A relaxing beachfront vacation spot that's been popular since the 1870s, Ocean City is Maryland's top destination for fishing, beachcombing, and relaxing by the water. Construction of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in the mid-20th century allowed greater vehicle access for visitors. As a result, it's become more accessible and gained visibility as a tourist destination. It's also more comfortable for tourists, in the last ten years, the city has committed significant investment to beach restoration programs to reverse natural erosion.
The area is protected from tropical storms and hurricanes by the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The climate is relatively mild; summers are humid and generally peak in the 80s, while few days in winter go below freezing. Ocean City is most popular as a summer vacation area but is active in the winter months as well.
Beginning in the 1970s, Ocean City experienced a boom in condominium development to support its popularity as a vacation destination. The area boasts a diverse stock of vacation rentals; in addition to condos and apartments, you can find a classic beach cottage or villa rental. Northern Ocean City houses many high-rise beachfront condominiums. The downtown neighborhood, Old Town, is noted for Victorian style houses and other older buildings, although condos are available here as well. Many rentals have indoor pools, so you can enjoy a swim even in winter.
Sunbathe, swim, and fly kites on the beach. Play a round of golf at Eagle's Landing Golf Course or the Glen Riddle Golf Club. At the far Southern edge of town, the Ocean City Boardwalk is popular shopping center with plenty of entertainment. Walk along the boardwalk and you'll see plenty of vendors offering up treats like salt water taffy. Meanwhile, there's something for the whole family with two popular amusement parks, the Jolly Roger and Trimper's Rides (in operation for over 100 years). For indoor thrills, visit the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum.
Ocean City has long been an important site for commercial and recreational fishing, and you can board a summer charter boat in search of game fish like tuna and wahoo. The "White Marlin Open" in early August offers significant prize money. Roland E. Powell Convention Center hosts large events year-round, including the annual Maryland State Firefighters Convention in June (calendar fans, take note!) A short drive away is Assateague Island National Seashore, home of the famous wild ponies and a variety of other wildlife.
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