The Beach Zone

June 24, 2007

WHAT TO DO

Five things to do in Ocean City

1. COUNT DOLPHINS / / Volunteer to help staff from the National Aquarium in Baltimore conduct Maryland's annual dolphin count Thursday. The count, which helps assess the health of the bottlenose dolphin population, is part of the aquarium's Beyond the Boardwalk summer program, which includes a fundraiser at Seacrets on Friday and Family Fun Day from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Sunset Park. Call 410-371-9802 for locations and details.

2. TAKE A LEAP / / Go skydiving high above the shore at Ocean City Skydiving Center. Go to skydiveoc.com.

3. GO ICE SKATING / / See professional ice skating shows held nightly at 6:30 p.m. at the Carousel Resort Hotel at 118th Street or skim the ice yourself. Call 800-641-0011.

4. RIDE THE SLING SHOT / / Jolly Roger's popular ride at the Pier is a scream for thrill seekers.

5. EAT A PIZZA / / Try the brick-oven pizza from Fausto's Bistro, which opened in March at Howard Johnson at 12th Street and the Boardwalk. Call 410-289-2122.

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[MICHELLE DEAL-ZIMMERMAN]

BEACH NEWS

DINER GETS NEW LIFE

Penguins on Delaware's Bethany Beach? Not exactly, but the new Penguin Diner on the Garfield Parkway strip is a close second. The restaurant, formerly the Bethany Beach Diner, was purchased last winter by Mark Neumann and Alex White, Baltimore natives and Gilman School grads. The duo refurbished the eatery, doubling its size, adding a lounge and creating a penguin theme.

"We created a place that has good, quality food in a fun, relaxed environment," says White. "And since this is Bethany, it is, of course, family-friendly while also being a place adults will enjoy."

The Penguin Diner offers wraps, sandwiches, breakfast fare and a children's menu with ice cream specialties. Menu items are priced at $7-$19 per entree, including crab cakes, of course.

"We're admitted crab cake snobs and have re-created an old family recipe that is undoubtedly the best crab cakes on the Eastern Shore," Neumann says. "We call it Big Al's crab cake."

In keeping with the penguin theme, there is also a store stocked with merchandise of the waddling bird. The diner, a block from the beach, is open 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. For more information, call 302-541-8017 or go to penguindiner.com.

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[MICHELLE DEAL-ZIMMERMAN]

BEACH BET WILDWOOD

KICK THINGS UP

Need an excuse to head to the beach today? Check out the Cape Express Beach Blast soccer tournament in Wildwood, N.J. Nearly 1,000 teams will be playing 5-on-5 barefoot soccer on the beaches between the boardwalk and the Atlantic Ocean. Spectators can cheer on teams from multiple age divisions of men, women and children.

Cape Express Beach Blast takes place 8 a.m.-6 p.m. today between Cedar and Poplar avenues in Wildwood, N.J. Tournament registration has already closed, but admission is free for spectators. For more information, go to capeexpress.com.

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[MATTHEW VENSEL]

WHAT YOU THINK

OUR WEEKLY POLL

This week's question: Which beach destination has the best Fourth of July fireworks? To vote, go to baltimoresun.com / bay beach Results from last week's poll. What's your favorite beach activity? Tanning: 40 percent; swimming: 40 percent; sleeping: 20 percent.

ONLINE

We want to see your best beach photos. Share them with us online at baltimoresun.com / beachphotos

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