Monday, June 21, 2021 / by Jay Lesko
Being an Ocean City local is a badge of honor that many aspire towards. Locals get to enjoy a very different set of perks that are often overlooked by millions of annual tourists. From beach weddings to the performing arts, Ocean City gives its locals a decidedly different and community orientated experience.
Boys’ Night Out
With a bar scene that is second to none and ranges from an energetic happy hour to laid-back cocktails in the sunset, residents and visitors are spoiled for choice. Downtown Ocean City offers some exciting wateringhole options that overlook the Boardwalk and the bay. Locals prize the Purple Moose for live entertainment and Shenanigan’s for a distinctly Irish experience. Other local favorites include the Bearded Clam and the Cork Bar on Wicomico Street. Under the Route 50 Bridge the well-known Angler and MR Ducks can be found. On 7th and 8th Streets on Coastal Highway an assortment of sports bars can be enjoyed. The infamously famous Seacrets call Ocean City home as well and is a hub of entertainment in the midtown area.
Love always seems to be in the salty air. Breathtaking views paired with a pristine beach, country clubs, hotels, florists, photographers and houses of worship all come together to create that dream beach wedding every woman holds deep in her heart. With its rich family tradition, it is not surprising that couples often choose to tie the knot here. Whether it is a small intimate affair or an unforgettable bachelor party, all the necessities are available for the ultimate beach wedding.
The love in Ocean City flows over into other areas as well, as conservation efforts to protect a very unique local: the Northern Diamondback Terrapin. This grumpy creature calls the marshes of the East Coast home and is the only turtle in North America that can live exclusively in brackish water. Every year during early summer terrapins can be spotted crawling out of the coastal marshes as the start of the nesting season begins. This short five to six week period is a very violent time in the terrapins’ life as many of them are squashed beneath the tires of vacationers.
Sadly most of these animals who meet their end are females, which prompted conservation efforts in the area. Terrapins typically return to the same nesting site year after year and will travel considerable distances over land to reach suitable nesting sites. In Maryland volunteers can help monitor the terrapin populations in the Coastal Bays by participating in the Annual Terrapin Survey.
High-rise apartment buildings and condominiums are prominent in Ocean City, but the housing can be as varied as the town itself. While condos dominate the area by the Boardwalk and in Northern Ocean City, the Old Town neighborhood is home to regal Victorian homes. The median home value was found to hover around the $377,705 mark while average monthly rental will have you $1,300 out of pocket. Some popular areas include:
Starting from 33rd street all the way to 94th street Midtown Ocean City is the skinniest part of the island with minimal development Bayside. The Bayfront in the lower Midtown section does not take to larger boats very well as the water is typically shallow. Condos have good boat dockage in the area and the views of wildlife and the surrounding nature is beyond compare. Condos with dockage include Thunder Island, Traders Cove and Bayspot. With the Ocean City Convention Center on 42nd Street and Seacrets Bar and Grill located in the area, there is no shortage of entertainment options.
Locals prize this area not only for the beautiful low density beaches, but also as a good rental investment. During the off season the Convention Center, quality restaurants, bars and easy access to the Rt 90 into Ocean City is proving to be an investment magnet.
Steps from the ocean and beaches on a small, 37 acre island lies the peaceful Bay Front community of Sunset Island. Featuring a collection of distinctive family homes, townhouses and condos, the area affords the best of what luxurious living has to offer for residents. Sunset Island has limited docks, but is one of the nicest amenity enriched communities around. Paying homage to beachside communities along the Atlantic coast during the 1920’s, the bayside community of Sunset Island is a wonderfully private place where cars take a back seat and leisurely strolls along the water’s edge is a favorite pastime. Homes here can range from $300,000 to well over the million mark.
This highly preferred community is amenity enriched with a diverse selection of property ranging from one to 3 bedroom condos to 9000 square foot homes that is situated directly on the Bay. Pricing ranges from $300,000 and upwards over a million.
Featuring indoor and outdoor pools, clubhouse, sauna, fitness center, tennis courts and plenty of common grounds to enjoy, Heron Harbor is a pet-friendly community. Locals enjoy jogging, walking, kayaking and a host of other activities. Boat slips are available for property owners.
Things to Do
The interesting dynamics of the town as it morphs from a seemingly ghost-like town during the winter season into a vacation hub during the hot month, ensures that there are plenty of activities available for everyone to enjoy.
As a premier vacation destination, locals will tell you that Ocean City has the softest sand anywhere. Stretching for nearly 10 miles, the soft, sandy beach is the perfect place for a game of volleyball. The waves in the area are great for surfing. In addition to having your troubles melt away in the buttery sand and listening to the calming sound of crashing waves against the shore, visitors and residents can drop a line off the Route 50 Bridge or Ocean City Pier to snag an elusive white marlin.
Origins in Brief
During the mid 1800’s Ocean City was said to be a small fishing village that was accessible by ferry and stagecoach. By the late 1800’s a railroad gave tourists access to the area, however a severe storm (it remains unclear if it was a hurricane or some other natural phenomenon) created the inlet that now separates Ocean City from Assateague Island. With this new access point from the bay to the ocean, Ocean City was on its way to become one of the top beach cities on the East Coast, and eventually the White Marlin Capital of the World.
Tourists and vacationers will tell you that Ocean City is a popular vacation destination. Locals will tell you that the area has something for everyone. The permanent residents here are part of a tight-knit community.