Ocean City Group Travel

Ocean City is the Perfect Place for All Groups!

group-travel1.jpgStart with one of America’s cleanest beaches and best boardwalks. Now add outstanding championship golf courses. Legendary wild horses and more than 250 bird species. A strong sense of history (complete with antiquing). The world’s biggest billfish tournament.

Ocean City, Maryland, offers so much for your group. A romantic, backdrop for the perfect wedding. Serious shopping, from antiquing to one-of-a-kind boutiques to national outlets. World-renowned deep-sea fishing. Museums that explore our maritime, African-American, Native American and 19th century heritage.

And, of course, OC offers plenty of hotels, vacation rentals, restaurants and amusements for dinners, reunions or getaways of any kind. Gyms, fields and courts for your favorite activities. All in a family-friendly atmosphere perfect for student and religious meetings.

The lists below are just a sample of what typical groups have enjoyed in OC. To create your itinerary, make lodging and dining arrangements and more, call Norma Dobrowolski at (800) OC-OCEAN, or e-mail ndobrowolski@ococean.com. You may also fill out our convenient online form to tell us about your group and the event you're planning, and we'll get back to you ASAP with ideas to make your time in OC the best you've ever had.

Classic Family Vacations

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  • 10 miles of beautiful ocean beaches (No beach fees!)
  • Free family activities (Five nights a week in the summer!)
  • A wide selection of hotels and vacation rentals to fit every budget
  • Sightseeing and nature cruises
  • Dozens of miniature golf courses
  • Serious outlet shopping
  • Surf and deep-sea fishing
  • Boating and watersports
  • Kayaking and paddleboarding

Military Reunions and Golf Getaways

  • Hundreds of hotels and vacation rentals offering extensive meeting space and hospitality suites
  • 17 championship golf courses (and golf schools, too)
  • Outstanding bay and deep-sea fishing
  • Tomorrow’s major-league stars: the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds in nearby Salisbury
  • Restaurants from haute cuisine to all-you-can-eat buffets

Girls Only! Shopping Trips

  • Factory outlet stores in West Ocean City
  • Antiquing in Berlin
  • Galleries and bookstores in Snow Hill
  • Unique gift shop at Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum

Student Groups 

Student Groups will want to avail themselves of all the environmental and heritage offerings of the Ocean City area: Assateague Island, the Coastal Bays of the Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge as well as the Delmarva Discover Center, OC Life Saving Station Museum and Harriet Tubman history. Additionally, Ocean City is fun! Our fast paced three-mile Boardwalk offers arcades, rides and boardwalk fare to indulge.

Our local restaurants can offer a meal suited to your group’s needs. Select from fun Boardwalk fare to to bayside fine dining. Our kayaking and paddle board outfitters can take you on an adventure. Ocean City has it all!

Performance Tours 

Performance Groups are discovering Ocean City as a great place to showcase their talents as well as enjoy the seaside resort! Many venues can be arranged such as the new Performing Arts Center of the Roland E. Powell Convention Center. This facility will seat 1,200 with two tiers of fixed seating and a 51 ft. high ceiling. This facility comes online in the winter of 2015.
Other venues that may be arranged include:

  • Somerset Street Plaza-a pedestrian way right off the Boardwalk with the quaint main street feel.
  • Sunset Park at S. Division St. & the Bay-this outdoor pavilion facility offers beautiful sunsets in a bayside setting.

Ocean City’s newest park is a promenade with native shore planting areas with a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean, Assateague Island, the Sinepuxent Bay and Ocean City Commercial Harbor. The stage at Sunset Park is home to concerts and gatherings in the summer and early fall.

*Areas may require fees, insurance and special permits. Call 410-289-2800 or ndobrowolski@ococean.com for Norma Dobrowolski, Destination Sales Manager, to begin your arrangements. We welcome your group to Ocean City and are anxious to assist!

The Ocean City Convention & Visitors Bureau holds membership in good standing with SYTA, ABA, NTA and a host of regional Motorcoach and tour associations.

Motor Coach

Find out why thousands of motorcoach tours find Ocean City, Maryland so welcoming – starting with our easy permit process and personal attention.

General Rules and Regulations

oceancitymarylandmotorcoach.jpgBus parking is prohibited on public ways or streets at all times between May 15 and September 10. Commercial vehicles are prohibited in residential neighborhoods and where posted.

