It’s officially summer and that can only mean one thing—it’s time to head down the ocean, hon!
Whether you spend your summer days sunbathing on our state’s sandy shores, fishing on the Chesapeake Bay, or lounging inside with the AC blasting, there’s something for everyone in Ocean City, Maryland.
From free festivals to pay-to-play activities, we have 10 suggestions to help make your Maryland summer the most memorable.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
1. Enjoy a scenic sunset cruise, or an informed nature cruise, courtesy of The Angler. If you’d love to see dolphins up close and personal - or you’re a birdwatcher interested in the local waterfowl – these cruises can be a great, affordable option to see the sights offshore. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture these family-fun memories. Tickets are under $20!
2. Beach fireworks are returning on select Sundays and Mondays throughout the summer! Bring the family for a picture-perfect evening at either Northside Park or Talbot Street and enjoy the free light show. There’s no better way to end a summer night than laying out a blanket and watching the fireworks burst above the crashing waves.
Photo courtesy of Maryland Coast Dispatch
3. Did you know the world’s largest billfish tournament is held right here in Maryland? The annual White Marlin Open attracts thousands of contestants and visitors to Ocean City each and every year. This August, the deep-sea fishing tournament celebrates its 46th year—we suggest heading to Sunset Grille early and scoping out a prime viewing spot near the pier.
4. We probably don’t need to recommend you eat steamed crabs while you’re in OCMD—but we’re going to anyway. Have you seen this list of the best places to eat crabs? We guarantee you haven’t taste-tested each of these restaurants yet. Whether you eat on the sand or get crabs delivered, grab a Natty Boh and get to work. Summer is here, so if you’re going to hit up this list, you better get started! (By the way, you’ll need one of these….)
Photo courtesy of Old Bay/McCormick/CarolynsCooking
5. What better way to introduce the family to camping than spending the night at Assateague State Park? Known for its wild ponies, Assateague is one of Maryland’s most sacred gems on the Eastern Shore. With ocean views and plenty of land for exploration, there’s plenty to occupy the entire family. Don’t forget your fishing pole!
6. Beat the crowds by hitting the beach early in the morning. While you’re there, challenge your kids to a sand castle contest. This is an easy way to get the entire family involved while staying on a budget. Make sure you visit the Dollar Tree on Coastal Highway and load up on $1 building supplies, as well as a prize for the winner. Just be sure not to set-up shop near a lifeguard stand… you don’t want your creations to get trampled!
7. Ocean City’s craft beer industry is booming. Take a tour of the local hot spots (and take advantage of a craft beer hotel package) one weekend this summer. From Evolution Craft Brewing to Fin City Brewing Company, there are plenty of Belgian beers, American Lagers, and craft ales to satisfy even the beer snob in your group. (But Mr. Boh will always be our #1!)
Photo courtesy of Evolution Craft Brewing
8. At some point, you’ll be looking to beat the heat. Don’t forget that the outlets in Ocean City offer more than 30 shopping destinations. Take a break from the beach, buy an ice cream cone, and shop some sales in the cool air-conditioned stores. Rumor has it that Forever 21 and Michael Kors are moving in soon!
9. Maryland’s coastal bays are calling! Rent a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard from Ayers Creek Adventures and get on the water. Rentals are available for solo riders or groups of two or more. Ayers also provides eco-tours of the salt marsh and forested wetlands. Here’s a bonus: the company is pet-friendly, so you can bring your pooch onboard!
10. Sunfest is a free weekend festival known as the close-out of the summer season. From September 19-22, enjoy OCMD’s biggest festival with plenty of arts and crafts, food and drink options, and musical entertainment. And with school back in session, you can get a great spot on the beach to soak in those last warm days of the year.
Photo courtesy of SunFest