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Ocean City in a day

Clifton Park, New...
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Ocean City in a day

Tripadvisor friends, please help! I am currently on vaca in New Jersey, going home Saturday. My family is looking for something different and new to do on Friday and we just came across a brochure for the Cape May/Lewes ferry. We initially thought about taking it on foot and exploring Lewes, DE, but don't think there's anything there to really hold our interest. Then, we thought why not take the car over on the ferry and drive to Ocean City (where we've never been, but always wanted to go). So, here's where I need the help of any OC experts. If you had one day in OC, what would you do? Where would you eat? Where would you park the car? We're not interested on the beach (we've got that here in Jersey), we're looking for family friendly activities that are different from what we can do in Jersey. Any suggestions for this last minute day trip?

Baltimore, Maryland
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1. Re: Ocean City in a day

not sure about things that are different than available in NJ. In southern OC is the boardwalk and rides but not unique. I would eat where ever the menu looked good and saw lots of other folks enjoying themselves. That's what I do.

Rehoboth is nice but if you have been to cape may...

It is a longer ride to Assateague Island. Look that up and see if that piques your interest.

pennsylvania
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2. Re: Ocean City in a day

Well, first you'll have to drive to Cape May to get the ferry, then ride it to Lewes, then drive the hour, hour and a half to Ocean City depending on traffic.

Now you need to know that OC is NOTHING like Cape May. It's 10 miles long, a barrier island with the ocean on one side and a bay on the other and ends at an inlet where fishing boats come and go. At the most southern end of the island is the boardwalk. It is 2.5 miles long, but the rides, arcades and games are all at the most southern or inlet end.

You'll find a Life Saving Station Museum on the boardwalk and a Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum. There is an historic walking tour you can take around downtown OC. You can parasail, windsurf, ride a speed boat up the coast, rent jet skis or boats, go fishing, crabbing, play mini golf indoors or outside. You can ice skate or bowl, go to amusement parks or water parks, and eat from one end of town to the other.

There are outlet stores (but you pay taxes on clothes in MD.) that have just about anything you want. There's a nearby national park called Assateague that has wild ponies living on it. It's about 20 minutes from OC.

As for parking, you'll want to park at the inlet parking lot or on any of the side or back streets below 10th St. if you want to experience the boardwalk. Be sure to buy some Fisher's Popcorn, some Thrasher's Fries with vinegar, and some Kohl's orange soft serve ice cream. And pick up some taffy from Wochenfuss.

For dinner, try Harrison's Harbor Watch on the inlet at the beginning of the boardwalk, BJ's on the Water on 75th St., or one of the all you can eat seafood buffets like Embers or Bonfire. If you're into whole crabs then try the Phillips Buffets at 21st St. or 141st St.

For good happy hours, try de Lazy Lizard on 1st St (try the watermelon crush!) or Fager's on 60th St. on the bay.

If you're in town for lunch, check out Anthony's Take Out on 17th St. You can eat in or take out. You have to try the roast beef or ham sandwiches and fries..........but be careful..........their large fry will feed 10 people.

If you manage to do even part of all that, you'll have had a successful trip. And pick up some OC info like the free Visitor Guide at the Convention Center on 40th ST. to take home with you for next time.

Baltimore, Maryland
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3. Re: Ocean City in a day

Moomoo

I agree that OC and CM are totally different but I don't think that is really the comparison being drawn for the OP. If you consider CM and then head north to Wildwood and Rehoboth and then head south to OC, you may agree that they are pretty much mirror images. of course not exact, but close enough. There is nothing for the OP in North OC worth making this special trip and South OC is just wildwood with a different accent. As for restaurants, not a single one in OC worth taking a ferry and drive to get to when there are identical places in along NJ coast (well maybe not Phillips- but some would consider that a positive)

pennsylvania
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4. Re: Ocean City in a day

I think you may have misread the OP's question neslaw. From what I read, they are already in NJ and want to take the CM/Lewes Ferry from CM to Lewes and drive to OC for the day. And they wanted to know what to do and where to eat. That's the advice I was offering. Just naming some things to do and places to eat. They just want to experience Ocean City.

Baltimore, Maryland
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5. Re: Ocean City in a day

you could be right to. not the clearest question.

