Ocean City

New Jersey

Quick Facts

Place Type


Administrative Entity

Cape May County

Time Zone


Area Codes



May 3, 1884


1.0 meters


27964101.0 square kilometers

FIPS 55-3 Code




US National Archive Codes


Coordinates Latitude: 39.2776156 Longitude: -74.5746001

Demographics & Economic Data

Median Age
Number Of Companies
Percent High School Grad Or Higher
Total Housing Units
Median Household Income
Foreign Born Population
Percent Below Poverty Level



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. The 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 1800s, 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.


Before Ocean City was established, local Native Americans set up camps on the island for fishing in the summer months. In 1633, Dutch navigator David Pietersz. de Vries referred to "flat sand beaches with low hills between Cape May and Egg Harbor", possibly the earliest reference to the island that became Ocean City. In 1695, Thomas Budd surveyed the land on behalf of the West Jersey Society. Around 1700, John Peck used the island as a base of operation for storing freshly hunted whales, and subsequently the land became known as Peck's Beach. The first record of a house on Peck's Beach was in 1752. During the 18th century, cattle grazers brought cows to the island, where plentiful trees, weeds, brush, and seagrass provided suitable condition. Parker Miller was the first permanent resident of Peck's Beach in 1859.Originally purchased by the Somers family, the island was formerly named Peck's Beach, believed to have been given the name for a whaler named John Peck. In 1700, whaler John Peck began using the barrier island as a storage place for freshly caught whales. The island was also used as cattle-grazing area, and mainlanders would boat over for a picnic or to hunt. On September 10, 1879, four Methodist ministers – Ezra B. Lake, James Lake, S. Wesley Lake, and William Burrell – chose the island as a suitable spot to establish a Christian retreat and camp meeting on the order of Ocean Grove. They met under a tall cedar tree, which stands today in the lobby of the Ocean City Tabernacle. Having chosen the name "Ocean City", the founders incorporated the Ocean City Association, and laid out street and lots for cottages, hotel, and businesses. The Ocean City Tabernacle was built between Wesley and Asbury Avenues and between 5th and 6th Streets. Camp meetings were held by the following summer and continue uninterrupted to this day.In 1881, the first school on the island opened. The first bridge to the island was built in 1883, and the West Jersey Railroad opened in 1884. Based on a referendum on April 30, 1884, the borough of Ocean City was formed from portions of Upper Township, following an act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 3, 1884.The ship Sindia joined other shipwrecks on the beach on December 15, 1901, on its way to New York City from Kobe, Japan, but has since sunk below the sand. A salvage attempt to retrieve treasures believed to have been on the ship was most recently launched in the 1970s, all of which have been unsuccessful. In 1920, the Chamber of Commerce adopted the slogan "America's Greatest Family Resort". A large fire in 1927 caused $1.5 million in damage and led the city to move the boardwalk closer to the ocean, which resulted in the greater potential for damage from saltwater.

Alcohol prohibition

As a result of its religious origins, the sale or public drinking of alcoholic beverages in Ocean City was prohibited. In 1881, the Ocean City Association passed a set of blue laws – laws designed to enforce religious standards. The town banned the manufacturing or sale of alcohol in 1909. Promoting water instead of drinking alcohol, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union donated a public fountain, dedicated on Memorial Day in 1915. Despite the prohibition of alcohol within the municipality, illegal saloons operated within Ocean City, and in 1929, prosecutors raided 27 speakeasies. In 1951, the town banned the consumption of alcohol on the beach, and banned all public alcohol consumption in 1958. During the campaign for a 1986 referendum to repeal the blue laws, ads in the local paper suggested that the repeal could be next. In May 2012, 68.8% of voters rejected a ballot initiative for BYOB – bring your own bottle. As of 2016, Ocean City was one of 32 dry towns in New Jersey. Despite the prohibition in the city, 18.3% of adults in Ocean City metropolitan statistical area (which includes all of Cape May County) drink alcohol heavily or binge drink, the highest percentage of any metro area in the state; USA Today listed Ocean City as the state's most drunken city on its 2017 list of "The drunkest city in every state".


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 10.797 square miles (27.964 km2), including 6.333 square miles (16.402 km2) of land and 4.464 square miles (11.562 km2) of water (41.35%). The island is about 8 miles (13 km) in length.Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the city include Peck Beach.Ocean City is situated on a barrier island bordered by the Strathmere section of Upper Township to the south, the Marmora section of Upper Township to the west, and Somers Point and Egg Harbor Township across the Great Egg Harbor Bay to the north. The eastern side of Ocean City borders the Atlantic Ocean.
Since 1951, the beach has been replenished more than 40 times, potentially the most of any beach in the country. This is due to erosion caused by storms, and in an extreme instance of erosion, a $5 million replenishment project in 1982 had largely disappeared within two and a half months. During the 1960s and 1970s, the city owned its own dredge, but ceased replenishment projects when it could not secure permits for dredging the lagoons. Since 1992, the United States Army Corps of Engineers has handled responsibility for beach nourishment projects, periodically adding 1.1 million cubic yards (841,000 cubic meters), roughly every three years, using the shoal area about 5,000 ft (1,525 m) offshore the Great Egg Harbor Inlet. The project and funding was authorized in the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, and the most recent replenishment was completed in December 2017. After Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the Army Corps completed the city's largest beach replenishment since 1993, adding 1.8 million yd3 (1.4 million m3) of sand to replenish the eroded beaches.


