For many of us parents, it feels like we’re losing our kids to a world of screens. Smartphones, televisions, video games — they all compete for our children’s attention. That’s why we look forward to those few glorious weeks every summer when we can escape from the clicks and taps of technology. Every summer, we get to go on a family vacation.
Research on family vacation habits clearly indicate that taking a break is important for multi-generational homes. According to Travel Age West, 87% of families planned to take a vacation in 2015.
This raises a pressing question: Where is the best place to take your family on vacation? Where will you find the best relief from the daily grind of work and school? And where can your family truly let go and relax?
According to a Expedia.com’s Flip Flop Report, 52 percent of respondents worldwide reported that they planned on taking a vacation at a beach in the next year. Meanwhile, a study conducted by the European Centre for Environmental and Human Health confirmed what we have long suspected: The beach is the best destination for instilling calmness, enjoyment and refreshment!
It’s important to remember however that not all beaches are the same. Some, like those in Mexico, are famed for their wild night life, a popular party destination for spring breakers. Others, like the Hamptons, are renowned for only being accessible to the well-to-do.
For the family looking to get away with their kids without breaking the budget, where are they to go?
Considering the wonderful available vacation rentals for families in Ocean City, NJ, the Jersey Shore is the best place to start. Family friendly from its founding, this resort town prides itself on being safe, fun-filled and perfect for any family looking to soak up the sun. No wonder the town has earned the nickname “America’s Greatest Family Resort!” Just this year, Coastal Living awarded Ocean City, New Jersey, it’s coveted “Best Beach in America” award!
With that in mind, we’ve put together some of our favorite family-friendly activities that make Ocean City, New Jersey, perfect for kids and their parents alike!
Of course, any family beach vacation must have at least one thing: amazing beaches. And Ocean City, NJ, sure has them! OCNJ prides itself on well-kept, clean beaches. And they have plenty to choose from. Some are more crowded, while others are quieter and more isolated all year long. If you have older kids who are up for trekking, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to walk up and down the shore looking for the perfect spot to kick back and get away from the crowds. Of course, if the members of your family are the more extroverted types, even the crowded sections are fun places where kids can feel safe to explore, run around and make new friends. Either way, if you are most eager to taste a little saltwater and bury your toes in the sand, you can’t go wrong with OCNJ. Our beaches are top-notch.
On some beaches, boardwalks earn unsavory reputations. Looking to cater to spring breakers and more adult tastes, these other boardwalks feature a number of activities that most parents would like to keep separate from their families.
That’s not the case in Ocean City, NJ. Our boardwalk is famed for its wealth of family-friendly activities.
The boardwalk has not one, but two Ferris wheels. Mini-golf abounds, including some courses that are indoors, making them a perfect destination if the weather isn’t cooperating. There’s Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, which combines a number of kid-focused recreational activities. The water park and countless other rides are perfect for young adventure-seekers.
You can also hear world-renowned music on the OCNJ boardwalk. It all starts at the Ocean City music pier. Throughout the summer, music festivals turn the volume up on the boardwalk, giving families with a love for music a great way to explore and enjoy being outside.
Last but not least, there’s the food! Funnel cake, crab fries, pizza, popcorn, and frozen treats are widely available. All of the boardwalk favorites can be found in OCNJ!
If you want to take a day off from the boardwalk, why not check out Asbury Avenue, the commercial heart of downtown OCNJ? There are a lot of diverse shopping options, including artisanal soaps, furniture, ornaments, gifts, books, toys, crafts and other household items and decor. If you want to make the extended family jealous, why not buy them a gift from your incomparably fun family beach adventure?
A number of fabulous restaurants and small eateries are also located along Asbury Avenue. Everything from quick breakfasts to fine dining — you are sure to find something to satisfy even the pickiest of young eaters. Donuts, pizza, ice cream and water ice are all available downtown.
Plus, if you are a fan of history and architecture, you can always check out the City Hall, also located on Asbury Avenue.
Although the biggest waves are found on the West Coast, Ocean City, NJ has long had a surfing culture. Additionally, because our waves aren’t quite as formidable, it is a great place for the first-time surfer to learn this traditional beach sport.
Part of what makes OCNJ a popular Atlantic surf spot are the barrier reefs that exist just offshore. These reefs help ensure consistent waves land on the shore, meaning you can count on finding a decent wave all summer long.
Seek out some lessons if you are a first timer, or if you have experience, don’t forget to bring your boards!
Other Water Activities
Don’t limit your saltwater adventures to surfing. There are a number of wonderful water activities that are available for family members of all levels of experience.
Paddle boards and kayaks are available for rent, which allow you to explore the water in new and exciting ways. Consider getting a two-seater and paddling out as a kid-and-parent tandem. This is will give you a wonderful opportunity to bond with your son or daughter in ways that can’t be replicated anywhere but at the beach!
If you are more adventurous, try your hand at water skiing or wake boarding. These activities are actually easier to pick up than they first appear. While it takes a little courage to try and stand up on the wake for the first time, but once you do, you won’t ever want to stop! For those who are worried about standing up on their skis, why not give tubing a shot? Instead of standing, you just have to hold on! Families with older teens might also want to try out jet skiing. These machines are fun and available to rent at reasonable rates.
