Ocean City, MD Trip Report

Old Jul 8th, 2004, 06:08 AM
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Ocean City, MD Trip Report

Just back from Ocean City, MD and want to thank everyone for their advice. Here's a brief report in case it may help someone else.

Hadn't done a summer beach vacation in years and while i'm still majorly bummed we can't do an out-west road trip like the past 8 years, OC was still great fun. Ocean City is a wonderful family resort. While not sub-tropical it's a much quicker drive for those in the northeast/mid-west areas, especially for a getaway of only 4 nights. And certainly hot enough to get an unwanted burn! Very family oriented, always felt comfortable. Loved seeing so many families, including mult-generational groups w/ grandparents etc.

Stayed at Castle in the Sand on the ocean at 37th. Somewhat time-warped (as much of OC) but very clean and very convenient. Glad we didn't stay ON the boardwalk or in 'uptown'(in the 100s) as both were extremely crowded and the crowds a bit different. The upper 100's have hi-rise condos etc and not my cup of tea when on the beach; we loved being just steps to the ocean and olympic sized pool with DIVING BOARD, a rarity anywhere these days. Our oceanfront efficiency had a private balcony and perfect view.

Restaurants:
- "Philips", excellent crabcakes but not as good as annapolis, imo.

- "Shark", a delightfully different bay-side place with mult-level dining, including on the beach and wrap around deck. Excellent lobster bisque in a bowl and the crab stuffed flounder was to die for.

- Hoopers on RT 50 - ate in "Sneaky Petes", a unique gazebo at the end of the pier. Really good crab imperial.

- Tony's Pizza on the boardwalk. Chose the sit-down upper deck w/wait staff, pricey for pizza because we ate inside but great view of ocean and also great people-watching on the boardwalk below

- Coconuts beachfront bar and grille at our motel was great! Ate lunch there each day in our suits, delicious flounder sandwiches, fun live band playing 70-80-90's music, the crowd often sang along! Good times.

And as others have said, the old-fashioned boardwalk is really fun. Loved thrasher's fries, dumsers ice cream and the best carmel corn ever - can't remember the name but they've supposedly been there for decades. Like a slice of old time americana, nothing at all like hilton head or myrtle beach (altho we love both of them, too) and certainly not destin, but we will definitly return.

Thanks again for your help Fodorites (LN!). As i did my morning run each day, i made mental notes of other motels along the ocean so let me know if you have any questions.
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Old Jul 8th, 2004, 06:18 AM
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Also wanted to add that it wasn't necessary to use OC transportation. We drove to the boardwalk and found parking in metered areas. Maybe we were just lucky as i've heard parking is a nightmare, but it wasn't for us. (Rt 50 leaving however, is another story!) The kids both enjoyed the boardwalk also, and while we did see groups of teens, they were for the most part with parents. Also, the shuttle is $2.50 per person each way.
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Old Jul 8th, 2004, 06:48 AM
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Ellen, We are heading there at the end of July. Traffic isn't quite as bad for us because we go out on a Sunday & leave on Friday night. That is usually the opposite way of most of the traffic. Also, we take some back roads. Take 54 out of OC to 113 to 404 & then catch 50, so we really don't catch much traffic until we get close to the Bay bridge.
At what time of day did you go to the boardwalk? When we have gone at about 7pm we have to go around the lot a number of times & just get lucky that someone is pulling out of a meter as we get there.
Did you go for steamed crabs anywhere?
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Old Jul 8th, 2004, 06:52 AM
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Thanks for your great report. I always love your posts!
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Old Jul 8th, 2004, 07:53 AM
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Oh, how you made me wish for some Thrashers fries right now!
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Old Jul 8th, 2004, 10:14 AM
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About a million years ago, we had a house on 35th & Coastal Highway. Castle in the Sand was just up the beach from us. Late in the season, OC was hit by a small hurricane, so we did the obvious - drank hurricanes during the duration of the storm. The next morning, I got up to run on the beach, still a bit woozy from the drinks, and to my shock, saw a bunch of camels on the beach outside Castle. Thought they were in lieu of elephants, but it turns out, they were with the Masonic group who were in town for their convention.
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Old Jul 9th, 2004, 07:25 AM
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Bill, thanks for the alternate route. We'll try it the next time. Yes, the bridge wasn't much better. Wondered what happens when traffic is totally STOPPED on the bridge; any stories? And no steamed crabs for us; too much work lol. We opted for crab cakes wherever we went. Yum!