During the summer months, frequent episodes of high humidity occur. Occasionally, heat index values exceed 95 °F (35 °C). During most summer afternoons, a sea breeze dominates the coastline keeping high temperatures several degrees cooler compared to areas farther inland. During most nights, relatively mild ocean waters keep the coastline several degrees warmer than areas farther inland. On average, July is the annual peak for thunderstorm activity. During the winter months, wind chill values occasionally fall below 0 °F (-18 °C). On average, the snowiest month of the year is February which corresponds with the annual peak for nor'easter activity.
Former Hurricane Sandy struck 12 mi (19 km) north of the city on October 29, 2012, causing severe storm surge flooding and 70 mph (110 km/h) wind gusts. The Bayside Center recorded a high tide of 9.31 ft (2.84 m) during Sandy, surpassing the previous tidal record set in 1944. The storm caused major to severe damage to 29% of the houses in Ocean City, incurring a financial loss of $15.5 million to the tax base.


The city utilizes 39% of its land area – 1,716 acres (694 ha) – for parks and recreation purposes. This includes about 1,300 acres (530 ha) of protected dunes and wetlands. There are several parks within the confines of Ocean City, including ten playgrounds scattered across the island. There are also a volleyball court, a shuffleboard court, a hockey rink, four baseball fields, four soccer fields, eight basketball courts, and 24 tennis courts.Across from the Ocean City Airport is the Howard Stainton Wildlife Refuge, a 16 acres (6.5 ha) area of wetlands established in 1997. There are no trails, but there is a viewing platform accessible from Bay Avenue. Adjacent to the airport is the Ocean City Municipal Golf Course, a 12–hole course run by the city and open to the public.At the southern end of the island is Corson's Inlet State Park, which was established in 1969 to preserve one of the last undeveloped tracts of land along the oceanfront. The park is accessible by Ocean Drive (Cape May County Route 619), which bisects the park.


2010 Census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 11,701 people, 5,890 households, and 3,086.360 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,847.7 per square mile (713.4/km2). There were 20,871 housing units at an average density of 3,295.7 per square mile (1,272.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.05% (10,771) White, 3.50% (410) Black or African American, 0.13% (15) Native American, 0.71% (83) Asian, 0.03% (3) Pacific Islander, 1.91% (224) from other races, and 1.67% (195) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.50% (643) of the population.There were 5,890 households out of which 14.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.6% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.6% were non-families. 42.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 21.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.98 and the average family size was 2.68.In the city, the population was spread out with 14.4% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 16.7% from 25 to 44, 32.9% from 45 to 64, and 29.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 53.6 years. For every 100 females there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 86.4 males.The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $55,202 (with a margin of error of +/- $6,710) and the median family income was $79,196 (+/- $11,239). Males had a median income of $48,475 (+/- $5,919) versus $41,154 (+/- $12,032) for females. The per capita income for the city was $40,864 (+/- $3,899). About 5.1% of families and 6.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.3% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.

2000 Census

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 15,378 people, 7,464 households, and 4,008 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,222.8 people per square mile (858.0/km2). There were 20,298 housing units at an average density of 2,934.0 per square mile (1,132.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.57% White, 4.31% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.52% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.99% of the population.There were 7,464 households out of which 16.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.9% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.3% were non-families. 40.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.02 and the average family size was 2.71.In the city, the population was spread out with 16.4% under age 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 28.3% from 45 to 64, and 25.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.4 males. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 82.8 men.The median income for a household in the city was $44,158, and the median income for a family was $61,731. Males had a median income of $42,224 versus $31,282 for females. The per capita income for the city was $33,217. About 4.3% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.0% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.



First approved in 1976, beach tags are a major source of revenue for the city, with the $4.1 million in revenue generated in the 2016 season the most of any municipality in the state. In the 2017 budget, the projected $4.1 million in fees for beach tag and $3 million for parking were two of the city's biggest revenue sources, accounting for almost 9% of the city's annual budget of almost $80 million.From early June through Labor Day, Ocean City requires individuals age 12 and up to purchase a beach tag to access its beaches. For the 2018 season (from June 2, 2018 through September 3, 2018), a one-day pass cost $5, a weekly pass was $10, and a seasonal pass for the full summer season will be $25. Beach tag revenue is used by the city to cover the costs of maintaining and cleaning the beaches, as well as providing lifeguards.


