Ocean City Ready For Picture-Perfect July 4 Weekend

Posted on July 2, 2009

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Thursday morning was all sunshine on the beach at Ocean City, Maryland, where clean sand and brightly colored chairs and umbrellas are ready for a perfect July 4 weekend.    Thursday morning was all sunshine on the beach at Ocean City, Maryland, where clean sand and brightly colored chairs and umbrellas are ready for a perfect July 4 weekend.
The Ocean City Beach Control conducts lifesaving drills on the beach in Ocean City, Maryland, early Thursday morning.

The Ocean City Beach Patrol conducts lifesaving practice drills on the beach in Ocean City, Maryland, early Thursday morning.

The Ocean City Beach Patrol covers the resort's entire beach, from the inlet to the Delaware line.

The Ocean City Beach Patrol protects the resort's 10-mile beach, from the inlet to the Delaware line.

Sunshine and more sunshine is the forecast for the long Fourth of July holiday weekend in Ocean City, Maryland, from Thursday right on through at least Monday. It will be seasonably hot, high temperatures each day in the 80-84 degree range, just right for swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. The surf felt warm this morning, to me.

Is there a larger Fourth of July celebration anywhere in Maryland? Ocean City is expecting more than 300,000 visitors to spend the weekend on the beach and boardwalk. 

Fireworks can be viewed from virtually anywhere on the island Saturday evening, beginning shortly after dark. Zambelli International, the premier fireworks company in the world, will put on two simultaneous shows, one at the south end of the beach, and another at Northside Park. Ocean City will spend $62,500 on this year’s fireworks, which are free to the public.

Hotel and motel rooms are still available, but you may have to make a few phone calls. Be advised that almost all hotels and motels in the resort are requesting a minimum stay of two or three nights for the July 4 weekend. Call ahead and book a reservation, if at all possible. For information on accommodations, and everything else you want to know about Ocean City, Maryland, go to the resort’s official Web site, www.ococean.com.

Crab houses and seafood restaurants are everywhere in Ocean City. The local specialities are Maryland crab cakes, crab imperial, and steamed hard-shell crabs, along with the fresh catch of the day.

Ocean City is a family town, and nearly all restaurants are child-friendly. Dress is summer beach casual. Shirts or cover-ups should be worn over swimsuits during the day for breakfast or lunch in resort restaurants, even at the most casual Boardwalk places. Swimsuits should be replaced by casual resort wear for dinner. Shorts and T-shirts are acceptable in all but the dressiest resort restaurants.

Some of the major food groups in Ocean City: Popcorn, Pizza, Ice Cream, and of course Crab cakes. In this outstanding photo, courtesy of Maryland photographer David Baus, a worker fills a customer's order for fresh popcorn at Fisher's Popcorn, a landmark family business on the Boardwalk.

Some of the major food groups in Ocean City: Popcorn, Pizza, Ice Cream, and of course Crab cakes. In this outstanding photo, courtesy of Maryland photographer David Baus, a worker fills a customer's order for fresh popcorn at Fisher's Popcorn, a landmark family business on the Boardwalk.

Most of the larger Ocean City restaurants are along Philadelphia Ave. and the Coastal Highway. A number of good seafood restaurants can also be found across the Route 50 bridge in  West Ocean City. Or you can select restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner simply by strolling down the Boardwalk.

You don’t need to use your car in Ocean City. City buses and boardwalk trams run constantly. The Ocean City buses might be the best bargain in public transit in America. You can ride the bus all day and night, as many times as you want, $2 for 24 hours. The Boardwalk trams are $3 per boarding. The trams run from 10 a.m. until midnight on weekends.

For information on Route 50 traffic, listen to WBAL radio, 1090 am, go to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Web site, www.baybridge.com, or call the Bay Bridge traffic line, 1-877-Bayspan. To avoid the heaviest traffic, come early (i.e. today or Friday morning) and stay late (Monday, or better yet, Tuesday). If you decide to make a week of it, most hotels and motels have rooms available for next week, and plenty of condos are available to rent as well.

Fourth of July is a family holiday everywhere in America. My Uncle Raymond’s big July 4 family reunion and crab feast at his summer home in Bay Ridge, MD, was a Hayden family tradition for many years.

In Ocean City, the June graduation celebrations are over, the firefighters convention has come and gone, and now it’s family time throughout July and August.

More photos later, if I have time, and that’s a big IF. Right now, I have to go to work. Enjoy a safe and pleasant weekend in Ocean City. Please buckle up and drive gently. And don’t forget the sunscreen.  — Bernie Hayden

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