Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ocean City, Maryland

Last week we decided to get away for a few days and took a trip down to Maryland.  The plan was to spend Tuesday and Wednesday night in Ocean City, then make a stop in St. Michaels on Thursday afternoon on the way up to Annapolis where we would spend Thursday night.

We’ve never been to Ocean City, Maryland so we didn’t know exactly what to expect.  Our first impression driving down the Coastal Highway was how long Ocean City is – from 146th Street all the way down to 1st Street.  We were also surprised by the large number of very tall high-rise condo buildings through the middle of town.

Since we’ve been going to the New Jersey shore all of our lives – mostly Ocean City and Wildwood – it’s natural for us to compare Ocean City with those resorts.  To be fair, it’s difficult since this is the off-season and most of the restaurants and shops were closed, but I’d say Ocean City, MD is a cross between Wildwood and Ocean City, NJ.  Judging from the number of bars, clubs, and liquor stores in Ocean City, MD, I’m guessing that during the summer it’s a real party town – much like Wildwood.  To me, Ocean City, NJ has the advantage of being a completely dry town, so it’s much more appealing to people who desire a more family-oriented experience.  On the plus side, there appeared to be many more restaurants in Ocean City, MD and the town itself – hotels, motels, condos, and apartment buildings – seemed to be a notch above either of the Jersey shore resorts.  Although in terms of class, they all pale in comparison to a resort like Hilton Head Island where we’ve spent many vacations.

In the off-season, the boardwalk is open to dogs, so it was a little strange seeing all of the dogs and their owners walking up and down the boards.  The boardwalk in Ocean City, MD is not as extensive as the boardwalk in Wildwood and is more like the one in Ocean City, NJ.  If I were to compare the boardwalks for things to do, I’d say Wildwood, NJ > Ocean City, NJ > Ocean City, MD. 

While in Ocean City, we stayed at the Hilton Suites Ocean City Oceanfront, an all-suites hotel located on the beach at 33rd Street.  We had a good-sized king suite looking directly out over the beach and ocean with a complete kitchen, living room, two large flat panel TVs, and large bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub.  It was a typical resort hotel on the beach with three pools – a large adult pool and a children’s activity pool outside, plus a very nice heated indoor pool.  I would highly recommend the hotel for a weekday, off-season stay, since our rate was only $127.00 per night.  I’m not sure if the $499.00 per night rate for the room during July and August would be worth it.

One downside about staying in Ocean City on weekdays in October is that most of the eating establishments are only open on the weekends or are closed for the season.  On the first night we stopped at a Dough Roller on the boardwalk for hoagies, but we wanted something a little nicer the second night.  After checking out a couple of places that turned out to be closed, we noticed some cars parked outside the Ristorante Antipasti at 31st and Coastal Highway not too far from the hotel, so we decided to give it a try.  It turned out to be our lucky night since they have an off-season, Wednesday night special - all pasta entrees were only $8.50 instead of the normal $22.00 to $26.00.  At that price the food was great and the atmosphere of the restaurant was very nice, although the very Italian owner who greeted us, Fausto DiCarlo, was a little overbearing.

My next blog entry will cover our visit to Annapolis and tour of the U.S. Naval Academy.

If you have a chance, please check out my ImageKind Galleries and Flickr Collections.  I also have two new shops - Zazzle Gifts and Zazzle Prints & Posters.

No comments:

Post a Comment