Ocean City Convention and Visitors Bureau, 4001 Coastal Highway, (410) 289-8181, www.ococean.com.
Worcester County Department of Tourism, (800) 852-0335.
Discoveries From the Sea Museum, 708 Ocean Highway, Fenwick Island, (302) 539-9366, free. This new museum, conveniently located upstairs from Seashell City, has collected shipwreck artifacts and seashells and placed them on dry land for you to see. Historic things on display that were never wet include jewelry and weapons.
Julia A. Purnell Museum, 208 Market St., Snow Hill, (410) 632-0515. Beginning with folk art collected by Julia Lecompte Purnell (who lived in Snow Hill from 1842 to 1943) and extending into arts and crafts made exclusively in Worcester County, the Purnell Museum documents the domestic realm of art. There are also exhibits of early farm tools, kitchen equipment, housewares, antique toys, costumes, uniforms, and Native American artifacts. Call about summer events.
Nassawango Iron Furnace and Furnace Town, Snow Hill, (410) 632-2032. The Nassawango Iron Furnace is Maryland's only bog-ore furnace. Why should you care? Because it's old and it's still intact, and the 25 acres it sits on are fine for hiking and picnicking. Furnace Town, a reconstructed 19th-century village on Nassawango Creek, includes artisan shops, the Old Nazareth Church, a country store, and a museum. Activities and events all summer entertain with art, music, and living history.
Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum, Boardwalk and the inlet, Ocean City, (410) 289-4991. Bet you never gave much thought to the career that spawned Baywatch. Bet you don't know much about lifeguards except that they all have hot rockin' bods. Well, learn more about the U.S. Life-Saving Service through the artifacts, exhibits, and displays at this museum. The world of creatures who live in the sea is given play too with aquariums and saltwater tanks. Don't miss the old-timey OC Boardwalk replicas and photos.
Trimper's Rides of Ocean City, Boardwalk and South First Street, Ocean City, (410) 289-8617. Trimper's claims to be one of the cleanest amusement parks in Maryland. With its stomach-turning rides, the folks there must work hard to keep it that way. On a gentler note: Check out the hand-carved detail on the carousel animals, which alone is worth the trip to Ocean City.
Water-Taxi Tours of Ocean City, (410) 289-3783. See OC from the water, where it looks a little less tacky. A little.
Art's Alive, June 8-10, Northside Park, 125th Street bayside, Ocean City, (410) 250-0125, ococean.com. This festival and juried fine-art show includes ceramics, paintings, photography, and sculpture. For kids, there are art activities and competitions.
Jesus at the Beach Music and Ministry Festival, July 30-Aug. 1, Ocean City, (410) 289-1296. Three days of soulful drama and dance culminate with a baptism service in the ocean Aug. 1. Events take place 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Ocean City's Convention Hall and 7-10 p.m. on North Division Street.
Mid-Atlantic Women's Motorcycle Rally, 10 a.m. June 23, Francis Scott Key Motel, Ocean City, (410) 850-8528. Women bikers show off their riding skills, host a game of Biker Bingo, and parade along the Ocean City boardwalk to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Pocomoke Chicken Festival, June 14-16, Cypress Park, downtown Pocomoke City, (410) 957-1919, www.pocomoke.com. It's that time of year again for the annual celebration of the Delmarva poulty industry. Didn't the folks in Pocomoke City see Chicken Run?
Atlantic Hotel, 2 N. Main St., Berlin, (800) 814-7672, www.atlantichotel.com. There's a photo in the lobby of Richard Gere and Julia Roberts that was taken while they filmed Runaway Bride in Berlin, and a stay in this grand old hotel might make you feel as though you are in a movie yourself.
Frontier Town Campground, Route 611 and Stephen Decatur Highway, Ocean City, (800) 228-5590. So much more than a place to pitch a tent, Frontier Town Campground has an arcade, miniature golf, a pool and waterslides, and a Western theme park. Giddy-up.
The Ocean City area has accommodations other than tall glitzy condo buildings and short divey motels. Here are some bed-and-breakfast inns to consider:
Atlantic House, 501 N. Baltimore Ave., Ocean City, (410) 289-2333, www.atlantichouse.com.
An Inn on the Ocean, 1001 Boardwalk, Ocean City, (410) 289-8894, (877) 466-6662, www.innontheocean.com.
Lighthouse Club, 50th-60th streets bayside, Ocean City, (800) 371-5400, www.fagers.com.
Littleton's Bed and Breakfast, 407 Second St., Pocomoke City, (410) 957-1645.
Mansion House, 4436 Bayside Road, Snow Hill, (410) 632-3189, www.mansionhouse.org.
SPORTS & RECREATION
Assateague State Park, Berlin, (410) 641-1441. Just north, across an inlet, is Ocean City, crowded with restaurants and bars and T-shirt shops. On Assateague Island, there is almost nothing--nothing human-made, that is. But the unspoiled beaches and dunes offer swimming, fishing, backpacking, birding, and camping. To the south is the Assateague Island National Seashore--more of the same, but under federal maintenance.
Bahia Marina, 21st-22nd streets bayside, Ocean City, (410) 289-7438. Besides a marina that is open 24 hours a day during the summer, Bahia has boat rentals, the Fish Tales bar and grill, and fishing and scenic cruises.
Eagle's Landing Golf Course, 12367 Eagle's Nest Road, Berlin, (410) 213-7277, www.oceancitygolf.com. This new course on the shores and saltwater marshes of Sinepuxent Bay includes a pro shop, equipment rentals, and a restaurant.
Mellow Beach Watersports Center, 46th Street bayside, Ocean City, (410) 723-1144. Ocean City's "surf and turf headquarters" with sailing, kayaking, and skating sales and lessons. Also, sailing parties can be chartered on the 27-foot Toast II.
Ocean City Paintball Beach Attack, 12605 Ocean Gateway, West Ocean City, (410) 213-2500. Grab some friends and run around shooting each other with paint pellets. The loser has to clean everyone up--hey, that could be fun.
White Marlin Open, 4-9 p.m. Aug. 6-10, Harbor Island Marina, 14th Street bayside, Ocean City, www.whitemarlinopen.com. Cash prizes are up for grabs during this annual billfish tournament, including $15,000 for the heaviest white marlin and $2,000 for the heaviest shark. Spectators are welcome for the weigh-in.
Antiques by the Sea, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 10-12, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 13, Ocean City Convention Center, 40th Street bayside, (410) 289-3453. Save all summer then spend it big-time at this big weekend-long antiques show and sale.
Ocean City Factory Outlets, Route 50 and Golf Course Road, (800) 625-6696. Why push yourself into huge stores full of crap that didn't sell the first time it hit the racks? Because you don't want to go home from the beach empty-handed.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201