Things to See
Art League of Ocean City,
502 94th St., (410) 524-9433,
. Avoid the beach crowds or bad weather with a few hours eyeing some local art indoors; check out the calendar for special events, exhibits, and workshops.
Jolly Roger Amusement Park,
2901 Coastal Highway, (410) 289-3477,
. Sick of salt and sand? Catch some waves chlorinated-style, or stay dry altogether on the roller coasters and other amusements, plus the usual food and stuff for kids to buy.
K-Coast Surf Sessions,
35th Street, Ocean City, (410) 524-8500,
, $100 for first lesson, 40 percent off any following lessons. Just think how much power you’ll hold over those body surfers and boogie boarders when the waters get crowded, as they inevitably will.
Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum,
813 S. Atlantic Ave. at southern end of the boardwalk, (410) 289-4991,
. Sure, you can learn about the history of life-savers and all that, but what we’re really curious about is the “mermaid collection.” OC’s best-kept secret?
Planet Maze and Lasertron,
3305 Coastal Highway, (410) 524-4386,
. Let your kids get lost in a play maze or laser-shoot each other up while you beat the spouse/significant other/babysitter in mini-golf. The beach will be there when you get back.
Ripley's Believe It or Not,
401 S. Atlantic Ave., (410) 289-5600,
, $12.99, ages 6-12 $7.99, ages 5 and under free. All of the oddity and grotesquery you could ever want, housed in that building with the shark stuck in it. Its newest attraction: Ripley’s Impossible LaseRace, in which you’ve gotta duck and jump secret-agent-style without touching the beams. Sign us up.
Trimper's Rides of Ocean City,
Boardwalk and S. 1st St., (410) 289-8617,
. Down at the southernmost tip of OC’s boardwalk lies the heart of the summer experience: a permanent carnival with such classics as bumper cars, cotton candy, games and prizes, and a ferris wheel, all lit up in the night. Ah, summer.
Stuff to Do
Spring Arts and Crafts Show,
May 28, 10
May 29, Convention Center, 4001 Coastal Highway, (410) 213-0735,
, free. Prep for your barbecue by spending a day or two of Memorial Day weekend perusing the stands of jewelry, wood crafts, garden accessories, and other stuffage, plus handmade chocolates and fudge, yes, please.
Council of Baltimore Ravens Roosts Parade,
June 4, 19th Street and Baltimore Avenue to 28th Street, (410) 544-8200, free. Football meets parade in this annual showing of players, cheerleaders, mascots, floats, and the Pep Band of Baltimore’s Marching Ravens. Don’t forget your purple.
Ride Across Maryland,
June 4-6, Ocean City, (410) 992-9999,
. Bikers unite to raise awareness about and money for Komen for a Cure’s Maryland affiliate.
Ocean City Restaurant Week,
June 5-19 excluding Fridays and Saturdays, Ocean City, (410) 289-6733,
, $20 two-course meal, $30 three-course meal. Yes, Domino’s Pizza is on the restaurant list, but take our advice and don’t pass up the bubblegum-pink, um, decor at Bayside Skillet. Oh, the crepes.
OC Surfrider Longboard Team Challenge,
June 10-12, 37th Street, beachside,
. A weekend of surf ’n’ sun fun, kicked off with a Friday night OC Legends Party and wrapped up with a Sunday morning Expression Soul Sesson. You’re sure to enjoy the party even if you’ve never stepped foot on a board.
OC Car and Truck Show,
June 11, 10
June 12, Convention Center, 4001 Coastal Highway, (302) 436-0183,
. The 10th anniversary of the car-showiest of car shows, featuring women and cars and things that go vroom and all that.
OC Air Show,
noon June 11-12,
, free to view from beach. Catch the F-22 Raptor, the AV-8B Harrier, and other impressive jet demonstrations while strolling the beach. Tickets available for special events as well, including parties and happy hours, a display village, and breakfasts with the performers.
Ocean City Shark Tournament,
June 16-18, Ocean City Fishing Center, 12940 Inlet Isle Lane, (410) 213-1121,
, free for spectators. A fishing tournament for the big guns: These guys are going after sharks. Hang out for the weigh-ins to see who brings in the biggest of the big.
June 18-19, Northside Park Complex, 125th Street, bayside, (800) 626-2326,
, free. “What could be better than fine art at the beach? How about fine art for sale around a beautiful lagoon in a picturesque park with expansive bay views.” Touche, OC events people.
Movies on the Beach,
Mondays and Fridays June 27-Aug. 12 excluding July 4, beach at 27th Street, (800) 626-2326,
, free. A chance to catch a movie on your vacation without waiting for it to rain lest you feel guilty for staying inside? We’re game.
Family Beach Olympics,
Tuesdays June 28-Aug. 9, beach at 27th Street, (800) 626-2326,
, free. Cram a family into a rented house for a week and you’re bound to get some pent-up sibling—parent, aunt, cousin, etc.—rivalry. Enter Family Beach Olympics: your weekly dose of family-friendly tension relief.
Concerts on the Beach,
Wednesdays in July and August excluding July 27, North Division Street beachfront, (410) 250-0125,
, free. Start your night off with music and dancing right on the beach. Acts include a Jimmy Buffet tribute, a “Reagan Years” ’80s variety night, and an homage to Buddy Holly.
