Ocean City is a popular vacation destination on the eastern shore of Maryland, long beloved by families, teens, and convention guests. It is best known for its hotels, restaurants, scenic beach, amusement parks, and convention center, just like many other destinations. However, there are aspects of Ocean City that distinguish it from other ocean front areas, making it one of the most iconic, favorite, and recognizable beach destinations along the east coast.
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One of the most notable features of Ocean City is its Boardwalk. Having been called one of the best boardwalks in the country, the Boardwalk in Ocean City is famous for its beautiful view of the ocean, famous dives like Boardwalk Fries or Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard, sand sculpture, distinct beach gear shops, amusement park rides, and kite flying. Although it usually happens late in the beach-going season, the Kite Festival is not an event to miss. I have fond memories as a little kid dodging a giant puffer fish kite as it bounced around on the sand, and seeing the sky filled with dozens of other colorful, flying contraptions. The Kite Festival is not the only time you are able to see kites though; their unique shapes dot the sky throughout the entire summer and choice parts of the year.
Ocean City’s restaurants carry a large variety of international and local food. The most famous food of all is the Maryland blue crab which is most commonly served up steamed whole in its shell and dumped in piles on tables covered in brown paper for easy clean up. Eating steamed crab is messy and unusual business, and for an activity so seemingly disgusting, you would not believe how much fun it actually is to break open a crab and scoop out all of its guts.
Grab a mallet, grab a knife, and go at that little deliciously steamed crustacean, smothered in Old Bay, like you are a local pro. Make a big pile of all that white meat so the little bit that you get out of every crab looks like a lot, and be sure to set aside an additional than you normally would for eating dedicated to crab picking because this is a time consuming and meticulous process, but it is very much worth it in the end. If the guts and glory path is not right for you, there is plenty of other ways to enjoy Maryland crabs deliciously and appropriately. There is nothing like a Maryland crab and it deserves an essay on its own simply for being so important to the state’s culture. Once you have had the real deal, you will never want to buy that imitation “Maryland Crab” out of state ever again.
After stuffing your face with all that rich crab, you are probably never going to want to eat again, that is until you pass by one of the renowned Fractured Prune donut shops. The smell emanating of the building is what pulls you in, and if not, it is the reputation of the place itself. Speaking from personal experience of course, you have not had breakfast until you have left your condo at noon on a rainy day and walk 40 blocks just to get a dozen of these exotic and delectable hot cake donuts and an iced hot chocolate, the proceeded to lug the leftovers around with you through nine rounds of indoor miniature golf with your friends. This is the true breakfast of champions.
What I have covered here is only the tip of the ice berg, but a most enjoyable and recommended tip. The food in Ocean City is an unlimited source of what you will consider “perfect beach food.” After all, is there anything more fitting eat on such a wide expanse of clean, family friendly beach and beach front lodging? There is not, and frankly, there are only a few better ways to understand Maryland’s recreational culture than to experience the famed Ocean City itself.