Inlet/Boardwalk Pick-Up and Drop-Off

Follow the signs to the Inlet Parking Area. Buses are allowed 30 minutes to board and discharge passengers in the lane next to the Tram Center. Please note that buses are not allowed to park in the Inlet Parking Area after June 1.

Bus Permits

oceancitymarylandmotorcoach2.jpgBuses must display an Ocean City Permit when entering the city limits between May 15 and September 10. Permits are free when parking with a Convention and Visitors Bureau business or hospitality member. We will guide you through the easy process and be happy to send you maps, guides or brochures for your group. To apply for a bus permit, please contact Lisa Osman at 410-723-8618 or losman@oceancitymd.gov.

Click here to access the Bus Permit Application.

Parking

If you are staying at or patronizing a hotel, restaurant or attraction you will most likely park there. However, the following full-day parking options are available. Please note that you need to call ahead for permission or permitting and that this does not guarantee a reserved space. Processing fees may apply.

First Presbyterian Church on 13th Street 410-289-9340

West Ocean City Park and Ride 410-289-2800

This is a large municipal lot just outside the city. Cross the U.S. 50 bridge westbound, then look for the lot on your left, at 12848 Ocean Gateway. You can park in the oversized area (with a permit issued by Dept of Tourism/CVB 410-289-2800). Permit processing fee $10. We have public restrooms, and provide all-day shuttle service back to Ocean City for just $3 per day. (This is a seasonal lot.) For more information on the West Ocean City Park and Ride, click here. Please, there is to be no running of motors at the West OC Park & Ride facility. We strive to be good neighbors to surrounding residents.

Please call us at 410-723-8618 or 289-2800 to apply for permit. Parking on private lots is free with permission, but a permit is still required May 15 - September 10.

Please click here to view a map of the West Ocean City Park & Ride facility with parking instructions for oversized vehicles and buses.

Special Springfest/Sunfest Information

The Inlet Parking Area is not available to buses during Springfest and Sunfest. To drop off your passengers, head south toward the Inlet on Philadelphia Avenue, making sure that you're in one of the two left lanes. At the intersection of Philadelphia and Baltimore avenues, the police will direct you north on Baltimore toward Trimper's Amusements, where you can drop your passengers off near the carousel. From there, it's a very short block to the Sunfest Activities.

To park your bus, take U.S. 50 west over the bridge to the West Ocean City Park and Ride. Use the oversized parking area, then feel free to take the shuttle back to town to enjoy Sunfest yourself. Tickets $3 per day, and the shuttle runs all day. Please note that Ocean City strives to be a green city, so we ask you please not run your motor while you're parked in this area.

Any questions? 
If you need a permit or need more information on motorcoach permits & parking in Ocean City, give us a call at 410-723-8618 or 289-2800, or losman@oceancitymd.gov.

Group Tour Frequently Asked Questions

What is a group? 

Any group of people traveling together or arriving in Ocean City for a common tour or travel event, such as a family reunion, motorcoach tour, getaway with friends, etc.

How do I begin planning a trip to the Ocean City Area? 

Start by checking out our Web site, or contacting us at the Ocean City Department of Tourism Convention and Visitor Bureau. For groups that need multiple rooms, planned meals or tour options, we can put you in direct contact with our hospitality members, including hotels, restaurants and attractions. Together, you'll be able to plan what you need based on the options our members can provide, which will make planning your group trip quicker and easier.

What are the services of the convention and visitors bureau?

We connect you to our members. We also provide visitor guides, coupon books and small gifts for your organized groups. We can also personally welcome your group to Ocean City when previously arranged.

What are Ocean City's most popular events?

Our most popular events are our annual festivals Springfest, Sunfest and Winterfest of Lights – and they're free! Many organized groups enjoy adding a stop at one of the festivals to a group tour, letting group members enjoy them on their own, or as the main destination.

Why pick Ocean City for my group?

Ocean City has won many awards for our beach, boardwalk, festivals and family-friendly atmosphere. It's one of the most popular destinations for family reunions, motorcoach group tours and getaways with friends.

If we are arriving by Motorcoach, where do we park?

