5 Tips for a Stress-Free Romantic Getaway

Ocean City, N.J., is home to beautiful beaches, a world-famous boardwalk, locally owned restaurants and exceptional shopping. Host to more than a million visitors during the peak summer season alone, this beautiful and quaint island has been attracting flocks of people for years. Known as a family-friendly resort locale, Ocean City is also the perfect place for a classy romantic getaway.

A recent survey by the U.S. Travel Association revealed couples who travel together enjoy stronger and healthier relationships. In fact, 63 percent of respondents noted a vacation or weekend getaway was the most important way to spark romance. A romantic weekend in Ocean City, N.J., is just the thing to help couples recharge and grow closer.

Boasting a natural backdrop of soothing sounds, stunning sunrises and sunsets, sparkling water and pristine white sand, Ocean City is the ideal spot for a romantic beach vacation, no matter the season. With its wide variety of cozy lodging accommodations, award-winning restaurants and plenty of fun activities, there’s an abundance of romantic getaway ideas in Ocean City, N.J. Here are some helpful tips to plan a stress-free trip you’ll remember forever.

choose a great place to stay in ocean city

1. Choose a Great Place to Stay

From romantic bed and breakfasts to rustic and cozy campgrounds, Ocean City has lodging accommodations for all couples. With many places to stay located along the boardwalk, beaches or a short distance from the ocean, you’re never too far from the heart of the island. Inexpensive island trolley service is also available to bring you anywhere you want to go. Whether you’re on a tight budget or opting for all-out luxury, there’s a place for everyone in Ocean City, including:

  • Hotels — Ocean City boasts no shortage of elegant hotels that overlook the beautiful ocean. Couples can enjoy the soothing sounds of the waves from their private balcony while ordering up room service. Many hotels feature onsite restaurants, indoor and outdoor pools and relaxing hot tubs. Book the honeymoon suite for a more romantic atmosphere, and be sure to post your “Do Not Disturb” sign for peaceful couple’s time.
  • Bed and breakfasts — Ocean City is home to many beautiful and romantic bed and breakfasts whose décor is reminiscent of eras gone by. Featuring romantic fireplaces, plush robes, spacious soaking tubs and gourmet breakfasts, these cozy inns are perfect for enjoying one-on-one time together. Up the romance factor with a couple’s package that provides special treats such as in-room flowers, desserts or wine.
  • Campgrounds — Just outside Ocean City are several relaxing and spacious campgrounds that offer couples the chance to enjoy the area’s natural beauty while remaining close to all the island attractions. These campgrounds offer modern amenities such as pools, general stores and even restaurants. Couples can sleep under the stars in a cozy tent, tree house or cabin, make s’mores in front of a romantic campfire or take an evening walk along the shore.
  • House/condo rentals — Located on or near the beach, Ocean City’s rental properties offer couples the ultimate in privacy. Rental properties allow you to have more space to yourself and often feature private pools, balconies and beach access. Here, you can whip up a romantic dinner together in your kitchen after visiting a downtown food market, or watch the sunset atop your very own private deck.

Wherever you plan to stay, take advantage of the romantic aspect of your getaway. While most guest spaces in Ocean City offer TVs and Wi-Fi, take the opportunity to unplug and truly enjoy each other’s company. Drinking in the beautiful scenery, enjoying a quiet cup of coffee out on the balcony and spending quality time together helps couples reconnect and get the most out of their time away.

sample the local cuisine from seafood to pizza

2. Sample the Local Cuisine

Eating out is an essential part of any vacation. Whether you’re craving fresh, locally caught seafood or authentic saltwater taffy, Ocean City eateries are here to satisfy whatever hunger you both may have. Many restaurants on the island are locally or family-owned and enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. From delicious breakfasts and lunches to romantic dinners and scrumptious sweet treats, take advantage of the variety of cuisine options Ocean City has to offer.

