The Perfect Long Weekend Getaway – Ocean City, MD
by Taylor Deer
Having Fun at The Beach
Are you craving a tropical getaway, but don’t want to purchase an expensive plane ticket to a faraway island? Ocean City, Maryland is the perfect resort town where you can feel like you are in Jamaica, while being in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic coast.
Two years ago for Memorial Day Weekend, a few of my girlfriends and I took a long weekend trip to Ocean City to relax in the sun, catch up on each other’s lives and have fun! I had been to Ocean City, MD a few times throughout my childhood and teen years for dance competitions, but had never truly experienced it since I was usually performing in a convention center for hours on end. During Spring 2015, I figured there wasn’t a better time to visit and fully embrace the Eastern Shore!
Getting to Ocean City, MD from North Jersey is about a four and a half hour drive, so my two friends and I created a fun playlist of our favorite songs to enjoy during the road trip. Our friend Dorothy from JMU was continuing her education in Salisbury (about a half hour from Ocean City), so we stopped to pick her up first. I was so excited all of my close friends were together and couldn’t wait to have some fun in the sun!
Arriving in Ocean City!
When we crossed over the bridge onto the inlet, we opened up the windows and let the fresh sea breeze hit our faces. The excitement of the summer season officially commencing spread throughout the atmosphere. Local business owners were friendly and accommodating and the vacationers strolling the streets had big smiles across their sun swept faces.
Ready to hit the beach!
After checking into our oceanside hotel, we were more than ready to hit the beach! It was a beautiful, cloudless day so we figured we would take advantage of it by getting a nice lunch on the famous Ocean City Boardwalk and relax on the warm sand. We first grabbed lunch and drinks at Brass Balls Saloon. Since I was in Maryland, I was recommended to get the state’s famous signature Orange Crush drink. This delicious concoction consists of vodka, triple sec, Sprite and freshly squeezed orange juice. It is the perfect drink to kickoff the summer season!
Ready to kickoff the summer!
Once we filled our bellies with delicious fish tacos, coconut shrimp, grilled chicken sandwiches and Maryland crab cakes, we made our way onto the beach. The sand in Ocean City is powdery enough that you can run around the beach without it hurting your feet. We laid our towels down and took a well-needed nap in the comforting sun.
The Ocean City Boardwalk offers three miles of fun attractions and activities. The Travel Channel called this classic wooden boardwalk America’s best and most exciting boardwalks, National Geographic named it one of the top 10 in the United States and USA Today recognized it as being the nation’s best boardwalk for food.
On the boardwalk, you can take the tram or rent a bike and enjoy the ocean view, play a fun arcade game, enjoy a thrilling ride on a roller coaster or catch gorgeous seaside views on top of the Ferris Wheel. Don’t forget to savor delicious treats such as Kohr Brothers frozen custard (my favorite), boardwalk fries, saltwater taffy, sweet caramel popcorn, funnel cakes, pizza, clams on the half shell and more!
As we walked the boardwalk, we saw some of the best sandcastles. Even when I used to go to Ocean City during my dance years, there were always talented sandcastle artists showcasing their hard work. We got to see beautiful mermaids, castles, sea animals and more!
Ocean City has a fantastic nightlife!
The night took us over to the famous Seacrets beach bar and nightclub. Because I was finally in my 20’s and could enjoy the nightlife, Seacrets was one of the top reasons why we chose to go to Ocean City for Memorial Day Weekend. This lively bayside entertainment spot features several dance floors, concert stages, tiki bars and Jamaican-inspired foods and cocktails. We had a blast at Seacrets and I recommend it to everyone who is visiting Ocean City or the Eastern Shore area!
Since Seacrets is one of the most popular nightspots on the Eastern Shore, the line to get in can be blocks long. Make sure to plan accordingly and get there early enough so that you aren’t wasting your whole night or day in line. During the day, people like to get to Seacrets around noon, so a perfect time to get there would be between 10:30 and 11am. At night, a reasonable time to get to Seacrets would be between 7:30 and 8pm. I know that seems early to begin a long night, but you will thank me later! Seacrets offers a great Jamaican-inspired menu, so I recommend grabbing dinner and enjoy the sunset on the bay. We all enjoyed a delicious jerk chicken dinner and Seacrets’ signature island drinks.
