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Can you park at the West Ocean City Park & Ride overnight for free? Our hotel only allows one car space per room and we will likely end up with an extra car. Thanks for your help
Submitted by Jason C, Pompton Lakes New Jersey on July 10, 2014
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Centreville, VA

Insider since: 2010

Answered: July 10, 2014

The signage at the West OC Park & Ride lot is a little confusing (see below), so I called the Transportation Department (410.723.1606) to see if one can leave a car parked at the West OC Park & Ride lot overnight for multiple nights. The person I spoke to said that while oversized vehicles and trailers cannot be parked there overnight, passenger cars may be left there overnight and for multiple days as long as parking enforcement can see that no one is sleeping in them. Like all places, they will not be responsible for your car, although I have not heard of any incidents at this lot related to break ins or similar.

If your hotel is not in West OC, there are alternatives that may actually be better for you. Most of the side streets north of 10th Street have free parking. I have often parked on these streets and left my car there for several days with no issue. Just check the signs in the area where you park, as some streets have specific hours where parking is prohibited due to street cleaning, trash pickup, and similar.

Is a permit required to professionally photograph families on the beach and boardwalk? My husband and I vacation with our daughter at OC every year and we'd love to offer our luxury vacation albums to other OC lovers. Thanks so much for any helpful information! -Deanna 
Submitted by Deanna W, Warsaw New York on July 10, 2014
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Centreville, VA

Insider since: 2010

Answered: July 10, 2014

Taking photographs on the beach or boardwalk is fine for individuals, but if you are operating a business in OC, then you need a business license. You can find out more about requirements for operating businesses in OC here. The fee for a photography business for such a license is $174, as noted here. I suspect if you are just going to take pictures in OC, and then self publish a book of your pictures once you get home, that you could do so with no license. However, if you are offering photography services, including photographing other OC visitors for a fee, then you would definitely need a license. Your best bet if you want to operate such a business you should call the City Clerk's Office at 410.289.8842. They can give you the best guidance or direct you to someone who can.

Note that while use of the beach for taking pictures could likely be fairly easily permitted with a business license, that soliciting beach goers for photography, similar to what the Telescope Photography businesses do, is controlled by franchise agreemetns that are bid on and issued periodically. Gaining such a franchise is a much more complex process. The city clerk's office can also provide you info on how your potential business venture would relate to these franchise operations.

I have a family of 5, planning to visit at the end of July. Please can you recommend accommodations that have kitchenettes. Any tips on saving money when it comes to doing activities, Kids are 16, 14 & 10. It's our first trip.
Submitted by Smita P, Morris Plains New Jersey on July 9, 2014
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Centreville, VA

Insider since: 2010

Answered: July 9, 2014

Two of my favorite properties with kitchenettes are The Dunes Manor and The Holiday Inn & Suites. Both are oceanfront on or very near the boardwalk. I routinely recommend them, and my family has stayed at each of them. If you want to save some money, you can stay oceanblock, just steps from the beach. A great option with kitchenettes is The Spinnaker. Some other great affordable options include The Sahara (kitchen with fridge and microwave), Tides (full kitchen), and The Beachmark (full kitchens). This last group is more basic, but are places I have stayed and routinely recommend. If you want more ideas, and some more descriptions of the places identified here, take a look at this thread.

There are lots of ways to save money in OC.  First of all, there are lots of FREE activities every week for all ages during the summer including fireworks, movies on the beach (at 27th Street, 91st Street, and 118th Street) , family beach Olympics, and concerts.

You can see a large list of things to do in OC, many of them FREE, at this website and more free activities here.

There are lots of opportunities to save with coupons. I suggest going to the Visitor's Center at the south end of the Convention Center at 40th Street (pictured below). You can pick up lots of information and tons of magazines and newspapers with coupons and discounts.

Finally, checkout these two online guides for discount coupons: Sunny Day Guide, Visitors Guide.

If youy want some other ideas of things to do while you are there, checkout this thread for some of the OCI's favorite things to do.

Have a GREAT time in OC with your family, I'll be there at the same time!

Are the little shops on the boardwalk open in September in Ocean City, MD?
Submitted by maw m, endicott New York on July 9, 2014
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Johnstown Pa

Insider since: 2009

Answered: July 9, 2014

Hi.  September is a great time to visit Ocean City.  You'll still find plenty of shops open for business in September, and the little Inlet Shoppes will also be open for a few weeks into September as well. They're one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon in OC.