  • Restaurants — From seafood to pizza and almost everything in between, Ocean City boasts no shortage of great places to eat. In both the boardwalk and downtown areas, you’ll find everything from casual cafes and sub shops to gourmet restaurants featuring exotic cuisine. Consider an intimate candlelit dinner featuring fresh oysters as an appetizer, or be daring and try a whole new type of cuisine together.
  • Bakeries — When you have a taste for fresh bread or something sweet, visit one of Ocean City’s family-owned bakeries, which infuse the early morning air with the heavenly smell of freshly baked bread, cookies, pastries, doughnuts and sticky buns. Grab some warm doughnuts for breakfast, enjoy some pastries and coffee while lounging on your hotel balcony or share a scrumptious dessert on the beach.
  • Ice cream — Ocean City lays claim to all different types of frozen confections. Parlors featuring gelato, soft-serve, specialty sundaes, water ice and frozen yogurt are located all around the island. Many offer live entertainment during the peak summer season. Sit and enjoy a cone, sundae or milkshake with your sweetheart on a hot summer evening, or sip on a gourmet coffee or hot chocolate to keep warm on a breezy night.
  • Candy shops — No visit to Ocean City is complete without sampling the island’s original-recipe saltwater taffy. The island is home to several family-owned candy shops featuring local favorites like homemade fudge, kettle corn, macaroons, chocolates and other sweet treats. Take a stroll through one of these confectionery wonderlands and indulge your sweet tooth. Surprise your sweetie with a box of chocolates the two of you can share.

Whether enjoying a candlelit dinner in one of Ocean City’s excellent restaurants, or packing a picnic basket for a romantic moonlit dinner on the beach, part of the fun of a romantic getaway is seizing the opportunity to do things a little differently than you usually would. This includes eating foods you wouldn’t ordinarily eat and straying from your diet. Be spontaneous and eat cake, pie or ice cream for dinner. After all, you are on vacation!

visit downtown ocean city

3. Visit Downtown Ocean City

Downtown Ocean City features more than 100 unique cafes, restaurants, galleries and shops. Asbury Avenue is the heart of Ocean City and is home to many locally owned businesses. Here, you can find everything from souvenir shops and boutiques to art galleries and grocery stores. Shop and dine with your special someone while you enjoy some quality time together.

Things to do in downtown Ocean City:

  • Shop — From surf and souvenir shops to upscale boutiques featuring the latest fashion, Asbury Avenue has stores for shoppers of all kinds. Buy a unique piece of furniture for your home, or browse one-of-a-kind treasures at a consignment shop. This busy shopping district is enjoyable for both serious shoppers and window shoppers alike.
  • Eat — Cafes, restaurants, bakeries and even fresh food markets and grocery stores line Asbury Avenue. Buy some fresh ingredients to make a gourmet dinner in your rental home, or enjoy a stroll down Asbury Avenue with an ice cream or baked good. Sample locally produced food items you can bring home to enjoy after your vacation has ended.
  • Visit a spa or salon — Get a complete makeover or enjoy a couple’s massage at one of Asbury Avenue’s salons and spas. Relax and let your cares slip away as you and your sweetheart enjoy some pampering.
  • Sit for a couple’s photo — Whether you choose to take a few selfies, have a passerby take your picture or arrange a formal beach portrait with one of Ocean City’s professional photographers, be sure to commemorate your romantic getaway with photos of the two of you. Ocean City features many beautiful areas that are perfect backdrops for your photographs.
  • Play a round of mini-golf — Miniature golf is a fun way to release your inner child. Whether you are experts on the green, or just there to have some laughs, let yourselves be carefree and silly at one of Ocean City’s many mini-golf courses.
  • Rent bicycles or a surrey built for two — See the sights along one of Ocean City’s safe and designated bike routes. Both individual bicycles and multi-person surreys are available to rent at several locations throughout Ocean City.
  • Enjoy the holidays — Ocean City lights up around the holidays with plenty of things for couples to do. Take a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride while you gaze at the holiday lights, or enjoy a historic trolley tour through downtown Ocean City.

