Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Ocean City, NJ

  • Published 2022/08/05

Located in New Jersey’s Cape May County, Ocean City is known as “America’s Greatest Family Resort.”

Living up to its nickname, the city is one of the best family-oriented seaside destinations that the USA has to offer.

Ocean City boasts fantastic attractions that include a beautiful 2.5-mile-long boardwalk, long stretches of sandy beaches, downtown shopping, unique amusements, and exquisite dining experiences.

If you’re looking for a bustling and joyful destination to spend a summer vacation with your family, Ocean City is definitely worth considering.

Here are the best things to do in Ocean City, New Jersey:

Spend a Day at the Ocean City Boardwalk

Ocean City boardwalk packed with people

Ritu Manoj Jethani /

Charming old-fashioned shopfronts, the Music Pier, and adventurous rides are what the Ocean City Boardwalk is all about.

The 2.5-mile-long boardwalk is full of great food joints, souvenir shops, exciting water sports, and thrilling rides.

Kids riding their bike along Ocean City Boardwalk

Vlad G /

The Ocean City Boardwalk offers a beautiful view of the ocean, and it is a great spot to shoot stunning photos.

Have a picnic with your family or friends at the Ocean City Boardwalk and take back home dozens of beautiful memories to cherish.

French fry shop at Ocean City Boardwalk

Alan Budman /

Bring Out Your Inner Child at Playland’s Castaway Cove

A ride at Playland’s Castaway Cove

Aneese /

Want to relive your childhood memories with rides like a merry-go-round, giant wheel, flying saucer, pirate ship, and so much more?

Well, Playland’s Castaway Cove is just the perfect place for you.

This amusement park is full of joy rides and recreational activities for people of all ages.

Double shot ride at Playland’s Castaway Cove

Rosemarie Mosteller /

Whether you’re five or 50, Playland’s Castaway Cove has something for everyone.

The food joints here serve lip-smacking food to ensure that you have an experience full of fun and excitement.

Signage of Playland’s Castaway Cove

Martin Lewison from Forest Hills, New York, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Delve into Ocean City’s History at the Ocean City Historical Museum

The building that houses Ocean City Historical Museum

Rosemarie Mosteller /

Housed in the Community Cultural Center, the Ocean City Historical Museum showcases accounts of Ocean City from before it was founded in 1879.

It also displays a series of relics from that era, all the way up to more recent times.

From Ocean City’s history and stories of shipwrecks to religious history and details on the region’s entrepreneurial talent, this museum covers it all.

The Ocean City Historical Museum is also known for preserving and protecting America’s Greatest Family Resort.

Go Kayaking, Paddleboarding, or Sailing across Ocean City’s Waters

Lifeguard on a boat at Ocean City

Gary C. Tognoni /

Ocean City is known for the fantastic water sports it has to offer to its visitors, and kayaking is one of them.

Rent a kayak for a full day or half-day if you are a beginner, and go kayaking in the numerous back bays and creeks that are equal in beauty and serenity.

For experienced and adventurous kayakers, there is an option to rent kayaks for a whole week, and you can go for a thrilling kayaking experience in the rolling surfs of the ocean and the open waters.

Apart from kayaks, you can also rent paddle boats, standup paddleboards, and sailboats.

Enjoy Golfing with a Spooky Twist at Haunted Golf

A famous and award-winning miniature golf course, Haunted Golf is guaranteed to be one of the best attractions you will find in Ocean City.

Haunted Golf will amaze and enchant you with its Disney-themed attractions with a funny twist, spread over 5,000 square feet.

Begin your tour of the golf course with the accursed wedding of Adam and Victoria.

You will come across many colorful talking creatures, a macabre piano player in a princely ballroom that plays out dance numbers for the guests, and a singing skeleton named Bones, who is always up with surprising tricks.

Haunted Golf is full of scary effects that will startle and entertain you at the same time.

It’s a must-visit, especially if you are traveling to Ocean City with your family and friends.

Take the Kids to Every Waterchild’s Paradise, OC Waterpark

If you’re a lover of water adventures, then OC Waterpark is just the right place for you.

Bask under the sun in the water playground filled with fun and adventure.

Get your adrenaline pumping while enjoying the Serpentine Body slide and jumping in the Splash Down Falls.

You can also enjoy a relaxed ride along the Lazy River or spend a day in one of OC Waterpark’s cabanas.