Adjacent to the beach is a 2.45-mile (3.94 km) long boardwalk that which runs north from 23rd Street to St. James Place. The boardwalk was first built in 1880 from the Second Street wharf to Fourth Street and West Avenue. In 1885, plans to extend the boardwalk along the entire beach were made as the city's first amusement house, a pavilion on the beach at 11th street called "The Excursion" opened. A second amusement park, the "I.G. Adams pavilion", at Ninth Street and the boardwalk, opened soon after but was destroyed by fire in 1893. Following a second catastrophic fire in 1927, the boardwalk and its businesses were rebuilt 300 feet (91 m) closer to the ocean on concrete pilings, with parking created for cars in the space where the buildings and boardwalk once stood. The Ocean City Music Pier partially opened one year later, with work completed in time for the 1929 season.In 2007 controversy emerged about the city's proposed use of ipê, a type of wood, to re-deck parts of the boardwalk. Environmental activists protested against the city's use of the wood, but the plan went ahead. In Fall 2013, the city began a $10 million project to rebuild the 85 year old boardwalk from 5th to 12th Streets. This replaced the concrete substructure from 1928 with wooden supports and pine decking, and included the removal of 12,000 yd3 of sand. Originally intended to be a seven-year project, the work finished two years ahead of schedule in March 2018.


In 1965, the Wonderland Amusement Park opened on the boardwalk at 6th Street, which is now known as Gillian’s Wonderland Pier. Runaway Train, a steel twister, is the only major coaster that operates there. Playland's Castaway Cove, is located on the boardwalk at 10th Street. Two major roller coasters operated there, which were the Python, a looping coaster, and the Flitzer, a wild mouse coaster. A new major shuttle coaster at Castaway Cove, Storm, was planned to be finished in summer 2013. The two older coasters (Python and Flitzer) were removed and for the 2016 summer season, a new ride called "GaleForce" was being built, which is a high thrill roller coaster with three linear synchronous motor launches reaching speeds of 64 miles per hour (103 km/h) and a 125-foot (38 m) beyond vertical drop. "GaleForce" officially opened to the public on May 26, 2017. The new "Wild Waves" ride is a family-oriented coaster, with a height of 50 feet (15 m), that wraps around the GaleForce coaster. The new "Whirlwind" ride is a figure eight kiddie coaster with spinning cars.There is also a water park located on the boardwalk called "OC Waterpark", open during the summer months.Today, there are bike and surrey rentals available along many boardwalk cross streets, but bikes and surreys can only be ridden on the boardwalk before noon during the summer. Attractions along the boardwalk include two family amusement parks with rides and games, an arcade, the Music Pier, a water park and various themed miniature golf courses. The Ocean City boardwalk has a wide variety of dining options, from sit-down restaurants to funnel cake.


Media publications in Ocean City include its two newspapers, The Ocean City Sentinel and The Gazette. Ocean City also has a seasonal publication, The Ocean City Sure Guide, and a lifestyle magazine known as Ocean City Magazine.


Ocean City Nor'easters of the USL Premier Development League play at Carey Stadium.


Local government

The City of Ocean City was incorporated on March 25, 1897. Since July 1, 1978, the city has operated within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the mayor–council system of municipal government. The mayor, the chief executive of the community, is chosen at-large for a four-year term at the municipal election in May and serves part-time for a yearly salary. The mayor neither presides over, nor has a vote on the council. The mayor has veto power over ordinances, but any veto can be overridden by a vote of two-thirds of the Council. The City council is the legislative body and has seven members. Four members represent individual wards and three are elected at-large. Each council person serves a staggered four-year term. The three at-large seat and the mayoral seat are up for election together, followed by the four ward seats which are voted upon two years later.As of 2018, the mayor of Ocean City is Jay A. Gillian, whose term of office ends June 30, 2022. Members of the city council are Council President Peter Madden (2018; At Large), Council Vice President Anthony P. Wilson (2016; Third Ward), Robert S. "Bobby" Barr (2020; Fourth Ward), Karen A. Bergman (2018; At Large, elected to serve an unexpired term), Michael DeVlieger (2020; First Ward), Keith Hartzell (2018; At Large) and Antwan L. McClellan (2020; Second Ward).In September 2015, Councilman Michael Allegretto resigned from his seat expiring in December 2018 to take a position as the city's Director of Community Services. As the council could not reach agreement on a successor in the month following the resignation, the position will remain vacant until a successor is chosen in the May 2016 municipal election to serve the balance of the term of office. In May 2016, Karen A. Bergman was elected to serve the balance of the vacant term.

