According to various stories Ocean City was “discovered” by Isaac Coffin in 1869 who built the first cottage on the beach specifically for paying guests. Prior to that, Ocean City was a sleepy village where few people visited.

Shortly after Coffin’s attachment to the area, other businessmen began to discover its potential and several lots were sold with the intention of turning the area into a destination. The first luxury resort was opened in 1875. The Atlantic Hotel, featuring 400 rooms, offered dancing and billiards. By 1881, the rail line went all the way to the shore and Ocean City as a resort locale was truly born.

In 1933 an inlet was formed after a severe storm and engineers decided to keep the inlet to allow easier fishing on the Atlantic and so that inlet became a permanent part of Ocean City.

In 1952 when the Chesapeake Bay Bridge was complete, Ocean City became easily accessible to everyone in the Washington and Baltimore area, and Ocean City became more popular. The addition of the Bay Bridge Tunnel in 1964 increased the potential of tourists from the south area as well.

Ocean City saw huge growth in the 1970s when thousands of condominiums were built along the ocean. Today, the north end of town is largely condos and resorts while the south end still feels like an “old town”.