Ocean City, Maryland
Rainy Day Guide to Ocean City
Ocean City Correspondent, Jill Anne
Don't let rain ruin your vacation! Whether it is a little rain shower or days of downpour, there is always something to do in Ocean City that will ensure you have a good time. Here's another tip, these activities are also great in the winter when it is just too cold to go outside, even if the sun is shining.
Now don't assume that you'll be playing putt-putt with a poncho flapping around you. Old Pro Golf on 68th street has two miniature golf courses and one of them is inside where you can stay dry without juggling an umbrella or wearing an uncomfortable poncho. The Undersea Adventure course has you maneuvering your ball over waves and around scuba divers, a coral reef, a shipwreck and many other undersea obstacles. When your game is over, don't worry, there is more to do here than just putt-putt. Once you have conquered the undersea golfing adventure, fuel up at the snack bar with pizza, pretzels, ice cream, and other tasty treats. Then, challenge and friend or family member to one of the video, pinball, or sports games in the arcade.
Speaking of Arcades...
The boardwalk has several arcades near the inlet andthe lower end, such as the Fun City Arcade and the Funcade, to name a couple. Both arcades have games such as Skee Ball, Air Hockey, pinball, racing games, sports games, and much more. Play by yourself if you'd like, or you can challenge up to three other people in some of the games. Many games will even reward you with tickets, the higher your score, the more tickets you'll get. When you are through playing, turn in those tickets for prizes from candy to stuffed animals and even scooters. On your way out, stop in a photo booth with your friend or family and get quick snapshots to remember your fun day.
Have you ever seen the amazing show Ripley's Believe it or Not? Or do you just like looking at and learning about weird and interesting things? Well, Ocean city has it's very own Ripley's Believe it or Not museum and it's right by the inlet parking lot. Ripley's is a 10,000-square-foot museum and they have more than 500 exhibits in their 14 galleries. Among the exhibits you will see many odd and curious artifacts such as shrunken heads and old torture devices, among other things. Just look for the moving shark that is breaking through a corner building. Admission is not expensive and the museum is generally open pretty late during the busy season.
What a Lifesaver!
Not the candy. Have you ever seen that white Victorian-looking building with the red roof at the very "beginning" of the boardwalk next to the Inlet? Many people pass it all the time not knowing what it is. Well, that is the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum. Inside, you can see items found from shipwrecks, the style of very old bathing suits, and an old lady mannequin that used to stand on the Boardwalk and laugh when someone pressed her button. She still works so press her button and join in the laughing with her!
Catch a Movie
When most people think of going to the beach, not many think of hitting the movie theater. But if it's raining, why not? Ocean City has three movie theaters, the Fox Theater in Gold Coast Mall on 112th Street, the Carmike Sun & Surf 8 on 143rd Street, and the Fox White Marlin Cinema 5 in West O.C. in the White Marlin Mall on Route 50. The theaters are fairly old so don't expect huge screens and stadium seating. These theaters do show the latest popular movies though, and they all have good snack stands and comfortable seats. The best part about the movies, it gets you out of the rain and takes up a couple of hours of your day. Beware that if it is rainy enough for you to go to the movies at the beach, many other people will have the same idea; so get your tickets early.
This is something that you may want to do even if the sun shines every day of your vacation. Ocean City and the surrounding area just have great shopping. From the Gold Coast Mall at 112th street with beachy type stores, to the Salisbury Mall with department and chain stores just a half hour west on Route 50. And from the Ocean City Outlets on Route 50 in West O.C. to the huge outlet center in Rehoboth Beach that is so big that there are four separate sections to it. You could spend an entire day walking around and just looking at things or you could find a lot of great deals on clothes, bags, shoes, books, kitchen stuff, electronics, and much more. Many people go to the outlets and end up leaving to realize that they are halfway done their Christmas shopping, even in the middle of summer! There are just such a variety of stores with such good deals that it's worth it to pick up gifts if you see them. But don't forget to pick up a few things for yourself as well. Don't forget to stop at the little shops that are sprinkled all over Ocean City on Coastal Highway, some of them are very cute and unique and they tend to be the best places to pick up souvenirs.
Ocean City has one bowling alley, the Ocean Lanes on 72nd street. It does not sit right on Coastal Highway so look carefully because it is set back from the road and closer to the water on the bayside. If you have enough people with you, you could spend a whole day here and make a tournament out of it. The bowling alley has a snack bar for you to grab a bite between games.
Have a Girls' Day
Whether you are with people your own age, or if you and your significant other have brought the family to the beach for a vacation, you can still have a girl's day. The guys can always find something to do such as hit the arcades, the movies, or bowling. This will give the girls, even the little ones, an opportunity to have a day of pampering. Ocean City has spas that can help you accomplish this, such as A Perfect Face Day Spa in West Ocean City and the Creative Day Spa on 137th Street, to name two. So go out with the girls to get your hair done and treat yourselves to a pedicure and manicure. You don't have to stop there though; the salons offer a variety of treatments to meet your liking. The best part about a day like this - not only do you get pampered, but the guys will be so happy to see you afterward because you didn't drag them along, they got to go out and do their own thing, and you'll be so beautiful and refreshed when they meet up with you again.
Hit the Gym
Ocean City is home to the Ocean City Health & Racquet Club located on 61st Street overlooking the bay. Go solo or with a friend to get a good workout with the weights and Nautilus equipment, join an aerobics class, or play a few heated games of racquetball. Don't worry, you don't have to be a club member to get in, the club offers daily rates for vacationers and tourists. If swimming is what you miss most on a rainy day, don't worry; the club has an indoor pool as well as an outdoor pool.
Yes, staying in can be just as much fun as going out if it is a rainy day. But don't make the mistake of just relying on the wrinkled magazines in your beach bag and the over-played movies on your hotel TV. If your room accommodations have a VCR or DVD player, pick up movies that the whole family can enjoy at one of Ocean City's movie stores - Maximum Video on 64th Street, Video 1 in the shopping center on 118th Street, Montego Bay Video Outlet on 129th Street and Blockbuster Video at 9936 Stephen Decatur Highway in West O.C. After picking out a few movies, head over to Roses on 94th Street and find the toy section where you can pick up a few card and board games to play together. Before you leave the Roses Mall, stop in Rite Aid or Superfresh to pick up a bunch of snacks to nibble on as you play your games and watch the movies. Finally, go back to your room, pop in a movie, break out the snacks and get a good game going. If you get hungry for real food, just order lunch or dinner to be delivered.
Whatever the weather, we wish you a great stay at the beach.
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