Ocean City may not have the abundance of trees with brilliant colored leaves like the trees off-shore, but that’s a good thing when people are seen spending their weekends with a rake.
Ocean City may not have the crowds and the sounds that fill the summer, but that’s a good thing when you can hear the crashing of the waves in the stillness of the night.
Portions of the city now have traffic lights that blink yellow. The right turns on red are back.
The “guts” are out of the parking meters and, most importantly for some, dogs are allowed on the beach.
There are enough beautiful, sunny days where a stroll on the beach or taking a chair and a good book to read is still possible. Your own, somewhat private, beach is back.
It’s where the downtown and Boardwalk merchants can engage in a personal conversation and remember your name with every visit.
Each day offers the opportunity for a stroll down streets filled with boutiques and restaurants, a bike ride or walks on the Boardwalk or a walk on the beach alone, or with your dog.
Meg and Ed Connelly from Hatboro, Pa., came to their Ocean City home for a “nice little escape.”
“We have some of our family, which includes eight grandchildren and a puppy, who lives near us, some even with us,” said Meg. “We came here to find a little peace and quiet.”
“We’re on our way to the beach now,” Ed said smiling.
“And to watch the beautiful sunset,” added Meg.
Ocean City is full of alluring beauty this time of year.
There are numerous nights when the sunsets explode with layers of brilliant orange, reds, and yellows.
The colors reflecting off the wetlands make it appear as if the marshes are fields of wheat.
The formation of the layers within the sunset makes it appear as if there are mountains in the distance.
During this time of year, the sunrises, the sunsets and everything in between offer an overwhelming sense of tranquility throughout the city, inspiring many, like the Connellys, to make Ocean City their escape from the chaos.
Sue and Jimmy Kooz, from Woodland Park, N.J., stopped at the 34th Street beach to take advantage of the crisp fall air and the splendor of the ocean.
“We’ve been coming here during the fall for five years,” said Sue. “We come to enjoy the peace and quiet.”
The Kooz family spend their summers in Ocean City and winters in Florida.
Last year they spent their Christmas in Ocean City.
“And this year we hope to do it again,” Jimmy said.
With the days getting shorter and the nights getting colder, it can only mean one thing — that the crowds and commercialization of the season will soon approach a level of pandemonium.
This year will be one of the shortest spans between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
So, to experience the true meaning and spirit of the season, many will choose to get away from the malls to feel the nostalgia of a small-town Christmas in Ocean City.
It’s in this quaint town, where young and old alike can experience shopping in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, starting with the “Earlier than the Bird” Downtown Shopping Extravaganza on Nov. 23.
The extravaganza offers early-bird shopping specials the weekend before Thanksgiving. Pajamas are the preferred attire, but not required, making it an adventure for all ages.
On Nov. 29, Ocean City will hold its annual Christmas in the Downtown, “Our Miracle on Asbury Avenue.”
What is “Our Miracle on Asbury Avenue?” It is a day after Thanksgiving shopping and dining event where carolers and street entertainers join those shopping and strolling down the avenue.
It is where you’ll find the ever-popular horse and carriage rides in front of City Hall. The horse and carriage rides begin the weekend of Nov. 23-24 and run every weekend through Dec. 21-22 and again on Jan. 1.
During December, with the malls and retail outlets now at the peak of chaos with traffic, lines and short tempers, Asbury Avenue provides another opportunity for intimate dining and shopping in the one-of-a-kind shops and boutiques.
The city also provides residents and visitors with a spectacular tree lighting and an impressive arrival of Santa Claus.
With a little help from the Ocean City Fire Department, Santa climbs down a fire ladder from the roof of City Hall. Each year, children anxiously watch Santa’s every step.
To close out the year, there are many other events held in Ocean City during the months of November and December, including holiday events on the Music Pier. The Music Pier is located on the Boardwalk at Ninth Street.
From the Musical Sounds of the Season by the Holiday Pops to numerous shows by The Greater Ocean City Theatre Company, including Lights, Camera, Christmas: 2019 Holiday Spectacular and Frozen Jr., families will enjoy this seasonal celebration.
But the city doesn’t stop there.
The First Night New Year’s Eve Celebration and the First Day Shopping Extravaganza continue to offer the special kind of warmth and friendly atmosphere found with each entertainment experience.
Winter in Ocean City maintains the same sense of tranquility. It is filled with unmatched treasures of boutiques and restaurants all surrounded with the uniqueness of the family-friendly Boardwalk, Great Egg Harbor Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.