever since. Nostalgic attractions on and off the shore match the family-friendly vibe—Ocean City is a “dry town,” and many of the beaches are lifeguarded. Book a Victorian bungalow or beach cottage in the Residential Historic District, and get ready to fall in love with this slice of old-fashioned paradise.
To see all of our Happiest Seaside Towns 2018, go here.
Walk Along the Boardwalk
There’s no better introduction to the nostalgia-fueled wonder of Ocean City than a stroll along the historic boardwalk. The 2.5-mile stretch is replete with boardwalk bites—pretzels, taffy, and plenty of ice cream—t-shirt shops, and goofy golf of the haunted, medieval, and safari-themed variety. Walk at your leisure, or rent bikes for a breezy boardwalk tour.
Listen to Live Music
Built as a community-rallying response to a 1927 boardwalk fire, the Ocean City Music Pier has filled the boardwalk with classical tunes for nearly a century. Celebrate resident orchestra Ocean City Pop’s 90th season at the summer concert series, featuring collaborations with local theatre and ballet troupes.
Spend a Day at the Beach
Ocean City’s broad, pale sand beach—named the Best Beach in America in 2016!—means plenty of room for sprawling out under a brightly colored umbrella or two. Set up camp near the amenities of the boardwalk, or venture north to the surf-friendly end of the beach.
Play at an Amusement Park
The iconic ferris wheel towering over the boardwalk belongs to Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, a historic amusement park with rides from a beautifully carved carousel to the thrilling 130-foot Drop Tower. On a clear day, a ride on the Giant Wheel allows riders a view of Atlantic City to the north. For watery thrills on a hot summer day, OC Water Park’s speed slides, lazy river, and a water-spouting pirate ship keep kids cool and entertained.
Eat the Best Saltwater Taffy
Nothing evokes the Jersey Shore more than a few colorful handfuls of saltwater taffy, and Shriver’s on the boardwalk does it best. The stand opened in 1898 and sells 70 flavors of the chewy bites, including a chocolate-covered taffy. Those not on the taffy train will still find their sweet tooth satisfied with gourmet fudge, chocolates, mint rolls, and macaroons.
Watch One of Ocean City’s Numerous Parades and Festivals
Witness the World’s Longest-Running Boat Parade
Night in Venice has been delighting Jersey Shore crowds for 64 years and counting. Line up along the bayfront to revel in the spectacle of decked-out boats in a theme ranging from sweet treats to the Academy Awards (this year’s theme is “TV’s Greatest Hits”). Each year, special guests participate in the parade and perform—dance classes, concerts, and magic shows—for delighted crowds.
Shop Along Downtown’s Asbury Avenue
Explore Corson’s Inlet State Park
Established in 1969 to protect New Jersey’s oceanfront land, Corson’s Inlet houses a variety of wildlife in its numerous natural habitats. Keep an eye out for migrating dolphins, geese, ducks, and butterflies as you enjoy all the activities the inlet has to offer, whether you’re taking in the view on a hike, catching crabs, or soaking up on the sun on the beach.
Learn at Ocean City’s Museums
Brush up on the past at the Ocean City Historical Museum, where you can peruse the seaside town’s 139-year-old history—shipwrecks and princesses included. Head down Asbury Avenue to browse thousands(!) of shell varieties from all over the world at the Discovery Sea Shell Museum, which has been an Ocean City institution for more than 40 years.