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Family Vacation Spots

For decades, Ocean City, NJ has been consistently recognized as one of the country's top family beach vacation spots. Generations of vacationers who return year after year agree – many of them have been coming to Ocean City for as long as they can remember. The family-friendly atmosphere of our island is the reason Ocean City is known as “America's Greatest Family Resort” and a tradition for families across the country.

The Ocean City beaches are guarded throughout the summer season with lifeguard stations up and down the island’s eight-mile-long coast. You and your family can find all the things you need for a great day on the beach at one of the dozens of shops and stores lining the Boardwalk. Home to some of the best beaches on the Jersey shore, Ocean City has a long and distinguished history as a premier family beach vacation spot.

The history of Ocean City, New Jersey shows that it has been a great family beach vacation spot since the city was formally incorporated in the late 19th century. Having been used for 200 years as an East Coast transit point for whalers, the barrier island that is now Ocean City was at the time known as Peck's Beach. Sparsely populated, the area was primarily a place for those on the mainland to picnic, fish or hunt. The first permanent residents didn't arrive until the mid-1800s, although fishing and outdoor camps had been held on the island during the summers.

In 1879, four ministers acquired the land. They renamed the island Ocean City and began to develop a Christian seaside resort and meeting place for campers. Many of the landmarks first established by the Ocean City Association are still standing around the city today, such as the cedar tree where the founders reached an agreement, and the Tabernacle at 6th Street and Asbury. The city soon became a booming attraction; houses, hotels, public facilities, railroads, and the Boardwalk were quickly built.

Since its earliest years, Ocean City has fostered a community which has made the island a treasured family beach vacation spot. Today, the diversity of attractions and activities across the island draw families from all over the country to experience what Ocean City has to offer. Everything you need for your next great family beach trip is available at an affordable price, from hotels and meals, to shopping and rental equipment.

Our dedication to being a top family beach vacation spot is evident in the amount of activities, camps, and programs designed specifically with kids in mind. Children of all ages enjoy the many attractions on the Ocean City Boardwalk, such as miniature golf, roller coasters, thrill rides, and the water park.

In the summer months, the vendors of the Boardwalk organize “Family Night” every Thursday night. This free event is provided by the merchants as a gift to the public, and it's a great way to spend a night on the Boardwalk with the whole family. Live music and entertainment is found at every block with a wide variety of acts and shows that are sure to appeal to everyone.

Any time of the year, you can find unique shopping, restaurants and galleries located in the Downtown shopping district along Asbury Avenue. With endless options from beach-themed novelty items to hardware to fresh baked goods, taking a trip down "the avenue" is well worth it. The Downtown area has over 100 stores and dining options with each one better than the next.

Start planning for your next family beach vacation today and find out what makes Ocean City such a popular destination for thousands of vacationers.