There’s also Lil Buc’s Bay, a fairy tale-like land of huge palm trees, shipwrecks, and old forts, which will give children a Peter Pan-like experience.

OC Waterpark also hosts family reunions, corporate parties, birthday parties, and group outings for its visitors.

Experience the Thrills of Liberty Escape Rooms

Reminiscent of an adventure straight out of a video game, this alternate reality-based immersive experience allows two to 10 players to escape out of a room.

To escape, all you have to do is work out the clues and solve some puzzles and codes—but you have to do all this within 30 minutes!

Liberty Escape Rooms is an interactive and live game where the players have to utilize and manipulate their surroundings with their quick wit in order to escape an enclosed space.

Have an exciting and chilling experience in a safe, expertly, and distinctly designed space filled with sheer adventure.

Have a Taffy Break at Shriver’s

Your trip to Ocean City will not be complete without a visit to Shriver’s—the city’s oldest business, which just so happens to offer saltwater taffy, fudge, and other fine confections.

Shriver’s offers more than 47 types of taffies and sees an average footfall of 2,000 every day!

For those who aren’t fans of saltwater taffy, Shriver’s also offers a wide range of mouth-watering confections like fudge, macarons, chocolate mint rolls, and much more.

Unwind at Corson’s Inlet State Park

The waters of Corson’s Inlet State Park

Thomas Gari /

Established in 1969, Corson’s Inlet State Park’s main objective was to conserve and protect the remaining underdeveloped tracts of land along the state’s oceanside.

The area’s natural habitats are wealthy with the heterogeneity of its natural life.

It comprises primary and secondary sand dune structures, shoreline overwash, marine estuaries, and upland ranges in which hundreds of flora and fauna live and breed.

Sandy trail of Corson’s Inlet State Park

Thomas Gari /

The park offers extraordinary picturesque beauty and never-ending chances for viewing a vast number of residential as well as migratory wildlife species, such as the American Oystercatcher and some species of herons, gulls, ducks, sandpipers, and more.

The park is also a hit among visitors, as it allows a host of activities like fishing, hiking, sunbathing, and boating.

Go Shopping at Asbury Avenue

Located in Downtown Ocean City, Asbury Avenue bustles with activity, boasting more than a hundred attractive shops and boutiques to choose from.

Whether you’re looking for specific gifts to take home to your family and friends or you simply want to hang out and chill, Asbury Avenue is the place to go.

From beautiful souvenir shops to delightful eateries, Asbury Avenue has a multitude of options for all.

Appreciate Fine Arts at the Ocean City Arts Center

Located on Simpson Avenue, the Ocean City Arts Center is a place for people to acquire enthusiasm for humankind’s variety through visual and performing arts.

The Ocean City Arts Center endeavors to offer imaginative freedom that appeals to people of all ages and interests.

They also provide scholarships to those who want to pursue art.

Every month, they present new displays highlighting territorial and public craftsmen of different mediums.

Each show opens with a “Meet the Artist” gathering that adds an individual measurement to the experience.

Go Sunbathing at Ocean City’s Stunning Beaches

Tourist at Ocean City Beach

Eliyahu Yosef Parypa /

Ocean City is known for some of the best and cleanest beaches, which can be visited absolutely free of cost.

Have loads of fun and frolic at Ocean City Beach, Peck Beach, or Great Egg Harbor Bay.

Sands and waters of Ocean City Beach

Jake Hostrander /

Swim in the clear blue waters, surf with the waves, grab some tasty bites, or simply sunbathe and take pictures.

If you’re lucky enough, you might even spot some dolphins swimming in the ocean!

Sunset over Great Egg Harbor Bay

Cathy Hartley /

Relive Your Childhood at JiLLy’s Arcade

Open 24/7 during the summer season, JiLLy’s Arcade has engaged countless families in America’s Greatest Family Resort.

This notable turn-of-the-century spectacle features a unique merry-go-round vault.

Underneath the vault, you will discover in excess of 100 retro and current arcade games, including pinball machines, crane games, plunk-down driving games, air hockey, pool tables, and fun rides for youngsters.

Computer games range from old school top choices like Pac-Man and Asteroids to pursued games like Jurassic Park and Star Wars.

Obviously, Skeeball is a JiLLy’s Arcade custom, and it still costs only 10¢ to play, just as it did when they first opened their doors in 1976.

Witness Enthralling Performances at the Ocean City Music Pier

Exterior of the Ocean City Music Pier

Aneese /

The Ocean City Music Pier is a must-visit destination in Ocean City that dates back to 1928.

