Ocean City, Maryland 21842
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Ocean City's Hidden Gems: 8 Outdoor Locations to Experience

By Jennifer Sabini Evans

There's much to love about Ocean City's popular tourist attractions. From the beautiful beach to the iconic Boardwalk attractions, these attractions have thrilled tourists for decades. While the top attractions draw huge crowds, there is something to be said about the serenity of Ocean City's hidden gems.

To help, we've highlighted several secret spots in Ocean City adding to your itinerary.

1. Sunset Park

Sunset Park

Photo courtesy of Garrett Neville

Sunset Park provides a moment of serenity just steps from the historic Ocean City Boardwalk. While everyone else is hitting up the amusements (another must-visit), those in the know can escape to this area and learn about native plants, do a little bird watching, and enjoy stunning sunset views of the Atlantic Ocean, Assateague Island, and Sinepuxent Bay. 

Fun fact: Sunset Park was constructed in the same location as the old railroad bridge that was destroyed in the storm of 1933. This venue was designed with historic railroad-style features, including the design of the restroom building, trellis, and original train station bricks located around the perimeter of the park, once located along S. Philadelphia Ave.  

 

2. Northside Park

Northside Park Ocean City, MD

As one of Ocean City's most familiar destinations, Northside Park is rarely considered a hidden gem. However, within this 58-acre space are various unique features that a first-time visitor and even some residents tend to miss. This park is best known for its athletics complex. However, the park also offers several other amenities, including walking trails, an outdoor fitness center, two playgrounds, and a 'Wetlands Walkway" (fishing pier), where visitors can watch the sunset over the water. The paved walking trail around the pond is especially popular with families, as it provides a chance to explore the area's natural beauty. In addition, the park is home to a variety of wildlife, making it a great place to enjoy nature. Whether looking for a place to fish, bike, walk, or relax, Northside Park is sure to have something for you.

 

3. Bayfront Boardwalk

Ocean City Bayfront Boardwalk

The Bayfront Boardwalk in Ocean City, MD is the perfect place to enjoy a sunny day any season. Stretching from 2nd to 4th street on the bayside, the Boardwalk offers plenty of opportunities for fishing and relaxing. In fact, this is one of two free fishing zones in Ocean City, MD. You need a "free registry," which you can obtain over the phone between 7 a.m.-7 p.m. at 1-855-855-3906.

There are also several restaurants and cafes nearby, so you can grab a bite and eat while enjoying the stunning views. Whether you're looking to soak up some sun or enjoy a beautiful sunset, the Bayfront Boardwalk is definitely worth visiting.

 

4. Roland E. Powell Convention Center Bayfront

Roland E. Powell Convention Center Bayfront

One of the best places to watch the sunset in Ocean City, MD is from the fishing pier at Roland E. Powell Convention Center. The dock offers a unique perspective on the sun as it dips below the horizon, and it's also a great place to catch a glimpse of the local wildlife. Herons and egrets can often be seen wading in the shallows, and dolphins are sometimes spotted swimming in the bay. The pier is also a popular spot for fishing, and it's not uncommon to see people reeling in their catches as the sun sets. 

 

5. Rackliffe House Trail

Rackliffe Plantation House Trail

You may have stopped at the Assateague Visitors Center, but did you know there's more than what meets the eye? In the back of the parking lot awaits an area filled with lush trees and wildlife. The Rackliffe House Trail can be found here, with a 1.3-mile loop that takes roughly 19 minutes to walk. The Rackliffe House Trail is perfect for those looking to spend some time outdoors and enjoy the beautiful views along Sinepuxent Bay. Not only will you get a chance to visit one of Maryland's restored 18th-century coastal plantation homes, but there are also plenty of photo opportunities along this beautiful trail!

 

6. Assateague Island State Beach headed north

Assateague Island State beach headed north

Assateague Island State Beach is a familiar destination for locals and tourists, but many people avoid this spot simply because it takes extra work to get there. However, if you head out on the state beach and walk north towards Ocean City, chances are good that you will enjoy this serene beach within moments without any other visitors or tourists in sight! You'll find beautiful hidden treasures like sea glass and shells and shore birds that thrive here. It truly makes memories when visiting such places authentically--without too much interference from human activities nearby. 

 

7. Isle of Wight Park

Isle of Wight Park captured by Capturing Horizons PhotographyPhoto courtesy of Capturing Horizons Photography

If you've crossed the Route 90 Bridge, you've seen signs for the Isle of Wight Park. This passive park has a canoe and kayak launch site and two piers, with picnic tables available for your enjoyment! The 6000-foot-long wooden pier makes its way through various types of natural vegetation, including marshland and swamps, just before ending at the beautiful Isle of Wight Bay where you can enjoy some incredible sunsets! The winter brings many birds to this area, making it an excellent birdwatching destination. 

 

8. OP Fairy Woods

OP Fairy Woods

Right off the barrier island, located in Veterans Memorial Park, near the entrance to Ocean Pines, you will find a path with a little extra whimsy. 

This peaceful path leads to an enchanted dense forest full of tall pine trees where the gnomes and fairies live! Walk mindfully and keep your eyes peeled for the sneaky ones, as many single gnomes are hidden between trees and under leaves. Most gnome homes are close to the ground and come in all shapes and sizes. If you are looking for something magical yet simple to do– add this to your list of places to explore.

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