Home to myriad waterways and beautiful coastlines, Maryland is a great state to head to for your summer vacation. And if the sea is calling, the lovely resort town of Ocean City should be your first port of call. There are loads of fun things to do in Ocean City, Maryland, from family-friendly theme parks to beaches, boardwalks, and brewpubs.
Tucked between the bay of the Isle of Wight and the Atlantic Ocean, this sunny seaside city has something for everyone. Enjoy fun with the whole family at the Jolly Roger Amusement Park and Trimper Rides of Ocean City. Stroll along the Ocean City Boardwalk and sip sundowners at one of the many bars, cafés, and restaurants overlooking the sea. Sample some of Ocean City’s award-winning spirits at the Seacrets Distilling Company.
Not sure where to start on your visit to this enchanting coastal city? Browse through this comprehensive guide on the best places to visit in Ocean City, Maryland, and start planning your trip!
Best places to visit in Ocean City, MD
Ocean City Boardwalk
Head straight for the beating heart of the town with a visit to the Ocean City Boardwalk. Built in 1902, the boardwalk, officially known as Atlantic Avenue, is packed with an array of activities. The two-and-a-half-mile promenade is lined with hotels, cafés, and bars, as well as casual eateries and fine dining restaurants.
You’ll also find plenty of entertainment along the Ocean City Boardwalk, from galleries and museums to family-friendly amusement parks and the vintage Trimper’s Carousel. Take an early morning walk or bike ride and watch the sunrise before enjoying a coffee and croissant.
Amble along in the evening, sip a sundowner at one of the cafés, and tuck into a great steak. If you’re a night owl, hit up one of the nightclubs and dance the night away.
Trimper Rides of Ocean City
Trimper’s Amusement Park, also known as Trimper Rides of Ocean City, is one of the city’s top attractions and shouldn’t be missed! Founded in 1980, Trimpers Rides is a family-owned and operated amusement park and one of Ocean City’s historical landmarks.
A classic amusement park, Trimper Rides of Ocean City promises a load of fun for the whole family. Start with a gentle ride on the vintage carousel, then visit the Bill Tracy Haunted House, a hair-raising adventure. Brave the heart-stopping Tidal Wave Coaster or hop on the Herschell-Spillman Merry-Go-Round with the young ones.
When you have worked up an appetite on all the rides, grab some grub at one of the concession stands or head to one of the nearby restaurants along the Ocean City Boardwalk.
Jolly Roger Amusement Park
Another fun-tastic amusement park set on the Ocean City Boardwalk is the Jolly Roger Amusement Park. Made up of four different parks, this family-friendly pleasure ground has everything from water slides and go-kart rides to Jungle Golf and a giant Ferris wheel.
Get your heart pumping on the go-karts and zip-lines at Speedworld or splash around at Ocean City’s biggest waterpark, Splash Mountain. There’s also a charming vintage carousel and gentle rides for the little ones like Winky Whale and Balloon Ride.
When hunger bites, there’s a great choice of concessions and restaurants in and around Jolly Roger Amusement Park. If you’re a fan of fries, head to the classic Thrasher’s French Fries for a pile of their mouthwatering pomme-frites.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Venture into the weird and wacky world of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! on your visit to Ocean City for some mind-bending amusement. This world-renowned museum has three separate attractions around town: the original Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium, Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze, and Ripley’s Impossible Laser Race.
Founded in 1918, Ripley’s has long entertained visitors with their creepy and quirky exhibits. Wander through the Odditorium and see an emaciated human head, two-headed animal skeletons, the world’s rarest egg, and a 12-foot-tall Transformer made from car parts.
Come face-to-face with yourself in the mind-bending Marvelous Mirror Maze, or find your way out of the labyrinthine maze of LED lights and mirrors at Ripley’s Impossible Laser Race.
If you haven’t had enough fun with the family yet, Baja Amusements promises to set that right. Located on Route 50 in West Ocean City, this family-friendly amusement park has been entertaining families for over 40 years.
Spanning over 10 acres, Baja Amusements is best known for its Go-Kart races. You’ll find no less than eight tracks here to test your mettle. There’s a rookie track for young visitors between the ages of five and seven and a Bullit track for speed freaks. Try stock car racing on the Stock Car track or go for the long road on the mile-long Road Racer track.
