About Ocean City, NJ
Located in Cape May County, NJ, Ocean City was founded in 1879 and has been delighting beach-goers and families every summer since. As a top family-oriented seaside resort, it’s estimated that during the summer months, OCNJ hosts 115,000 to 130,000 tourists and second homeowners. OCNJ is best known for its miles of guarded beaches, its boardwalk that stretches over a span of 2.5 miles, and its quaint downtown dining and shopping area. Ocean City is also home to several special events throughout the year, including Family Nights with free entertainment, music, face painting, and more, as well as the annual auto show, New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge, and much more.
Originally named Peck’s Beach owned by the Somers family, Ocean City was used as a storage place for freshly-caught whales, as well as an Indian summer fishing camp, cattle-grazing area, and a place for mainlanders to boat over to hunt or have a picnic. In 1879, Ezra B. Lake, S. Wesley Lame, James Lake, and William Burrell, all Methodist ministers, chose the island to establish a Christian retreat and camp. They dubbed the island “Ocean City” and laid out streets and lots for homes, businesses, and hotels. The sale of alcoholic beverages was prohibited as a result of their religion, which still stands as a law today. A school was built in 1881, followed by the island’s first bridge in 1883, followed by a railroad. While the boardwalk was relocated several times, it still stands today as one of Ocean City’s main attractions.
From Fralinger’s Salt Water Taffy & Fudge to Manco & Manco Pizza, OCNJ’s boardwalk is home to dozens upon dozens of legendary dining options that keep families coming back year after year. Aside from a wide variety of delicious restaurants and snack vendors, the boardwalk also hosts water parks, go-cart rides, arcade games, movie theatres, miniature golf, and thrill rides… fun for the whole family. Gillian’s Wonderland Pier and Playland’s Castaway Cove are OCNJ’s two amusement parks located on the city’s boardwalk.
Awards and Recognition
In 2008, Ocean City was ranked as the third best beach in New Jersey in the Top 10 Beaches list, sponsored by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium. In 2009, it was ranked #1.
In 2013, Ocean City was ranked #1 of the “10 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home” in the United States, listed by MarketWatch.
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