Ocean City, NJ Information

A Brief History of Ocean City

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’s” for its beaches, boardwalk, and quality of life. It is also a thriving year-round community with an outstanding school system, walkable downtown, and busy community center.

In the 18th Century, the island was known as Peck’s Beach (John Peck was a whaler). Mainlanders farmed, raised cattle, or boated across for fishing. The only full-time resident was Parker Miller, whose work was watching for shipwrecks. In 1879 four Methodist ministers, three of them brothers, purchased the entire island for use as a Christian seaside resort and camp meeting. They built the Ocean City Tabernacle at what is now at 5th and Wesley Avenue (preserving the tree where they first prayed for this island). They developed what they named Ocean City, identifying streets, selling lots, building a boardwalk, attracting transportation, providing a school, and operating the summer camp meetings. As a result of that early influence, the town remains family friendly and free of public alcohol.

Visitors enjoy a variety of special events all year—Christmas shopping and shows, Easter worship and parade, and seasonal patriotic celebrations. Ocean City has invented other occasions to enjoy—weekly farmers’ market, family Boardwalk nights, a resident professional Pops Orchestra, the “Doo Dah Parade” of two hundred Bassett hounds, the “Night in Venice” boat procession, and the nation’s oldest Baby Parade. The First Night New Year’s Eve celebration culminates with a grand fireworks display over the beach. Indeed, fireworks are a regular feature of the City’s night sky throughout the year.

Residential real estate in Ocean City is a comfortable combination of single homes, duplex condominiums, and townhouses. Bay front homes enjoy a relaxed waterfront lifestyle and magical sunsets. Beautiful beach homes enjoy the sounds of the surf and greet each day with a sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. Residences between are within walking distance of the beach, bay, and quaint downtown.

Ocean City is a blend of sand and surf, year round residents and seasonal visitors, second home owners and investors. Come on “down the shore” and make your own memories!

Additional Ocean City Information can be found at:

The Ocean City Historical Museum
1735 Simpson Avenue · Ocean City
609-399-1801 www.ocnjmuseum.org
Hours:  Monday thru Friday, 10am-4pm, Saturday 11am-2pm · Closed All Sundays
Special Programs July & August, 7pm, Free.  Donations Appreciated

The Ocean City Historical Museum is a non-profit corporation of New Jersey. The museum houses two permanent exhibits. “Sea View and Salt Air: A History of Ocean City” features a historically correct timeline that integrates artifacts and photographs from the Museum’s collection, along with large print storyboards to introduce the visitor to the history of Ocean City; the second is dedicated to the Sindia, a four-master barque that grounded itself here in 1901. This exhibit includes an 8’x 8’ stained glass window showing the ship under sail, the original figurehead, other artifacts and photographs from the ship. Temporary exhibits on special topics are also featured. The museum offers a gift shop and modern research library that includes genealogy research tools.

The following information was taken from the Ocean City, NJ Visitors Guide from the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce. Click here for more information

Recreation

Right here in Ocean City there are plentiful recreational activities for everyone.  Choose water sports like boating, sailing, fishing, surfing and swimming, or select terrestrial pursuits like tennis, golf or biking, to name a few.  Participate in high-energy competitive sports by joining basketball, baseball, or volleyball teams, or grab a quick pick-up game at a neighborhood court.  Youngsters love the well-equipped playgrounds found throughout the island, plus a skateboard and in-line skate park at 6th and the Boardwalk.  Catch the Ocean City Baron in action as you enjoy watching exciting P.D.L. Soccer, or come out to support our local high school teams September through June.

The Ocean City Division of Recreation offers field trips, educational beach walks, sports instruction, a repertory theater group for kids and adults, and a full slate of fine arts, music and arts & crafts classes all summer long. 

Special Events are scheduled throughout the year.  These include the Spring and Fall Block Parties, a full complement of Fourth of July events, the Boardwalk Baby Parade and the incredible New Year’s Eve First Night celebration. Check out the Ocean City Tourism site for more information.

