Ocean City, MD: A Destination for Rest and Relaxation

After years of living in Washington, DC, I realized I had never visited Ocean City, Maryland. That changed when I was recently given the opportunity to thanks to sponsorship by DoubleTree by Hilton and Visit Ocean City.

It’s been months since seeing the beach and smelling the fresh ocean air. I decide it’s time for some serious rest and relaxation, and, of course, a bit of fun.

It’s a Friday afternoon, and I pack up my car and drive 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.

Lodging: Double Tree By Hilton Ocean City

Part of the front desk lobby at the hotel, DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean City.

Three hours after leaving DC, I arrive at the whimsical DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront. Here, I am greeted by warm and welcoming staff and a warm chocolate chip cookie at check-in (eaten before I could take a photo for the gram).

Ready for my relaxing fall beach getaway, I am shown my room where I discovered a full kitchen, corner balcony, and a breathtaking beach/ocean view at my fingertips. I immediately know it will be difficult to part with.

Amenities: It’s All in the Details

After settling in, I take 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. Here, there is a pool, 24-hour gym, and a convenience store with snacks. I am even given a quick tour of one of the hotel’s two penthouse suites

Beautiful view of the beach from one of the penthouse suites.

These suites have four or five bedrooms, massive bathrooms, spacious living areas, kitchens, balconies, and of course, great ocean views. These suites would be perfect for large groups of friends or family. Even better if the cost is split among a group that can fill up the rooms. They’re surprisingly reasonably priced too!

On Site Dining: Marlin Moon Restaurant

On the second floor of DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront is Marlin Moon Restaurant. As a well-reviewed restaurant, it’s home to a chef that local foodies praise. We head over for some happy hour bites, and a cocktail to officially kick off the R&R. I immediately love their Ahi Tuna and seaweed on fried wonton wrapper, and the Classic Fried Calamari with pesto sauce.

Thanks to the thunderstorm outside, I put on a movie and ate some fresh croissants and fruit. I open my Tina Fey book and sifle through the goodie bag given to me by Hilton Honors. I finally let the sound of the waves put me to sleep. No complaints here.


What to do in Ocean City:

The next day, thanks to Hilton Honors Gold status and a packed schedule of activities, I enjoy a complimentary breakfast.

First on the agenda, I head 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. Your view from the main hall will be an unobstructed view of the Atlantic Ocean!**)

Wild Horses at Assateague Island

After that, it was a quick drive to Assateague Island, home of the roaming wild horses. We also stop by the Art League of Ocean City, which is an exhibit of beautiful paintings from renowned local artist, Patrick Henry.

Where to Eat in Ocean City:

As lunchtime came, we make our way to Harrison’s Harbor Watch Raw Bar, where I indulge in 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 my time strolling down the boardwalk. It’s cool, breezy, and sometimes a little drizzly, but I am determined to get some time in walking along the beach.

Of course, I’m already looking forward to more seafood for dinner, and many recommendations were made for Rare and Rye, which was a hop-and-a-skip away from the DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront.

I soon learn why everyone suggests I try it. First, I order a rye-based cocktail (delicious and strong). Second, I order scallops with sweet pickled onions and crunchy pine nuts. Third, I order baked oysters with triple cream cheese and balsamic glaze (highlight of the meal). Lastly, I indulge in a decadent peanut butter mousse.

With a happy tummy I retur to the DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront for one more night of rest and relaxation. I listen to the waves hit the shore outside of my window and drift to sleep.

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. It’s also brimming with reasonable prices for accomodationand 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 — it’s well worth it.

Additional Resources

Looking for other beachside vacation destinations? Check out my other U.S. travel guides here and here

Want to join my Pinterest group boards to connect with other foodies and travel addicts? Fill out the application form here!

