Ocean City, NJ offers a little bit of everything, for every type of adventure you may want to try. Beach tags are only $5 for you to soak up the sun and play in the waves. Gillian’s Wonderland Pier offers a huge ferris wheel, while Playland’s Castaway Cove has several roller coaster’s…and the boardwalk leads to numerous spots for mini golf, shopping, and places to eat. If you feel like taking a drive, 15 min. south will bring you to Corson’s Inlet State Park, while only 5 min. will bring you to the Discovery Seashell Museum. Since we wanted to try a little bit of everything, I got a $90 room at the Rodeway Inn in Marmora, NJ. It was clean and comfortable enough for one night, while only being a 13 min. drive to the beach and attractions. Since it is summer, places to stay down the shore become astronomical in price, so choosing a place a little farther away can help keep costs down.
I was so happy we decided to try Haunted Golf. It was a seemingly small attraction located directly off of the boardwalk, but once inside it housed an impressive 18 hole course, set in a haunted mansion. For 2 people it was only $13, and worth every penny. There was a ghost wedding complete with fun tunes, moving props, and humor mixed in with the scary. I thought it was appropriate for all ages, but you know your child best, so if they scare easily it probably isn’t for them. My teenager had fun, and hearing him laugh at the small things is pretty huge to me. Even while waiting for our turn in some spots, the amazing attention to detail and intrigue kept us easily entertained. It was a new experience that I would do again.
The next day we had the awesome experience of being surrounded by fog. And can you believe there was still a crowd? Beach Patrol was in full force to keep people out of the water, not that I would have been crazy enough to attempt it, and the lifeguards didn’t even bother to set up their towers. It wasn’t humid like I thought it would be, but I guess being close to the ocean helps to decimate the feeling. We were still slightly warm, but comfortable in our swimsuits, and I’m sure most of us stayed because the weather forecast said it would be sunny skies later on. I love when I get to experience something out of the ordinary like this, and highly recommend trying it if given the chance. It was a surreal morning, lazy but with a sense of eerie awareness.
It cleared up by noon and we made sure to try our first rolled ice cream at Sweet Charlie’s. They demonstrate the process of making your concoction right in front of you, with choices from the base cream to any add in’s you choose. It’s fascinating to see how quickly the freezing steel top transforms the liquid into a creamy treat. Of course we are always down for a new experience, but I would probably stick with scooped ice cream in the future, just because I feel like there’s more substance to your purchase with the scoop method. It was slightly pricey, but my guess is you’re also paying for the “show”.
While our stay was short, I feel as we though we still had a complete shore experience. I got slightly burned on the beach, grabbed huge slices of Brother’s Pizza when they went sale for $1/slice at closing time, and we checked out some amusement rides and attractions for under $25. My son isn’t big on rides, so that probably helped with costs, but if you pick a wristband day/night, a nice chuck of change could be saved. The shore shouldn’t be about breaking the bank, it should be a fun experience that creates memories, and we did that in a weekend.