At The Ocean City Community and Cultural Center, 18th Street and Simpson Avenue, you will find our outstanding public library with wireless Internet connection computers for use, old-fashioned storytelling time and a terrific selection of books, movies and CD’s.  The Aquatic and Fitness Center, the Historical Museum and Arts Center are also located here, each offering events, classes and workshops throughout the year.

The Ocean City Division of Recreation has been offering popular and high quality recreational programs for over 60 years.  Activities include:

Basketball Leagues:
Men & Women's High School, Junior High and Biddy leagues at 18th Street courts late June through August.

Gymnastics and Tumbling:
Instruction for various skill levels for ages four and up at Sports and Civic Center late June through August.

Arts and Crafts:
Organized program with experienced teachers and counselors at various city playgrounds.  Monday through Friday mornings from late June through August.  Register for week, month, season.

Morning Sports:
Organized activities and sports for boys and girls ages 8 to 12 at 18th & Bay Ave. (Intermediate School).  Monday through Friday mornings late June through August.  Optional “Fun Friday” activities include field trips to local attractions.  Register for week, month or season. 

Camps:
Quality, experienced instruction at week-long camps for various activities including Field Hockey, Junior Lifeguards, Soccer, Basketball, Lacrosse, Tennis and Baseball. Various weeks late June through August.

Musical Theater Workshops:
Group instruction over a two-week period culminating in a fully staged production at the Music Pier.

Tennis:
Court rentals, clinics, tournaments and private instructions for various ages and skill levels throughout the summer at the 6th, 18th and 34th Street tennis courts.

Beach Surf Chairs:
Beach accessible program for mobility-limited persons of all ages.  Sports and Civic Center, Memorial Day through Labor Day.  Reservations suggested.  Call (609) 399-1989 or 525-9304.

Motorized Wheel Chairs:
Boardwalk accessible program for persons with mobility-limited disabilities.  Sports and Civic Center.  July and August 12pm-10pm daily.  First come first serve basis – up to 3 hours per person.  Call (609) 399-1989 or 525-9304.

Skate Board Park:
For skate boarding and in-line skating only, 6th & Boardwalk.  Helmets, wrist guards, knee pads and elbow pads are required.  Open daily 9am until dusk (weather permitting).  Fees are in effect Memorial Day through mid-September.  Daily $5, Weekly $10.  Seasonal Resident $25, Seasonal Non-Resident $50.  Call (609) 399-1989 or 525-9304.

Our downtown area along Asbury Avenue is open year-round.  Here are some family shopping events you don’t want to miss. . .

  • Farmers

  • ' Market – the freshest of local produce, flowers and specialty items.  Tabernacle grounds between 5th & 6th Streets, every Wednesday, summer months.

  • Evenings on Asbury Avenue – offering a fun-filled night of music, dancing, shopping, prizes and art.  Between 6th & 11th Streets, Wednesday from 6-9pm, summer months.

  • Fantastic Tuesdays – Every Tuesday from 10am-1pm, summer months.

  • Family Film Night – on the Second Floor of Stainton’s, Tuesday’s, summer months.

  • Market Days – offering free pony rides, face painters, magic, puppet shows and live music to entertain the old and young.  Thursdays from 10am – 1pm, summer months.

  • Hospitality Night – each December kicks off our holiday shopping season.

Community Contact Numbers

Ocean City Airport - 609.399.0907
Ocean City Aquatic and Fitness Center - 609.398.6900
Ocean City Arts Center - 609.399.7628
Ocean City Chamber of Commerce - 609.399.1412
Ocean City's City Hall - Main Number 609.399.6111
Ocean City's Fire Department (non-emergency) - 609.525.9182
Ocean City Golf Course - 609.399.1315
Ocean City Pops Orchestra- 609.525.9291
Ocean City Historical Museum - 609.399.1801
Ocean City Humane Society - 609.399.2018
Ocean City Library - 609.399.2434
Ocean City Rescue Squad - (non-emergency) - 609.3993608
Ocean City Sports & Civic Center - 609.399.1989
Ocean City Tennis Courts (34th Street) - 609.398.9226
Ocean City Tourism Information - 1-800-BEACH-NJ (1.800.232.2465)
Ocean City Transportation Center - 609.398.9030
Ocean City - City Hall Directory

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