Ocean City, NJ
Ocean City, New Jersey, is known as “America’s Greatest Family Resort,” thanks to its location and safety-minded municipal regulations. Situated on a barrier island off the eastern shore of the state, the beach community maintains a retro vibe that provides the perfect seashore vacation for families visiting Ocean City.
Built on the ethics of four Methodist ministers, beginning in 1879, Ocean City was founded on Christian principles, some of which are still enforced today. Among local statutes include the prohibition of alcoholic beverages on the beaches or in any public area.
One of the top attractions in Ocean City is its legendary boardwalk. Snaking two and a half miles along the Atlantic Ocean, the wooden promenade stretches from 23rd Street to St. James Place and boasts two amusement parks, a water park and daily excitement for vacationers.
One of the amusement parks, Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, is located on the boardwalk at Sixth Street and offers 35 different rides and curiosities, including a magnificent hand-carved indoor carousel that dates back to 1926. Kids visiting Ocean City can hop aboard the monorail, visit the more adrenaline-pumping Thrill Zone or take a spin on the 144-foot Giant Wheel, one of the tallest Ferris wheels on the Eastern Seaboard.
Many families stay along the boardwalk for 24/7 recreation. The historic Flanders Hotel, built in 1923, offers updated amenities that make it a strategic vacation base. Suites feature separate bedrooms and full kitchens, and offer easy access to the boardwalk and many other top attractions in Ocean City. Breakfast on homemade quiche at the hotel’s on-site restaurant, Emily’s Ocean Room, before heading out to explore the seashore.
Eight miles of white sandy beach await kids of all ages along Ocean City’s shoreline. Be sure to acquire a “beach tag” if visiting Ocean City in the summer season; tags are required and can be purchased at a few locations, including City Hall and the Roy Gillian Welcome Center. Then, seek out the perfect sunbathing spot or grab your board and surf the waves. Looking to set sail? Rent a boat and explore the Atlantic or kayak in the waters of Great Egg Harbor Bay to the northwest.
A short stroll from the beach, shoppers can browse the wares of numerous independently-owned boutiques along Asbury Avenue in Ocean City’s Downtown. Antiquarians ogle at the Asbury Attic, art aficionados critique masterpieces at Accent Gallery, and kids indulge in a sundae at Johnny B Goode Ice Cream Parlor. This fifties-themed ice creamery embodies the Ocean City atmosphere by featuring traditional desserts and fun activities such as sock hops and magic shows.
To cap off a great family vacation, be sure to stop by Ocean City’s Music Pier. Built in 1928, this leading entertainment venue in Ocean City presents everything from stand-up comedy shows to concerts performed by the Ocean City Pops Orchestra.