It was built after a huge section of the community’s boardwalk burned down in 1927.

The Music Pier formally opened to the public on July 4, 1929, with much pomp and show.

True to its name, the Music Pier featured enthralling performances by the Municipal Orchestra two times a day.

Welcome sign of Ocean City Music Pier

Big Blink Creative /

The Ocean City Music Pier is a recreation venue appropriate for an extraordinary assortment of events, from stand-up comedy shows and musicals to solo concerts and performances by the Ocean City POPS Orchestra.

The space has served as a venue for shows by world-renowned performances and musicians, along with numerous pageants.

The Ocean City POPS has a late spring concert series from July through October that features the lovely music of the orchestra and special guest appearances from highly eminent entertainers.

People outside the Ocean City Music Pier

MSPhotographic /

Walk around Northside Park and Breathe Fresh Air

In Ocean City, Northside Park is among the biggest and most widely known parks.

Sports facilities, playgrounds, and an indoor center with a gym are all part of this 58-acre public leisure park.

It has a multipurpose field, soccer field, baseball/softball fields, a footbridge, a lagoon for fishing, piers, play areas, picnic tables, concession stalls, a gazebo, and a walking/jogging trail.

A 21,000 square foot multi-sports stadium and a 14,200 square foot structure with a gym, community space, conference room, seating areas, kitchen, and patio are also featured.

Families are encouraged to spend the day in the park participating in various activities, stroll around the well-maintained grounds, or simply unwind by the lake.

Create Unforgettable Outdoor Memories at Frontier Town

One of Maryland’s loveliest and most enjoyable outdoor attractions is Frontier Town.

There are more than 600 campsites available, and it includes all the facilities guests may want on-site.

Families may unwind at the waterpark while floating down Lazy River, competing for first place on the waterslides, or playing 18 holes of miniature golf amidst soaring trees and cascading waterfalls.

The High Ropes Adventure Park in Frontier Town also features a zip line through the forest and the Western Theme Park’s wild west entertainment.

Additional attractions include kayaking, fishing from the pier or a charter boat, and arcade and souvenir shop browsing.

Have an Adventure of a lifetime at Jolly Roger Amusement Park

The Jolly Roger Amusement Park is a mash-up of four distinct parks, including slides, rides, activities, and more.

Each is jam-packed with activities that are waiting for you at every turn.

It is clear why so many families come year after year to create enduring memories at Jolly Roger.

Enjoy the thrill of racing around the go-kart circuits at Speedworld and plunging down the waterslides at Splash Mountain.

You may also play mini golf, visit a petting zoo, unwind on the pier, or take advantage of the many other thrill rides.

Refuel with food from one of the several on-site eateries or concession kiosks.

Check Out the Galleries at the Art League of Ocean City

The Art League of Ocean City facilities includes a wide two-story gallery, a pottery studio, classrooms, an art library, and five operating artist studios.

Each month, the galleries present brand-new exhibits by regional and neighborhood artists, some of whom are also Art League of Ocean City members.

The public is welcome to attend the receptions and events.

A summertime art camp program and workshops are also provided for artists of all ages and skill levels.

You can rent an affordable community meeting place with stunning bay views for your upcoming event.

View Hundreds of Varieties of Sand at Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum

Exterior of the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum

Rosemarie Mosteller /

The Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum is currently housed in the structure that once served as the Ocean City Life-Saving station’s home.

Visitors may still explore the building’s original 1878 design, which still sports its classic color scheme of white walls, a red roof, and green trim from when the Coast Guard ran the facility.

Exhibits about storms, marine life, and lifesaving at Ocean City are on display in the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum.

More than 200 varieties of sand from around the world are on display, along with items related to beach vacations, commercial fishing, the history of Ocean City’s pioneering women, and surfing.

A whole wing of the museum is devoted to genealogy, where visitors can research their ancestry, while exhibits about the brave surfers of Ocean City transport visitors back in time with their tales and memorabilia.

Final Thoughts

Ocean City is an excellent destination all year round, a well-known East Coast seaside town.

If you’re in the mood for shopping or a food trip, the three-mile promenade is brimming with coastal restaurants and souvenir shops.

Family-friendly entertainment options include arcades, carousels, dining establishments, and vacation pursuits like kite flying or fishing.

Participate in indoor and outdoor activities while using the best Ocean City attractions list.

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