Vacation Faceoff: Ocean City, MD v. Ocean City, NJ

From sunset-watching to boardwalk-strolling, decide which of these towns can lay claim to being the best Ocean City.

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Photo by: MD- Town of Ocean City Tourism Office. NJ- LabyrinthX, flickr

MD- Town of Ocean City Tourism Office. NJ- LabyrinthX, flickr

They might have the same name but each of these 2 East Coast beach towns has its own distinct beach culture. Decide for yourself which one of these beaches can lay claim to being the best Ocean City!

Ocean City, Maryland


Ocean City, New Jersey

Best Boardwalk Treat: Thrashers French Fries, a boardwalk favorite since 1929, is best topped with vinegar and Old Bay seasoning.
Best Boardwalk Treat: Johnson's Popcorn sells buckets of warm caramel-coated popcorn at 3 locations on the boardwalk.

Family Fun: Ride the Tilt-a-Whirl and old-school carousel at Trimper's Rides on the boardwalk.

Family Fun: Ride the 141-foot tall Ferris wheel at Gillian's Wonderland Pier at 6th and the Boardwalk.

Wacky Landmark: An Ocean City institution, the Ocean Gallery World Center attracts celebrities and film crews to its boardwalk shop with an over-the-top exterior display of strange signs and unique paintings.

Wacky Festivals: Miss Crustacean Pageant, the original beauty contest for hermit crabs, is held here every summer, as well as the 104-year-old Baby Parade, the oldest baby parade in the US.

What the Locals Say: “Goin’ down to the ocean, hon.”

What the Locals Say: “I’m going down the shore.”

Best Place to Watch the Sunset: A long tradition at Fager’s Island Restaurant & Bar, the 1812 Overture plays every night, ending just as the sun drops below the horizon.

Best Place to Watch the Sunset: The Bayside Center, a vintage home from 1910with a covered pavilion, fishing docks and picnic tables is a great place to catch the sunset.

Dining Tradition: Crabs and more crabs. Grab your mallets, and get ready to feast on hard-shelled crabs for hours at Hooper’s Crab House.

Dining Tradition: A shore tradition, grab a slice (or 2 … or 3 …) of thin and crispy pizza at Manco & Manco.

Best Ice Cream Parlor: Step back in time to the ice cream parlors of the 1940s at the ever-popular Dumser’s Dairyland and indulge in a sundae, shake or float.

Best Ice Cream Parlor: Hobby Horse Ice Cream Parlor is family-run, local favorite. Even with its old-fashioned décor, it keeps current with flavors like ginger, red bean and pumpkin.

Nightlife: Notably the most iconic beach bar here is Seacrets. There are 18 bars in this Jamaica-inspired entertainment complex. You can even get their signature “Pain in de Ass” frozen cocktail served to you while you lounge on a raft in the bay. Nightlife: Founded in the late 1800s as a religious retreat, the town strives to uphold its title of “America’s Greatest Family Resort.” The town is "dry," meaning there is no alcohol served or sold in town. The place to be at night? The boardwalk.

Now tell us in the comments -- which city do you prefer? Ocean City, MD, or Ocean City, NJ?

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