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Top 10 Things To Do in Ocean City

Ocean City Correspondent, Jill Anne

Everyone goes to Ocean City and they immediately think about going on the beach, laying out, swimming, playing in the sand, surfing, and just kicking back and relaxing. But what do you do when you need a little break from the sand, sun, and surf? Here are our thoughts on the top 10 things to do in Ocean City, Maryland when your daily beach activities need a different approach. Note that our Top-10 list is not intended to be in any particular order. We all seem to have different interests in things to do while on vacation. Try whatever you like; but most of all have fun and enjoy your visit to Ocean City.

Beach Umbrellas in Ocean City

Hit the Boardwalk!
A lot of people are familiar with the boardwalk already and it is easily the second thing most people think about when going to Ocean City, after the beach, of course. Those people have it right though! No trip to Ocean City is complete without a walk on the boards. Ocean City, Maryland's boardwalk is almost 3 miles long and has something for everyone--eateries, specialty shops, souvenir shops, arcades, Jolly Roger and Trimper's amusement park rides, restaurants, bars, night life, and let's not forget Thrasher's French Fries and Fisher's Popcorn! Take a look at the boardwalk with a picture tour at www.octhebeach.com/oc-boardwalk-index.html.

Go Flying!
Any time of year, day or night, you can catch a touring flight out of the Ocean City Airport with Ocean City Sky Tours. See the crowded beaches of Ocean city from up above, or see Ocean City glow with a romantic sunset flight. Ocean City Sky Tours will even take passengers up at night so you can see Ocean City twinkle like the stars! Book your flight ahead of time by calling 410-289-TOUR. Check it out at www.ocean-city.com/ocskytours. If you are really into flying or if you just like to watch planes but don't like to go up in the air, don't forget to check out the OC Air Show which happens one weekend every summer.

See the Ponies
Assateague Island National Seashore is just a short drive of eight miles from Ocean City and is a great place to go to get out of your usual beach daze. Assateague is best known for it's annual pony swim where the ponies are herded and guided through the waster from Chincoteague to Assateague. Hundreds of people line the shores to see the ponies every year so if you plan on going, go early and plan to stay late. If the pony swim is not your thing or you just can't get there for it, you can go to Assateague Island to lie on the beach or have a picnic with the wild ponies around, you can take a nature tour, enjoy some outdoor recreation, or you can just drive through and see some ponies. For the touristy person, the Assateague Lighthouse is a popular site to see and you can drive to it in the Virginia portion of the island, or you can take an Assateague cruise to see the Assateague Lighthouse and its beautiful landscape and wildlife from the water. Bird watchers would love the bird watching tours provided on Assateague. Beware: If you are picnicking or hanging out on the beach, watch out, the ponies will come right up to your picnic blanket or your car!

Miniature Golf
Also known to many people as mini golf or putt-putt, Ocean City, Maryland is home to many miniature golf courses. No matter where you stay you won't have to go far to find a mini golf course or two for you to choose from. One of the biggest putt putt companies in Ocean City is the Old Pro Golf which has 7 courses at 4 locations - Temple of Dragons on 23rd Street, Renaissance Castle on 28th Street, Prehistoric Dinosaurs and Undersea Adventure on 68th Street, and Pirate Ship, African Safari, and Polynesian Garden on 136th Street. Paradise Cove miniature golf has locations at 41st and 50th Streets. The Jolly Roger Amusement Park has a putt putt course at 30th Street. 65th Street Slide N Ride has a miniature golf course in addition to its other fun outdoor activities such as batting cages and bumper boats. For anyone staying just outside of Ocean City, Baja Amusements and Frontier Town have miniature golf courses in West Ocean City along Route 50.

Amuse Yourself!
Jolly Roger amusement parks have two locations in Ocean City--on the pier at the Boardwalk and at 30th Street on Coastal Highway. Jolly Roger pier rides has many rides including the well known two level Venetian carousel, a giant Ferris wheel, a roller coaster and more. When you need a break from all that riding fun you can just stop at Thrasher's French Fries or Boog's Barbecue for a bite to eat.

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The original Jolly Roger location on 30th Street has even more rides than the pier location. Both parks have rides that are suitable for young children. Check them out at www.jollyrogerpark.com. Trimper's is also on the boardwalk at the Inlet and we have a little secret for you, Trimper's has the best amusements and rides for young children along with their popular adult and big kid rides such as the Matterhorn ride, the Merry Mixer, the Mirror Maze and the Tidal Wave looping roller coaster. Visit www.trimpersrides.com to see it all!

Make a Splash...
...at one of the Ocean City area water amusement parks. The biggest is Splash Mountain which is located at the Jolly Roger amusement park on 29th Street and Coastal Highway. In addition to the regular ol' water slides, Splash Mountain has a wave pool, a water roller coaster, a kiddie area, a lazy river, and more! Check it out at www.jollyrogerpark.com. The 65th Street Slide & Ride is a smaller water park but it packs just as much fun! Located at 65th on the bayside, the 65th Street Slide & Ride had water slides, bumper boats, kiddie slides and boats, go karts, batting cages, miniature golf, and much more. For more information go to www.slidenride.com. The Frontier Town Campground in West Ocean City has a waterpark with slides, pools, fountains, and sprays fit for the whole family. You can get more information at www.frontiertown.com/waterparkandgolf.cfm. Finally, just outside of Ocean City to the north is the Thunder Lagoon Waterpark. Go to www.vikinggolfamusements.com, you will see the water slides, pools, lazy river, tipping ship, and the various activities that the Thunder Lagoon Waterpark has available for small children.

