6 things to do over a weekend in Ocean City, NJ

Published Date: January 6, 2023

Aerial of Ocean City beach
Located toward the southern end of the Jersey Shore, Ocean City is a classic beach town and a much-loved family vacation destination. The Travel Channel named it the “#1 family beach community in the country,” and it’s easy to see why. There’s so much to do, thanks to the town’s eight miles of oceanfront, crystal-clear bay and 2 ½ miles of boardwalk. With a reputation for cleanliness and a family-friendly vibe (it is a dry town, after all), Ocean City makes a great weekend destination. Here are six activities you've just got to experience for yourself. 

1. Enjoy a live performance at Music Pier

Ocean City’s Music Pier has been an entertainment destination for music lovers since it opened in 1929. On any given day or night, you’ll find performances by the Ocean City Pops orchestra, traveling entertainers, stand-up comedians, theater companies and more. The pier hosts a summer concert series from July through October. Plus, every Thursday in summer is family night, with free entertainment around town. 

2. Take in the beauty of Corson’s Inlet State Park 

Ocean City can get crowded in the summer, so nearby Corson’s Inlet State Park is a welcome retreat. This 340-acre state park was established in 1969 to protect one of the New Jersey coastline’s last undeveloped areas. The park offers a rich diversity of wildlife living in habitats that include sand dunes, upland areas, marine estuaries and the shoreline. It’s a popular destination for sailing, boating, stand-up paddleboarding, fishing, bird watching, hiking and nature walks. 

3. Explore the famous Ocean City Boardwalk 

No Jersey Shore weekend is complete without a visit to the famous Ocean City Boardwalk. The wide, wood-planked boardwalk is a feast for the senses, whether you’re shopping for souvenirs, enjoying amusements and games, sharing a meal with friends or just people watching. Explore the boardwalk on foot or by bike, stopping by famous local eateries like Ike’s Famous Crabcakes, Polish Water Ice, Manco & Manco Pizza and the famous apple cider donuts at Oves Restaurant

4. Hit the beach

The beach itself isn’t to be overlooked. Ocean City boasts multiple beach locations perfect for putting your toes in the sand. The most popular beach is 9th Street, conveniently located next to Music Pier. Because of its proximity to the boardwalk, you can easily grab everything you might need, from flip-flops and sunscreen to ice cream and drinks. The 23rd Street beach, at the far end of the boardwalk, is a great choice for escaping the crowds and enjoying a quieter day under a beach umbrella.  

5. Take the kids to Gillian’s Wonderland Pier 

A destination for family fun since 1929, Gillian’s Wonderland Pier offers more than 30 rides and attractions on the Ocean City Boardwalk. The 140-foot-high Giant Wheel is a city landmark, while indoor rides like a classic carousel, ride-on fire engines and a train amuse the younger kids. Looking for something a bit more adventurous? Check out the flying swings, Canyon Falls log flume or bungee jump. 

6. Explore the Ocean City Historical Museum 

Located inside the Ocean City Community Center, the Ocean City Historical Museum gives visitors a glimpse into the colorful history of this town, which dates back to 1879. The museum documents the building of the boardwalk, shipwrecks and visits from Hollywood starlets.  

Soak up the sun in Ocean City 

Can’t get enough of Ocean City’s beaches, boardwalk and family fun?  When you co-own a Pacaso second home, you can make family vacation memories on The Shore in a place of your own. 

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Jen Lyons

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