Oh, Ocean City Maryland how much I love thee!
It's a great if crowded place to take your friends and loved ones to during the summer months if you are living anywhere near Maryland, Delaware, Virginia or the District of Columbia.
The place is always jumping with great food, entertainment, super hotels, night clubs and of course the gorgeous boardwalk, the beach and the surf.
Here are the top ten things I recommend you do when you are in Ocean City, Maryland:
1) Surfing and swimming – the waves are fantastic. Just park your car in any of the many perpendicular side streets opening up directly to the public beach. No entrance fees, no nothing. Just dive right in.
2) The Ocean City Boardwalk must certainly be among the top 10 broadwalks in the whole country. It's wide and long and always full of folks young and old strutting their thing and consuming mega amounts of suntan oil and ice cream. Originally constructed between 1900 and 1915, the Boardwalk is still the place to be after a "hard day" on the beach.
3) Parasailing – just hitch your chute to a fast motor and rise over the Atlantic like a seagull! Take a tandem ride with your loved one and watch the great panorama from a few hundred feet up in the air and realize what a great time the birds are having all year long. The city is home to quite a few experienced parasail operators with good safety record.
4) Jet Boats and Pontoon Boats are for the fast, young and furious. Rent a "cigarette boat" from any of the several operators and cut through the sparkling blue waters like a knife through a blue cake. Not recommended for the faint of heart.
5) The Salisbury Zoo nearby has just celebrated its 50th year and is a great place to take the kids to. It's located 27 miles west of Ocean City on Route 50. They've got bisons, jaguars, bald eagles and enough furry and wingy friends to keep our own two-legged wonders happy and quiet for an hour or two.
6) Assateague Island, ahh … just nearby, where packs of wild horses still roam free on the beach. What a great place to pitch your tent and spend a night or two in the bosom of nature. Ideal for campers and nature lovers, this US National Park is very close to the Ocean City. It has 350 camp sites open from April through October.
7) Free Concerts on the Beach. Visitors in July and August are in for this free treat on the beach. Tributes to Elvis, Rod Stewart, Jimmy Buffet and many other music greats are provided by the Ocean City Department of Recreation and Parks. Do not miss the Labor Day Weekend concerts.
8) Sunfest is the city's most famous festival. It's a mega-scale art and crafts show, circus entertainment, "Search for Jewelry Hidden in the Sand" contest, and of course great food all rolled up in one.
9) Any runners? Seaside 10K is Ocean City's fantastic 10K footrace with a beautiful scenic route. A must for burning up all those extra calories that you'd be packing while eating all that good stuff on and off the beach.
10) Winterfest of Lights. And who said Ocean City was only for summer fun? Check in on a November, December or January night and you might be surprised to find yourself in the midst of a forest of lights! You'll remember the razzle dazzle of tens of thousands of light bulbs creating incredible holiday arches along the streets of the city for a long while.