There truly is something for everyone in downtown Ocean City. Asbury Avenue provides couples with the perfect opportunity to slow down and enjoy their time together. Whether the two of you prefer to shop, eat, sightsee or people-watch, you can find plenty of things to do in this busy downtown shopping district. Don’t forget to purchase a special souvenir or memento of your Ocean City vacation.

visit the beach, boardwalk and bay

4. Visit the Beach, Boardwalk and Bay

No trip to the shore would be complete without visiting the beach and boardwalk. Ocean City boasts a world-famous two-and-a-half-mile boardwalk and an eight-mile stretch of pristine white sand beaches and beautiful surf. The bay side of the island features calm waters ideal for fishing and other water activities. These three distinct areas of Ocean City offer plenty of activities that are perfect for couples on a romantic getaway.

The Beach

With its clean white-sand beaches, staffed with lifeguards during the summer season, the beaches of Ocean City are perfect for lounging under an umbrella, soaking up the sun and jumping in the waves. The sugary white sand is ideal for burying your toes or building sand castles together.

Activities such as surfing, jet skiing and parasailing are available for adventurous couples, while whale- and dolphin-watching tours are a more low-key and relaxing option. Even in the colder seasons, the beach is a perfect setting for a romantic picnic lunch or dinner. Enjoy a peaceful meal while sipping sparkling cider or hot chocolate and cuddling under a blanket.

The Boardwalk

Ocean City’s world-famous boardwalk features two and a half miles of dining, shopping, arcades and thrill rides. Fill up on cotton candy, funnel cakes or curly fries, do some shopping at one of the many boutiques and shops along the boardwalk or visit one of two amusement parks, complete with roller coasters and a grand carousel.

The beach and boardwalk play host to live entertainment and special events throughout the year. Concerts, musical shows, parades and pageants are just some of the many activities scheduled throughout the calendar year. Fun contests and hobby and memorabilia shows are also popular attractions for locals and visitors.

The boardwalk is also the site of a variety of distance races and walks for couples who wish to stay fit and active. Morning runs or bike rides offer a quiet opportunity to enjoy the boards before they get too crowded. If your romantic getaway includes just resting and relaxing, you can still enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the boardwalk by taking a peaceful stroll or sitting on a seaside bench and watching the crowds go by.

The Bay

On the other side of the island lies Great Egg Harbor Bay, a tranquil area featuring calm waters and abundant local wildlife. Here, you can observe the many beautiful species of birds and other wildlife that inhabit the area. The Back Bay area is perfect for quiet activities such as kayaking, fishing and boating. Ocean City’s annual boat parade is one of the largest in the world.

Finally, what’s more romantic than getting married or renewing your vows? Ocean City is the perfect place for a romantic wedding or vow renewal ceremony. Whether you decide to wed right on the beach, bay or boardwalk or in one of Ocean City’s elegant inns or hotels, many professionals on the island are there to help you plan your special day.

download on vacation app

5. Download the Ocean City Vacation App

When you’re looking for an easy romantic getaway, look no further than Ocean City, N.J. Planning your trip is easy and stress-free with the Ocean City vacation app. Designed for both Android or iPhone platforms, this helpful app offers vacation planning at your fingertips.

Through the Ocean City app, you can:

  • Locate valuable information about the island
  • Book lodging accommodations
  • Make dining reservations
  • Purchase beach tags
  • View the Ocean City calendar of events
  • View the island business directory
  • Research places to eat, stay and shop
  • View website links to restaurants, shops and hotels

The app helps you plan better and pack smarter. You can look ahead to see what the weather and temperature will be like during your stay, and even see the special events and activities that are available. By having a basic idea of the weather, places you’d like to see and activities you want to do, you’ll know what important items to pack and which ones to leave behind.

The helpful Trip Planner Suitcase allows you to gather romantic weekend ideas and bookmark must-see places. The Trip Planner Suitcase not only bookmarks business listings and websites, but also features a Notes section where you can add personal comments for your reference. This valuable feature keeps all your trip planning details organized in one spot for easy access and planning.

Get the Ocean City vacation app today to start planning your next romantic getaway.

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