Well I hate to say it but I don’t think I’ll be going back to Ocean City, Maryland.
After a 7+ hour drive, we arrived at our hotel early Saturday afternoon. We were all pretty excited to get settled in and start exploring. Our hotel was rather disappointing. I’ve paid half as much for places twice as nice in other popular destinations, but it seemed like all the area hotels were outdated and poorly maintained. I’m guessing this is due to the fact that it’s a tourist only area and the locals don’t really have to deal with it.
We went for a walk to check out the area and grabbed some menus from nearby restaurants so we could plan dinner ahead of time. We also checked online for other restaurant ideas but found that every place was pretty overpriced. Most of the restaurants I’ve gone to on other vacations, like in Cape Cod, were in the $15-20 range, unless you were getting something extra special. The prices in Ocean City were in the $25+ range. I’m sure other people have found better prices, but most of the more affordable places had scary reviews.
The sounds of kids racing their modified and extremely noisy cars was constant, no matter where we were. It was like a big college kid party town. Sure I didn’t go there for “tranquil”, but just a little bit less wild would have been nice.
Now even putting all that aside, there was really nothing to do besides lie on the beach, eat, and buy things. There really weren’t any Ocean City attractions, like museums, historical sites, unique geography, etc. Nothing that makes Ocean City stand out. I had done some research into things to do before we went, and although I didn’t find much, I figured a lot of stuff probably wasn’t mentioned since most people like to spend their days on the beach.
The best part of the trip was going to Assateague Island. And that’s not even in Ocean City. I realized that when we went 9 years ago, we had gone to the Chincoteague side and since they fence their ponies, we didn’t see any. As soon as we crossed the bridge into Assateague there were ponies milling about in the roads! It was so neat! It was a unique experience, sort of like going on a safari, but with only ponies! We also did some of the nature walks, one of which was a boardwalk through a salt marsh, and saw some turtles and tons of crabs and birds. Another nice thing about Assateague Island is that it only costs $15 to get in, and the pass is good for a whole week! It includes access to the beaches too, which makes it an extra good deal!
All in all, Ocean City might be a fun spot for a young group of people looking to hang on the beach during the day and party at night, but I don’t think it’s a good spot for a family vacation or a couple’s romantic getaway. I would suggest the Assateague/Chincoteague area instead, but even then, probably only for a weekend unless you wanted to make a few day trips to other areas.