My husband and I are elderly and I have to use oxygen at all times. We came to OC for 1 week each month last year and hoping to do that this year. Because we have some health issues we were hoping this year to find a service that would help us with our unpacking and packing.We would pay for the service. Thank You
Submitted by wanita D, Baltimore Maryland on July 8, 2014
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Centreville, VA

Insider since: 2010

Answered: July 8, 2014

I don't know of any such services, but I'd suggest calling one of the higher end hotels and seeing if they can have their staff do this for you. Four places I'd suggest are: Dunes Manor (410.289.1100 28th Street), the Hilton (410.289.6444 33rd Street), Holiday Inn & Suites (866.627.8483 17th Street), Courtyard Marriott (410.289.5008 15th Street). These are all great places right on the beach.

If you already have a place, there is another business, Shore House Services, that indicates they provide custom concierge services. I do not know anything about them, but they are a member of the OC Chamber of Commerce, and they likely would be help you. Try contacting them at 410.202.2887.

Does OC still sell the booklet of bus passes at a discounted price? And if so, where can we purchase the booklet?
Submitted by Barbara M, Westville New Jersey on July 8, 2014
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Johnstown Pa

Insider since: 2009

Answered: July 8, 2014

Not any longer.   At one time, it cost $1 per ride or $3 for a ride all day pass.  That has changed. It is now a flat $3 per day. You can ride as many times as you want to all day long.

Makes it much easier.

I am a 21 yrs old male and was wondering to know some of the best hotels to stay at that would have the same college atmosphere or something in relations to that age group, and if so what are the best places to go out to at night. Thanks
Submitted by james g, Brooklyn New York on July 7, 2014
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Centreville, VA

Insider since: 2010

Answered: July 7, 2014

For places to stay, try the Castle in the Sand. My nieces in there early 20s have gone there several times and they really like it. Holiday in Oceanfront is also a great option. Bothplaces have plenty of families, but als have lots going on!

Best place to go out - Seacrets - any time day or night!

What are your top recs for places to dine in OCMD? Family of 5 kids are 13, 11, and 8. How many lifeguards in OC? How many saves do the lifeguards make each summer season? Best 5 bars?? Best crabs? Best mini golf?
Submitted by Mark S, City* Connecticut on July 7, 2014
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Hunt Valley and Ocean City

Insider since: 2010

Answered: July 7, 2014

Great questions! 

For a family of 5 I recommend the following: Fish Tales, Da Lazy Lizard, BJ's On the Water and Dead Freddies.  Meals are about $12 per person at each restaurant.

There are approximately 90 lifeguards on duty each day.  Saves are not recorded.  Most days the water conditions are great and the guards do not have to make any saves.  On rough water days, we have seen a single guard make 9 saves.  We have also gone over two weeks this summer without seeing a guard making a single save.

Five best bars: Seacrets, MR Ducks, Mackeys, Fager's Island and Dead Freddies

Best crabs: On The Bay Seafood

Best mini golf: Old Pro on 136th Street

Is there free parking for handicap tags?
Submitted by Elaine c, finksburg Maryland on July 7, 2014
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Centreville, VA

Insider since: 2010

Answered: July 7, 2014

In general, you do not have to pay to park in OC if you have a government issued handicap placard or license plates.

However, in the inlet parking lot, people with handicap tags get a 90 minute grace period to park for free. After 90 minutes have past, they have to pay full price. These costs and more information can be found at http://ococean.com/travel-tools/parking-information.

In the rest of OC, meters have been replaced with the Cale Parking System where you purchase a ticket for a selected amount of time and display it on you dashboard. I spoke to the people at City Hall, and they indicated that if you have a valid handicap hang tag, placard, or license plate displayed, you can park for free in any spot controlled by these machines, including non-handicap spots.

On most side streets north of 10th Street, parking is free and there are usually one or two of handicap spots reserved at the east end of the street, right at the beach or boardwalk.

Have a great trip to OC!

Does the boardwalk have Wi Fi access?
Submitted by Sam V, Wappingers Falls New York on July 7, 2014
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Ocean City, MD

Insider since: 2011

Answered: July 9, 2014

Sam,

Despite being the hottest spot around, the boardwalk does not have wi-fi. Various restaurants in town do offer it however and of course the library as well.