It had been months since I had seen the beach and smelled the fresh ocean air, so I decided it was time for some serious rest and relaxation, and, of course, a bit of fun.
On a Friday afternoon, I packed up my car and drove to one of the Mid-Atlantic’s most popular local beach towns for a quick weekend full of seaside views and fresh Maryland crab cakes.
Where to Stay in Ocean City:
Three hours after leaving DC, I arrived at the whimsical DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront where I was greeted by warm and welcoming staff and a warm chocolate chip cookie at check-in (consumed before I could even take a photo for the gram).
Ready for my relaxing fall beach getaway, I was shown my room where I discovered a full kitchen, corner balcony, and a breathtaking beach/ocean view at my fingertips. I immediately knew that when it came time to leave, it would be difficult to part with.
After settling in, I took a quick tour of the DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront to check out the amenities that are always most important to me when traveling: the pool, 24-hour gym, and a convenience store with snacks. I was even treated to a quick look at one of the hotel’s two penthouse suites.
These suites have either four or five bedrooms, massive bathrooms, spacious living areas, complete kitchens, large balconies, and of course, great ocean views. These suites would be perfect for large groups of friends or family—and if the cost is split among a group that can fill up the rooms, they’re surprisingly reasonably priced too!
On the second floor of DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront is Marlin Moon Restaurant, a well-reviewed restaurant with a chef that local foodies praise. We headed over for some happy hour bites, and a cocktail to officially kick of the R&R. I was a big fan of their Ahi Tuna and seaweed on fried wonton wrapper, as well as the Classic Fried Calamari with pesto sauce (both pictured below).
Thanks to the thunderstorm outside, I stayed in, watched a movie, snacked on fresh crossaints and fruit, read a Tina Fey book, sifled through the goodie bag provided by Hilton Honors, and finally let the sound of the waves put me to sleep. No complaints here.
What to do in Ocean City:
The next day, armed with Hilton Honors Gold status and a packed schedule of activities, I enjoyed a complimentary breakfast. First on the agenda, I headed out to explore the city, starting with a behind-the-scenes tour of their newly renovated Roland E. Powell Convention Center. (**Attention event planners in the DMV area and beyond: If you’re looking for your next event location, plan it in Ocean City where your view from the main hall will be an unobstructed view of the Atlantic Ocean!**)
After that, it was a quick drive to Assateague Island, home of the roaming wild horses. We also stopped by the Art League of Ocean City, which was exhibiting beautiful paintings from renowned local artist, Patrick Henry.
Where to Eat in Ocean City:
As lunchtime approached, we made our way to Harrison’s Harbor Watch Raw Bar, where I had an amazing, creamy, savory, rich oyster stew (pictured below).
Lastly, if you visit Ocean City, don’t let yourself leave without trying one of the most popular (and delicious) state dishes: the crab cake.
In the afternoon, I spent most of my time strolling down the boardwalk. It was cool, breezy, and sometimes a little drizzly, but I was determined to get some time walking along the beach.
Of course, I was already looking forward to more seafood for dinner, and many had recommended Rare and Rye, which was a hop-and-a-skip away from the DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront.
I soon learned why everyone suggested I try it. I ordered a rye-based cocktail (delicious and strong), scallops with sweet pickled onions and crunchy pine nuts, baked oysters with triple cream cheese and balsamic glaze (highlight of the meal), and a decadent peanut butter mousse.
With a happy tummy I returned to the DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront for one more night of resting, relaxing and listening to the waves hit the shore outside of my window.
Why Visit Ocean City?
Ocean City is a great getaway with much to do for people with all travel needs and expectations. For me personally, good food options are crucial, and the restaurants in the area did not disappoint. Not to mention it’s just a drive away from the high stress and bustling streets of DC with reasonable prices for accomodation—and for rooms with full ocean views!
If you live within driving distance of this quaint ocean town (or even if you don’t), a visit to it’s shores at least once in your lifetime is a must, even if it’s not during the summer (and even if it’s only for the creamy oyster stew).