Whether you're searching for a luxury hotel for a couples' weekend or a sizable room for the entire family, Ocean City has just what you need for a fun-filled week or weekend excursion.
Founded in 1884, Ocean City is one of the newer municipalities in the state and one of the only dry cities in the Northeast. Since its inception, the city banned the sale of liquor throughout the island community, leading to an atmosphere that's perfect for families large and small.
Widely regarded as having the most beautiful beaches in the state, Ocean City is a paradise for tanning, swimming, fishing, and more. It's incredibly popular during the summer when tourists boost the population from about 11,000 to more than 110,000. Yet even when it's crowded, the family-friendly atmosphere is a breath of fresh air. In addition, many businesses have meetings and team-building exercises here during non-peak seasons. No matter what your reason for coming to Ocean City, you're bound to find the ideal hotel to fit your specific needs, budget, and tastes.
When to Visit Ocean City, New Jersey
If you can stomach massive crowds, the ideal time to visit Ocean City is during the summer. The population at any given time from May through August can swell to nearly 10 times the actual population, causing problems with parking, reservations, and crowds. However, the temperatures outside and in the water are unbeatable and often worth the hassle. Hotels are in extreme demand during summer, so you might have to book your hotel room months in advance to make sure you get the hotel of your choice.
If you're not big on swimming or sunbathing or you want the entire beach to yourself, head to Ocean City in winter. The tourists are long gone from the area, and only the locals remain. When you want to meet people from the area, it's an excellent time to chat, while lines to some of the attractions are almost nonexistent. However, temperatures can drop below freezing, so pack accordingly. You can score a hotel room for near nothing, thanks to the low demand.
Fall is another great time to visit Ocean City, as the weather is warmer than in most other areas of the state. Highs of 70 and lows of 50 make exploration tolerable with a light jacket, and sometimes, you won't even need that. Some families still head here during the tail end of the tourist season, so hotel prices are a bit higher than in the off-season. Rooms are still far easier to find than during the summer.
To watch the city burst out of the winter with wonderful temperatures and somewhat clear skies, head to Ocean City during spring. While rain falls more during this season than any other, it tends to clear up quickly, giving you pristine weather without all the crowds. Because demand is low during spring, you can often find a superb deal on a hotel whether you book a trip well in advance or just on a whim.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Ocean City, NJ:
Ocean City by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts demonstrating mean nightly cost trends by star rating class in Ocean City, NJ. You can use these charts to evaluate the best seasons to book a room in Ocean City during the year.
Luxury Hotel Options in Ocean City, NJ
4 Star Average Prices: $189.34
When you want a luxurious hotel stay in Ocean City, you don't have to look far. The Port-O-Call Hotel has been offering opulent accommodations for more than 50 years, with excellent service and unbeatable perks. All guests have access to massage therapy services, a 24-hour fitness room, golf outings, a restaurant, and a heated outdoor pool. The hotel also offers access to many of Ocean City's top attractions, such as the Ocean City Boardwalk, beaches, and Congo Falls Adventure Golf. In-room amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, a refrigerator, a flat-screen television with cable programming, and a private balcony.
For a luxury hotel experience that's on the outskirts of town, away from the crowds but still near the beach, head to the Oceanside Lodge. It's located within a short drive of popular attractions such as the Discovery Seashell Museum, Carey Stadium, and the Ocean City Music Pier. Offerings here include a business center, seasonal heated outdoor pool, and free parking. Guests will also enjoy in-room features such as ocean views, free Wi-Fi, a coffee maker, free cable television with HBO, a minifridge, and a microwave.
Affordable Hotel Options in Ocean City, NJ
3 Star Average Prices: $113.05
Just because you're going to a resort doesn't mean you have to break the bank. Ocean City has plenty of low-cost accommodation options so you can spend money on the more important things in life. The Blue Water Inn offers simple guest rooms and suites that are ideal for travelers that spend more of their time out and about than in their hotel rooms. It's just minutes from the beach, Haunted Golf, and Playland's Castaway Cove. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool, barbecue grills, and ticketing or tour assistance.
The Ocean Breeze Hotel is another solid option for budget accommodations in Ocean City. In-room amenities here include a television with cable programming, complimentary Wi-Fi, and a refrigerator. However, it's the on-site perks that really make the Ocean Breeze a winner. Free beach tags, a free breakfast, and free parking will save you tons of money, while the outdoor pool, sun deck, and gas barbecue grill allow the family to enjoy the day without having to leave the comfort of the hotel.