What's new in Ocean City for the 2018 beach season

For The Baltimore Sun

This summer should be an exciting one in Ocean City, with new places to stay, things to do and spots to eat and drink. Here’s a look at what’s new this year in Ocean City:

Dining

Dry 85, 12 48th St., 443-664-8989, dry85.com/ocean-city. Red Red Wine Bar, 12 48th St., 443-664-6801, redredwinebar.com/ocean-city. These popular Annapolis restaurants have opened Ocean City outposts on 48th Street, right across Coastal Highway from Seacrets. As in Naptown, the two restaurants share owners, but will have decidedly different vibes, with Dry 85 focusing on bourbon and Red Red Wine Bar embracing vino.

Marlin Moon, 3301 Atlantic Ave., 410-289-1234. doubletreeoceancity.com/marline-moon.htm. When the owners of Marlin Moon Grille decamped for Florida in 2009, both locals and tourists were dismayed. This summer, the former West Ocean City favorite is back, this time simply as Marlin Moon in the new Doubletree by Hilton on 33rd Street. Regulars from the original spot are likely to spot some of the bartenders and servers they remember from the old days.

Several existing spots are opening additional locations around the city.

Pablo’s Bowls, 12109 Coastal Highway, 410-390-3228, pablosbowls.com. The store known for its smoothies, juices and acai bowls has opened a location in north Ocean City.

Denny’s, 6104 Coastal Highway*, 410-723-5214, dennys.com. The chain diner has a new location opening in the former JR’s Ribs space.

Bayside Cantina, 14101 Coastal Highway, 410-250-1200, baysidecantina.com. Though it did not change ownership, Phillips Seafood House’s 141st Street location debuted a new concept in May — the Mexican restaurant Bayside Cantina.

Vacationers can also check out the OC Foodie Tour (ocfoodietour.com), new this summer. Run by local Sandy Gillis, a 3 ½ hour tour offers an insider’s look at both new and classic restaurants in different parts of town. Attendees will learn about Ocean City history and the culinary scene, while sampling food and drinks at five locally owned restaurants.

Accommodations

The Residence Inn Ocean City/Bayfront, 300 Seabay Lane, 410-723-2222, marriott.com/hotels/travel/sbyro-residence-inn-ocean-city. The new hotel is located near the Route 90 bridge and the Roland E. Powell Convention Center. Designed with extended stays in mind, the pet-friendly hotel’s 150 rooms are all suites.

Hyatt Place Ocean City/Oceanfront, 1 16th St., 410-213-5333, oceancityoceanfront.place.hyatt.com. The new location is on the site of the former Seascape Hotel on the Boardwalk. Each of the hotel’s 105 rooms has a private balcony and ocean view. Rooms also include a sofa that pulls out to a bed, in addition to the one or two beds in the space. With the hotel slated to open sometime after Memorial Day, management is taking reservations for July 15 and later.

Country Inn & Suites, 12303 Coastal Highway, 410-250-1900, countryinns.com/destinations. In addition to an indoor pool, fitness center and business center, the 74-room hotel, which opened in the spring, has a sitting room with a fireplace and library.

DoubleTree Hilton, 3301 Atlantic Ave., 410-289-1234, doubletreeoceancity.com. Formerly a Quality Inn, the new hotel has two outdoor, oceanfront pools — one with a pool bar on the first floor and a second rooftop pool on the fourth floor.

The Fairfield Inn, 2501 Philadelphia Ave., 410-289-5000, marriott.com/hotels/travel/sbyfi-fairfield-inn-and-suites-ocean-city. The hotel has amenities like a 24-hour fitness center and an indoor dipping pool with a sun deck.

Activities and nightlife

Art X, Aug. 25-26, 200 125st St., 410-524-9433, artleagueofoceancity.org. In late August, the town will partner with the Art League of Ocean City to host this new festival of art and music taking place at Northside Park.

The free festival will include two stages with performers, a craft beer garden and food vendors. Art X replaces Arts Alive, the annual juried art show organized by the Art League. Unlike the visual arts-focused Arts Alive, Art X will incorporate all types of art, from painting to music and performance.

Jolly Roger has new additions this year, both at the Amusement Pier, 401 S. Atlantic Ave., 410-289-3031, jollyrogerpieroc.com, and the 30th Street Park, 2901 Philadelphia Ave., 410-289-3477, jollyrogerpark.com.

At the pier, the new spinning ride Crazy Cabs is located on the ocean. The pier’s Ferris wheel has been refurbished, with re-galvanized gondolas and new LED lights.

At the 30th Street Park, two new kiddie slides have been added to Splash Mountain Water Park. In the main park, two acts have also been added to the circus, which performs twice per night during July and August. Park entry and attending the circus are free.

Patty Jeans Boutique, 6701 Coastal Highway, 443-664-8286, pattyjeans.com. A popular stop for shoppers in Berlin, the store opened an Ocean City location in early May. The 67th Street boutique sells clothing, home goods and skincare items with casual, beachy flair.

*Correction: The new Denny’s is located at 6104 Coastal Highway, not 13101 Coastal Highway. The Sun regrets the error.

MORE BEACH GUIDE 2018

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