Ocean City lies on a barrier island on Maryland’s Coast, offering visitors and residents alike more than 10 miles of sandy beaches on one side and bayside waters on the other. Relax in the sand and sun, take up surfing, or kayak through the bay to reconnect with yourself, your family, and nature. Look into these Ocean City vacation rental locations while planning your stay.

1. Fenwick Island

Fenwick Island might technically be located on the Delaware side of the barrier island that holds Ocean City, but it’s attached seamlessly to the rest of the city, making it a great vacation rental location. The canals that thread among the houses ensures plenty of waterfront property for fishing and swimming. Take your kids kayaking among the calm waters of Lighthouse Cove and Little Assawoman Bay, or stroll north to Fenwick Island State Park. The 344 acres of shoreline give you plenty of space to sunbathe, swim and surf.

2. Caine Woods, Ocean City

Source: Flickr / Lee Cannon

Caine Woods lies just south of the Delaware and Maryland border with just a short drive to Fenwick Island State Park to the northeast. Much of the island lies on Assawoman Bay. Bring your boat, and dock it at your rental home, or rent some kayaks from the local boat rental agencies, and use them to explore the canals and coves that liberally dot the area. After a full day, hop on over the border to Harpoon Hanna’s for some fresh seafood and live music.

3. Montego Bay, Ocean City

Just to the south of Caine Woods is Montego Bay, another bayside community with plenty of waterfront vacation rentals. Take advantage of your location to explore Porpoise Pond nestled with a handful of islands such as Corn Hammocks and Big Island. For some sand and surf, stroll to the Oceanside of the neighborhood. Opt for a unique experience and take your kids on a horseback ride at the beach.

4. 120th Street, Ocean City

The neighborhood between 120th and 130th Street offers a family-friendly community boasting a park, pond, and plenty of beachfront. The 58-acre Northside Park has all the tools for a day out: fishing lagoon, playgrounds, walking paths, sports fields, and picnic areas. Snack on concessions, bring your own lunch or walk across the street to The Abbey Burger Bistro for some grub.

5. Harbour Bay, Ocean City

Source: Flickr / m01229

Just south of 120th Street, the Harbour Bay neighborhood is close enough to the park for an easy visit while also being close to a few small shopping centers where you can stock up on supplies. Grab a quick bite at The Greene Turtle Grille or Jules or cross the Coastal Highway for some fair at The Original Crabcake Factory. While there, visit the beach, only a few blocks away.

6. Little Salisbury, Ocean City

Source: Flickr / Lee Cannon

On the bayside of the Ocean City, Little Salisbury boasts plenty of waterfront rentals. Those not on the water are a short walk to either beach on one side or the bay on the other. Take a kayak out, and explore Devil Island and the canals threading around it. At night, stroll along the Coastal Highway for a truly superb array of eateries from Layton’s and Trattoria Lombardi’s to Schooner’s Restaurant and Blue Fish.

7. Captiva Bay, Ocean City

Source: Flickr / Lee Cannon

Captiva Bay straddles the Coastal Highway, running up against Assawoman Bay to the west and the Atlantic Ocean and beach to the east. This neighborhood offers bigger spaces and a touch of privacy amid the city. Enjoy good food at Ropewalk Restaurant or Hobbit while enjoying the bayside view. Be sure to rent a boat and explore Swan Point, a series of marshy islands perfect for you inner border. Stop at the K-Coast Surf Shop and get everything you need to ride the ocean waves.

8. Ocean City Expressway

Source: Flickr / Bernt Rostad

Choosing a vacation rental along the neighborhood surrounding the expressway gives you easy access to the mainland. Take a day trip to the Isle of Wright Department of Natural Resources Management Area that offers the intrepid travel a place to hike and hunt, or continue on to Salisbury with its big city offerings like the Salisbury Zoological Park. Of course, you can always hang around the neighborhood, play in the sand and water, and enjoy a good meal at Fager’s Island or Macky’s Bayside Grill.

9. Philadelphia Avenue, Ocean City

Source: Flickr / S Pakhrin

If you have young children, consider staying along Philadelphia Avenue, the area between Mallard Island and the expressway. The Jolly Roger Amusement Park and Splash Mountain Water Park both lie in this area. There are roller coasters, rides, water slides, and a lazy river, perfect for an active child.

10. Mallard Island

Source: Flickr / Ryan Crierie

Mallard Island is a small community situated largely on the water. Most vacation rentals offer docks for your boat and small piers for fishing or lounging in the sun. Boat around to the Reel Inn Restaurant for a hot meal, or stroll inland for food at the Asian Garden, Layton, or Anthony’s Carryout.

11. Downtown Ocean City

Source: Flickr / Lee Cannon

Place yourself in the middle of the action in the downtown area. Stay close to the Boardwalk, and stroll down it to do some window shopping. Plenty of restaurants lies along this area, giving you a range of food options from which to choose. Add a little culture to your stay, and visit the Park Place Gallery or Ocean Gallery.

12. South End, Ocean City

The south end of Ocean City and the island travels at a slightly slower pace than the downtown area. Spend time lounging at Sunset Park or Inlet Park, both of which are conveniently located on the water. The Oceanic Fishing Pier gives you a place to teach your kids about the joys of fishing. Kayak across the inlet, and explore Assateague State Park. Wild horses call this island home, and you can view them while hiking along the beach.