The new High Ropes Adventure Park at Frontier Town near Ocean… (Photo courtesy of High Ropes…)
One of the best things about Ocean City is that some things never change. Families visit the same restaurants, year after year. Kids experience the same rides their parents rode when they were kids. The wild horses of Assateague stay wild and the gorgeous ocean view never wavers.
But even the most stalwart lovers of tradition enjoy something fresh once in a while. This summer, thanks to tons of openings and events, both veteran beachgoers and O.C. newbies will find plenty that's new to love in and around Ocean City.
Dining & nightlife
Everyone has their favorite beach restaurants and bars – but it's fun to try new spots, too. This year, there are plenty of new places opening – and some major renovations to old favorites – making it easy to add a little variety to your dining schedule.
Backshore Brewing Company, 913 Atlantic Ave., 443-373-1224, facebook.com/backshore. Formerly called Shorebilly Brewing, Backshore Brewing Company specializes in local craft beers.
Barn 34, 3400 Coastal Highway, 410-289-5376, facebook.com/barn34oc. The old Pirates Den & Galley is getting a new name and a new home in the big, barn-like space formerly occupied by the Christmas Spirit Shop.
Bourbon Street on the Beach, 11604 Coastal Highway, 443-664-2896. As its name suggests, Bourbon Street on the Beach is an upscale New Orleans-themed restaurant, located at the Fontainebleau condominium.
Cowboy Coast Country Saloon, 17th Street and Coastal Highway, 410-289-6331, cowboycoastoc.com. Located in the former Paddock space, this country-and-western themed bar – complete with mechanical bull – is the first of its type in Ocean City.
Five Guys Burgers & Fries, 13601 Coastal Highway, fiveguys.com. The burgers-and-fries favorite has opened a new outpost on 136th Street. This is the fourth beach location – others include a spot in White Marlin Mall, on 64th Street in Ocean City and on Garfield Parkway in Bethany Beach.
Guido Burritos, 3303 Coastal Highway, guidosburritos.com. The popular boardwalk Mexican joint (7 North Atlantic Avenue) is opening a second location on 33rd Street, in the space formerly occupied by Angelo's Italian Cuisine.
Jack's Lobster Rolls, 62nd Street on the Boardwalk, 410-390-3193, facebook.com/jackslobsterrolls. This new boardwalk eatery specializes in traditional Maine lobster rolls.
Martin Fish Company, 6701 Coastal Highway, 443-365-3050, martinfishco.com. For those who like to eat in at the beach, this family-owned fish shop, with its first location in West Ocean City, opened a new market, selling fresh seafood, in the 67th Street TownCenter Midtown Boardwalk.
Ocean City Brewing Company, 5509 Coastal Highway, 443-677-3075, ocbrewingcompany.com. This family-owned, full-service craft brewery and restaurant specializes in "brewpub favorites" like flatbreads and burgers and also promises to be family-friendly.
Sweet Frog, Sixth Street on the Boardwalk, sweetfrogyogurt.com. Frozen yogurt fans will be excited to visit the brand new Sweet Frog frozen yogurt shop at Sixth Street on the boardwalk, which joins its year-old sister location located in the 67th Street TownCenter Midtown Boardwalk.
Touch of Italy Trattoria, Salumeria, Pasticceria, 6600 Coastal Highway, touchofitaly.com. The Italian restaurant and catering company, popular at the Delaware beaches, opens its first Ocean City location at the Holiday Inn on 66th Street.
Blacksmith, 104 Pitts St., Berlin, 410-973-2102, facebook.com/blacksmithrestaurantberlin. Locals say this new restaurant, with its creative, locally-sourced food and specials like Soul Food Sunday, is worth the drive to Berlin.
Claddagh on the Shore, 1106 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island, 410-522-4220, facebook.com/claddaghshore. Canton hotspot Claddagh Pub is the latest in a string of popular Baltimore bars opening beach locations.
Harpoon Hanna's, Route 54 and the Bay, Fenwick Island, 800-227-0525, harpoonhannasrestaurant.com. Longtime favorite Harpoon Hanna's has undergone an extensive renovation and expansion, freshening up as it kicks off its 31st year in business.
Be among the first to stay in one of the brand new hotels opening in Ocean City.
Crystal Beach Hotel, 25th Street and the Boardwalk, 800-641-0011, crystalbeachhotel.com. This new hotel, owned by the Carousel Group, has a central location and plenty of oceanfront rooms.
La Quinta Inn & Suites, 106 32nd St., Ocean City, 410-289-5762, lq.com. A brand new La Quinta Inn & Suites will open in July, replacing the former Ocean Voyager motel, at the intersection of 32nd and Baltimore streets.
There's never any shortage of things to do at the beach. This year, with the opening of several new attractions, the addition of fun events and a few updates to existing events, promises to be as busy and fun as ever.