If the old adage were true, thousands of mothers would be collapsing in pain as their backbones spontaneously disintegrated. The boardwalk of Ocean City, Maryland stretches for 2.5 miles along the southern part of the island, and you’d be hard pressed to find a time when countless pairs of shoes were not busy strolling across the weathered, welcoming planks. The rhythm of meandering feet is punctuated by the glissando trills of bicycle tires rippling over the boards and chiming interjection of their bells mixed with children’s laughter. The nose is enticed by the wafting, hot aroma of boardwalk fries, fresh and salty, hanging heavy in the air. Somehow, their greasy, earthy allure is the perfect complement to the fresh, unbridled smell of the salty ocean carried over on the Atlantic wind. The same wind drives the waves that break 50 yards across the beach, the perfect backdrop to the bustle and commotion of the boardwalk.
Here at Ocean City lies the pinnacle of coexistence of the raw power and natural beauty of the ocean with the indomitable spirit of man to build and stimulate. The primal rejuvenation of the sand and shore in concurrence with the overwhelming vitality of the lights and noise of carnival games and roller coasters – leisure comes at all levels of energy here. There is truly an attraction for everyone at Ocean City. The beaches and resort hotels offer a slow-paced Atlantic getaway. Go-carts and mini-golf provide excellent outlets for family recreation. And those seeking a more lively nightlife experience will certainly not be disappointed in the abundance of restaurants, bars, and clubs. All the brilliant facets of the island are concentrated at the crux of the boardwalk. Within the stretch of 2.5 miles, you can enjoy gourmet candy or grilled fare, get a tattoo, buy your first surfboard, indulge in entertainment by street performers, and feel the adrenaline rush of the coasters and other boardwalk rides (perhaps even bringing back unwanted reminders of recently consumed burgers and fries).
But one of the best things to do is reach the very southern end of the boardwalk, with all the commotion behind you, leaning over the railing to trace your gaze over the breakers and foamy rocks. In that moment, you know you’re truly alive with the wind and mist streaming across your jubilant face.
My brother and I in the ocean a few years ago