If you are staying at or patronizing a hotel, restaurant or attraction, you will most likely park there. Day parking is available at the Inlet until June 1. From May until Sunfest weekend, you can also use West Ocean City Park & Ride, which provides restrooms and a shuttle into Ocean City. In season, you can also have your passengers dropped off at the Inlet Lot, and your driver can take the bus to the West OC Park & Ride.

Is there a fee or permit needed for our Motorcoach?

From May 15 through October 10, Ocean City requires all motorcoaches to have a bus permit, which is issued by the Department of Tourism Convention and Visitors Bureau. The permit is free if you are parking with a business or hospitality member. If you need to use West Ocean City parking, the cost is $10 per day per motorcoach.


Group Itineraries

Choose some ideas for your itinerary

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Looking for ideas for your group tour? Ocean City's "Beyond the Beach" brochure is your complete guide to group tour activities in OC that are sure to please any crowd.

We've also assembled some favorite themes below: "Heritage Touring" for the historically inclined, "Relaxation at the Shore" for those just looking to kick back and "Seaside Adventures" for lovers of nature and the ecology.

But don't just take our word for it. We've also posted some of the most recent itineraries of other groups who are coming to enjoy everything Ocean City, Maryland has to offer. Feel free to browse around, choose one of the sample itineraries, or create your own. Either way, we look forward to seeing your group in OC soon.

 

 

heritage.jpg  relax.jpg  seaside1.jpg

Additional Ideas from the Ocean City Area!

Cake to Cake

When you tour the Ocean City region you will enjoy excellent accommodations and the sea air! Situated beside the roaring Atlantic Ocean, our 10- mile Boardwalk is just the place for long walks, a few reflective moments beside the ocean or a fun dinner with friends at one of the Boardwalk eateries. Or enjoy dining out on the town, Ocean City offers everything from boardwalk fries and cotton candy to the finest in elegant dining with classically trained chefs.
 
You’ll want to tour Assateague Island to see the world-famous wild ponies, visit the Life Saving Station Museum at the end of the Boardwalk that has the absolute best view of Assateague and the Ocean City Inlet waters.
 
Travel to the historic fishing town of Crisfield where you can board tours to Smith or Tangier Islands in the Chesapeake Bay. On land, experience a lunch where you can enjoy crab cake, see how crabs are steamed, picked and prepared as you await the delectable Chesapeake region delicacy. 
 
Smith Island Cakes have been named Maryland’s official dessert. This multi-layer  confection has become a famous favorite at meals and you can see how they are made and assembled. Talk with Smith Island native bakers and get a glimpse of how life was when the waters teamed with seafood and production and shucking houses were big business!

Famous Route 50 Corridor

You may have seen Tom Brokaw’s series “American Character Along Highway 50”
 
Well, it begins right here in Ocean City!
 
"A description of the route in a 1954 brochure remains surprisingly fitting today: "Above all, Famous Fifty is a pleasure route designed for the enjoyment of America and its varied wealth of history and natural grandeur."

Highway 50, the central most transcontinental route in the United States, is one of the nation's most historic roads. It spans over 3,000 miles, traversing 12 states and Washington D.C., as it stretches from Ocean City, Maryland on the Atlantic coast to Sacramento, California in the west. Along the way it passes through farmland and suburbs and even the occasional city."

Your tour begins as you travel across the Chesapeake Bay. It affords one of the most scenic views in the country. It’s said that you take a sign of relief when you cross to the Eastern Shore of Maryland- away from metropolitan cities and traffic to the scenic and charming Eastern Shore.

Make your way down the “Shore” on famous Route 50 as you tour historic St. Michaels. Explore the African American experience in Cambridge where Harriet Tubman was born in Dorchester County and ran the Underground Railroad.  The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is famous for its Atlantic Flyway location and wildlife viewing.

Near Vienna, Maryland, Route 50 crosses the salt-water marshes and this charming town boasts a quaint museum complete with a replica of a pearl button factory.

A few minutes later in Mardela, see the Adkins Museum complex and then travel on to your base of touring the Shore, Ocean City! In all its seaside splendor Ocean City offers hotels, dining, the nearby Assateague ponies and much more.

When you arrive on Route 50 you will see the Atlantic Ocean and you have gone as far east on Route 50 as you possible can!

To learn about Ocean City hospitality properties that offer these tours and packages contact Norma Dobrowolski at the OC Dept of Tourism/CVB. 800-626-2326 or ndobrowolski@ococean.com.