Ocean City (New Jersey)

Ocean City is a city in Cape May County, in the Southern Shore region of New Jersey. It has a reputation for being a family-friendly city and is referred to as "America's Greatest Family Resort".

Ocean City, New Jersey is a world famous seashore community located in the heart of the Jersey Shore. At the northern tip of Cape May County, it is perfectly situated for a vacation; just 20 minutes from Atlantic City, 70 minutes from Philadelphia, and two hours from New York.

Our two and a half mile boardwalk is the central focus of Ocean City's attractions. It is lined up with shops and restaurants of every kind, movie theaters, amusement rides, miniature golf courses, and a water park like no other.

Since the late 1800’s, the population of Ocean City has grown rapidly. It remains a premier summer destination for all ages who enjoy the 8 miles of guarded beaches along the coast.

Ocean City beach at Surf Road

Get in

By plane

By bus or train

There are also buses and trains that will take you to Atlantic City, which is approximately 20 minutes away by car. The buses that run from China Town in Philadelphia take you to Atlantic City and from Atlantic City, the buses will then take you to your specific New Jersey Shore Location. There is an Ocean City Transportation Center located on 10th Street and Haven Avenue that drops off and picks up.

By car

Most visitors arrive by car via the Garden State Parkway southbound exits 30 or 25, or northbound exits 25 & 29 which can be reached from the New Jersey Turnpike exit 11 or the Atlantic City Expressway (US Route 42) exit 7s. There are bridges at 34th Street and 9th Street that provide access into town. You may see several orange signs which indicate that the 9th street bridge is closed, but I assure you it is always open, so feel free to take that exit. There is a third bridge on the northern end of the island as well which links it to Somers Point, Longport, Margate, Ventnor, and Atlantic City.

During the summer season, parking in Ocean City can be expensive. The general rule is the closer you are to the ocean and/or to 9th Street, the more expensive it is. Depending on where you park on the island, it can be as cheap as 50 cents or as expensive as 15 dollars. If you don't mind a small walk, you can find cheap parking at the OC bus station, which is close to the 9th Street bridge and next to the McDonalds. As of Sept 2007, it's 25 cents for 2 hours.

There are some spots around the city, for example on Wesley on the South side of 9th street, where there is free all day or night parking. This is usually used by year round residents to park, but if you get lucky you may find a spot only a few blocks from the boardwalk. Be careful though, many of these areas have time restrictions, such as a 2 hour limit between 9AM and 6PM. In front of the post office it's 15 mins, and they really do enforce that!

Get around

Either by car or bicycle. It is a very small city and most destinations can be reached reasonably by bike or on foot. If using your car, drive cautiously because there are tons of bicyclers and pedestrians at all hours of the day. Bike can be rented at various locations along the Board Walk as well as a few other locations on the island, such as the 34th Street Bike Shop at 34th Street and West Ave. Rental rates vary by location, with the spots closest to the Board Walk often being the most expensive. Rentals can be made by the hour or if desired, by the day.


Wonderland Pier on 6th St. and Boardwalk boasts a massive ferris wheel, which offers breathtaking views of the whole city and the ocean. If you like sunsets, rent a house on the bay for some of the best views you will find anywhere.

The town, where many historical sites and beautiful homes are around every corner.

The bay, where Ocean City offers every water sport imaginable, including water skiing, surfing and para sailing.

The many historical museums Ocean City offers that features all of Ocean City’s history and the adventures of the city’s past.


Beach Tags

Most shore towns in southern NJ require tags to be on the beaches during the regular season. The money goes toward lifeguard fees, lifeguard equipment, and also helps pay for beach replenishment. You'll see them in most shore towns except for Atlantic City and Wildwood (check and make sure!), which have their own ways of raising money. For Ocean City in 2009, tags cost...

  • 5$ / Day
  • 10$ / Week (new ones every Thursday)
  • 20$ / Seasonal. They can be bought at a discount if you buy them early enough.

If you're lucky enough to sneak past the beach taggers and get onto the beach, simply pretend to be asleep or go for a swim in the ocean to avoid them asking to see your tags on the beach!

During the day, the beach is your best option (weather permitting). You will need beach tags, which can be purchased upon entering the beach. Most house rentals will provide beach tags. In the mornings, the boardwalk is packed with bicycles and surreys, which can be rented from a variety of places including Ove's and Bob's. However, make sure you go early because after 12:00PM, bicycles are not permitted.

There is not much in the way of nightlife, being that it is a very family oriented town.

The boardwalk


There are many shops on the boardwalk offering a variety of goods. Some notable attractions include the 7th Street Surf Shop (which also offers surfing lessons), Cloud 9 (offering a huge variety of t-shirts), Air Circus (which sells all kinds of toys and gag gifts), and the Surf Mall (which sells anything you can think of from beach toys to palm readings).


There are many high quality food options including the world famous Mack N' Manco's Pizza, Prep's Pizza, Voltaco's (great Italian food), Sack O' Subs (good sandwiches and cheesesteaks), Express Pizza (great pizza), The Chatterbox, Ove's Beach Grill, Brown's (for outstanding donuts), Bagels by the Beach (best in town), Yesterday's (over the 34th street bridge, so it serves alcohol), Tory's (GREAT ice cream),the Island Grill, and many other restaurants. If you are in town and looking for somewhere great to eat, just ask.


Ocean City is a dry town, meaning alcohol cannot be sold there, but you need not look further than across the 9th Street Bridge in Somers Point where you will find the Circle Liquor Store, D'Orio's Bar, and several other establishments serving alcohol, including Charlie’s Bar and Gregory’s. These two bars offer a great atmosphere with the friendliest staff and customers.

It is also a short drive to Atlantic City, Sea Isle, and other shore points where alcohol is available.


There are a few hotels in town, but the majority of visitors rent houses or condos for periods of one week or weekends.

Go next

Being as most house rentals go from Saturday to Saturday, avoid the traffic by either staying until Sunday night or leaving very early in the morning.

Routes through Ocean City

Atlantic City Ventnor  N  S  Sea Isle City Cape May

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, February 02, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.