Ocean City, Md., is only four hours south of Midtown Manhattan by car. But it probably seemed much further until Hurricane Sandy altered many an Atlantic beach holiday plan and made water-lovers look beyond the Jersey Shore. Or maybe it was Ocean City’s “Rodney the Lifeguard” TV commercials, with tanned, toned Rodney rescuing people from boredom, that really helped raise awareness of this beach town.
Either way, conversations with local bartenders, tram operators and other tourist-business types, plus careful inspection of license plates, lead us to conclude that this 10-mile stretch of coastline is more popular than ever with New Yorkers.
It’s easy to see why. The wide, nearly rock-less beaches are clean and free (open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.). There are designated surf areas (two locations, varies daily), and surf-casting is allowed as long as you’re 50 feet from anyone. That’s not happening midday at the bustling south end of the city, home to the boardwalk, the 489-foot pier and most of the action. For space, try the considerably chiller northern half.
That said, you did not just drive past the state of New Jersey to entirely avoid the boardwalk area. Sure, there are moments of fluorescent hot pants and temporary tattoos, screaming fast boat rides and gull-squawking tram horns, but it’s totally part of the fun. Check out ococean.com for outdoor movies, concerts, and other events.
There’s something for everyone — just bring sunscreen!
Read complete story on NYPost.com: The Other OC: Maryland’s coastal playground is a surfer/turfer’s delight