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First Outing: Ocean City

Updated: May 18

On the first day Maryland relaxed its COVID-related restrictions we found ourselves in Ocean City. It’s a three-hour drive from DC, but that’s how badly we wanted to get out and make the most of the first warm weekend. Beach and seafood!


Now, I hate Ocean City with a passion right up until the moment I sit down on the wide sandy beach with a fish taco and beer in hand. The aesthetic of the seaside, and especially its ultra popular boardwalk, is not all that different from other commercial beach towns, actually.


Ocean City May 2020

I’m not sure I know what bothers me about seeing a woman with a giant hair bow drinking margaritas from a bucket. That’s the same thing, minus the hair bow, I did during my beach vacation in Thailand a few years ago.


The shopping isn’t very tempting either, although everything is reasonably priced. In one store everything was under five bucks, including their bestselling t-shirt saying “I’m not gay, but $20 is $20.” Although their tattoos cost more, presumably.


In Ocean City, large fake eyelashes are very popular, as are funnel cake and Hooters. So it’s fitting, somehow, that in the midst of the mayhem a young preacher holds a sermon, warning the busy crowd against the wrath of God.


I guess my problem is that everything is happening at once. People really let it all out in OC. They precariously ride bicycles while holding large beer cups, others take the mufflers off their neon colored sports cars. It’s a lot.

The next day we spent far away from the boardwalk bonanza, driving to a quiet beach five miles north and stopping just short of entering the state of Delaware, which has not relaxed its restrictions as far as I know.


RECOMMENDATIONS


Things I want to remember for next time, and would recommend others, are: for accommodation, go for a beachfront property and book a room with a sea view. There are lots of hotels on the beach, as well as smaller inns, so it’s not hard to find. That said, this time around we stayed at a family resort called Francis Scott Key Resort. We had a kitchenette and the property had all the space in the world for kids to run around. There was also a playground, mini golf, and two huge pirate ships. And perhaps most importantly—although temporarily closed due to the pandemic—two of the coolest kid pools I’ve seen around here.


In terms of restaurants I’d say seafood all the way! Despite the omnipresence of fastfood chains you can get the fresh catch of the day in lots of restaurants and beach shacks. And there’s a surprisingly good restaurant (slash awesome liquor store) called Liquid Assets we got take-out from. We ordered Kung pow calamari, tuna crisps, homemade pasta, and Brussels sprouts—all delicious!