Ask an OC Insider
My best friend and I are going down to OC the first week of June for a few days. We lucked out and got to borrow a friend's condo on 39th St. so we can save money. We're excited to walk along the boardwalk and try the local food. How much cash should we plan to spend there? Are the prices super inflated? Thank you!Submitted by Ana P, New Freedom Pennsylvania on May 4, 2016
Prices are not any higher than most tourist areas. Since you are in a condo you can easily eat in or cook some meals which can save you some money. The bottom line is that you could spend the day on the beach and buy groceries and eat in and spend no more than you would spend at home.
Here are some thoughts on other costs and ways to save money:
You can have a great time on the beach (free) and boardwalk (free) and at any of OC's many free events or spend less than $10 on souvenirs or snacks. For free events look at these places for details on them: (1) Free family Fun, (2) Ocean City is Free. Parking is free at your condo as is side street parking in this area of town. You can take the bus anywhere for $3 per day . Amusement Parks will run you $20 to $40. If you go in the afternoon you can get a wrist band good until about 6pm to ride all you want for about $20. Baja Go Carts has a similar 2 hour wrist band for $40. Tour boats and other entertainment items are $10 to $20 per person.
How much you spend on food really depends on your tastes. You can eat out on pizza and subs and a basic breakfast (e.g., Dunkin Donuts) for about $25/day per person. If you go to a seafood restaurant it will likely cost you about $30-$40 per person for a nice dinner with drinks and a seafood entree. You can eat decent food at a cheap price. OC's got some great pizza and sub places including Lombardi's, Fat Daddy's, Billy's, Anthony's Deli, Anthony's Carryout. You can also get decent sandwiches and bar food at some of the local bars for a reasonable price. Try Longboards, Harborside, OC Brewing, or Backshore Brewing. If you want seafood, but want to save some bucks, try carryout. Phillip's has a great carryout menu, and if you like chicken, they usually have a great fried chicken deal too!
You can also get all kinds of information and information on money saving deals and coupons once you get to town form the Visitors Center at the south end of Convention Center at 40th Street. There are lots of money saving coupons available. Check out the Sunny Day Guide - Request Hardcopy (fee) or View online (free)for lots of coupons. The Visitors Guide.
Prices are what they are in any larger city - like Philadelphia or Baltimore. If you are eating every meal out, and going out to do things, I think you could spend $50 a day and have fun. There are some fast food places and Five Guys in OC, plus there is prepared food at many supermarkets.
Ana you can spend as much as your budget lets you for your trip. You have a condo so if you need to spend less then buy groceries and try to eat in as much as possible. What you can or can not spend is entirely up to you.
Ana, I would think that you should plan on at least $50 per day, if not just a touch more. Grab a Beachcomber, Sunny Day Magazine and Ocean City Visitor's Guide at the Convention Center, or in most Hotel/Motel/Restaurant lobbies, so that you can grab some coupons and save some money.
Take advantage of happy hours, there are always great food and drink specials going on. If you're interested in eating crabs, consider getting them carryout to save a little money.
It's hard to answer your questions. Do you eat breakfast? Are you old enough to go to bars? Are you planning on buying t shirts and souvenirs or rent beach equipment? Lots of variables. But you can expect to pay around $10 - $15 per person for breakfast. Lunch can be as cheap as $5 at McDonalds or you can spend about $15-$20 for lunch. Same with dinner. Plan on a minimum of $20 for dinner up to $50 depending on what you eat. I find I lose track of my budget picking up some Fisher's Popcorn, Thrasher's Fries, some Kohl's soft serve, a Wrapper or soft pretzel, etc. And of course, we always end up stopping for a drink or two at Shenanigan's or Brass Balls or Frog Bar for a burger. I would suggest bringing about $500 for four days at least.