Affordable and kid-friendly too, Ocean City, specializes in the classic American beach vacation. Stroll along the Boardwalk, and you'll find adrenaline pumping amusement park rides, far stretches of powdery sand, scrumptious blue crabs, and plenty of souvenir shops. Bright carnival ride lights twinkle as families frolic to Ocean City Beach; intrepid sun-seekers parasail across the water; and the squeals of children are heard playing inside the arcades to Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum. But you can power down at Ocean City too. Bait and tackle shops are a surplus, and a daytrip to the serene Assateague Island National Seashore is only a 20-mile drive down the coast.
The U.S. News & World Report travel rankings are based on analysis of expert and user opinions. Read more about how we rank vacation destinations.
The best time to visit Ocean City is from late May to early September, just be prepared for average highs in the mid 80s and a little humidity. There will also be a lot of crowds, and hotel rates that are double the cost of visiting in spring, so consider booking several months in advance. Budget travelers might want to consider the winters: Average low temperatures are in the lower 30s, keeping room rates down. But forewarning, local hotels and inns close down for the off-season.
Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center
Ocean City is relatively safe, but be sure to use common sense. Keep an eye on all your valuables and walk in groups after dark. At the beach, swim near a lifeguard and pay attention to any warnings that may be raised about the water conditions. One of the biggest things to watch out for in Ocean City is a rip tide, a current of water that churns as it rushes back to sea. These are recognizable by a difference in water color. If you're caught in one, stay calm and swim parallel to the shoreline until you are out of the current's way.
Jellyfish can also make an appearance in Ocean City. If you're stung, wash the afflicted area with salt water (freshwater will only exacerbate the pain), sprinkle meat tenderizer on it and see a lifeguard. Also keep in mind that glass containers, dogs and alcohol are forbidden from the beach at all times.
The best way to get around Ocean City is on foot or by public transit. Most of the top things to do are centrally located on the Coast Highway, an easy 10-mile north-south thoroughfare. The buses and boardwalk trams can get you to the destinations that are farther away -- and at affordable fares. Rentals are available at Ocean City Municipal (OCE) and Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional (SBY) airports, although most visitors opt to drive to O.C., not fly. If this is you, you might find parking hard to come by; we recommend taking advantage of the park-and-ride program.See details for Getting Around
Search for the best flight deals across Orbitz, Expedia, Kayak and more.
Dec 13, 2018
These tips can help you see the world at prices you can afford.
Dec 11, 2018
Create priceless honeymoon memories without breaking the bank.
Dec 04, 2018
You don't have to travel to a big city to experience nonstop Christmas fun.
Nov 26, 2018
These family-friendly mountain resorts offer exceptional snow sports and activities for all ages.
Nov 19, 2018
Get away to enjoy the views and activities at these properties around the world.
Nov 13, 2018
Find out which lines will help you save big on your next cruise vacation.
Nov 13, 2018
See how cruise lines are raising the bar with tech-savvy touches and improved luxury experiences.
Nov 13, 2018
Find out how taking a cruise can support your health, fitness and nutrition goals.
Nov 08, 2018
These tips can help you snap stunning and creative images without a fancy camera – or any experience.
Oct 22, 2018
Learn more about these accommodations and why they are so popular.