Life on the Island
Ocean City is a barrier island off the coast of southern New Jersey. Famous for its miles of white sand beaches and 2.5-mile wooden boardwalk, the town is a jewel of the Jersey shore. Its proximity to the major metropolitan hubs of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York City makes Ocean City a perfect summer holiday destination. It has been listed in numerous “Top Ten” for its beaches, boardwalk, and quality of life. Not only is Ocean City a popular summer destination, it is also a thriving year-round community with an outstanding school system, shopper-friendly downtown, and busy Community Center.
Historical accounts of Ocean City note that Native Americans established fishing camps in the summer months. Dutch settlers in the early 1600’s identified the area as having “flat sand beaches and low hills,” making this reference possibly the earliest written mention of the area. By 1700 the whaler, John Peck, used the island as a storage point for freshly-hunted whales and the island soon became known as “Peck’s Beach.” By the mid-1700’s mainland settlers would graze their cattle on the rich array of seagrasses, trees and brush.
Modern Ocean City history began in 1879, when four Methodist ministers purchased the entire island for use as a Christian seaside resort and camp meeting place. They developed what they named “Ocean City” and incorporated the Ocean City Association. Development encompassed mapping out streets, selling lots, building a boardwalk, attracting transportation, providing a school, and operating the summer camp meetings. As a result of this early influence, the town continues to be family-friendly and alcohol-free.
With today’s population of approximately 12,000, Ocean City has a friendly, small-town atmosphere. It’s common to meet a neighbor on a shopping trip or at a local eatery, lending a relaxed and casual air to your surroundings. In fact, Coastal Living Magazine recently named Ocean City the “Happiest Seaside Town in America,” outranking other locales from Maine to California.
If you’re looking to settle down in a vibrant, lively town that’s family-friendly, consider Ocean City, New Jersey. Great locale, temperate weather and solid infrastructure for residents of all ages make this community-minded town on the Jersey Shore a great place to live. Start the next chapter of your life today by contacting one of our professional REALTORS®.
Moving “Down the Shore”
When considering a move to Ocean City, your housing choices are many and extend from beach front to bayfront and the neighborhoods in between. The island stretches from to north to south; you will find interesting and distinct neighborhoods throughout. Single family homes, duplex and high-rise condominiums, coastal cottages and townhomes are just some of the variety of housing styles on the island. Whether your needs are temporary or permanent, Ocean City boasts a large selection of housing at many price points.
For those interested in expanding their financial portfolio, Ocean City’s dynamic seasonal vacation market combined with low property taxes make real estate investment an attractive opportunity.
The Ocean City Board of REALTORS® is bound by the National Association of REALTORS® strict Code of Ethics, so you can rest assured that a professional will be with you every step of the way as you make the best decision for you and your family.
Ocean City isn’t just a summer vacation destination. Apart from the usual summertime calendar of events you'll find an outstanding lineup of activities and events year-round. Life on the island can be as busy as you wish. With the performing arts, enrichment classes at the Community Center, playgrounds, skate park, pickle ball and tennis courts, 12-hole golf course, municipal airport and volunteer clubs, there’s always something to do in OCNJ.
The downtown on Asbury Avenue from 6th Street to 14th Street is where you’ll find unique one-of-a-kind stores that are open year-round. From old-fashioned variety stores to high-end boutiques, gift shops, art galleries and restaurants, the downtown area bustles with various programs and activities. Year-round, from January’s "First Night" to the “Earlier than the Bird” prelude to the December shopping rush, "there are treasured memories to be made and great buys to be had downtown".
Ocean City Community Center
The Community Center at 17th Street and Simpson Avenue houses a library, pool, fitness center and more:
The Ocean City Free Public Library offers membership to residents and property owners. Book signings, guest speakers and children's programs are just some of the services they offer.
The Arts Center, an independent not-for-profit organization, offers weekly enrichment classes year-round.
The Aquatic and Fitness Center is a multi-faceted facility for all ages and fitness levels.
The Ocean City Historical Museum is a charming step back in time.
Situated on the Boardwalk at Moorlyn Place, the Music Pier remains an iconic landmark. Built in 1929, the Music Pier is home to the Ocean City Pops and remains the center for the performing arts, the annual Miss New Jersey Pageant, singers, entertainers, flower shows and more.
Reserve your seats early by visiting http://www.ocnj.us/musicpier/
Ocean City is a great town to explore on wheels. Enjoy the dedicated Haven Avenue bike route between 9th and 34th Streets. The speed limits are reduced to 15 MPH and there are 4-way stop signs at every intersection. Additionally, there are bike lanes on many routes that connect you from the Gardens to Corson's Inlet.
For full details, safety tips and additional information visit bikeocnj.org.
Much of Ocean City life is focused on the water. With 9 miles of beautiful white sand beaches and bayside lagoons and inlets, there is no doubt that this barrier island thrives with the tides. Many enjoy boating, beach, fishing or surfing, while some simply relish the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The town is definitely “water-friendly” for all.
Residents and visitors alike agree that Ocean City wants everyone to have fun at the beach while staying safe. The ocean is a great place to play or to cool off on a hot summer day, but it can be dangerous in certain conditions or for those who may not be used to the waves and currents. To keep everyone safe, lifeguards from the Ocean City Beach Patrol guard many beaches. Certain beaches are designated "surfing only" as the surfboards can be dangerous to swimmers.
The Ocean City Beach Patrol (OCBP) guards a total of 43 beaches during the summer season. Beaches are guarded from the Saturday before Memorial Day through the week after Labor Day. Here is a list of guarded beaches:
Seaview 10th Street 32nd Street
Seaspray Road 11th Street 34th Street
Surf Road 12th Street 36th Street
Waverly (surfing beach) 13th Street 39th Street
Atlantic 14th Street 42nd Street
North Street 15th Street 44th Street
Stenton Place 16th Street 46th Street
St. Charles Place 17th Street 48th Street
Delancey Place 18th Street 50th Street
Park Place 20th Street 53rd Street
Brighton Place 22nd Street 55th Street
5th Street 24th Street 58th Street
7th Street (surfing beach) 26th Street 60th Street
8th Street 28th Street
9th Street 30th Street
Beach tags are required for all beachgoers 12-years and older. The funds raised by the sale of beach tags help to keep the beaches and Boardwalk clean. If you’re a resident or frequent visitor, plan to purchase your seasonal tags before the end of May at a discounted price. Seasonal tags can be conveniently purchased online.