Ocean City New Jersey - Vacation Rental Guide

Ocean City

Ocean City, New Jersey - "America's Greatest Family Resort"

Ocean City, New Jersey vacation rental listings – there’s one with your name on it! Ready to relax on a sun soaked beach, shop ‘til you drop, or conquer a Jet Ski?  You can do as much or as little as desired in this award winning New Jersey Shore town.  For generations families, couples, and friends have relaxed on the 8 mile stretch of expansive beaches, fished and skied its bay, and played on the award winning 2.5 mile boardwalk lined with amusements, shops and favorite foods. The ends of the island are peaceful and natural, with a thriving town center that features an additional 100 specialty shops, restaurants, cafes, bakeries, spas, gyms, crafting and sport activities. Ocean City, NJ vacation rentals are available throughout the island in neighborhoods with distinct personalities – one is bound to match yours!

“America’s Greatest Family Resort”

With roots as a church camp and retreat, the wholesome and family friendly atmosphere of Ocean City persists today. Ocean City is know as “America’s Greatest Family Resort” and was named one of the top 16 East Coast Beaches to Visit by US News and World Report, and one of Coastal Living magazine’s All Star American Beach Towns. The Ocean City boardwalk boasts its own collection of 1st place awards.

Ocean City has a rich history, beginning as a whaling outpost in the 1700’s, and developing
into a church camp and resort in the late 1800’s. The original life saving station at 4th street has been fully restored and opened for tours, nestled amidst many of the original Victorian homes of the city founders. In December of 1901, the Sindia, a 329 foot, four-masted cargo sailing ship, ran aground in stormy waters off the 16th and 17th Street beaches. Parts of the masts and rudder were still visible to beach goers well into the 1970’s before being fully claimed by the sea and sand. Stories of mysterious buried treasure and the shipwreck circumstances still swirl today!

Ocean City, NJ is a barrier island off the Jersey Shore, about an hour from Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware. Ocean City is shaped like a curving tadpole, the wider head of the island lies to the north with 8 miles of Atlantic Ocean front beach stretching into a narrow tail to the south. The opposite side of the island is hugged by the expansive Great Egg Harbor Bay, a boating and water sport paradise. Four bridges located in the Gardens, 9th Street, 34th Street, and at 59 th Street provide easy access to and from the mainland, the Garden State Parkway, and to neighboring shore towns. Full service restaurants and liquor stores are just over the bridges at 34 th Street and 9 th Street. You can also find Familiar big box stores are located in Somer’s Point, just over the 9 th Street bridge in Somer’s Point.

Beaches are the jewels of the island. Starting with the wide beaches and quiet bird sanctuary in the Gardens to the convenience and bustle of the Boardwalk area, through the expanse and serenity of the South End beaches, you’ll find the perfect beach for you. No more room in your car? Umbrellas and beach chairs may be rented on many beaches, and wide-wheeled wheel chairs are provided by the City at many designated beaches to increase
the accessibility by all to sand and surf. Call 609-525-9304 for more information and to request one of these Surf Chairs. Yearning for your childhood? Kids still listen for the ring of the ice cream man that pedals from beach access to beach access. The Ocean City Beach Patrol (OCBP) guards every beach along the downtown Boardwalk area, and every 2nd or 3rd beach elsewhere. Visitors are encouraged to read all posted signs and swim only at guarded beaches for the safest and most enjoyable visit. Want to try your hand (or feet!) at surfing? Three beaches are designated as surfing only, and lessons are available at 7th and Boardwalk. Other beaches offer surf fishing, sailing and beach volleyball. Know that alcohol and dogs are prohibited on Ocean City, NJ beaches and Beach Tags are required for anyone over the age of 12. Beach Tags have become somewhat of a collector’s item, doubling as a souvenir, and may be bought for the day, week, or season in the Welcome Center, City Hall, Music Pier and Boardwalk beach tag booths, or by staff on the beach. Be sure to check the Ocean City, NJ Chamber of Commerce app, website, or publications for an up to date list of guarded and designated beaches as they vary some by season and year to year.