Federal, state and county representation

Ocean City is located in the 2nd Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 1st state legislative district.For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Second Congressional District is represented by Jeff Van Drew (D, Dennis Township). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 1st Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Jeff Van Drew (D, Dennis Township) and in the General Assembly by Bob Andrzejczak (D, Middle Township) and R. Bruce Land (D, Vineland). The Governor of New Jersey is Phil Murphy (D, Middletown Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Sheila Oliver (D, East Orange).Cape May County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of five members, elected at-large in partisan elections to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with one or two seats coming up for election each year; At an annual reorganization held each January, the freeholders select one member to serve as Director and another to serve as Vice-Director. As of 2018, Cape May County's Freeholders are
Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton (Republican Party, Cape May Court House in Middle Township; term as freeholder expires December 31, 2019, term as freeholder director ends 2018),
Freeholder Vice-Director Leonard C. Desiderio (R, Sea Isle City; term as freeholder and as freeholder vice-director ends 2018),
E. Marie Hayes (R, Ocean City; 2019),
Will Morey (R, Wildwood Crest; 2020) and
Jeffrey L. Pierson (R. Upper Township; 2020). The county's constitutional officers are
County Clerk Rita Marie Fulginiti (R, 2020, Ocean City),
Sheriff Robert Nolan (R, 2020, Lower Township) and
Surrogate Dean Marcolongo (R, 2022, Upper Township).


As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 8,810 registered voters in Ocean City, of which 1,747 (19.8%) were registered as Democrats, 3,776 (42.9%) were registered as Republicans and 3,282 (37.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 5 voters registered to other parties.In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 58.1% of the vote (3,841 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 41.1% (2,721 votes), and other candidates with 0.8% (54 votes), among the 6,658 ballots cast by the city's 9,272 registered voters (42 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 71.8%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 56.0% of the vote (3,949 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama, who received 42.2% (2,982 votes), with 7,058 ballots cast among the city's 8,683 registered voters, for a turnout of 81.3%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 59.0% of the vote (4,431 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry, who received 39.2% (2,945 votes), with 7,516 ballots cast among the city's 10,310 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 72.9.In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 75.7% of the vote (3,436 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 22.9% (1,038 votes), and other candidates with 1.4% (62 votes), among the 4,638 ballots cast by the city's 8,926 registered voters (102 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 52.0%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 58.2% of the vote (2,894 ballots cast), ahead of both Democrat Jon Corzine with 34.3% (1,707 votes) and Independent Chris Daggett with 6.1% (306 votes), with 4,976 ballots cast among the city's 9,008 registered voters, yielding a 55.2% turnout.


The Ocean City School District serves public school students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its three schools had an enrollment of 1,390 students and 190.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 7.3:1. Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are
Ocean City Primary School (K-3; 384 students),
Ocean City Intermediate School (4-8; 507 students) and
Ocean City High School (9-12; 1,262 students).Students from Corbin City, Longport, Sea Isle City and Upper Township attend Ocean City High School for ninth through twelfth grades as part of sending/receiving relationships with their respective school districts.St. Augustine Regional School, a coeducational Catholic school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, was closed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden in June 2008.


As of May 2010, the city had a total of 126.07 miles (202.89 km) of roadways, of which 114.85 miles (184.83 km) were maintained by the municipality, 9.31 miles (14.98 km) by Cape May County and 1.91 miles (3.07 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. Ocean City has bridge connections to the Marmora section of Upper Township by the 34th Street (Roosevelt Boulevard) Bridge, Egg Harbor Township by the Ocean City-Longport Bridge, Somers Point by the 9th Street Bridge (Route 52), and the Strathmere section of Upper Township by the Corson's Inlet Bridge.
In 1883, the first drawbridge to the island opened at 34th Street, linking Ocean City with the rest of Cape May County. Financed by the Ocean City Association, the toll road was narrow, frequently under water, and built of shells, gravel, sand, and cedar poles; it was widened in 1909, replaced in 1914, and again replaced in 1964. The newer bridge at 34th street was refurbished in 2018. In 1914, a bridge connecting the island with Somers Point opened across the Great Egg Harbor Bay, which was replaced in 1932 and again in 2012. A road bridge connecting Ocean City and Strathmere opened in 1918, which was replaced in 1946 after being purchased by the county and made a part of Ocean Drive. The Ocean City Automobile Club built a bridge in the northern end of the island in 1928, connecting the island with Egg Harbor Township; the bridge was replaced in 2002.NJ Transit provides bus service from the Ocean City Transportation Center to Atlantic City on the 507 and 509 routes. The agency also provides seasonal service from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan to Cape May via Ocean City and other coastal towns. The Great American Trolley Company operates trolley service in Ocean City during the summer months, with a route providing daily service on evenings from points between 59th Street and Battersea Road to the boardwalk.Adjacent to the marshes of the Great Egg Harbor Bay is Ocean City Airport, officially known as Clarke Field. The airport was built in 1935 on what was previously a landfill, funded by the Works Progress Administration. The airport is still open to the public, operating at an annual loss of $150,000 for the city as of 2016.Parking in the downtown and beach areas of Ocean City is regulated by on-street parking meters, metered parking lots, manned parking lots, and permit parking lots. Parking meters and fees for parking lots are in effect between early May and early October. In addition to public parking, there are also several private parking lots in Ocean City.In 2009, the Ocean City metropolitan statistical area (MSA) ranked as the sixth highest in the United States for percentage of commuters who walked to work (8.4 percent).