Water Sports
Ocean City is an island so of course our top 10 list would not be complete without highlighting the many water sports available to entertain and excite you. Among the most popular water sports are jet skiing, parasailing, waterskiing, boating, sailing, fishing, and cruising, wakeboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, and more! Ocean City's bayside shoreline is dotted with many places that offer one or all of these fun water sports. The O.C. Rocket and Sea Rocket are two of the town's most popular and exciting cruises as they speed up the shoreline along the beach. If you want a slower cruise to be able to take in the views a little better, the Assateague Adventure, Explorer, Captain Bill Bunting's Angler, and Discovery Nature Cruises are some you may enjoy. There are even a Pirate Adventure cruise and a Duckaneer cruise available that are great for families and kids. For jet skiing, parasailing, kayaking, and other more independent water sports you also have a number of places to choose from--Paradise Watersports in West Ocean City, O.C. Parasail at 54th Street on the bay, Action Watersports on 65th Street and the bay, Flytech Watersports on Route 54 in Fenwick Island in Delaware just across the Ocean City line, and many more.

Seacrets is No Secret
For adults, no trip to Ocean City, Maryland is complete without a day or night at Seacrets on 48th Street and the bay! Seacrets started out in 1988 as one little tiki bar on the bayside beach and has grown tremendously to what is now known for its great night life with a huge dance club, a number of beach bars, live entertainment, good food, and even its own radio station. Seacrets is also the Ocean City hot spot for cooling off on those hot summer days. Go to Seacrets for lunch and hang around all day on their beach lounge chairs, go swimming in the bay, play volleyball on their beach, or hang out in one of their water rafts where the waitresses will walk your drinks right out to you in the water! You can see the excitement before going at www.seacrets.com. You can even stay in the Seacrets hotel right next to all the action so you don't have to drive anywhere after your long day of fun, and drinks, in the sun!

Shop 'Til You Drop!
There are many specialty shops and souvenir stores all over Ocean City, Maryland. What trip to the beach would be complete without a little trinket or t-shirt from one of the many Sunsations locations or Edwards Department Store on the boardwalk. Those are just the well known souvenir stores but don't forget about all the smaller souvenir stored in Ocean City on the boardwalk, in the malls, and along Coastal that often have better deals that the larger stores. All of the souvenir stores can also help you find everything you need for a day of fun on the beach--swimsuits, towels, sand toys, etc--just in case you forgot something. Another popular store in Ocean City is the Christmas Spirit on Coastal Highway and 34th Street where you can find Christmas decorations to help you feel a little spirit of Christmas no matter what time of year it is! Looking for something a little more than a souvenir or beach gear? The Ocean City Factory Outlets in West Ocean City is just one mile from the boardwalk on Route 50 and has over 40 stores to suit everyone's needs--Gap, Children's Place, Carters, Dress Barn, Wilsom Leather, Nautica, Bass, Calven Klein, Big Dogs, The Original Smith Island Cake Company, and many more. If you don't mind a little driving, you can go straight up Route 1 (Coastal Highway) into Rehoboth Beach and hit the Rehoboth Tanger Outlets which is so big it has 3 locations--one on your right and 2 on your left as you are driving through Rehoboth. You will find a lot of the same stores at the Rehoboth Outlets as you will at the Ocean City Factory Outlets, but you will also find a lot more such as Coach, J. Crew, Old Navy, L.L. Bean, Mikasa, and many, many more.

These are not your typical school field trip museums--Ocean City has a few good museums that let you look into some of the cool history of the beach. The Ocean City Life-Saving Museum is on the Boardwalk at the Inlet takes you back to the old days of life saving in Ocean City by featuring amazing saves and notable guards, but that's not all. The Life-Saving Museum also exhibits artifacts from shipwrecks, Sands of the World, and even a Bathing Fashions as they were throughout the years. The DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum on Ocean Gateway/Route 50 coming into Ocean City opened in 1995 and features 10,000 rotating artifacts all the time from shipwrecks that happened in the area and throughout the world. This could be a good one for the kids as there are also some hands on exhibits that let you get involved with the shipwreck artifacts. The Wheels of Yesterday is also on Ocean Gateway/Route 50 as you enter Ocean City. Car fanatics will love the more than 30 exhibits of classic and original cars that date back as early as 1928 with a seven passenger Lincoln. Kids would be intrigued by the old fire truck at the Wheels of Yesterday museum. The Art League of Ocean City has over 30 years worth of artwork in all media and also features special rotating exhibits from time to time. The Art League museum is located on 94th Street on Coastal highway. One of the most well known museums in Ocean is the Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum on the boardwalk at the Inlet. If you have even seen the show Ripley's Believe It Or Not with Joe Rogan on television, you will know that this museum has some of the most unique exhibits of some of the most amazing, astonishing, weird, bizarre, and even gross things. You can even see two-headed animals, shrunken heads, and a very rare egg. With all of these museums there is sure to be something to interest everyone.

Whatever you decide to do, we wish you a great stay at the beach.

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