When you’ve had enough racing, stretch those arms and legs on the two climbing walls and end the day on a relaxing note at the mini-golf course. The little ones can have a load of fun on the Frog Hopper and the Wacky Worm Roller Coaster.
It’s picnic time, and Northside Park is the perfect place to enjoy one! One of the most popular parks in Ocean City, Northside Park spans 58 acres and features a wealth of family-friendly attractions. Designed and built for the city’s local community, the park offers amazing facilities that cover a range of sports and recreation.
The state-of-the-art indoor multi-sports arena and gymnasium are ideal for working out on rainy days, while lighted soccer and baseball/softball fields host players long into the night.
If you prefer gentler pursuits, cast a line into the fishing lagoon to catch a few fish or enjoy a walk around Northside Park on the walking path.
And, of course, there are some wonderful spots around the park for picnicking; be sure to pack a basket and a blanket and spend a few hours lounging on the lawns.
Ocean City Live-Saving Museum
Take a step back in time and explore the history of Ocean City and the role of the United States Life-Saving Service at the Ocean City Live-Saving Museum. Once the home of the Ocean City Life-Saving Station, the building has been converted into a museum to celebrate the historical role performed by the United States Life-Saving Service.
Erected in 1878, the beautifully preserved clapboard building once housed the Life-Saving Service and later the U. S. Coast Guard. Backed by the United States Treasury Department, these two organizations helped to save vessels in distress and lives in peril on the sea.
Take your time in Ocean City Live-Saving Museum to enjoy the excellent displays and stunning exhibits of past storms and life-saving expeditions. Learn more about the vital role the organization played in Ocean City in both the past and the future.
The one-of-a-kind Ocean Gallery is a sight to behold and should not be missed on your Ocean City, MD, itinerary. Constructed entirely from antique building parts and recycled materials from all over the world, the Ocean Gallery is one of the most recognizable attractions on the Ocean City Boardwalk.
Established in the 1960s by artist Joe Kroart and his wife Adele, the unique Ocean Gallery building took 17 years to complete. Conceptual work in itself, the building has been faithfully reproduced by Kroat from a work by artist Paul McGehee.
The exterior features parts of antique buildings from all over the world and decorative items salvaged from the old Colonial Hotel after it burned down in 1972.
After marveling at the exterior of the building, head into the Ocean Gallery itself. Inside, you’ll see the only Batmobile within a hundred-mile radius, decorated with a hairdryer, a keyboard, and other odd household items.
The multi-story art gallery is also home to thousands of framed artworks and posters and magnificent floor-to-ceiling hanging pieces.
Splash Mountain Water Park
Located at the Jolly Roger Amusement Park, Splash Mountain Water Park deserves a mention of its own. There’s no better spot to go in Ocean City with the family on a hot day for some water-based fun than this park.
Jolly Roger’s® Splash Mountain has something for all ages, from heart-stopping, gravity-dropping water slides to a splash pad for the little ones.
Test your nerves on the sides of the 45-foot-tall half-pipe slide, Stealth, or get shot uphill on the Master Blaster water roller coaster. Try your river rafting skills on the Rapids Ride or close your eyes and delve into the darkness of the Black Hole.
Little visitors can have plenty of splashy fun at the Lazy Lagoon Family Activity Pool, the family-favorite Rain Forest, and one of the three Kiddie Pools.
Art League of Ocean City
Light your creative fire with a stroll around the Art League of Ocean City. Step into this outlandish adventure of arts and experience the fusion of live art, rock concert, imaginative movement, and vocal performance.
A two-story gallery, the Art League of Ocean City features exhibits from local and regional artists. They’re open to the public on the first Friday of each month.
Explore the gallery’s collection, consisting of works in ceramics, watercolors, clay, and more. Budding artists can also enjoy workshops, art camps, and fun community events at the Art League of Ocean City.
Seacrets Distilling Company
Thanks to the British stopping their import of rum during the Revolutionary War, Maryland became the American home of rye whiskey. The best way to explore this rich heritage and sample some award-winning spirits is with a visit to the Seacrets Distilling Company.
Founded in 2016, Seacrets Distilling Company produces an incredible range of premium handcrafted small-batch spirits. Start your visit with a tour of the distillery to see the process that goes into every bottle.
