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Perfect day in O.C. for budget-conscious

Whether your ideal day at the beach is relaxing by the water or racing a jet ski across the bay, most vacationers have one thing in common – they want to stretch that dollar. Here's a list of can't-beat things to do at the beach, while on a budget.

Book smart. Reserve your hotel room through the Ocean City is Free website and receive vouchers for free meals, attractions and fun things to do. More than 80 hotels use this booking engine to help sell rooms and in exchange the site is able to offer great rates and free vacation extras. Go to OCisFree.com. And look for "Rodney Rates" offering special deals and discounts on hotels, dining and activities at ococean.com/rodney-saves/accommodations.

Hit the beach. After all that's why you're here. You don't even have to leave for lunch. Save on gas money by having it delivered to you. Call your favorite pizza or sub place first to see if they'll deliver to the beach, many will, including Fat Daddy's. (216 S. Baltimore Ave., 410-289-4040, fatdaddysocmd.com.) If you're staying in north Ocean City try Surfs Edge Deli with a menu packed with salads, pizza, dogs, burgers, subs and more. (100 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island, 302-537-5565, surfsedgedeli.com).

Go fly a kite. Really. It's fun and inexpensive. Head to the beach in the morning when it's less crowded. Basic kites start at about $25 at The Kite Loft, which has two locations. Go to kiteloft.com.

Cruise to dinner. Eat an early dinner at the Angler Restaurant and receive an almost-free dinner cruise. The 30- to 45-minute scenic cruise is only $2 per person with a minimum food purchase of $12 per person. This works for lunch or dinner and children are included if they order any selection on the children's menu (children under three are free). (312 Talbot St., 410-289-7424, theangleroc.com).

Watch a free movie on the beach. This year the Carousel and Princess Royal hotels join the Town of Ocean City in offering movies the way summer intended — on the beach under the stars. Movies start at dusk. (Town of Ocean City shows Monday and Friday, June 27-Aug.12 at the 27th Street beach, ococean.com; the Carousel Hotel shows on Wednesdays, June 15-Aug. 24, 118th Street, 410-524-1000, carouselhotel.com; and the Princess Royale shows on Thursdays, July 7-Aug. 25, 91st Street, 800-476-9253, princessroyale.com.)

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