Ocean City is just south of the bustling and quite-different Atlantic City and has been an established family-oriented resort and tourist destination for years. Unlike Atlantic City, it isn’t on the national and international radar but is mostly enjoyed by vacationers from nearby East Coast cities, the nearest of which is Philadelphia.
Ocean City itself sits on an easily-accessed barrier island and has a waterfront boardwalk characteristic of the region. Boating, beach and water activities dominate, and music and live entertainment is usually readily available. It has resisted the development of ugly sprawl, high-rise buildings, and in-your-face beach tourism common in many other so-called “beach towns.” Cost of living and especially housing are high but not unreasonable for a coastal area. In keeping with the low-growth character of the area, future job growth is fairly weak while current employment is healthy.
Surrounding terrain is mainly treeless and sandy near the shore, with numerous tidal marshes. Most vegetation consists of grass and low underbrush, transitioning to farmland and some wooded areas away from shore. For the region, the year-round climate is quite pleasant, with Atlantic waters moderating both summer heat and winter cold. Sea breezes keep summer morning and afternoon temperatures in the 80’s. Precipitation is evenly distributed through the year, but there is some hurricane and tropical storm risk in late summer and fall. “Noreasters” traveling up the coast can bring heavy rain all seasons and some snow. Snow accumulations are far more likely inland. First freeze is late October, last is mid-April.