Ocean City is a destination that immediately inspires thoughts of the beach, boardwalks, and summertime. So what happens during the winter months in this Maryland city? Accommodation prices drop, but you’ll still find plenty of fun activities for visitors to enjoy. Here’s how to enjoy Ocean City without the swimsuits and crowds.
WALK YOUR DOG AND RIDE YOUR BIKE
This might sound strange, but between May and September dogs aren’t allowed on the beach, and bikes are prohibited on the boardwalk except for early in the morning. Once the summer crowds dissipate, though, visitors can enjoy a bike ride, roller blading, or skateboarding whenever they like. Those on wheels won’t have to weave in and out of the large pedestrian crowds. Visitors can also bring their pets and enjoy a walk along the sand together.
Ocean City has many fun indoor activities, including two mini golf courses. One will take you underwater with pirates and sea animals, while the other resembles a safari village. The Carousel Resort Hotel & Condominiums even has an indoor ice skating rink, which is open daily to the public for big and little kids to enjoy.
Ocean City is also home to the Life-Saving Station Museum, which includes an aquarium room filled with sea creatures. You can also explore shipwreck exhibits, mermaid displays, sand from around the globe, Davy Jones’ locker, and swimwear from the olden days. Art aficionados can also visit the Art League of Ocean City, which features work from local and regional artists and hosts special receptions monthly.
Visiting in the off-season means heavily discounted stays at many Ocean City Hotels. For example, Seacrets Hotel, which is right on the beach, offers great winter deals. If guests book early enough they can enjoy one of the hotel’s condos for half of the regular summer price. Winter in Ocean City equals bargain deals.
CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, visitors can see Ocean City sparkle daily at the Winterfest of Lights. Over 1 million lights and animated displays decorate the city’s 58-acre Northside Park. Santa will be there for photos, and hot chocolate is available inside the heated Winterfest Village Pavillion. There is also a Winterfest Express train, which takes guests on a one-mile tour of the exhibits and past the 50 foot Christmas tree.
Ocean City has free fireworks and live entertainment on New Year’s Eve, plus adventurous visitors can take part in the Penguin Swim on New Year’s Day. All proceeds from the icy plunge into the ocean go to the Atlantic General Hospital.
Choosing Ocean City as a winter break destination has its clear advantages. Visitors can secure bargain stays and have tons of fun inside and outside. Plus not having to deal with massive crowds is always a positive. When you’re planning your next winter vacation, don’t forget about Ocean City, because it’s just waiting to be discovered.
This post is part of the #HipmunkCityLove series.