Why Ocean City is Perfect for Family Bike Trips
I haven’t gotten to take our whole family to Ocean City. But after a recent visit with just my husband, we found there are several reasons to take a family bike trip to Ocean City, NJ.
A Family Friendly City
Ocean City markets itself as “America’s Greatest Family Resort”. According to OCNJ Daily News, tourism in Cape May county hit $6.6 billion in 2019. The same article noted that the beach is the main reason most vacationers give for choosing their destination. Ocean City has its share of that pie. They’ve done well to attract families to vacation in their city. But what makes Ocean City more family friendly than other lovely places along the New Jersey coast?
It is a dry town. OC was founded by four Methodist ministers and has never permitted alcohol sales within the city limits. Because there is no “night life” to speak of, the whole city is very family friendly. We have nothing against those who like to go dancing and have a few drinks. But I’ve been to beaches where there are a bunch of nightclubs and the whole experience is different.
The Family Friendly Bike Route spans nearly the entire length of the island. This is a 7-mile share the road route that connects to the shopping areas, Community Center, and other attractions. You can also exit this route to another bike-friendly road to get to the beach.
There are really nice public restrooms along the boardwalk. This may sound like a silly point to make. But if you’ve ever trooped into a public bathroom with multiple sweaty, sandy kids in tow, you get why I included this point.
There are tons of parks and playgrounds. We didn’t visit these on our weekend getaway, but I looked up a few online. They look clean with interesting play structures, and have good reviews.
Complete Street Program
Complete Streets in an approach to city planning that considers more than just automobiles when designing, building, and maintaining city streets. A city with a Complete Street project works toward accessibility for motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, and people of all abilities.
Ideally, a complete street includes automobile traffic, bike lanes, bus lanes, plenty of shoulder space, and pedestrian sidewalks. Implementation varies based on the context, of course. But the general idea is to make transit safer for everyone. Currently, most street planning only considers moving auto traffic as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Ocean City has been honored by the State of New Jersey for exemplary implementation of their Complete Street project.
Surrey Rides on the Boardwalk
Another aspect of the bike culture in OC is that you can ride on the Boardwalk until noon everyday between May 15th and Labor Day. On our trip, we rented a surrey (with no fringe on top) for a few hours so we could take in a large stretch of the Boardwalk in a short time. The fun of a surrey is that many feet make light work.
We rented from Oves’ but there are several places to rent bikes and surries of many sizes all along the Boardwalk. Since there were four adults in our party, we rented one with four places to pedal, but you could seat one person between each set of peddlers and there was a place for two small kids on the front.
The beach may be the largest draw for tourists to Ocean City, but it is an overall fantastic destination for family vacations. Trail Families who want to get some biking time along with their R&R will find a great blend of activity and leisure for the whole family. If you haven’t taken a family trip yet, I’d recommend Ocean City, NJ.