Ocean City, New Jersey is just an hour and a half ride from Philadelphia, and a great family vacation spot or day trip excursion.
The boardwalk is 2nd to none. Stretching 2.5 miles from St James Street down to 23rd Street, you can take the family for a bike ride, go for a stroll to get a meal or snack, or take it the nice salt air and sounds of the beach. The boardwalk concessions are open from May to October, and are often open on Easter weekend when you can buy discount advance ride tickets for the amusement piers.
Among the South Jersey beaches, Ocean City is one of the most family-oriented towns. There are no bars or clubs (dry town), so it’s very popular for families with kids and those that don’t want the party beach town atmosphere. For those that like a drink or two…don’t worry…there’s nothing preventing you from bringing it in.
While there is so much to see and do in Ocean City, here are some of our family’s favorite ideas:
- Early morning run or bike ride: I like the fact that the boardwalk loop is a nice round 5 miles. No matter where you enter the boardwalk, turn right, go end to end and finish where you started. During the peak summer months, the boardwalk can get very crowded after 8:00 am…early bird gets the tranquility. Renting a surrey cart is also a blast for the family…although less fun for the people whose feet can actually reach the peddles?!
- Fly a kite on the beach: Take advantage of that nice ocean breeze, and fly a kite on the beach. Located between 11th and 12th Streets on the boardwalk, Air Circus has a bunch of great kites to choose from. Be careful with the trick kites – they look easier than they are!
- Look for sea shells: Get to the beach early in the morning or late in the afternoon and you’ll have lots of real estate to yourself to look for those undiscovered treasures that washed ashore. Back near the dunes or along the jetties are where we usually find our keepers.
- Get some fresh warm donuts at Browns: Browns, located at 1st Street on the Boardwalk, makes warm, fresh donuts each morning. They are melt-in-your-mouth good. By 7:00 am the line will start stretching down the boardwalk towards St James Street…so get there early!
- Have a Kohr Bros ice cream cone: Some of our best memories of the shore, involve a chocolate ice cream cone, covered with jimmies (south jersey talk for sprinkles).
- Ride the Ferris Wheel on Wonderland Pier: From the top of the Ferris Wheel (7th Street), you will be able to see the Atlantic City strip to the north and clear down to Wildwood to the south. It’s a great view and enjoyable to be able to sit together as you make your rounds.
- Go to the Cape May Zoo: Although not located in Ocean City, New Jersey, the Cap May Zoo is just a short drive away and is a great day trip to take on an overcast day or other non-beach day. The safari boardwalk takes you out to a grassy savanna where you’ll see giraffes and other exotic animals. I really like this zoo, as it has a lot of green space and trees – not your typical urban zoo.
Ocean City New Jersey has something fun for the whole family: beach, boardwalk, amusements, food, concessions…and a view and atmosphere that’s unbeatable!