Former transportation lines

In 1880, one year after Ocean City was established as a Christian resort, regular steamboat service from Somers Point began. In 1883, the Lake Brothers opened a streetcar line. In 1884, the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad extended its rail line from Sea Isle to the Ocean City Transportation Center. The line was replaced by buses in 1932. From 1906 to 1981, the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines operated rail service from Tuckahoe to Ocean City; service stopped when the Crook Horn bridge became damaged in 1981, and was eventually removed in 1992. After that time, rail tracks in Ocean City were removed from 9th to 34th streets. From 1907 to 1946, the Atlantic City and Shore Railroad operated a line from Atlantic City to Ocean City, until the bridge across the Great Egg Harbor Bay burned.

Notable people

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Ocean City include:

Marla Adams (born 1938), television actress, best known for her roles on The Secret Storm and The Young and the Restless.
David Akers (born 1974), NFL kicker, owns a house on the beach at the south end of the island.
A. R. Ammons (1926–2001), author and poet, winner of the National Book Award.
Keith Andes (1920-2005), film, radio, musical theatre, stage and television actor.
Andy Boswell (1873-1936), Major League Baseball pitcher for the Washington Senators and New York Giants, who became an attorney and served in the New Jersey General Assembly.
Benjamin Burnley (born 1978), musician, singer, songwriter and record producer, best known as the founder and frontman of the rock band Breaking Benjamin.
Maurice Catarcio (1929–2005), former professional wrestler with the World Wrestling Federation and record holder in The Guinness Book of World Records.
Pat Croce (born 1954), former owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, owns a summer home in the Gardens section of the city.
Walter Diemer (1904–1998), inventor of bubble gum, owned a summer home at 21st Street and Wesley Avenue.
Josiah E. DuBois Jr. (1913–1983), Treasury Department official who played a major role in exposing State Department obstruction of efforts to provide American visa to Jews trying to escape Nazi Europe, summered in the home his father built, the DuBois estate, on Battersea Road in the Gardens. Despite efforts to preserve the home, it was demolished in May 2011 to make for subdivision of the property.
Stephen Dunn (born 1939), poet.
Frank J. Esposito (born 1941), historian who was named by independent candidate Christopher Daggett as his ticket's candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey in 2009.
Preston Foster (born 1900), stage, film, radio, and television actor, whose career spanned four decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s.
Stephanie Gaitley (born 1960), head women's basketball coach at Fordham University.
Andrew Golota (born 1968), boxer.
Anne Heche (born 1969), actress, star of films such as Volcano and Psycho; moved to Ocean City at age 12
Daniel J. Hilferty (born c. 1957), President and CEO of Independence Blue Cross.
William J. Hughes (born 1932), member of U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 to 1995, representing New Jersey's 2nd congressional district.
Grace Kelly (1929–1982), Academy Award-winning actress, and Princess of Monaco, was a summer resident of Ocean City at a house located at the intersection of 26th street and Wesley Avenue.
Kurt Loder (born 1945), former editor of Rolling Stone magazine and anchor for MTV News.
Michael Lombardi (born 1959), pro football executive, former General Manager of the Cleveland Browns.
Catherine McCabe, former Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency who was chosen by governorPhil Murphy to serve as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Ed Rendell (born 1944), former Governor of Pennsylvania.
George Savitsky (1924-2012), offensive tackle who played in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Thomas J. Shusted (1926-2004), attorney and politician who served in the New Jersey General Assembly on two separate occasions, representing Legislative District 3D from 1970 to 1972 and the 6th Legislative District from 1978 to 1991.
James Stewart (1908–1997), actor, spent summers at his family's vacation home during his childhood.
Gay Talese (born 1932), author, grew up in the "Italian" section of the city and vacations there with his wife.
Walter Trout (born 1951), blues musician.

Historic places

The Flanders Hotel
Ocean City 34th Street Station (demolished)
Ocean City City Hall
Ocean City Life-Saving Station
Ocean City Residential Historic District
Ocean City Tenth Street Station


Get in

By plane

Atlantic City International Airport (ACY IATA) is the nearest large airport.
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL IATA) is about 65 miles away. It is significantly larger than the Atlantic City airport and has more flights.
Ocean City Municipal Airport (FAA:26N) is a small, regional airport with no scheduled commercial flights. Private planes park within walking distance of beach access, outdoor showers, restaurant, and golf course. Parking Fee applies.