*This review was created in partnership with DoubleTree by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront, Edelman, and the town of Ocean City, Maryland. It was authored by ECC contributor Justin Ticky and edited by Alex Booze**

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Wanna know one of my new favorite places in the U.S. to road trip? The location may surpise you! 🇺🇸 

I recently spent a few adventurous days in Summersville, West Virginia with @visitgreatersummersville with @wvtourism, and found *so much* to love about this little slice of #AlmostHeaven. It may be small in population, but it packs a mighty punch when it comes to nature, outdoor activities, and an impressive local food scene. Not only is it home to the largest lake in West Virginia, it boasts two state parks, great hiking trails, and is less than a 30 minute drive from the newest National Park in the U.S.: New River Gorge National Park and Preseve. 

If you’re planning on visiting for yourself (which you should) below are 5 Fun & Unique activities that you absolutely can’t miss in Summersville, West Virginia:

1. Kayak on Summersville Lake with @lakesideoutfitterswv. This is one of the best ways to enjoy the lake and surrounding rock formations. The water is crystal clear, and is the most beautiful emerald green color. It’s actually known as “The Little Bahamas of the East” and for good reason!
2. Visit the Almost Heaven Swing at Summersville Lake State Park. This is the newest state park in the area. While it’s still under construction, there are some great trails, and of course, one of West Virginia’s famous (and Insta-worthy) swings!
3. Have brunch at @vaultonmain. It’s located in downtown Summersville in the stunning former Nicholas County Bank building from 1923. Order the French toast and shaved steak breakfast burrito. 
4. Spend a day at Battle Run Public Beach. The longest beach in West Virginia at 1,000 feet, the area has picnic tables, restrooms, grills, volleyball nets, and plenty of space for lounging. 
5. Enjoy a wine slushy flight from @gaddambrewing. This super fun brewery serves up craft beer, premium coffees, real fruit smoothies, and super cute wine slushy flights. They also offer live music and country line dancing on select nights. Bonus: it’s family-friendly!

Which of these activities would you enjoy first? Let me know below and stay tuned for part 2! #WVTourism #WVTourismPartner
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A visit to Yosemite National Park really is like living in a dream 🥺

I recently spent a week in eastern Central California exploring @yosemitenps for the first time, and I must say it definitely earned a spot in my personal “Top 3 U.S. National Parks” category!

Some can’t miss spots in the park that are highlighted in the reel:

- El Capitan / El Capitan Meadow 
- Bridalveil Falls
- Half-Dome
- Glacier Point Overlook 
- Yosemite Valley 
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𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝟒 𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐳𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐢𝐧 @charleston.travel ::

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𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟏:
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- Stop for pics at Rainbow Row
- Walk to White Point Garden + The Battery
- Visit Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
- Have a late seafood lunch at @fleetlanding 

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟐:
- enjoy complimentary breakfast at @hvicharleston (order the ham + cheese quiche or croissant!)
- take the free DASH bus from the hotel to Liberty Square to visit the @southcarolinaaquarium. They have an amazing Sea Turtle Rescue Center! 
- eat lunch at @browndogdeli (I recommend ordering The Folly Beach Turkey Crunch Wrap or the Fried Green Tomato BLT) 
- tour the Nathaniel Russell House and/or the Edmondston-Alston House (it survived hurricanes, the earthquake of 1888, and the Civil W*r!)
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𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟑:
- enjoy another breakfast at @hvicharleston! You can order it as early as 6am.
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- take an Uber to @fireflydistillery to try their Sweet Tea Vodka, Banana Pudding Moonshine, and their Chocolate Pecan Whiskey. Dont pass up a boozy moonshine milkshake (for 21+) and a Rocket Burger from @rocket_burger_chs food truck!

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟒:
- enjoy an iced coffee and a breakfast sandwich at @carmellasdessertbar (just a few blocks from @hvicharleston)
- stroll through the @charlestoncitymarket. It’s been around since the mid 1800’s!
- eat late lunch at @hymans_seafood. Don’t pass up their hush puppies and crab cakes. They were voted Best in Charleston for a reason! 

Click on the link in my bio to read my full “4 Days in Charleston” guide (yes, there’s more!) on my blog to help you plan the ultimate Charleston vacation.
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