Those who actually want to slow down a little can also do some saltwater fishing. What better way to make all of your co-workers jealous than to come home with a fabulous big fish story?
Guided Beach Walks
While vacations are about taking a break from school, sometimes parents can’t help themselves — they just have to sneak in a little educational activity into a vacation trip.
There are wonderful guided nature walks available in Ocean City, NJ, which will give you and your family an up-close opportunity to explore the remarkable beach flora and fauna. Kids and parents alike will learn all about beach vegetation, see the types of animals that call the shore home and even get a more in-depth look into the many types of shells that kids are so eager to collect.
Considering the pounding of waves ensures that no beach walk is the same, this is an activity you can plan on putting on your vacation itinerary year in and year out.
Ocean City Historical Museum
Another time-honored tradition of the educationally minded parent, the Ocean City Historical Museum gives families the opportunity to explore the rich history of this part of the world. The museum traces the history of this unique seaside resort, along with many of the wonderful aspects of the nation’s nautical traditions.
There are also special events occurring regularly throughout the year at the museum, so check the calendar ahead of time – you may get to witness something special!
There are plenty of mini-golf courses throughout Ocean City, New Jersey, but nowadays, kids are getting started with the real thing at a much younger age. Luckily, if you are a golfing family, you don’t need to limit yourself to the windmills and clown’s mouths of the mini-golf circuit.
Ocean City, NJ, is home to a 12-hole par 3 course that is perfect for kids who are just getting started on their game. Just outside of OCNJ are number of award-winning courses that are perfect for players of all levels. If your family loves to hit the links, don’t forget to pack your clubs for your trip or feel free to rent — in case you’re flying here or just prefer to pack light!
Finally, Ocean City, NJ, is home to countless annual events, all of which bring a sense of celebration to this beach town. There are so many, in fact, that we can’t list them all. However, some highlights include the baby parades, the Miss New Jersey pageant, Martin Z. Mollusk Day, the King and Queen of Plop and the Business Persons Plunge, along with pet fashion shows, fireworks and music festivals. If you happen to be here over a holiday, whether it be Halloween, Memorial Day Weekend or Easter, you are sure to find a family-friendly celebration! And nothing compares to the fireworks display every 4th of July.
Don’t be afraid to plan ahead. Check out the calendar of events and find the celebration that fits with your family’s particular tastes. You won’t be disappointed!
Best Places to Rent in OCNJ
Now that you know all there is to do in American’s Greatest Family Resort, you next have to decide where you’re going to stay while you’re here.
Luckily, all of us at Goldcoast Sotheby’s International Realty have more than a little experience with setting families up with gorgeous accommodations while they are in OCNJ.
If you plan on stopping by for a week or two, fabulous beachfront property in Ocean City, NJ, is available for rent. If you are interested in renting, our search tool makes finding the perfect beach house easy. You can search by date, location and price, giving you complete control over the type of vacation experience you have in mind.
Plus, when you use our services, you get access to the best of both worlds: a local company backed by one of the preeminent international real estate firms.
We have years of experience in Ocean City, NJ, meaning we understand what this town has to offer along with its unique family-friendly atmosphere. We know what it means to be a family looking to get away, and we want to do whatever we can to help you get the kind of vacation experience you deserve.
We also give you access to the peerless Sotheby’s International Realty network. That means no matter where you are coming from, we have the connections to get you the kind of rental accommodations you’re looking for! If you’re looking for the best locations for rental homes in Ocean City, NJ, look no further.
Investment Properties in OCNJ
However, if you are already in love with this wonderful beach community, now may be the time to consider investing in real estate. We have years of experience matching potential buyers with the perfect property for their family’s lifestyle.
If you want to be right along the sand, we can find the best property for you. If instead you see yourself in town, close to the action while still only a short distance from the surf, we can help you find the perfect place there too. Whether you want an inclusive condo or a full-sized beach house, we give you access to the best listings in Ocean City, New Jersey.
Just like our rental properties, we give you access to the Sotheby’s International Realty network. No matter where you are, we can connect you with the perfect investment property here along the Jersey Shore.
We look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you to Ocean City, NJ! Our realtors and staff have the experience, professionalism and friendliness to help you find the best property for your needs while also giving you the same family-first experience that has become the hallmark of Ocean City, NJ. If you have any questions or simply want to discuss your options, feel free to contact us. We eagerly await your call.
You can clearly see why Ocean City, New Jersey, has earned its reputation for unrivaled family fun. We are a town that wants to make sure all feel welcome. Our beaches are clean and inviting. Our boardwalk is full of fun for kids of all ages. Our town is home to great shopping and dining experiences. There are plenty of adventures just waiting to be had by you and your loved ones, whether on the water or not. If you are a golfer, come visit us! If you prefer to simply out in the sun, we’re your destination as well. No matter what your tastes, your ages or your budget, we are the seaside destination for the whole family. Come experience America’s Greatest Family Resort. The sun, salt and sand await you!