Follow a guide from the grain to the holding room and listen to interesting tidbits of history and information along the way. You’ll end in the Seacrets Speakeasy Tasting Room, where you can sample some of the company’s best rums, vodkas, gins, and other spirits.
Sun Outdoors Frontier Town
As the name implies, Sun Outdoors Frontier Town offers fun in the sun for the whole family. Based in the town of Berlin, MD, the park is just a short drive from Ocean City and perfect for a day out with the kids.
At Sun Outdoors Frontier Town, you’ll find a fantastic water park with a ton of rides and slides and a lazy river, and an 18-hole miniature golf course in a lovely setting.
Step back in time to the Wild West and head to Frontier Town, where you can watch our classic Wild West Shows, ride ponies, and explore a Native American Village. Take your fishing rods and cast a line off the 200-foot-long fishing pier or rent a kayak and paddle along the shoreline. Adrenaline junkies can hit the High Ropes Adventure Park for some heart-stopping experiences.
Sun Outdoors Frontier Town has two campsites if you feel like staying overnight. It includes a fully stocked camp store and a full-service restaurant & bar.
Assateague Island National Seashore
One of Ocean City’s most beautiful attractions is the Assateague Island National Seashore—and it shouldn’t be missed! This 37-mile-long barrier island just off the coast is a protected area that’s home to some incredible fauna and flora. Featuring wind-swept beaches, rolling dunes, lush marshlands, and healthy pine forests, the island has a wealth of birds and wildlife.
Explore Assateague Island and watch out for bald eagles and migratory seabirds circling the skies. Wild Chincoteague ponies can be found in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in the south of the island.
Climb to the top of the 19th-century Assateague Lighthouse near Toms Cove for some spectacular panoramic views over the island.
Ocean City Beach
It’s beach time, and Ocean City has a beautiful one! Stretching for 10 miles and lapped by the Atlantic Ocean, Ocean City Beach is ideal for sunbathing, swimming, beach games, and fishing.
The southern end of Ocean City Beach is bordered by the Ocean City Boardwalk. Here, you’ll find plenty of entertainment, from cafés and beach bars to amusement parks for the kids.
As you head north, it gets quieter as much of the beach is lined with rental condos. It’s a great spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and spend a few hours relaxing with a book.
Windmill Creek Vineyard & Winery
Maryland may be the birthplace of rum, but the state also produces its fair share of great wine. A good place to try some of the state’s finest wines is at the Windmill Creek Vineyard and Winery. The family-owned and operated winery is just a few miles from Ocean City. It boasts a wonderful old farmhouse and beautifully landscaped grounds.
Take a drive out to the Windmill Creek Winery and enjoy a tour of the estate and its beautiful gardens. Sample some of the wines produced since 2017, when the first vineyards were planted. Be sure to try the unique blueberry and watermelon wine—it’s a stunner!
You can also enjoy live music on the lawns over the weekends and lively Vino and Vibes Inside on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Burley Oak Brewing Company
If you’re already heading to Berlin to visit the Windmill Creek Vineyard and Winery, carve out some time to pop into the Burley Oak Brewing Company for some great craft beer. Named for the brewhouse’s rich history and traditional brewing methods, the little brewery produces an interesting range of pilsners, lagers, IPAs, and porters.
Based in a building that was originally a Cooperage, the Burley Oak Brewing Company taproom is warm and welcoming, with wooden barrels and the aroma of brewing ale. Relax over a few pints or growlers while learning the history of the brew house from the barmen.
Don’t forget to stock up on your favorites before heading home!
Coffee Beanery Ocean City 94th St
Looking for a caffeine fix? There’s no better spot to get it in the city than Coffee Beanery Ocean City 94th St. Located on the Coastal Highway, this one-stop coffee shop has been serving freshly brewed specialty coffee since 1976.
The cozy café serves a range of delicious drinks, from simple freshly brewed Americanos to blended concoctions like white mocha frappalattes. Pair your coffee with a bagel or a panini off the light menu, and grab a gift basket of coffee goodies for family and friends.
The Coffee Beanery also has a range of interesting teas, from blended to herbal teas for non-coffee drinkers.