The shopping in Ocean City may not be high class, but there's a lot of it. The boardwalk, the outlet center, dozens of strip malls along Coastal Highway, and small-town antiques shops in nearby Berlin are all happy to take visitors' money.
If you enter town from the Route 50 bridge, you can't miss the Ocean City Factory Outlets (www.ocfactoryoutlets.com), a half-mile from the bridge, on the mainland at the intersection of Golf Course Road. The 20-plus brand-name outlets include Harry and David's, Gap, and Jos. A. Bank. Parking is free and plentiful; a daily shuttle also stops at a variety of O.C. hotels from late July to mid-September (check the website for a schedule). The complex is open Sunday through Thursday from 10am to 6pm (until at least 8pm June-Aug), and Friday and Saturday from 10am to 9pm.
The Tanger Outlets, in Rehoboth, have a much bigger selection -- and Delaware charges no sales tax. Serious shoppers may want to head north.
Perhaps the most popular and populated shopping destination in O.C. is the boardwalk -- 27 blocks of souvenirs, candy, restaurants, snack shacks, and, of course, T-shirts. You'll find much of the same merchandise in all the souvenir shops, but there are a couple places worth visiting. Ocean Gallery World Center, at Second Street (tel. 410/289-5300; www.oceangallery.com), is a trashy standout, with its mosaiclike facade of art from around the world -- and that's on the outside. Its three stories are full of art posters, prints, and original sofa-size oil paintings. The Kite Loft, at Fifth Street (tel. 410/289-6852), has a large selection of kites (from simple to really cool), flags, windsocks, and toys. You may even see a pig fly. There's another location on 131st Street.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.