After dinner, we had an amazing night dancing to the best music! Since, I attended college in Virginia, a lot of my friends live in the Greater D.C. or Baltimore area and vacation in Ocean City fairly often. It was awesome reuniting with them on the dance floor. I even ran into people who I had classes with that I never thought I would see again. It was unexpected, but amazing!
We loved Seacrets and had a fun night, so we were excited to spend the next day there hanging out under the palm trees and enjoying the bay. Whenever I go on vacation, I always enjoy going out to breakfast. (There is nothing like homemade French toast and home fries, am I right?) A few blocks away from Seacrets is The Dough Roller – an iconic Ocean City pizza joint that also offers a great breakfast menu. We left feeling satisfied and couldn’t wait to start the day party under the Maryland sun.
Since we got to Seacrets early, the line to get in went fairly quick. Once we were in, I felt like I was on spring break in Punta Cana; the sun was bright, the sand was perfect, palm trees surrounded us and the DJs were beginning the party. There are even lounge chairs, tables and water tubes in the bay where you can order drinks and have them served to you while you are relaxing in the water! To be honest, I was a little iffy about hanging out in the water, so I was content sitting on the dock and enjoying the happiness around me. Locals even sailed their boats up to the dock where they were able to get off and order food or drinks and enjoy the music and fun!
We spent about five hours having the time of our lives at Seacrets, but were then getting tired and wanted to enjoy a relaxing seafood dinner at a quiet place. We walked south of Seacrets and found a cute bayside raw bar, where we were able to enjoy Old Bay steamed blue crabs – a Maryland classic! Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the place, but it is easy to find since it is a few blocks away from the fun bayside party.
Time for Memorial Day Fireworks, Ocean City style!
When we arrived back at our hotel, we showered, took a nap and enjoyed the Memorial Day fireworks on our balcony. Since it was our last night in Ocean City, we took the party over to Fager’s Island – a classy bayfront venue with outdoor dining and a nightclub. We were exhausted from the day and previous night, so we only stayed out for a little while before heading back to our hotel. I definitely recommend going to Fager’s Island as it offers a great selection of drinks, seafood and beautiful views of the water.
Time to visit the beautiful shores of Assateague Island National Seashore!
I wanted my last day on the Eastern Shore to be fun and unique in a non-party way. Every time I used to travel to Ocean City for dance, I always tried to get my mom to take me to Assateague Island National Seashore where you can see wild horses graze along the beautiful beach or bay. Unfortunately, we never had enough time.
We first stopped to get breakfast at a cute Eastern Shore-inspired restaurant called Barn 34, where I indulged in the best jumbo lump crab omelet. After filling up, we hit the road 20 minutes south to Assateague Island where we got to see the horses and beautiful nature.
These beautiful creatures live on the barrier island in Maryland as well as on Chincoteague Island in Virginia. Local folklore describes these wild horses as survivors of a shipwreck off the coast of Virginia. Other explanations have been told that they are descendants of horses that were brought to the barrier islands in the late 17th century by mainland owners to avoid fencing laws and taxation of livestock.
While you are on the island, enjoy the beautiful nature by either parking your beach chair or towel on the oceanside or take a bike ride and adventure around the bayside. When we first arrived on Assateague Island, we had a tough time trying to find the wild horses. We then realized they don’t like to hang out where the tourists are, which is on the beach. As we continued to drive down the island, we took a few detour turns and spotted the horses hanging out along the bay areas.
It is important to note that when you are adventuring around the bay, there are a lot of mosquitoes, so make sure to bring bug spray in addition to sunscreen. We made our way onto the bayside and spotted a beautiful brown horse. As much as we wanted to pet the horse, it is highly recommended that you do not! The horses are beautiful, tough and wild. They have learned to survive in harsh environments, so feeding them human food or petting them is detrimental to your health and safety as well as the horses’.
Even though we couldn’t pet the horses, we did enjoy taking pictures of them and watching them fend for themselves. Since I live in North Jersey, I get to see wild deer, bears, birds and rabbits, but I have never seen a wild horse prior to visiting Assateague. It was a beautiful and inspiring day! In addition, we got to sit on the beautiful beach and relax before hitting the road to go back home.
I hope you all enjoyed my blog post on Ocean City, MD. It is the perfect place to visit during the summer or during a three-day weekend like I did. If you are looking to go during a long weekend, to get that extra day off from work, the best times to visit are during Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day Weekends as it is a lot of fun and offers plenty of attractions for all ages.
If you have any questions about my trip, please send me an email at Taylor@sitinmyseats.com.
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