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Is there a boardwalk on the bay side? Our condo information states it is located near the new bay side boardwalk. Our condo is located oceanfront at 73rd St. Thanks! 
Submitted by Melissa P, McClure Pennsylvania on July 13, 2016
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Centreville, VA

Insider since: 2010

Answered: July 14, 2016

Their is not really a bay side boardwalk, although there are some bulkheads and parks along the bay that are a little boardwalk-like, however, none are near 73rd Street. The "bay side boardwalk" the condo is referring to is the Town Center at 67th Street. This shopping plaze has billed itself as a bay side (meaning the bay side of Coastal Highway, not right next to the bay) boardwalk as it has a similar open-air beach-shop atmosphere (although I think nicer with less t-shirt shops, and more nicer shops) as the boardwalk.

Are we allowed to bring our own tent to the beach during the day?
Submitted by Mary Anne H, Westminster Maryland on July 13, 2016
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Centreville, VA

Insider since: 2010

Answered: July 14, 2016

Yes, you can bring and setup a reasonably sized tent on the beach, but be sure to tie it down well so it doesn't blow down the beach! Its use is technically at the discretion of the lifeguard, but I've have not seen any issues with tent us. Generally you are fine as long as you setup west of the line of lifeguards (in line or behind the umbrellas). No umbrellas or similar are allowed directly between or east of the lifeguard stands to avoid blocking their view of the water and one another.

You cannot setup such a tent and sleep in it on the beach between 10pm and 6am.

I am in need of someone to officiate our wedding ceremony! Any suggestions would be helpful. 
Submitted by melissa h, west grove Pennsylvania on July 13, 2016
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Centreville, VA

Insider since: 2010

Answered: July 14, 2016

I'd suggest working with one of OC's wedding planning companies. They can offer you anything from just an officiant for the event to a full blown package. Here are some places that do planning and that can provide someone to officiate at your renewal:

Ocean City Wedding Pastor 410.603.9918

Beach Weddings by Rox 866.472.3012

If want to use the beach for your wedding, you need to coordinate a time and location with the Mayor's Office. You can call them at 410.289.8931 to do this. There is no fee, but there is a form you need to fill out that you can get here. There is more information here. If you are planning on doing this between now and Labor Day on the beach, then you will likely need to do it before 9am or after 5pm, when the beach is much less crowded. In addition ot the beach, OC's Parks, particularly Northside Park (on their pier) and  Sunset Park are also great locations fo renewing your vows. If you want to use a park, call the Recreation and Parks Department at 410.250.0125 to coordinate your event and find out more.

Im looking for a local photographer to take family pictures on the beach next week. Any recommendations? 
Submitted by alison m, verona New Jersey on July 12, 2016
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Centreville, VA

Insider since: 2010

Answered: July 12, 2016

My family used Chris Praypa a few years ago (see above). We had a large group (15) with people ages 1 to 70. He did an excellent job and was reasonably priced. We had a really windy day, but he still took great shots of everyone.  I highly recommend him.

Another solid option is The Photographer's Studio. We used them a  few years ago to do our extended family, and they did an excellent job. They are not inexpensive, but they are on par price wise with most professional studios and do an outstanding job. They shoot all high end digital and can do touch ups as necessary. They can also add a missing person to your photo if you need such a service. They also have a real dune at the studio where they can control the lighting and environment very well (we used it and everyone thinks we shot on the beach), but they will shoot your pictures on the real beach or wherever you want. The photographer does a great job with kids and large groups. Even if you don't use them, take a look at their website. It has lots of great tips for planning a successful family photo shoot.

If you want a more basic package with a lower price too, Telescope does a solid job. You can either just flag down one of the photographers on the beach or schedule something with them. They offer more than just the telescopes, including prints of many sizes.Have a great trip to OC!

Are there any public beaches on the bay side where the water may be calmer? We are staying in Ocean Pines as we have for years.
Submitted by Cheryl G, Reading Pennsylvania on July 12, 2016
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Centreville, VA

Insider since: 2010

Answered: July 12, 2016

There are really no public beaches on the bay side in OC. However, there is a park just south of the Route 50 bridge in West OC called Homer Gudelsky Park. This park has bay access, but much of the shoreline is protected by stone rip-rap (see below), so it is difficult or impossible to swim there. The beach is public, but there are no lifeguards. To get there, take Route 50 west out of OC to the 2nd traffic light. Go left onto Golf Course Road. Go about 1/4 mile and go Left onto Old Bridge Road. Homer Gudelsky Park is at the east end of Old Bridge Road.

