History on the Beach: Ocean City
Ocean City is known as a family beach resort but that very fact makes it perfect for a fun student opportunity as well. Located on the Eastern coast of the Maryland, Delaware, Virginia peninsula known on the Weather Channel as “The Delmarva,” this barrier island is accessible to much of the mid-Atlantic populous with an easy drive.
Just three hours from all that the nation’s capital offers in the way of history, Ocean City can be a fun break for a heavy curriculum trip. A walk on the three-mile Boardwalk for candy apples or fries as a stopover is a nice break. For students who have not seen an ocean, our Atlantic beach cannot be beat!
Both fun and environmentally educational is Assateague Island known for the wild ponies that roam free. Archeologists have just in the last few weeks found further evidence that these equines are derived descendants of horses most probably shipwrecked from Spanish galleons roaming the Atlantic Coast. The visitor center and the park rangers there can give a brief talk and overview of the environment.
You can see Assateague Island right across the Inlet at OC when you visit the Life Saving Station Museum at the beginning of the Ocean City Boardwalk.
For added studies in history and culture, stop at the Harriet Tubman Visitor Center. Not far off Route 50 which goes straight from Washington DC to downtown Ocean City, the Tubman Center is a stellar tribute to the struggles and life of this iconic African-American woman. She was born near the site of the center which also borders the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, the everglades of the north.
To reach these destinations you will cross over the famous Chesapeake Bay. The largest estuary in the United States is as important to shipping as it is to an immense environmental impact and importance. In fact, Captain John Smith navigated the bay as he explored America. He explored many a small hamlet, that today is wild marshland along the rivers stretching out from the bay.
Useful hints in planning an Ocean City Eastern Shore trip:
You may wish to make it a stand-alone adventure to a rural area or an offshoot of a DC or Baltimore area visit. Both are about three hours from Ocean City crossing the Chesapeake Bay via the Preston Bridge, quite an architectural marvel in its own right. See the freighters in line awaiting their turn to travel to offload in the Port of Baltimore.
Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon are peak travel times from the metropolitan area to the Eastern Shore. If you can, avoid those and enjoy clear travel and better rates in Ocean City from Sunday night to Thursday.
Make reservations at Assateague Visitor Center for a park ranger to guide you and also at Harriet Tubman Center so you can have the very best experiences.
When traveling by motorcoach you need a permit year-round in Ocean City. Very simple contact info and you can get it online at https://ocmdbus.com/ Your hotel can do this for you as well.
If you need assistance with planning any aspect of your trip contact Norma Dobrowolski, OC CVB
410-289-2800 or [email protected]