Maryland, USA
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6. Re: Ocean City in a day

Jolly Rogers waterpark....Fish Tails restaurant (plenty for the kids to do in the play area)...mini golf...Frog Bar at the inlet for great burgers and views...

IMO, OC isn't going to have much stuff you can't already do in NJ, it's more about the novelties of OC and the traditions of seeing and doing the stuff you did there since you were a kid. At least thats what I do.

Delaware
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7. Re: Ocean City in a day

As per the other post... I wouldn't do it. You will blow the whole day on the road.

New Jersey
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8. Re: Ocean City in a day

I love taking little day trips to new locations while on vacation. So fun to see a new place for the day.

Here are some ideas to do for the day. A lot of it will depend on what your family likes to do... But this is what I'd do with my husband if we were to do this same trip.

Take the car over on the Ferry. It's fun for adults and kids. Bring books or cards to play during the crossing.

Lewes is a very cute town. Like a mini version of Cape May. It has one main street and then lots of quiet residential streets that are fun for adults to walk around and check out the houses. If I was a kid, I don't think my attention span would be able to handle a quiet walk around.

Rehoboth has a great downtown. Lots of fun, great shops to pop in and out of. There is a small boardwalk that is nice for a quick stroll, plus an amusement pavillion for kids. If you guys are hungry, I love Dogfish head brewery for lunch. Great beer, good food.

Head through Dewey on the way to OC. It's a small town that isn't really worth stopping in.

Bethany is a smaller sized beach town. I don't really ever go there, so no recs on what to do if you want to stop.

Drive on down to OC! There are some nice views of the bay and ocean from the road. The passenger really wins during this part of the drive!

In OC-

Northside Park (125th street)- Great if you have little people who want to burn some energy or for a nice stroll to stretch the legs. I like to take people out onto the public pier into the bay. Gorgeous views.

The boardwalk- I like the end near the inlet. It has the cool trophy fish on display and they are fun to look at. We like to stop at Thrasher's fries (if the line isn't crazy long) and walk through the rides towards the fishing pier in the ocean. Then a walk down the boards to burn off the fries.

If you still have time, I love getting over to assateauge island. It's a great little escape from OC, only about 15-20 minutes from the end of the boardwalk. On your way there is a great BBQ stand called Smokers. Yum! I highly rec stopping if you're hungry.

Once on assateauge there are a few miles of road before the ranger station where you pay. It's $15 for a day pass. If you choose to do it, I rec the "life of the woods" and "life of the bay" trails. They are both so easy to do! Just bring bug spray. You'll need it.

Other places to eat in OC-

- Crabcake Factory

- Fishtales (great atmosphere! nice play area for kids

- Fractured Prune for some great donuts (they close at 2)

This is a whole bunch of stuff, even if you don't get to do all of it, I really hope you have a nice day exploring a new place.

New York
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9. Re: Ocean City in a day

My vote is for exploring Assateague. We love it there!! They have some ranger-led activities: crabbing, kayaking, etc. Or just go see the wild horses :)

Washington, DC
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10. Re: Ocean City in a day

We're doing something similar - I take my kid to OCMD three times a year and the third trip this year we are doing two nights in Wildwood just so she can compare the boardwalk, rides and games/prizes.

My recommendation would be this - Superfun kayak tour (the early one where you get to use nets to catch and learn about crabs, fish, etc., then release them, see the ponies up close and many diamondback terrapins, birds, etc). It's a three hour kayal tour that is in very calm water that is never over your head. The guides there are great. You KNOW you want to learn how to safely pick up a blue crab and a horseshoe crab, and you will!

Then dinner at Shark On The Harbor, which is on the way back to downtown OCMD - a restaurant with a real chef, not like most beach restaurants.

Then drive just over the Rt. 50 bridge and park at the inlet and enjoy the night on the boardwalk - maybe take the tram to the northern end and walk all the way back. Shops, games, rides, a lot like Wildwood but definitely a little more upscale and cleaner IMO. Someone else recommended the Ripley's museum and lifesaving museum, they are right there at the southern tip of town. And be sure to get Thrasher's fries with vinegar, they put Curley fries to shame!!!

Edited: 21 July 2012, 06:32
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