Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Beach Vacation in Ocean City, NJ

Since moving to New Jersey, we've learned a lot about the Jersey Shore. The first of which is that the real Jersey Shore is simply gorgeous, and nothing like the stereotype that the so-named TV show depicts (admittedly, I have never seen one episode of the show, so I'm only speaking heresay but I can understand why the locals hate the association!)
Living in the NYC burbs, the closest point to us on the shore is Point Pleasant. About 1.5 hours away without any traffic. Point Pleasant is fun, with a boardwalk and lots of activities for kids. But, not really my cup of tea in terms of actual beach. The sand isn't very soft, there are broken shells everywhere and LOTS of seaweed. Not to mention it is teaming with people. Loads and loads of people. So, no paradise found, that's for sure but a great option if you want to experience beachy fun that's close by. In looking for a good combination of family, awesome beach, and a relatively close drive, Greg and I have recently found Seaside Park. Much, much more serene. Beautiful shore, lovely sand, boardwalk. Perfect for a day trip and that's where we've gone for the past two years.
This year, we decided to do some more exploration and venture further south to find a spot where we could stay a few days and really relax. Enter Ocean City, NJ. About 3 hours south of us, and right outside of Atlantic City, this place was perfect for us. Both Greg and I were told by friends and work colleagues that OCNJ is a family-oriented, super clean, and really nice vacation destination. This place did not disappoint and I can see why Coastal Living named it America's Best Beach in 2016. Honestly it had something for everyone. Huge boardwalk, biking, restaurants, quaint downtown area with cute shops, kayaking, SUP, you name it. The water temps were around 80 degrees, and warm enough for dolphins! We loved seeing them bobbing in the waves! All we needed was about two extra days and this would have been the perfect vacation. We will definitely be back next summer, and plan to build in a day or two to go even further south to see Cape May!

Though you can rent bikes everywhere, we towed our own! 
The Forum Hotel where we stayed. Not bad!
Pink Sky and gorgeous beach. Nothing more to say about that!

Boardwalk is open to bikers! So fun!

Ocean City Coffee Co is a delightful treat! 

Had to try the Surrey Bikes!

Dolphin sighting on our last day at the shore!

Fave breakfast spot:  OC Surf Cafe