Most visitors to Ocean City would believe that, once Labor Day passes, the town rolls up its streets and waits in silence until the following Memorial Day.  However, the town is inhabited with about 25,000 year round residents, known as "locals".  The Locals like their island and thoroughly enjoy their way of life in the off-season.  The Locals also welcome the jolt of life the island receives in the summer through tourism.  That being said, there are several items of etiquette particular to Ocean City:

1.  DO NOT FEED THE SEAGULLS OR TERNS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.  The island is inhabited with two main types of sea bird: the seagull (gray head and yellow beak) and the tern (tan head and black beak).  Most tourists find themselves seated on the boardwalk with a bucket of caramel corn or french fries or the like, when one or two of these birds approach.  The natural instinct is to feed them.  DO NOT DO THIS.  Feeding these birds encourages them.  They have become predatory due to the constant feeding over the years from tourists.  Once a handful of popcorn or fries is scattered, tens of them show up, swooping on the tourists and others in the vicinity.  And as you know, this increases the risk of being dropped upon.  It creates an uncomfortable situation for everyone.  The Locals do not feed the birds.  The Tourists should follow suit.  UPDATE:  There is now a city ordinance in Ocean City making it illegal to feed a seagull on public property.  The fine is up to $500.00. 

2.  FEED YOUR METER.  Parking meters take effect from Early May to October.  Depending on where the meter is located, a quarter could get you an hour, or 15 minutes.  The current fee for an overtime parking meter is in excess of $25.00.  The town is patrolled by parking attendants who will check and ticket you.  If you are out of change, shop owners, especially those on Asbury Avenue, are usually happy to assist. 

3.  BUY A BEACH TAG FOR THE DURATION OF YOUR TRIP.  Beach tags are sold for the season, the week or the day.  The fees from these tags go to keeping the beach and its accompanying facilities as clean and neat as they are.  Please do not evade the tag inspectors.  They will find you and charge you anyway. 

4.  FOLLOW THE RULES OF THE BOARDWALK.  There is a minimal set of rules in place for negotiating the two-mile expanse of wood.  Non-motorized wheeled vehicles are permitted on the boardwalk until noon unless otherwise specified.  There are clearly marked lanes for each method of transportation (Bicycles, surreys, pedestrians, etc.)  These are for everyone's safety.  Please use them.  It is also important to follow the flow of traffic by traveling on the right side of the boardwalk, just like you would on the street.  If you are on a non-motorized vehicle and you are coming up on a pedestrian, ring your bell or otherwise courteously let them know you would like to pass.  There are also rules about smoking and shoes, so please follow those too.

5.  OBEY STREET AND TRAFFIC SIGNS.  Essentially, on streets not controlled by traffic signals, cross-town numbered streets have stop signs in their direction of travel unless otherwise noted.  The avenues generally do not have stop signs. There is only one four-way stop on the entire island -- at the intersection of 15th street and Haven avenues.  The Locals have observed many out-of-towners stopping at intersections where they have no stop sign controlling their lane of travel.  Basically, If you have a stop sign in your direction of travel, stop.  If you do not, do not stop.   Do as you would in your own home town.  UPDATE:  There is now a designated bike path in town, along Haven Avenue.  In so doing, stop signs have been placed at most intersections with Haven Avenue, in the direction of those traveling on the cross-town numbered streets.  That means that now you have to stop before crossing Haven Avenue where perhaps you may not have had to stop before.  This is tricky, even for the Locals, so please pay attention.

 Enjoy your visit to Ocean City, America's Greatest Family Resort.