Since COVID-19 basically canceled summer, beaches were jam packed with people looking for something to do.
But with hotels struggling to make up money from a painful and vacant spring,along with many restaurants being closed or with limited seating, the beach became a packed and pretty miserable place over the summer.
The good news is if you love the beach and still want to get your beach time in – there is no better time than the fall.
The weather is still nice. The crowds are less. And you’ll get the chance to soak up the best of the beach life for a fraction of the cost.
If you’re thinking about where to go – consider Ocean City, Maryland.
While I typically never recommend a trip to Maryland, ever, I make an exception for Ocean City.
Check out some tips on how to get the most out of your fall beach trip to Ocean City.
Get Ready To Save Money
If you want to visit the beach during peak summer times – get ready to pay for it.
But in the fall, it’s almost like they are paying you to visit them!
We just got back from a week in Ocean City and stayed in an oceanfront room – at nearly 40 percent less than the price that was advertised just a few weeks earlier.
Private balcony. Oceanfront view. And a convenient room directly on the boardwalk and just a quick walk to shops and restaurants.
And we even extended our stay an extra night because they offered an additional 30 percent off the cost just for staying longer!
The 3.2 mile boardwalk has a little bit of something for everyone.
Normally you’d have to wait at least 30-40 minutes in line for Thrasher’s famous boardwalk fries or other famous boardwalk food, but on our trip we just walked right up.
All of the restaurants on the boardwalk had at most a 5-minute wait, while normal wait times can be more than 2 hours.
And they have food for every palate so you’re sure to find something you like.
You can order Guinness Gravy Fries with pork or a Dubliner’s Corned Beef Sandwich at Shenanigans Irish Pub or get something fancier like filet mignon at Coastal Salt.
Or, if you’re craving seafood, Mug and Mallet is said to have the best crabs on the boardwalk – don’t worry they have lobster too!
If you’re a breakfast kind of person (like me), you’ll love the insanely huge portions at the Sahara Café where you can basically get whatever you want for under $10.
But enough about the food – in the fall the rules are bit more relaxed on the boardwalk so you can ride your bike whenever you want (in the summer they prohibit bikes on the boardwalk past noon) – and they even have fun bikes to rent!
There’s also rides, arcades, and other fun museums to explore on the boardwalk – and you’ll love doing so with less people in your way.
Just 8 miles from Ocean City is Assateague Island – known as a place where the horses roam free.
The horses are allowed to go wherever they want on the island and if you’re lucky, you can snap some up close and personal photos of them.
There’s hiking trails, places to see wildlife along the salty marshes – and even a few more beaches in case you want a change of scenery from Ocean City.
Note – there is a $25 entrance fee which gives you a 7-day pass – so I’d recommend getting your pass at the beginning for your trip, in case you want to make more than one visit!
Beware The Bureaucrats
Of course, with all the beauty in Ocean City, there are still politicians who want to ruin your trip in the name of “safety”.
Although the boardwalk was nearly empty, there were signs every few feet reminding visitors they must wear a mask from 8am-2pm – yes OUTSIDE.
I mean seriously?
There were people actually exercising on the boardwalk – and yep you guessed it – they were in a mask.
And just in case you missed the little signs, they had big signs in between the little signs just so you got the message.
Need to go to the bathroom?
You’re greeted with a scare tactic sign warning you to enter at your own risk (and reminding you to wear a mask).
Even the sidewalks were painted with warnings to “proceed with caution.”
It’s amazing Ocean City had any visitors at all with their frantic scare campaign.
Thankfully, the mask policy didn’t really seem to be enforced, as many people walked the boardwalk not wearing a mask.
Another win for freedom.
If you’re looking for a party scene, you won’t find it in Ocean City during the fall as many restaurants and shops close early.
However, if you want a quiet getaway and long to hear the waves crashing or catch a stunning sunset – all while sampling some pretty decent seafood (and whatever else you want)– Ocean City is where it’s at.
You can’t beat the prices, and it really is a fun place for a fall getaway!
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