Boardwalk Activities abound in Ocean City. Start your days with a stroll, jog or bike ride on the 2.5 mile wooden Boardwalk with sweeping ocean views on one side, and an impressive line up of amusements, food delights and gift shops along the other. Bike and Surrey rides are permitted until noon in season, with plenty of bike rental spots just off the Boardwalk.Two amusement parks, Gillian’s Wonderland at 6 th Street and Playland’s Castaway Cove at 10 th , anchor the Boardwalk fun with rides to please tots and teens alike. You’ll find favorites such as flying Dumbos, Teacups, Carousels, Ferris Wheels, Tilt A Whirls, Water Flumes and Roller Coasters, and just about everything in between. The Ocean City Water Park with lazy river and water slides lies in between at 8 th St. But wait, there’s more! Arcades and mini-golf are plentiful, along with Go-Karts, Escape Rooms and Virtual Reality attractions. Feeling super brave? Take in a different view of the beach as you fly over the ocean like a sea gull with a Parasail adventure! When jogging or biking the entire length of the Boardwalk, don’t forget to tag the handrails at each end to celebrate your exercise feat. We’re not sure why, it’s just a decades old tradition to hold on to.

Municipal Activities include a twelve hole golf course at 18 th and Bay Avenue, and turf tennis courts, basketball courts, shuffle board and running track near the Ocean City High School at 6 th and Boardwalk. Additional hard and turf tennis courts are located at 17 th and 34 th Street, respectively. A Community Center with indoor salt water pool and exercise equipment is located at 17 th and Simpson Avenue. City parks and playgrounds are scattered throughout the island including a Skate Park at 5 th Street and a permanent street hockey rink at 52 nd Street.

Dining Boardwalk options range from seated family dining to grabbing a slice (of pizza). Favorite Boardwalk treats of the young, and young of heart are everywhere - ice cream, funnel cakes and French fries, along with newer offerings like Açaí bowls, poke bowls and the like. Be sure to take home some Shriver’s salt water taffy, fudge or candy; along with a big bucket of Johnson’s fresh caramel corn. The coconut macaroons found at George’s Candy are so delicious they should be outlawed! Try the chocolate dipped for some extra delight. Most Boardwalk dining is found between 6 th and 14 th streets, however visits to Ove’s and Brown’s at the lower end are well worth the extra stroll. You should definitely reward your morning jog or bike ride with one of their fresh apple cider donuts, then join in the debate as to which serves up the best!

Dining Downtown options are too plentiful to name, and are clustered primarily on or around Asbury Avenue from 6 th Street to 14 th Street, the length of 9 th Street and length of 34 th Street. Keep your eyes open though, you will find gems scattered throughout the island. Most offer indoor, seated dining and some have sought after sidewalk tables. You’ll find Italian, Greek, Asian, All-American and Seafood restaurants, along with pizza and hoagie shops. Bakeries, breakfast cafes and coffee shops seem to tempt you at every turn. You can eat out or dine in as many favorites either specialize in, or offer complete take-out meals.

Entertainment options are numerous on the Boardwalk and throughout the city. Stop by the Music Pier Box Office at 8 th and Boardwalk for tickets to hear the OC Pops or other well known artists in the summer concert series line-up. Local theater groups offer imaginative plays, workshops and camps for children and adults. Free entertainment includes Wacky Wednesdays on Asbury Ave with face painting, music and more, and you can stroll or dance along the Boardwalk with some Mummer’s on Tuesday evening’s. Quirky competitions such as sand castle building, hermit crab races and the baby parade are sponsored throughout the summer. Check the Ocean City calendar of events for your next big medal opportunity!

Shopping in Ocean City, NJ is a sport! The Boardwalk is home to not only souvenir items and clothes, but fine jewelry, eclectic gifts, resort wear and casual beach threads. Many of these shops also have locations on Asbury Avenue. On Asbury you’ll find more specialty gift and food shops, clothing boutiques, home furnishing stores and reclaimed treasures, along with local artist and craft galleries. Searching for fresh corn, tomatoes and baked goods? The Ocean City Farmer’s Market sets up on the Tabernacle Green each Wednesday in season featuring farm fresh produce, specialty foods, and quality crafts and apparel.

