Beaches & Bays

Beaches and Bays

In Ocean City, our fine white sand, the shimmering water and our brilliant sunshine take center stage and for good reason! Ocean City offers 8 miles of pristine white sand, ample space for beautiful sandcastles, and plenty of coastline to enjoy swimming in the waves.

Bring the family down to the Shore and discover why generation after generation returns to Ocean City again and again. Take surfing lessons, buy a skim board, find out what the paddle boarding craze is all about or simply relax with a good book. Watch the sun come up over the water and remind yourself why Ocean City is America’s favorite resort town destination!

Summer Season Guarded Beaches

Enjoying the ocean and its myriad activities begins with respect, and that’s why Ocean city provides lifeguard supervision at most of its beaches. You can relax in the knowledge that our lifeguarding staff has the expertise necessary to protect swimmers and water sports enthusiasts in sometimes-rough waters. Most beaches are supervised by lifeguards starting before the last week in June until Labor Day.

Don’t hesitate to test the waters at each and every one of our lifeguarded beaches! Questions while you’re visiting? Ask our on-duty lifeguards for more details. Click here for an updated list of protected beaches.

The fully guarded beaches during the summer season are:

Pre- and Post-Season Guarded Beaches

Sometimes, down at the Shore, our beaches are so tempting that only swimming in-season just isn’t possible. That’s why Ocean City provides a limited number of guarded beaches during the off-season.

Prior to the end of June, and at the end of the season, a limited number of beaches are guarded. These beaches are:

First Aid Stations

Accidents happen, even at the beach. The Ocean City Beach Patrol divides the OC beach into zones from north to south. Each zone has a first aid station at the zone headquarters. These first aid stations are at 1st Street, 12th Street, 34th Street and 59th Street. Contact the Ocean City Beach Patrol or a lifeguard immediately in the event of an emergency at the beach.

Fees at Ocean City Beaches and Bays

In order to pay for services that keep Ocean City beaches safe, clean and a fun place for all to visit and relax, Ocean City requires beachgoers to have beach tags. Beach tags can be purchased for the season, the week, or the day.

Visitors can purchase seasonal tags during the pre-season (before Memorial Day) at a discounted rate. Pre-season purchases can be made at:

  • City Hall (9th Street and Asbury Avenue)
  • The 46th Street Welcome Center (on West Avenue)
  • The Welcome Center on the Route 52 Causeway
  • Henry Knight Building (12th Street & Haven Avenue)
  • Aquatic & Fitness Center (17th Street& Simpson Avenue)

Please note that some of these locations have limited hours during the pre-season. City Hall always operates Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

During the summer season, Seasonal ($35), Weekly ($20), and Daily ($10) passes can be purchased at the four locations above and from City employees who work on the beach to ensure that beachgoers have tags. 

More Information On Beach Tags


Surf Chair Program

Don’t let a lack of mobility keep you and your loved ones from the beach! The City of Ocean City offers a beach-accessible wheelchair service for mobility-limited individuals of all ages. “Surf Chairs” provide an opportunity for everyone to enjoy the surf and sand on Ocean City beaches.

The beach-accessible wheelchair service is available on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (check-in by 4:30 p.m.) and on weekends from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (check-in by 5:00 p.m.). The surf chair program runs from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Reservations are suggested.

The Surf Chair Program operates out of the Ocean City Sports & Civic Center located on 6th Street at the Boardwalk. For more information about this program, call (609) 525-9304.


Find Handicapped Accessible Beaches

Ocean City, New Jersey

Beach Weddings

The romance and natural majesty of a beach wedding is unsurpassed, and Ocean City is proud to offer this service to our visiting honeymooners. Why travel to a seaside location for your post-nuptial vacation when you can enjoy the service and the honeymoon in the same beautiful place?

To have a wedding on the beach, simply complete a Facility Use Application form. 

Facility Use Application form


A wide variety of sports and activities attract visitors to the bayside of the island. Fishing draws many to the bays who angle for fish like flounder, weakfish, and bluefish, sea bass, kingfish, tog, striped bass, or tuna. Cast your line from a fishing pier, dock or bayside pavilion. Don’t forget to bring the family, as Ocean City offers a wide variety of family-friendly fishing excursions, programs and spots!

For those who appreciate a quiet encounter with nature, kayak or Hobie Cat sailboat rentals are available. You’ll certainly see many birds and waterfowl that inhabit the pristine Back Bay ecosystem. During the spring and fall migrations, thousands of bird species as well as seemingly fragile Monarch Butterflies thrill nature enthusiasts.

Ocean City’s beaches and bays are among America’s most popular! Plan your visit and discover why visitors return to our waters again and again.

Official 2023

Visitor’s Guide

The Ocean City Visitor’s Guide provides information on Ocean City accommodations, dining, activities and events.

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