Date of Trip: April 2006
After many dismal days sweating it out on the west coast of Jersey, the east coast is practically paradise. And where do you go after you finally get to paradise? Where to stay after 16 years of staying in Ocean City, New Jersey?
I have to say I’m a pretty seasoned veteran. Sadly, this year the house my family has stayed in for many many years was sold. It was definitely the least attractive house on the street, so the other half will most likely be sold and the whole thing will be torn down, and a house will be built which will cost close to three times the amount to rent. So my hopes of ever getting to stay on the 900 block (closest to the beach), at a reasonable price are gone for now.
Anyway, back to 2nd street, the best in town (in my opinion). Being on the north end of the boardwalk, you get the close to quiet, but still the easy access to the boardwalk. The beach is, of course, crowded as you’d expect, but it’s one of the larger beaches, so there’s still room for wiffle ball. There’s also a nice Catholic church within walking distance.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner? Brown’s, famous especially for its donuts, is just one street away on the boardwalk. Also the spot for water ice breaks! Parking is usually provided by the house. My favorite house is on pylons, so there’s plenty of room under the house for around four or five cars.
Well as you can tell, I’m a loyal fan to 2nd street, but who wouldn’t be? Try it!
Ove’s — great for a lunch break from the sun. Just good old hot dogs, hamburgers, and sandwiches. It’s pretty cheap, but because of the popularity they’ve recently raised their prices a bit. They also sell water, ice and it doubles as a bicycle and surrey rental. The service is always good, but it can get jam packed at regular meal times. And for some reason, I’ve noticed the servers usually have a pretty cool accent. I don’t know where from, though.
Mack and Manco Pizza — Some of my best memories at the Jersey Shore have occurred around Mack and Manco’s pizza…it MUST be a sign. But really, greatest pizza, ever. There are three locations on the boardwalk, but they’re all packed at mealtimes. I’m talking line out the door, blocking the normal traffic of the boardwalk, packed. That’s to be expected when there’s very limited seating, but it’s cool to go there and watch them make the pizza. I suggest ordering delivery, some say it’s not as good, but it’s never bad. They make it with a bunch of different cheeses and perfectly thin crust. Don’t expect to eat less than two slices. I recommend ordering a whole pie for yourself, just kidding, but this really is what I live off of during my stay in O.C.
Bubba Mac Shack — I’ve actually only been to Bubba Mac’s twice in my life, but that’s because I personally didn’t love it. However, I wouldn’t go solely on my opinion because I can be picky. I just wanted to warn you that alligator tails are not just a cute nickname for chicken fingers, as me and my friends thought. I’m pretty sure it really is alligator except I couldn’t get a straight answer from the waiter, so I’m not sure, but I don’t recommend alligator tails. However other people love the frequent live music, great crabs, and close location to O.C.
On the O.C. boardwalk, there are two amusement piers. These piers are more for the kids than adults. The first one you hit coming from the north end is Gillian’s Wonderland pier. It starts the beginning of the stores on the boardwalk. It’s definitely a must if you have little kids. There’s “bigger kid” rides, but also miniature versions for the little ones. Some of my favorite rides when I was little, and still are today, are the Trabant, the Music Express, the Tilt-A-Whirl, and the classic House of Mirrors. There’s also an array of small rides under an open-air building in case it’s raining. The next pier is Playland Castaway Cove. I never really visited it as a little kid on account of my legs couldn’t go that far from 2nd Street, but as a teenager I found a few more exciting rides here. This pier caters more toward young adults but still has children’s rides, too. I’m inexperienced here, but I know their log flume is awesome.
Other than the two piers, there’s a Doubleshot, which is like Dominator if you’ve been to Dorney Park. There’s also a bungee ball cage thing; I don’t know what else to call it. By Wonderland Pier, there’s Gilligan’s Island Water Park. It has a varying size of slides and a great lazy river. It’s gets crazy crowded, so get in line early, but it’s another must in O.C.
Best of Ocean City:
*Best Hard Ice Cream – Hobby Horse (800 Ocean Avenue on corner of 8th)
*Best Soft Ice Cream – Kohr Brothers (all over the boardwalk)
*Best Small Mini Golf – Tee Time Golf (7th & Boardwalk)
*Best Large Mini Golf – Congo Falls (1132 Boardwalk)
*Best Breakfast – Uncle Bill’s Pancake House (21st & Asbury)
*Best Donuts – Browns(St. Charles & Boardwalk)
*Best Bakery – Wards’ (730 Asbury)
*Best Pizza – Mack & Manco’s (3 spots on boardwalk)
*Best Water Ice – Polish Water ice (Boardwalk)
*Best Popcorn – Johnson’s (Boardwalk)
*Best Salt Water Taffy – Shrivers (9th & Boardwalk)
*Best Fudge – Shrivers
*Best Movie Theater – The Strand 5(Boardwalk)
*Best Supermarket – SuperFresh- parking garage! (800 West)
*Best Arcade – Playdium (650 Boardwalk)
*Best Random Activity – Keepsake Old Time Photos (Boardwalk)
*Best Surf Shop – 7th Street Surf Shop (7th & Boardwalk)
*Best Teen Shopping – Cloud 9(976 Boardwalk)
*Best Shopping Spot Other Than the Boardwalk – Asbury Street