Ocean City New Jersey Vacation: Visit this South Jersey Beach for Unforgettable Family Fun

Located in South Jersey’s Cape May County, Ocean City was known as Peck’s Beach during the early 1800’s. It was a whaling community habited by fisherman and a few farmers. In 1879, four Methodist ministers arrived, changed the name to Ocean City and set out to create “A Moral Seaside Resort”. Known as a Christian retreat, the seaside town banned alcohol and enacted Blue Laws that prohibited bathing, shopping, recreation and other acts of “personal comfort” on Sundays. These laws remained in effect until 1987. In spite of these restrictions, Ocean City flourished as a shore town and today is one of the most popular beaches in the country.

Mile of Beaches

Over eight miles of beaches make up the narrow island bordered by the bay on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other.. During the summer season, beaches are guarded by lifeguards. All beachgoers must buy and display badges that can be purchased for the day, the week or the season. Beaches are wheelchair accessible. The Surf Chair Program, based out of the Ocean City Sports & Civic Center (6th Street at the Boardwalk), accepts reservations for their chairs with a call to (609) 525-9304.

The OC Boardwalk

Known locally as “the Boards”, the wooden walkway measures 50 feet in width and 2 1/2 miles long. It features arcades, miniature golf courses, sweet shops and restaurants. The Music Pier, the boardwalk’s auditorium, is the place to see the Ocean City Pops orchestra, as well as many other concerts, craft shows and musicals. Established businesses along the boardwalk include Shrivers, which sells fudge and saltwater taffy, Johnson’s Popcorn, known for its buckets of caramel-coated popcorn and Mack and Mancos, a third generation pizza parlor where pie makers entertain crowds as they make their pizzas.

Amusements

Gillian’s Wonderland Pier and Playland’s Castaway Cove offer pay-as-you-go rides. Located at 6th and 10th streets respectively, each site offers a variety of amusements for all ages. Gillian’s features the Giant Wheel, a 114 foot wheel offering panoramic views of the island and beyond. Playland turns things upside down, literally, on its loop rollercoaster, The Python. Both parks offer a half price sale on tickets during the December holidays and the Easter holiday. These sale tickets may be purchased in person or online. Ride tickets are also available all season long at ticket booths located in each park.

Gillian’s Island Waterpark, also located on the boardwalk, boasts wet rides from mild to wild. Two and three hour, as well as all day passes, are available.

Dining

From seafood to pizza to delivery to fine dining, options abound in Ocean City. Ocean City Restaurants provides alphabetical list of restaurants.

Where to Stay

Thousands of rental homes are available throughout the island. Most privately owned homes may be rented through a rental office and typically require a one week minimum stay. Inns, hotels and motels present many options in amenities and accommodations. Cruise the Ocean City Hospitality Association’s site for a list of these lodging choices.

No matter where you stay, what you do, or where you eat, Ocean City New Jersey is the place for families to have fun in the sun.


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