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 (New Jersey Route 42) exit 7S There are bridges at 34th Street and 9th Street that provide access into town. 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.

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.

By car

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. Parking meters and parking fees for municipal lots in Ocean City are in effect from early May to early October.
The rate for on-street parking meters vary from 25 cents per hour in the downtown area along Asbury Avenue to $1.50 per hour near the beach and boardwalk. Time limits for metered parking vary from 1 hour to 8 hours depending on the spot. Payment at parking meters in Ocean City can be made with coins, credit card, or the Parkmobile app.
There are several municipal parking lots in Ocean City that serve the downtown, beach, and boardwalk areas. Municipal parking lots are either regulated by parking meters, staffed by an attendant, regulated by permits, or in some cases may be free. Manned municipal parking lots include the Alpha Lot at 9th Street and Boardwalk south, the Beta Lot at 9th Street and Boardwalk north, the Delta Lot at Moorlyn Terrace and Boardwalk, the Baker Lot at 8th Street and Boardwalk south, the Echo Lot at 8th Street and Boardwalk north, and the Foxtrot Lot at 5th Street and Boardwalk. Permit municipal parking lots include the Charlie Lot on Atlantic Avenue between 9th Street and Moorlyn Terrace. Manned/metered municipal parking lots include the Golf Lot on Atlantic Avenue across from Ocean City High School. Metered municipal parking lots are located at the Longport Bridge, 7th Street and Central Avenue, 8th Street and Central Avenue behind City Hall, 9th Street and Asbury Avenue behind Mark Soifer Park, the Alpha A Lot at 9th Street and Boardwalk, 12th Street and Asbury Avenue, 14th Street and Ocean Avenue, and 59th Street at the ocean. Free municipal parking lots are located at 5th Street and West Avenue near the firehouse and at the Ocean City Transportation Center at 9th Street and Haven Avenue. The rates for municipal parking lots vary but are never higher than $20 per day. Metered permits are valid at the parking lots at 7th Street and Central Avenue, the Ocean City Transportation Center, and 12th Street and Asbury Avenue and cost $150 for the season. Permit parking costs $1,100 at the Alpha A Lot and $800 at the Charlie Lot. Payment at municipal parking lots can be made with cash or credit card.
There are several private parking lots in Ocean City including Beach and Boardwalk Parking at 1327 Ocean Avenue, Park America Inc. of NJ at 1101 Ocean Avenue and 1111 Ocean Avenue, Jilly's Parking at 1168 Boardwalk, S&T Amusements Inc. at 1020 Boardwalk, Tahiti Inn Public Parking at 1115 Ocean Avenue, Waterpark Parking at 840 Plymouth Place, and Beachside Parking at 3336 Wesley Avenue.
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.


Gillian's 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.

Discovery Seashell Museum, 2721 Asbury Avenue, ☎ +1 609 398-2316.


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.