Captain Craig Swim,
July 9, 14th Street on the beach, (410) 289-7556. A mile-long swimming race for the hardy, or there’s the Ginny Craig half-mile race for the small/weary/lazy among us. Oh, and, T-shirt!
Sundaes in the Park,
Sundays July 10-Aug. 28, 125th Street, bayside, (800) 626-2326,
. A family concert series featuring kid-friendly music acts—a Rod Stewart tribute?—and all the make-your-own-sundae fixins you could want.
OC Tuna Tournament,
July 15-16, 4-7
July 17, 12940 Inlet Isle Lane, (410) 213-1121,
. No, tuna isn’t just that stuff on your sandwich mixed with mayo and celery. It’s a big ol’ fish, and someone’s gotta catch ‘em, and this is your chance to see ’em pre-can.
Starpower National Talent Competition,
July 18-22, Convention Center, 4001 Coastal Highway,
. A dance-based talent competition that promises entertainment a-plenty to last the weekend. Just try not to sing along.
Jesus at the Beach Music and Ministry Festival,
at the Convention Center and 7-10
on the beach, July 25-27, Convention Center and North Division Street on the beach, (410) 289-1296,
. Praise and worship by day, music on the beach at night, plus a baptism by the sea planned for Wednesday afternoon. Amen and such.
July 29-30, noon-9
July 31, 40th Street and the bay, (410) 524-0990,
. We’re sure Greece is beautiful in July—anytime, really—but for much less hassle, you can at least get the gist of it at this festival with Greek food and things to see and buy.
White Marlin Open,
Aug. 8-12, Harbour Island, 14th Street and the bar, (410) 289-9229.
, free for spectators. Watch fishermen weigh in their catches, which are sure to be big and worthy of various my-sister’s-head-in-a-fish’s mouth photo ops.
Assateague Island National Seashore,
7206 National Seashore Lane, Berlin, (410) 641-1441,
. “Beach” now mostly means “boardwalk,” and all of the junk that comes with one, and that’s fine, but at Assateague you can experience what a “beach” originally was, and still really is: waves, salt, sand, marshes, trees, camping, boating, nature. Explore on your own or join a ranger-guided program.
Deep Creek Lake,
898 State Park Road, Swanton, (301) 387-5563,
. For those seeking a quieter waterside experience, Deep Creek Lake offers plenty of trails for hiking and fresh water for swimming, fishing, and boating, plus all the fun stuff that goes with that: Tubing, anyone?
Dewey, Del., deweybeach.com. As far as we can tell, the beaches go like this: annoying high schoolers at Ocean City, families with little kids at Rehoboth, and, nestled right in the middle, twenty- and thirtysomethings at Dewey. There’s still the beach, and a bay for watersports, but there’s also a summery nightlife vibe that can’t really be beat on our little section of the coast.
Elk Neck State Park,
4395 Turkey Point Road, North East, (410) 287-5333,
. Some of us Marylanders often forget what a jewel we have in the Chesapeake Bay. Remind yourself, and teach your kids, how lucky we are to live on/near this important body of water with a weekend at Elk Neck, where you can visit a lighthouse, relax on a sandy beach, and simply take in the sights and smells of one of Maryland’s most precious bits of nature.
Hart-Miller Island State Park,
2813 Jerusalem Road, Kingsville, (410) 592-2897,
. If you’re lucky enough to have a boat, you can spend the weekend at this island in the Chesapeake Bay fishing, camping, swimming, and generally getting your relax on. If you’re not so lucky, make friends with someone who does, quick: This place is accessible by private boat only.
North Point State Park,
8700 North Point Road, Edgemere, (410) 477-0757,
. This 1,000-plus-acre park houses a historic War of 1812 trail, a closed-down amusement park being reclaimed by nature, and outdoorsy activities such as birding, paddle boats, and trails for hiking and biking.
Oregon Ridge Beach,
Oregon Ridge Park, (410) 887-3780,
, $2-$8. Enjoy the perks of a natural swimming hole without worrying what’s in the water. This former iron ore quarry is filled with spring-fed water and staffed with lifeguard, and with a bath house, concession stand, picnic tables, grills, a playground, and a volleyball court, you’re not exactly roughing it.
Rehoboth Beach, Del.
. Ah Rehoboth, a wholesome spot we’ve been frequenting since we were wee kids. The beach is a beach, and the boardwalk boasts restaurants, shopping, an amusement park with one of those swinging pirate ships, multiple Candy Kitchens, and Delaware’s finest Grotto Pizza.
Rocky Point Beach,
2200 Rocky Point Road, (410) 887-3873,
. A perfect home for all of your water and nonwater needs: swimming, fishing, boating, picnicking, volleyballing, sailing, playgrounding, and a bath house to clean up when you’re through.
Sandy Point State Park,
1100 E. College Parkway, Annapolis, (410) 974-2149,
, Maryland residents $5, non-Maryland residents $6. This place is fun on any summer day—partake in the usual swimming, picnicking, boating, etc.—but it’s also host to fun times through the summer, including the Bay Swim, the Chesapeake Bay Lighthouse Challenge, and a few live music events.
30451 Bailey Lane, Princes Anne, (800) 521-9189,
. We can tell you a bunch of reasons to check this place out—crabbing, a museum, friendly locals, the fact that it’s named after the actual John Smith—or you could take their word for it: “If you have never made this visit, you need to.” Good enough for us.