Best known as OC, the town of Ocean City in Worcester County, Maryland is the popular Mid Atlantic vacation destination. To get an idea of the town’s insane popularity, in the last census the population was slightly more than 7,100. The Ocean City beach population balloons to nearly 350,000 in summer weekends. After Baltimore, this “sleepy” beach town is the second most populated place in Maryland each summer. Over 8 million people visit every year for both family beach vacation spots and to party, a little like Belmar Beach, New Jersey.
Ocean City, along with its Delaware neighbors South Bethany and Fenwick are on a barrier spit, Fenwick Island. The southern boundary of this beach spot is an inlet created by a hurricane in 1933. A 50 foot opening from the Atlantic Ocean to the bay was torn asunder by the storm surge tides and extreme rainfall. The OCMD townspeople had long wanted an inlet, so they were quick to take the opportunity provided by mother nature. Jetties were soon constructed and the town separated from Assateague Island. Ocean City now had a harbor.
Where is Ocean City? 38°23′N 75° 4′W
Home to rides, amusements, arcades, stores and just about anything else you can think of, the Ocean City Boardwalk extends up to 27th Street from South 2nd Street at the Inlet. In 1902, the first boardwalk was built in Ocean City and called the Atlantic Avenue. The boardwalk is 2.25 miles of glorious activities guaranteed to put a smile on your face and dent your wallet. A curiosity ubiquitous to Ocean City are the telescope pictures that can be purchased on the boardwalk. Throughout the day, while you are on holiday in Ocean City, expect to be approached for your photo which is presented later in a really neat telescope.
Both the town and the boardwalk got blasted by Hurricane Gloria in 1985. To prevent future damage, a sea wall of concrete was built and the boardwalk repaired after the 89 mile per hour winds roared through. Compliments to Hurricane Gloria, the beautiful and purposeful dunes were first introduced during the first phase of extensive beach replenishment projects in Ocean City.
Nearly 30 years later, Ocean City’s boardwalk was walloped again by another hurricane. This time, Hurricane Sandy, destroyed over half the boardwalk in 2012. Restored to full size, this historical landmark has been named one of the top 10 boardwalks to visit in the United States by Nat Geo. Complimenting the boardwalk since 1893 is Trimper’s Rides Amusement Park. Trimper’s Carousel, built in the 1920’s, is one of the oldest in the world.
Ocean City beach town extraordinaire
With hot sticky summers and somewhat temperate winters, Ocean City is somewhat protected by the Atlantic Ocean. The subtropical climate typically results in temperatures higher than 90°F only 10 days each year. There are no more than 6 days when the temperature does not reach freezing in winter. (Knock wood)North Carolina’s Outer Banks protect the Ocean City beach from a hurricane directly hitting the area. Close calls occur with some regularity though.
Ocean City is serviced by only one major road, Maryland’s Route 528, better known as the Coastal Highway a north−south thoroughfare. Most of east-west cross streets are numbered, continuing to 146th street on the Delaware state line. In general, it is fairly easy to find your way around in Ocean City. There are three bridges connecting the barrier island to the mainland.
Largest Billfish Tournament in the World
The “jackspot” was found by 2 lucky anglers in 1934. Ocean City became the White Marlin Capital of the World when Paul and Jack Townsend discovered white marlins on that day. A few years later in 1939, the Townsends and others caught 171 white marlin, the largest single-day billfish catch ever recorded.
It wasn’t until 1974 that the White Marlin Open tournament event was founded. Each year, there are more than 400 boats and $3 million dollars in prize money.
White Marlin Tournament Ocean City, Maryland
Conservation groups used this catch and release event, (95 to 99 percent of all white marlin caught in the event are released) as a model tournament to persuade the National Marine Fisheries Service not to include white marlin on the endangered species list.
Then on July 29, 1939, the Townsends and captains William Bunting, Paul Mumford, Crawford Savage, Reese Layton and others caught 171 white marlin, the largest single-day billfish catch ever recorded.
Known as “The Ladies Resort to the Ocean” until 1870, the Ocean City beaches are now one of the east coast’s most popular resorts.
Ocean City, Md: Family Beach Vacation Activity Ideas
Sunsets. As the sun goes down over the bay, you will be glad you came.
Walk the boardwalk. Slightly less than 3 miles long, the boardwalk is a friendly length for a run or pleasant bike ride. At night, it gets crazy.
Feast. Maryland crab cakes, pizza, ice cream, fries and a lot more
Spent an amazing week here this summer for the first time in nearly 20 years. It's a lot more scenic than I recalled. The food is really good on the boardwalk and the crowds were tolerable.
Je ne sais quoi