It was my first visit to the Atlantic Ocean.

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

It’s a long trip to visit any ocean from my Indiana home, but the Atlantic is far closer than the Pacific. And since we were most of the way to the Atlantic already on our Washington, DC, visit, we decided to spend one day at the beach.

Who knew Maryland is so wide: it took 2½ hours to drive to the beach at Ocean City! Fortunately it was an entirely pleasant drive, US 50 almost all the way.

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

The day was chilly and the wind barreled in off the ocean. Consequently, few people visited the beach with us. That was just fine with us.

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

The winds were strongest on the pier, from which I took this photo. It chilled the bones in a hurry. I didn’t stay up there for long, as I was wearing only a windbreaker over my pullover!

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

In Ocean City, to get to the beach, you have to cross the boardwalk.

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

End to end, it’s top-notch tourist-trap kitsch.

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

But since the season hadn’t begun, most of the stores and attractions were closed.

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

You could hardly get a bite to eat on the boardwalk this early-April day.

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

The boardwalk wasn’t devoid of people. These youngsters were having fun. The kid out front was pushing the cart backwards down the boardwalk.

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

We left the beach and boardwalk in search of lunch. After we ate we drove down the coast a bit to see a natural beach where we encountered some wild ponies. I’ll write more about that visit in a future post.


24 responses to “Walking the beach in Ocean City”

  1. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    Always FUN!

    You actually dodged a bullet, being pre-Memorial day! When I lived in DC, people used to rent cottages and houses by the beach, and have their friends drive and meet them. I can remember taking 4 or 5 hours some times, and stories of it taking over 6, from DC to Rehoboth beach! And yeah, Maryland is weirdly wide there, and also falt as a pancake. When you’re driving across it, it seems like it was just set on top of the ocean, and that if the water rises a foot, it’s going to fill in the whole area between the Atlantic and the Chesapeake!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I can imagine that US 50 gets choked with traffic in season. The older I get the less I like crowds. And highways crawling along at 20 or 30 mph.

  2. Dan James Avatar

    One of many advantages living on our little island is you’re never further than a couple of hours drive from a beach! Our nearest is less than 30 mins away, and whilst I personally prefer trees to the sea, I do visit regularly over the year.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Out here in the vast midwest, you come upon an occasional lake, but otherwise it’s land as far as the eye can see. In the part of it where I live, you can see a lot of that land, because it’s mighty flat here.

      1. Dan James Avatar

        You must notice a lot of difference in how far you can see, depending on how clear a day it is (or isn’t)?

        1. Andy Umbo Avatar
          Andy Umbo

          I had a buddy that started his career in Peoria Illinois (farmland much like Indiana). He had an apartment in a 70’s style building that looked like a motor inn, with doors right to a walkway on the outside, way on the rural edge of town. Right across the street were cornfields as far as the eye could see. He used to set up a Polaroid SX 70 on a tripod in the doorway, as storms moved in, and be photographing thunderheads way off in the distance with lightening flashing to the ground, while the foreground within a few miles of him was still sun-lit. It was striking…

        2. Jim Grey Avatar

          Living in the city and now the suburbs, there are lots of buildings in the way. In my old house, which was a single story, I used to get up on the roof to clean out the gutters. I could see for miles up there. My current house is two stories and there aren’t any mature trees, so I can’t imagine getting up there to scout the view. But my back yard offers a mostly unencumbered view and the sunsets are pretty spectacular.

  3. Bill Bussell Avatar
    Bill Bussell

    I would like to visit to see the commercial side, but I think the church venue is close by. It contains a pipe organ that is based on the original Robert Hope-Jones design. He was the father of the Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ. The church camp here is somewhat related to The Chataqua Institution in Chataqua New York. My brother works at Chataqua each summer as a registered piano technician.

  4. The Trailhead Avatar

    Did you go to Chincoteague, then? I’ve had my eye on it for awhile; looking forward to your post!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Just down to Assateague as it was closest by. Chincoteague would have meant a longer drive, down into Virginia. Assateague is a good wild beach. We did see some of the wild ponies calmly grazing. It was easily our best day of the trip.

      1. The Trailhead Avatar

        I’d love to see both. Glad you had a great day.

  5. Bill Bussell Avatar
    Bill Bussell

    My apology for mixing up Ocean Grove NJ with Maryland. My coffee had not taken affect. 😎

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      No worries my man! I’ve had four cups and I’m still not fully in the game so I feel you.

  6. bodegabayf2 Avatar

    Love the first shot! After spending time on this chilly beach, you’d feel right at home on mine. :-)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I shared that one first hoping you’d see it, because I was trying to channel your style as I shot that fellow in the surf.

      1. bodegabayf2 Avatar

        You did! When you’re ready to brave the wind and cold of a NorCal beach, let me know! It’s nearly Summer and you know what they say…”The coldest winter I’ve ever spent was a Summer in San Francisco.”

  7. DougD Avatar

    That looks cold and windy. My first visit to the Atlantic was in 1972, Sheet Harbour NS.

    I was 5 and remember it well, because Mom told me not to climb on the slippery rocks. I did anyway and fell into the ocean. There’s a great Kodachrome slide of me sitting on Dad’s lap wrapped in his jacket after they fished me out. :)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar


  8. Marcus Avatar

    Thank you for the tour! It looks like a lovely place, especially with so few people. I always visit places on weekdays to avoid the huge crowds here in Korea. I like the Ripley’s shark through the building. I remember the show with Jack Palance from long ago. Believe it . . . or not.
    Did you bring a film camera with you?

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      The older I get the less I like crowds. I left my film gear at home this trip. I traveled light with my Canon S95 in my pocket. It’s such a good camera.

  9. M.B. Henry Avatar

    Love the shark! :)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Isn’t he hilarious?

  10. Photography Journal Blog Avatar

    I love these photos which is funny because I do not like Ocean City Maryland. Even as a kid, it was too touristy and in the summer, packed. Plus in the summer it would take forever to get there. Also, it is interesting just how wide Maryland is, it’s a bit unexpected.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      You’re the second to comment how long it can take to get to the ocean in Maryland “in season.” Now I’m doubly glad we went off season!

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