Ocean City, NJ: A Family Resort

For me, when I think of summer, I think of Ocean City. Since probably before I can remember I’ve been making summer trips to Ocean City, New Jersey, and whether it’s for a few days or a week, it always gives me some of my greatest summer memories. In fact, I just returned from a two day, three night trip down the shore with friends, and despite being cloudy and damp the whole stay, we still had a great time. Not many places can you still find fun in inclement weather. Whether you’re young and single with great girlfriends or married with kids and in-laws, this beach town has something to offer you. If you’re thinking about a trip to Ocean City this summer (or ever, really) I’ve got some suggestions on the must-do’s.

For early bird:

Wake up early and hit the boardwalk. You can run, walk, bike, or even rent a surrey, but the best part is you’re getting exercise with a view of the sunrise over the beautiful Atlantic.

Take on the beach. Obviously you’re going down the shore for a reason, so grab your towels, whip up some lunches, maybe bring an umbrella and set up camp on the beach. The Jersey Shore offers some of the best waves for playing, body surfing or boogie boarding on the east coast. Don’t forget to lather on the sunscreen- you may think you’re pretty far north, but that sun will burn you pretty badly if you forget.

Ride the slides at the water park. If you need a day off from the sandy beaches, hit Gillian’s Island Waterpark on the boardwalk. For less than $30 per person, you can spend the day slipping and sliding down twist-turning slides and still taking in the sun while staying cool. It’s a win-win.

Peruse the shops on Asbury Ave. This street serves as the shopping district on the Island and offers great shopping, quality good, and the perfect opportunity to get souvenirs for those back home. The area also features a wide array of cafes and restaurants to grab a quick lunch when you’ve finally shopped until you dropped.

For the night owl:

Grab some friends for mini-golf. Just about every other stop on the boardwalk is a mini-golf location so the options are vast. Like gorillas? Try Congo Falls Adventure Golf. Want a rush? Visit Haunted Golf and see if you make it out unscathed.

Unleash your inner child at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier. This is an Ocean City classic and probably where you’ll find the most fellow tourists on a warm night. Purchase tickets carnival style and spend your night getting an adrenaline rush on the many amusement park-style rides offered.

Aimlessly stroll the boardwalk. To be completely honest, this is one of my favorite OC hobbies. Walk down the boardwalk stopping in stores to grab cute trinkets or famous fudge and then grab a bench to do some of the east coast’s best people watching. You’ll find people of all kinds and never a dull moment.

Take a short drive for a night of gambling and excitement. Atlantic City is less than a 20 minute drive from the island so why not hit two places in one? Spend the night dining in style in a posh resort, followed by testing your luck at the casinos to see if you will go home rich. The city also has some pretty high end shopping as well for the less ambitious.

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