Escape your busy daily life with an extended weekend or week-long getaway in Ocean City. Located on a barrier island in northeastern Maryland, this beach community has plenty to offer, from water sports on the beach to bike rides around town. Whether you’re traveling with high-energy kids, hard-to-please teens, or old friends, visitors of all ages will find something fun to do in this exciting city. Zoom down water slides, ride roller coasters, or take a fishing or dolphin-watching cruise. From waterfront condos to spacious single-family homes within walking or biking distance from the water, there are an abundance of Ocean City vacation rentals to choose from. Check out the top 10 things to do in Ocean City.

1. Stroll Along the Ocean City Boardwalk

First opened in 1902, the Ocean City Boardwalk stretches for almost two and a half miles along the coastline and beside the white sands. Duck in and out of the shops to pick up last minute items, such as sunscreen, flip flops, and sandcastle molds, or find the perfect souvenir of your trip. Keep a lookout for the sculpture of the Assateague Indian; it’s carved from 100-year-old oak. When you need to recharge, stop at one of the sit-down eateries or grab a slice of pizza and keep going. Keep an eye out for hidden gems tucked further back from the boardwalk, such as Malia’s Cafe. Offering weird and wonderful breakfast items with vegetarian-friendly options, this tiny cafe is just a walk down 18th Street from the boardwalk away. Head back to your Ocean City vacation rental with the leftovers for a snack later on.

2. Enjoy Thrills at Trimper’s Rides

For more than 100 years, the family-owned Trimper’s Rides has thrilled families during their stay in Ocean City. Throw your hands up in the air as you zoom down the track of one of the roller coasters, or take little ones to the kiddie section for a ride on a firetruck. Ride on the iconic Trimper’s carousel. The amusement park has games of chance to test your skills and win a prize. For a quick bite, visit one of the concession stands for a funnel cake or nachos.

3. Enjoy Breakfast at the Fractured Prune

Ocean City has thrived on a breakfast of donuts from the Fractured Prune since 1976. Design your perfect donut with 19 glazes and 13 varied toppings to mix and match. From a chocolate glaze and cookie crumbs to a raspberry glaze with bacon bits, the ideal donut is limited only by your imagination. Create a perfect dozen to take back to your vacation rental. With six locations in town, you’re always within easy biking distance of a store.

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4. Go Kayaking With a Rental From Liquid Paddle Company

With Liquid Paddle Company, rent a kayak or a stand-up paddle board to spend a day out on the Atlantic Ocean and the sound. If you’re still new to the sport, sign up for one of the company’s tours to familiarize yourself with the help of an experienced guide. The guide takes you out on the water and provides a little local history, information on plants and animals, and discusses conservation efforts.

5. Play in the Sand at Ocean City Beach

With sunscreen and a cooler in hand, find the perfect spot to toss your blanket at Ocean City Beach. Chase the waves, build a sandcastle, and fly a kite. This popular beach offers lifeguards and restroom facilities. It’s just a few steps to the boardwalk, where it’s easy to pick up forgotten items or grab lunch if you don’t want to bring one from the vacation rental. After a day in the sun, stop by Harrison’s Harbor Watch at the end of the boardwalk for a bite to eat; they offer classic seafood dishes and an unparalleled view of the inlet to top off the day.

6. Cool Off at the Carousel Ice Skating Rink

When the sun starts to wear you down, visit the Carousel Ice Skating Rink to cool off and practice your twirls. Located inside the Carousel Oceanfront Hotel and Condos, this skating rink is large enough to accommodate guests of the property, as well as those staying elsewhere. In the summer months, enjoy live performances from a local ice skating troop every evening. Arrive early to get a good spot to watch.

7. Learn Some Maritime History at the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum

On a rainy afternoon, take the group to the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum to learn more about the area’s maritime history. A tour guide walks you through the museum and treats you to stories of times gone by. The men and women who served here before the founding of the Coast Guard saved many lives when ships sank off the coast. The museum is inside the original 1878 building that they used as a base. When you’ve completed your tour, slip off to nearby Souvenir City, to select a few seashells and trinkets to commemorate your trip.

8. Visit Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

There’s always something to make you scratch your head with a visit to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! This distinctive museum has hundreds of exhibits that come from bygone eras and include shrunken heads, rare animal skeletons, and sculptures made from car parts. Walk through the air-conditioned exhibits and take a turn at trying to find your way out of the mirror maze. Stop by the gift shop to find a souvenir of your discoveries.

9. Enjoy the View With Paradise Watersports

Step off the back of a boat zooming through the water and feel yourself rise up into the sky with an afternoon of parasailing with Paradise Watersports. From hundreds of feet up in the air, enjoy a unique look at the Ocean City sky line; you might even get a glimpse of the wild ponies in the protected area of Assateague. Ask for a dip in the ocean before they bring you back to the boat, or just enjoy a soft landing.

10. See Artwork at Art League of Ocean City

The Art League of Ocean City offers two stories of galleries filled with artwork, from paintings and photographs to sculptures created by local and regional artists. It’s the goal of this non-profit to help create and foster the local art scene. Visit on the first Friday of each month as they hold receptions to unveil new works. Top the day off with a visit to the Coffee Beanery, serving a variety of coffees and teas in a relaxing atmosphere that’s ideal for discussing the meaning behind the works you take in.

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