About three hours drive from Washington, D.C., right across the Bay Bridge and past the Eastern Shore, you’ll find Ocean City, Maryland, a beautiful stretch of beach on an Atlantic Ocean barrier island. The northern tip of the island is in Delaware; Ocean City starts at the state line and extends to the southern tip, mostly stretched along one long road lined with hotels, motels, and vacation rentals. At its widest, the island is about five blocks across, meaning that no matter where you stay–even if it’s all the way across the island on the bay rather than the ocean–you’re only a short walk from the beach.
Aside from sun and sand, Ocean City offers a wide range of fun activities. There’s a three-mile boardwalk packed with rides, arcades, mini golf—and pizza, crabcakes, popcorn, and taffy. Family-style restaurants and steakhouses abound, and if you like a night out, Ocean City’s bars and nightclubs keep things hopping. Beachside, take advantage of free bonfire story nights, concerts, and movies, and on rainy days, check out the area’s serious outlet shopping.
Ocean City, MD
Driving directions: Take Exit 19A off the Beltway to U.S. 50 east, and then stay on 50 all the way to Ocean City.