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Ocean City, Maryland, a favorite family beach destination, is also a favorite Mid-Atlantic group tour spot! Award-winning festivals, an exciting boardwalk and surrounding points of culture and wildlife make this a place for all seasons and group interests.

This year, Ocean City has chosen the simple premise of "Enjoy" as their buzzword. Realizing so many people have put travel and tours on hold, the Ocean City Department of Tourism encourages people to simply come enjoy. This can mean any number of concepts for a trip, whether it's beachgoing, shopping or even cultural and historic sites near this iconic beach town.

Start your journey while on the way to Ocean City by visiting the Harriet Tubman Visitor Center, located near Blackwater Refuge National Park. Enrich yourself with the culture and history of this new center which celebrates the birthplace and lands where Tubman garnered her courage in her formative years. The Visitor Center is surrounded by the "Everglades of the North" and is teeming with wildlife at Blackwater Refuge. The largest population of nesting Bald Eagles can be found at this captivating environmental gem.

Equally educational is the Delmarva Discovery Center in Pocomoke City, just a short ride south of Ocean City. A terrific day excursion, one can visit this riverside mecca of depictions of early rural life on the Eastern Shore or Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland and Virginia) Peninsula. The Peninsula is bordered by the Chesapeake Bay on the interior, the largest estuary in North America and the Atlantic Ocean.

On the way back to Ocean City, make sure to check out the quaint towns of Pocomoke with its lovely riverside location, along with Berlin, where you can shop and sample your way through main street America. The town offers flavors and shops of all kinds, from homemade ice cream to fine art.

Your next must-see stop is environmental, educational and most of all fun: admiring the wild ponies of Assateague and their coastal habitat. Don't touch or feed! These ponies thrive in the rugged coastal bays environment because they know how to navigate in the wilds. No one makes a trip to Ocean City without trying to catch a glimpse of the sometimes-elusive wild pony herds. Then again, you may get lucky and a herd may stroll right past your picnic basket on the beach—or join you!

Back in Ocean City, you can check out the Boardwalk with all its shops—all about town, the upscale beach boutique is making its comeback! Stores such as Monkees, Sea Quest and of course iconic surf shop, K-Coast, are ready to offer beachwear and surf gear. New eateries such as OC Eateries, the reinvented Embers complex and Union Chesapeake (the successor to Phillips) are offering both a familiar and new take on coastal dining.

Whether its enriching or just plain fun in Ocean City, it's time to "Enjoy."

Written by Norma Dobrowolski, Ocean City Department of Tourism/CVB—celebrating 25 years helping groups experience this Atlantic Coast resort.

Courtesy of Ocean City Department of Tourism/CVB.

 

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