Hi Karen, thanks! Wish i could be posting a trip report about wild west road trip #9, boo hoo.... Yes i know i'm spoiled but its sooooo hard not going this year.... Still, we're enjoying lots of weekend getaways.

Pam, oooh yeah, i hear you. And its almost lunchtime here and they sure would hit the spot!

Fairfax - LOL, didn't see any of those this time! You should have held onto that house. (Hope you didn't lose it in the hurricane??) Our nightly rate was $239. Higher being july 4th weekend, but still, woah! Worth it tho, wish we were going again this weekend!
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Old Jul 9th, 2004, 08:06 AM
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just booked a condo in OC for what's becoming an annual vacation there. cant wait to get out of the office and onto the beach! Bootsies BBQ here we come! Any recoommendations for golf courses @ OC? I'm just learning but hubby and kids are pretty good
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Old Jul 9th, 2004, 08:22 AM
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Hi again Ellen

So glad to hear that you loved Ocean City!! Sounds like you've become a fan like me!! Since we're fairly local (Annapolis) we've been coming to OC, Rehoboth, Dewey, Assateague, up and down the area and we find that OC is our favorite and probably for all the reasons that others dislike.

I love it right about at Castle in the Sand. The area is so convenient to decent restaurants, the amusement parks, and then we usually take the bus to the boardwalk. I also enjoy Seacrets where you can lay in an inner tube and enjoy the music while sipping a margarita - great way to unwind!!

Hope to see you next year at the beach!!
Ellen
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Old Jul 12th, 2004, 09:43 AM
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Wow LN, just checked out seacrets on line, and it looks too too fun! I guess not with our little (big) darlins tho, lol, but someday hubby clark and i will have to check it out for a little getaway! Thanks for the heads up, ellen!

Rachel, my guys didn't take their clubs on this trip (and made a point of always reminding me!) but i know they noticed a few courses while there. Maybe someone else in the know will chime in with some info for you!?
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 01:16 PM
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Hey gbs & ellen & everyone...thanks for your reports on Ocean City and area!
I've jotted down various tips. Although we've traveled pretty widely, never have explored Maryland (except Antietam and Canal area).

Late August we drive from NY to Ocean City for an Elderhostel program. On the way will likely stop for lunch in New Castle, DE, for a quick look around. Our week's stay is at the Fenwick Inn up at 138th St. with day trips to boardwalk and lifesaving station, Smith Island, Lewes, Assateague.

Then we head over to St. Michael with an eye on staying at Kemp House Inn and on to Annapolis with lodging at Robert Johnson House. Anything else to see in the area as time permits?

Bill in Missouri [email protected]
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 06:19 PM
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Hi Ozark Bill

Had a quick question for you since you'll be coming into our countryside.

Are you driving down to Crisfield to catch the ferry to Smith Island? If so, you'll have a fairly long day trip.
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 11:50 AM
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Hey LN...

No, thought we'd simply go from Ocean City across US 50 and stay overnight in Oxford...have reservation at Robt. Morris Inn there. Then on to Annapolis next day. This will give us a taste of the Chesapeake anyway. Any special places historically or otherwise in places like Oxford, Cambridge, Easton on north? I think there's an historic ferry right at Oxford, right?

Bill in Missouri
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Old Aug 3rd, 2004, 09:32 AM
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Ahh...the caramel popcorn of which you speak is Fisher's popcorn, dee-lish when it's hot out of the coating bins! Not too sweet, not too much "stuff", just right. I routinely have to get a "parting" tub for the trek back to NE. So glad you were able to have a great trip without being on the Boardwalk (I remember you had your heart set on it!)
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 04:59 PM
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Thanks AHaugeto, it was fishers. And nothing will EVER be as good again! Wish i could have some RIGHT NOW! It would be worth another trip just for that!!!!!


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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 05:23 PM
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Hi again Ellen

We also had some of that great caramel popcorn this past weekend!! We were up in Rehoboth and also in Ocean City and came back yesterday. Had some fantastic cream of crab soup at Crab Alley and brought back some of the best Silver Queen corn from Delaware. Just had it tonite for dinner.

Come on back again!
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