Necessities are not a problem! Two full service ACME grocery stores are located at 8 th and West and 34 th and Bay, with smaller deli, produce and seafood markets scattered up and down the island. CVS and Walgreen’s pharmacies are on the island along with many convenience stores selling souvenirs, suntan lotion, sundries, beach chairs etc. An AtlantiCare Urgent clinic is located in town at 2 nd and West, with more options for Medical Care, including Shore Memorial Hospital is just a short drive over 9 th Street bridge to Somer’s Point.

Bayfront life is a whole other exciting world. Need a rental home for your boat? Boat slip rentals and water activities can be arranged at marinas located just over the 34 th Street bridge, 9 th Street bridge, or on the island between 2 nd and 3 rd Streets and Bay Avenue. Rental options include pontoon boats, sailboats, wave runners, jet skis, kayaks and SUP boards. For those that just want to get wet, the Totally Tubular Aqua Park and Fish Charters on 3 rd and Bay sports a floating, inflatable obstacle course. Looking for more? Parasail and Pirate Cruises adventures depart from these docks as well. Fisherman can reserve private charters or sign up for one of the larger party boats to snag a dinner of weakfish, bluefish or whatever else the captain finds!

Dogs on leash are permitted on Ocean City, NJ beaches from October 1 to April 30. During the summer season, dog owners can take their fur babies to Malibu Beach, just a short drive over the Longport Bridge at the north end of the island. You’ll find an active and friendly beach with gentler bay waves for your dog to swim and play on or off leash. There are two parking lots and plenty of sandy space for their humans to set up beach chairs and umbrellas too! Don’t forget an extra ball or two and waste bags to keep the sand clean.

Year-round fun in Ocean City, NJ! Ocean City enjoys a lively off-season, and for many it is the prime time to be at the shore. The peak summer season is always opened and closed with massive block parties the first weekend in May and Columbus Day weekend in October. Block party weekends feature over 400 craft booths, bands and food vendors along Asbury Avenue and merchant sidewalk sales on the Boardwalk and Asbury. Plan to experience these extravaganzas complete with fireworks over the waves at least once, or annually! Apart from the block parties, September and October are fabulous months at the shore, crowds have thinned and the water has warmed all summer long in preparation for your fall visit. The fall season is also host to annual Corvette and Hot Rod show, Boardwalk Air shows and the MS City to Shore bike ride to name a few. Come November, early bird holiday shopping swings into full gear through the end of the year. Traditional holiday spirit is evident and memorable as the downtown area is decorated with garlands and bows with a continuous backdrop of carols. Free Dickens-like horse drawn carriage rides carry shoppers up and down Asbury and Santa show up each weekend for breakfast with all of those on his “nice” list.

First Night in Ocean City, NJ kicks off the new year with an impressive New Year’s Eve line up of family friendly entertainment. Festivities include magic and puppet shows, concerts, plays, recreation and more at venues throughout the City all strung together by free shuttle service. The Music Pier always features a headliner act from yesteryear… Be one of the first swimmers of the year by joining in the Polar Bear Plunge fun on New Year’s Day!

Spring activities in Ocean City, NJ are non-stop. Unique shows and events draw like- minded crowds to enjoy all that Ocean City has to offer less the beach-going crowds. Popular Girl’s Weekends, 5K’s, Easter Egg Hunts and Parades, Comic Book Conferences and you guessed it, more Air and Auto Shows. More quirkiness too, with Ocean City’s very own Doo Dah Parade and Mr. Mature Contest! Take a break from city life, you’re bound to find a reason to smile with an off-season road trip to the Jersey Shore.

Vacation Rentals in Ocean City, NJ range from studio apartments, single floor condos, duplexes, triplexes and single family homes, and old Victorians. Choose between luxurious beachfront estates to simple family gathering spot and everything in between. Each section of Ocean City, NJ has a unique personality, with ample vacation rental options. Learn more about Ocean City, NJ rental listings in the Gardens, North End, Boardwalk/Central, Gold Coast and South End to find the perfect rental listing to match your vacation style.

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