When you are an Ocean City resident, you are right in the middle of a city and surrounding area filled with rich culture, exciting attractions and loads of entertainment opportunities.
The Cape May County Park and Zoo is a 15-minute drive south into Cape May Court House. The park and zoo sit on nearly 80 acres of untouched beauty and well-kept grounds and are home to nearly 200 different species of animals and reptiles. A boardwalk runs through the zoo – keeping guests close to the animals, but out of harms way. New this year is the Butterfly Garden and Hummingbird Habitat. Guests can take a train ride into the exhibit and explore the beautiful butterflies that call our county home. Best of all, the park and zoo are open admission, meaning they are free to the public, with only a donation box at the front entrance. Special events are held throughout the year and the facility is open every day except Christmas Day.
World Famous Atlantic City is a mere nine miles up the coast and is full of 24-hour gaming and entertainment possibilities. Visit the casinos, renowned restaurants and historic boardwalk. The Atlantic City Outlets “The Walk” is a recent addition to the town. Enjoy the 90-plus stores and restaurants over an afternoon or make an entire day of it.
About 20 miles south on the Garden State Parkway is the beautiful and historic town of Victorian Cape May. Stroll around the city and take in the detailed architecture, hop on a horse and buggy for a nice clip-clop tour through town, or head to adjoining Cape May Point to climb one of the two lighthouses in the area (the other is north in Absecon).
The Cape May Point Lighthouse is run by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts, an organization that runs tours and events throughout town. Climb the 218 narrow, winding steps to the top and be amazed by the far off views you’ll be treated to. Cape May also happens to be right smack in the path for tons of migrating birds. In fact, the World Series of Birding is held there each year. If spotting species is your thing, there is arguably no better place than Cape May. The little city has big food offerings; there are loads of award-winning restaurants to delight any palate. This year, the Washington Street Mall lined with specialty boutiques and eateries has been renovated into a beautiful, brick path, tree-lined strolling shopping experience.Next to Cape May is the town of Cold Spring and the open-air living museum, Historic Cold Spring Village (HCSV). The Village is a representation of life in Cape May County during the homespun age of 1790-1840. Stroll along the 22 acres and watch workers and townspeople going about their business in character dress. Explore the old buildings – there are 26 of them! HCSV has special events all year long and is open Tuesday through Sunday in season. Visit the Old Grange Restaurant or the Country Store for a take-home souvenir.
Right across the Delaware Bay from Cape May is Lewes, Delaware. Take the Cape May Lewes Ferry, called The Best Boat Ride in America, and boat across the water to an exciting town full of outlet shopping, restaurants and even a beautiful state park.
About 25 minutes north is Historic Smithville, a collection of adorable village shops and restaurants dotted around a beautiful lake. Also nearby are Noyes Museum; Fredrick Forsythe Wildlife Sanctuary; Historic Gardner’s Basin and Ocean Life Center, a waterfront park offering boat rides, restaurants, shopping, and an aquarium; Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center; and Lucy the Elephant, a giant six-story elephant housing a museum and gift shop.
Sports fans will love heading into Atlantic City to catch a Surf game. The Atlantic City Surf is a minor league baseball team, and the games are as fun for kids as they are for adults.