Ocean City, MD Travel Guide

USA  #5 in Best Family Beach Vacations in the U.S.
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Courtesy of Chris Tobin/Getty Images

Free Things To Do in Ocean City, MD

If you have extra time, Outlets Ocean City is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Things to do in Ocean City, MD
    View all Photos
    #1 in Ocean City, MD
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    When the summer rolls around, head to the Ocean City Beach for sun, sand and surf. Running along the entire 10-mile-long east coast of the island, the beach offers the perfect spot to spread your towel. If you're looking for a rowdier atmosphere, recent travelers recommend sticking to the southern end of Ocean City, where the neighboring boardwalk makes for great people-watching and seafront dining. For a quieter, family-friendly stretch of sand, head north past the boardwalk; although there are fewer amenities here, you won't have to deal with the hustle and bustle of passersby.

    Recent visitors applauded the cleanliness of the beach and boardwalk and appreciated the family-friendly atmosphere of both. Perpetual crowds were a common gripe among reviewers. Travelers suggest visiting early in the morning or late afternoon if you don't want to share the sand with too many of your fellow vacationers. You can also save some cash by bringing your own equipment instead of forking over money to rent chairs or umbrellas.

  • #2
    Ocean City Boardwalk
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    #2 in Ocean City, MD
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Even if you're only passing through Ocean City, you can't help but spend time on the boardwalk. This kitschy 3-mile long pedestrian route is flanked by soft sand and the Atlantic on one side and a mix of hotels, eateries, souvenir shops, bars and rides on the other. Most of the area's popular sights can be found here, including Ripley's Believe it or Not!, the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum and Trimper's Rides and Amusements. Whether you're looking to nosh on famous Maryland blue crabs, see a shrunken head, ride a roller coaster or party the night away, this is the place to go.

    Recent visitors praised the boardwalk as an idyllic vacation spot for kids, citing the arcade games and amusement park rides as particular highlights. Many also said it's a great place for people-watching and suggest grabbing an ice cream and finding a bench to relax on. 

  • #6
    Outlets Ocean City
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    #6 in Ocean City, MD
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If the boardwalk doesn't satisfy your need for retail therapy, the Outlets Ocean City should do the trick. Located on the mainland just north of the Ocean Gateway, this sprawling outdoor shopping center boasts popular stores, such as American Eagle, Gap, Nike, Eddie Bauer, Skechers and Adidas. There are several places to eat here, making it easy to spend several hours perusing and purchasing.

    Recent shoppers said there are plenty of stores to choose from and deals to be found, though some found the options limited compared to other outlet malls.  

  • Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park
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    Monuments and Memorials, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Monuments and Memorials, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

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