What is the best place to crab and charter a fishing boat?
Submitted by alison m, verona New Jersey on July 12, 2016
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Centreville, VA

Insider since: 2010

Answered: July 12, 2016

For crabbing, I recommend the Chicago Avenue bulkhead (on the bay a between 2nd and 3rd Streets), the bulkhead behind the Convention Center (40th Street), the Northside Park Pier (125th Street) or the Isle of Wight Wildlife Area pier (On the south side of the Isle of Wight, between the two Route 90 bridges). Get some excellent info on crabbing in OC here.

For fishing, every fishing boat is unique, but OC has many excellent Captains working out of several marinas. Some places with large charter fleets are:

West OC Fishing Center - 800.322.3065 - West OC, just south of Route 50

Talbot Street Pier - 800.659.7703 - At Talbot Street and the bay - rates are listed on this page.

Bahia Marina - 888.575.3625 - 21st Street on the bay

If you want to go headboat fishing in the ocean or bay take a look at these sites:

The Angler - Ocean fishing headboat

Bahia Marina - Ocean and Bay fishing headboats

Ocean City Fishing Center - Ocean and Bay fishing headboats

The Happy Hooker - Bay fishing headboat

If you want to rent a boat to fish in the bay, many of the marinas in town will rent you boats that you can fish from without a license (they have a licese in place for the boat as part of the rental agreement). Here are a few marinas that rent fishing boats

Bahia Marina - All kinds of boats, from rowboats to pontoon boats

Advanced Marine - Pontoon Boats (they often have discount morning rental special - just ask for it)

Bayside Boat Rentals

You can fish from a a pier, bulkead or bridge consider the OC Ocean Fishing Pier (at Wicomico Street) or one of the spots along the inlet when the tide is bringing larger fish into the bay. Places to fish along the inlet include the breakwater at the south end of town and the Oceanic Fishing Pier.The Route 50 bridge is another good option.

Note that fishing in most places in OC requires a fishing license for people age 16 and older. Since they are commercial entities, you can fish from the Ocean Pier and Oceanic Pier or most rental fishing boats without a license. You can also fish from the Chicago Avenue bulkhead (between 2nd and 4th Streets on the bay) for free without a license. 

Have a great time fishing in OC!

How much does it cost to rent an umbrella on the beach? 
Submitted by Susan B, Laurel Maryland on July 12, 2016
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Centreville, VA

Insider since: 2010

Answered: July 12, 2016

The prices vary a dollar or two among operators, but umbrellas are about $14/day or $75/week to rent. These are high quality heavy umbrellas, and the rental attendants will do put-up and take-down for you.

Planning a stay in September. When do boardwalk businesses close for the season?
Submitted by mark g, reading Pennsylvania on July 12, 2016
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Camp Hill, PA

Insider since: 2010

Answered: July 21, 2016

Mark,

Essentially they don't close.  Fewer and fewer business "close for the season" in Ocean City.  Even on the coldest winter day, if it's sunny out, you'll find sort of a bustle on the boardwalk and many merchants open up for business.  Keep in mind that once you hit the end of September post Sunfest, that is the time where merchants and business owners take their own vacations after a very busy and probably stressful summer in town, so the only word to the wise would be that there very well could be a business you wish to visit that could be closed for a vacation, but other than that, the number of businesses that close for several months over the late fall, winter and early spring are diminishing rapidly.

My boyfriend and I are coming to OC on Monday, July 18. Is everything there open on Mondays? Is there anything going on on a Monday for us to do or see?
Submitted by Chelsie K, Baltimore Maryland on July 12, 2016
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Hunt Valley and Ocean City

Insider since: 2010

Answered: July 13, 2016

Chelsie, as others have said, all of OC is open every day during the summer!  A Monday will seem like a Saturday with all the fun options you have!

How do you become an OC Insider? I have lived here full time for seven years, and seasonally for 12.
Submitted by Patty F, Ocean city Maryland on July 11, 2016
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Centreville, VA

Insider since: 2010

Answered: July 11, 2016

The best way is to become active on OC related social media and similar sites, this often builds familiarity between you and one or more of us. Several current OCIs got engaged based on recommendations of other OCIs who had interacted with them online. The tourism group occasionally asks for people to apply too. You can watch the ococean.com Insiders site to see if they are looking for additional Insiders. There are about 17 OCIs now, and it has been a fairly stable group for the past few years. The program is administered by OC's Department of Tourism and OC's advertising agency, MGH. To apply, I wrote a brief essay explaining why I thought I would be a good OCI and what my experience was with OC. They also asked for some insight into my online activities. This information as used to select OCIs, but they also select people to ensure we have a very  broad mix of people with many different hometowns, interests, ages, and experiences in OC.