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From Beach to Bay - Sleeping on the Sunny Side of Ocean City

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Most of Ocean City, Maryland, is laid out along a sun-kissed barrier island. Stay in any hotel, motel, or guest house on the sunrise side of the Coastal Highway and you'll find yourself a short, easy walk from the beach. In the bayside blocks, you'll see stunning sunsets from a balcony overlooking Isle of Wight Bay to the south, or Assawoman Bay north of the Route 90 bridge.

Ocean City Boardwalk


If you want to tumble out of bed and into the action, go for a hotel right on the boardwalk. The day starts soon after dawn as morning joggers and early rising sun-worshippers step out onto the planks. This wide section of adjoining beach becomes a kaleidoscope of towels and umbrellas long before noon, so get out early to claim your territory. This 2.5-mile parade of shops, arcades, restaurants, and bars stays lively all day and well into the night.


Development in this oldest section of Ocean City began in 1875, and many of the hotels today still wear picturesque historic facades. Family-owned hotels and charming independent boarding houses far outnumber the familiar chains along the boardwalk and in the blocks nearby.


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Midtown Ocean City


The stores, restaurants, and amusements are a little more spread out across Ocean City’s central strip, but you can usually find parking on side streets or in dedicated lots. It’s also possible to go car-free, as Ocean City bus services are frequent, convenient, and low-cost, making regular scheduled trips up and down Coastal Highway 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Midtown rooms tend to be pretty high-rise between 28th Street and 90th, where all the familiar national hotel chains appear. Motel-style properties along Coastal Highway give the area a casual feel, but you can also rent upscale private homes and condos on the bay side.


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North Ocean City


Urban professionals and vacation-home owners gravitate to North Ocean City, with its skyline of high-rise condos overlooking the water. Here you'll find resort-style amenities, and it's a short trip across the state line to the beach towns of neighbouring Delaware. Once you're settled at a waterfront property you need never venture out from under your beach umbrella. But if you do get a hankering to explore, many of the iconic boardwalk businesses have north-end branches too.


This area is in-demand for its spacious, airy condos with sweeping Atlantic views here. There are smaller hotels tucked away behind those properties and you can find plenty of rental homes with their own private piers around Assawoman Bay.


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West Ocean City


Many of Ocean City's full-time residents have houses or apartments in west-side communities like Ocean Gateway and Ocean Pines, and a lot of local properties are available for rent. The area is also home to several high-level golf courses, the Tanger Outlet Mall, and the Baja amusement park. So there's plenty to do in West Ocean City, even on days you don’t make it back across the Route 50 bridge to the beach.


Your West O.C. rental options range from sizeable vacation homes to compact, comfortable hotel rooms. There’s a decidedly more residential feel to this part of town, but a low-cost and convenient park ‘n’ ride system gives you easy access to the boardwalk and all of Ocean City’s attractions.


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