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Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
Yes
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Ocean City is located on the eastern shore of Maryland, and it is a popular coastal resort area during the summer months. The beach features a fishing pier, jetty, equipment rentals, guarded swimming, and a boardwalk.

The main attraction is the more than 9 miles of soft, sandy beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. These beaches are guarded during the summer months, and they are completely free and open all hours of the day unless weather dictates otherwise. While the beach may become crowded during summer weekends and holidays, you can always find space on the sand. Ocean City has a rotating surf beach every day, with no restrictions after 5:30 p.m. in the summer and between Labor Day and Memorial Day in the fall, winter and spring. If you're looking to do some fishing, head down to the inlet and either check out the pier (no license required) or the jetty.

Beyond the beach are several public bathrooms located along the boardwalk at 28th Street, 9th Street, and Caroline Street. The boardwalk is host to numerous restaurants, shops and hotels. It's also a great location for people watching or waiting for the sun to rise over the beach.

The easiest place to park is the Inlet Lot, though it is not free. If you don't mind a bit of extra walking, you can try to find free parking on a side street closer to the bay (west).

Ocean City has a rich history dating back to the late 1800s, with the first major hotel, “The Atlantic,” opening in 1875. There was once a train that brought passengers directly into the resort and developments to the south. This was all destroyed during a hurricane in 1933, which created the inlet as it stands today.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Free beach. Fishing Pier. Family friendly.

Cons

Can be crowded. Parking is not always easy.

Features

ADA accessible
Crabbing
Fishing
Historically significant
Lodging
Surfing
Bird watching
Wildlife

Location

Field Guide

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