Take a ride down Bay Avenue and you will find jet ski and kayak rentals in addition to charter fishing boats, parasailing, and even speed boat rides.
Another fun family activity is to rent a bike or surrey for a few hours! Ocean City offers a ton of bike rental companies that all offer different rates, so make sure you compare them to get the best! During the summer,you can ride bikes and surreys on the boardwalk from 5AM to 12PM. The boardwalk accommodates all of the activities by having designated lanes for runners, walkers, surreys and bicycles. Both are a fun activity that take place on the boardwalk in the middle of all the fun! The staff are very accommodating and are always there for your service!
The 9th Street Music Pier is host to many concerts and other events.
For those of you who are interested in Ecotourism, Ocean City is a perfect destination of choice. It has beautiful nature, scenery and wildlife on a perfect little island. Many Ecotourism activities are available in Ocean City including: Atlantic Flyaway, a bird watching facility with a view of shore birds, wading birds, and water animals like whales, dolphins and seals. Also, along the beaches there are areas that are barricaded for more protected species such as piper plovers, black skimmers and northern diamondback terrapins. Along with all of the animal sites, there are several locations in Ocean City that are great for Ecotourism! These areas include: Corson's Inlet State Park, Howard Stainton Wildlife Refuge, Cape May Coastal Wetlands Wildlife Area, and the open waters of Peck Bay and Great Egg Harbor. For tourists who are "green", there is hiking trails, bike trails, boating, photography and sun bathing available for everyone.
Boardwalk - The Boardwalk is the most popular attraction, where there is something for people of all ages to do. Activities include theme parks, a water park, shopping, mini-golf, and a variety of dining options. Join walkers, joggers and bike riders who flock to the boardwalk during the early morning hours for their daily exercise in the fresh ocean air. If you are not a morning person, you can also shop til you drop mid afternoon to nighttime. The boardwalk isn't just for summer anymore...experience a wide variety of yearlong special events. There are parades, car shows, seafood festival, art festivals, and the Miss New Jersey Pageant. The boardwalk closes at 11:00PM. On a typical night, all is quiet by about midnight. There are 2 movie theaters on the boardwalk as well as several arcades.
Mini Golf-one of the greatest family oriented activities in the summer. There are many well-known facilities such as Castaway Cove, Gillian's Island, and Congo Falls, all located on the Boardwalk. The great thing about Congo Falls is that there are 3 different courses you can choose from and one is underground! On a rainy day/night, this is the perfect place to golf while staying dry.
Farmers Market – the freshest of local produce, flowers and specialty items. Tabernacle grounds between 5th & 6th Streets, every Wednesday, throughout the summer months.
Evenings on Asbury Avenue – offering a fun-filled night of music, dancing, shopping, prizes and art. Between 6th & 11th Streets, Wednesday from 6-9PM, throughout the summer months.
Funtastic Tuesdays – Every Tuesday from 10AM-1PM, throughout the summer months.
Family Film Night
Market Days – offering free pony rides, face painters, magic, puppet shows and live music to entertain the old and young. Thursdays from 10AM–1PM, throughout the summer months.
Hospitality Night – each December kicks off the holiday shopping season
Downtown - Consists of over 100 mostly family-owned businesses feature both merchandise and ambiance unlike anything you will find in other malls. Shop for everything from hardware to fine furnishings; apparel, jewelry, books, and music. There are also antique shops, florists and art galleries.
Inn to Inn tours - Weekly Inn to Inn Tours that commence at 7th Street and Central Avenue on Thursdays. Beginning at 2:00PM, an old-fashioned trolley winds its way through center city neighborhoods for an intimate visit to four or five bed and breakfasts. Afternoon refreshments are offered at the conclusion of the tours.
Friends of Ocean City’s Historical Museum, 17th and Simpson Avenue. Summer hours: 10AM-4PM. Hours change during the winter months. The Museum offers rooms that display Ocean City’s early history with a wide range of artifacts from past years.
The Bayside Center, +1 609-525-9244. is a 1910 vintage home with a 1.9 acre of land and the perfect spot to watch a sunset. Open everyday during the summer, the house has an education center, a lifesaving museum, a display of classic ship models and an all around relaxed atmosphere. It offers a picnic tables area, a pavilion for shade, docks for short-term docking, restrooms, and a butterfly garden round out the outdoors amenities. This relaxing, hide-a-way is a great spot for children as well as adults. The Bayside Center also offers a summer camp for children as well.
Ghost Tours of Ocean City is a candlelight tour where "fun in the sun" turns into "FEAR IN THE DARK". This guided walking tour takes you through the historic town at night, telling you the many mysteries, folklore, and ghosts that haunt Ocean City. This tour is for all ages and is great if you are into historical facts about the town and mythological tales. Tours generally run from June to October and different times throughout the seasons. For ticket information call (+1 609-814-0199).
If you're interested in all the shells you find along the water on Ocean City’s beaches, take a Beachwalk! This is a guided tour that give you knowledge about the sand and water and offer a different perspective of Ocean City’s beaches. Beachwalks are given in July and August on Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30AM and on Wednesday at 6:PM. The walks start at the south end on Central Avenue, where Corson's Inlet State Park begins. This is a great activity to do with young children, not to mention how inexpensive it is! The cost is $1.00 for adults and $.50 for children. The tours last for about an hour.
Glazed Over is a great place to go with family and friends! This artistic hideaway is a great place to come if you want to make your own pottery and mosaics. All you have to do is pay for the ceramic or mosaic piece you would like to use and the painting time is free! This place is kid friendly and hosts private parties and events by reservation.
If the weather isn’t up to par look no further on a rainy day, one can visit the Ocean City Music Pier (Boardwalk and Moorlyn), Seashell Museum (2721 Asbury Avenue), Congo Falls golf course, Glazed Over and of course downtown and boardwalk shopping (between 6th and 14th streets on Asbury)!
1 Blackbeard's Cave. - located in Bayville


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).

Colette, 900 Asbury Avenue (Located downtown on the main corner of 9th Street and Asbury Avenue), ☎ +1 609 525-0911. Monday-Friday 11am-6pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am-5pm. A small, fashion forward boutique. Offers casual and special occasion dresses, as well as shirts, jeans, shoes and accessories.
Surf Mall, 1154 Boardwalk (Located at 11th Street on the boardwalk), ☎ +1 609 398-1533. The Surf Mall offers a variety of stores ranging from clothing to collectibles such as posters and jewelry. It also offers 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.

Bashful Banana Bakery and Cafe. Offers a healthier option for food or desert. This quaint cafe located at 946 Boardwalk has banana whips, which are frozen bananas turned into a frozen 100% fruit dessert. They also have a full menu of vegan, vegetarian and meat options for lunch or dinner, like sandwiches and wraps.
Casa Del Dolce By The Sea, 947-49 Asbury Avenue, ☎ +1 609-398-9300. Casa Del Dolce is an Italian restaurant with a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. This restaurant specializes in homemade pasta, sauces and pastries. Take-out is also an option.
Chatterbox Restaurant, 500 9th St (on the corner of Central Avenue and 9th St), ☎ +1 609 399-0113. This big pink restaurant goes by the logo Where the town meets, and rightfully so. It is very family oriented and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner all year round. You can order your standard American breakfast and lunch foods until 5PM, when a wide variety of dinner entrees become available. The menu offers everything from burgers to pasta, seafoods, and steak.
Hobby Horse Ice Cream Parlor. Offers over 50 different flavors of ice cream or you can create your own. The staff is very friendly and even with a wait, the line moves very fast. There is a big seating area and the decors of the store are very cozy and amusing for children.
Jilly's French Fry Factory, 1034 Boardwalk (between 10-11th Street on the Boardwalk), ☎ +1 609-385-1234. 9-midnight in the summer. 10-8 in the fall. Weather pending in the winter.. Fresh cut french fries, funnel cakes, fresh-squeezed lemonade, "peanut butter and Jilly" sandwiches, fried oreos, fried Snickers, fried peanut butter cups, & fried cookie dough.
Johnny B Goode Ice Cream Parlor, 1363 Asbury Ave (Located on the corner of 14th and Asbury), ☎ +1 609-525-0646. Fall hours: Friday 6pm-10pm, Saturday 2pm-10pm, Sunday 2pm-9pm. Johnny B Goode is a 50s themed ice cream parlor with plenty of family entertainment. Provides live karaoke, dancing and magic shows three times per week (seasonally). Serves Breyer's ice cream paired with cones or waffles.
Laura's Fudge Shop, 11th and Boardwalk, 34th & West, 9th & Asbury, ☎ +1 399-0616. Laura's Fudge Shop has three family owned locations in Ocean City. They feature award winning fudge and hand made chocolates. They also have a new downtown year round location at 9th and Asbury.
Luigis Italian Restaurant, 300 9th st, ☎ +1 609-399-4937. Family owned and operated since 1958 by the Esposito Family. Kid friendly with a friendly staff.
Ma France Creperie, or "Little French Cafe" is located at 506 9th Street in Ocean City. This small restaurant or cafe offers anything from sweet to savory crepes at their very best.
Mack N' Manco's, 12th and Boardwalk, (609) 398-0720. Ocean City's most popular pizza parlor. New York style: the slices are large and you watch them make it right in front of you. Certainly expensive, but worth the price.
Periwinkles Restaurant, 822 Ninth Street, ☎ +1 609-814-9500. Periwinkles Restaurant is a very casual, family oriented spot to dine. Offers an extensive kid's menu and early bird specials, as well as patio dining.
Planet Ice, 1348 Boardwalk (South end of Boardwalk). Planet Ice offers over 50 different flavors of "Real" Shave Ice, Thick Shakes, Frozen Slush Drinks and Smoothies. They make on site Italian water ice, some of the coldest ice cream on the planet, mini melts (served at -40 degrees), old-fashion rootbeer floats, and classic sundaes.
The Promenade Food Court, 744-48 Boardwalk (Located on the boardwalk), ☎ +1 609-398-0300. The Promenade Food Court is an International food court which offers anything ranging from pizza to tacos.
Rojo's Tacos, 601 Ocean Ave, ☎ +1 609-391-0970. Rojo's is a great off the boardwalk eatery. Entree prices are under $10, and that is for a large plate full of fine Mexican food. The menu is extensive, able to please even the most picky diner. Service is fast and atmosphere is authentic. Closed on Sunday.
Uncle Bill's Pancake House, 2112 Asbury Avenue, ☎ +1 609-398-7393. Serves breakfast and lunch from 7:00am to 2:00pm daily.. As one of eight family owned restaurants at the Jersey Shore, Uncle Bill's Pancake House has been viewed as a family tradition for over 46 years. The food is always fresh, and the service is nothing to complain about. If you're looking for anything from an omelette to pancakes, Uncle Bill's Pancake House is probably where you'll want to go.


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

Atlantis Inn Bed and Breakfast, 601 Atlantic Ave, ☎ +1 609 399-9871. Offers a European feel for a romantic getaway.
Flanders Hotel, 719 E 11th Street, ☎ +1 609 399-1000. A luxury hotel located on the boardwalk.
Port-O-Call Hotel, 1510 Boardwalk (Located at 15th Street on the boardwalk), toll-free: +1-800-334-4546. Check-in: 3pm, check-out: 11am. This pink, beachfront hotel provides its guests with seasonally decorated rooms and a sundeck/pool. Varies from $115 to $430 per night depending on the month..

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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.


Online Resources

Official Website