An early-morning ride down the boardwalk is traditional for lots of families. Boardwalk biking is allowed between 2 and 10am in summer, and anytime in the off-season. Cyclists on Coastal Highway share a lane with the buses. A headlight and rear reflector are required on all bikes on the road after dark. Rental rates vary, but expect to pay $6 an hour for a two-wheeler, $12 an hour for a tandem, and $8 for "funcycles" (recumbent tricycles). Two good sources are Continental Cycle, 73rd Street and Coastal Highway (tel. 410/524-1313), and Mike's Bikes, 10 N. Division St. (tel. 410/289-5404).
For sightseeing at top speed and a splash, Sea Rocket, Dorchester Street at the bay (tel. 410/289-5887), and the O.C. Rocket, Talbot Street Pier (tel. 410/289-3500), offer a great diversion from the beach. Both are 70-foot, 150-passenger open-top speedboats that zoom along the waters of Ocean City and beside Assateague Island. The trips last about 50 minutes; they cost about $16 for adults, $8 for children 7 to 10. Departures run every hour or two from late May to September. Tip: People in the very back tend to get very wet (people in the front get less wet, and those in the middle get the least wet). Save this ride for a warm day, when a little sea spray is a welcome thing.
Assateague Adventure (tel. 410/289-3500; www.assateagueadventure.com) offers nature cruises to Assateague Island three or four times a day. These 90-minute tours, which leave from Talbot Street Pier, include 30 minutes on the island, an opportunity to dredge for clams or put your hand in the touch tank. The cost is $8 to $16; everybody pays an additional $1 landing fee. Reservations are suggested.
Duckaneer (tel. 410/289-3500) departs the Talbot Street Pier on a pirate adventure several times a day. Daytime cruises are geared to the kiddies; adults might find the evening cruises more fun. Cruises cost $9 for ages 1 to 4 and $19 for everybody else. Reservations are not necessary (but a good idea).
Because Ocean City is surrounded by the Atlantic and four bays, fishing boats abound. Departures usually run from April to October. Rates range from $325 for makeup charters up to $2,400 for tuna, shark, or white marlin. Get a spot on the rail of a headboat for about $28. Trips leave as early as 5am. Rod rentals are available.
Most boats set sail from one of O.C.'s three main fishing marinas: the Ocean City Fishing Center, in West Ocean City (tel. 800/322-3065; www.ocfishing.com); the Bahia Marina, on the bay at 22nd Street (tel. 410/289-7438; www.bahiamarina.com); and the Sunset Marina, 12911 Sunset Ave. (tel. 877/514-3474; www.ocsunsetmarina.com). Call them for information on the kinds of boats available, as well as their rates and departure times. The Angler (tel. 410/289-7424), a reliable headboat, also takes morning trips from the Talbot Street Pier on the bay.
Assateague Explorer runs kayaking tours off Assateague between Memorial Day and Columbus Day six times a day for $40 for adults, $36 for children. Call tel. 757/336-5956 or www.assateagueisland.com/kayaktours.htm.
Ocean Downs, 10218 Racetrack Rd., Berlin (tel. 410/641-0600; www.oceandowns.com), won approval for the state's first slots parlor in September 2009. By Memorial Day 2010, the new slots parlor was due to open with 600 slots and 200 more machines to go on line within the year.
Surf fishing is permitted on all public beaches. However, between 9am and 6pm you cannot fish within 150 feet of swimmers or of anyone on the beach, which, in peak season, can be impossible. Public fishing piers are at Inlet Park (this one charges a tiny fee), as well as on the bay side at the Third Street Pier, Ninth Street Pier (which is lighted), and Northside Park (at 125th St.). For fishing supplies, visit Bahia Marina, on the bay at 22nd Street (tel. 410/289-7438).
The beach between the fishing pier and the inlet has been set aside for surfers on all summer weekdays. On weekends, different beaches rotate as designated surf beaches. Go to www.ococean.com/ocbp for each day's location. K-Coast Surfshop, on 35th Street (tel. 410/524-8500), or on 78th Street (tel. 410/723-3330), keeps an up-to-date schedule and also offers lessons and rentals. The 24-hour surfing info line is tel. 410/524-7685.
From April through October, O.C. is a hotbed of sailing, parasailing, windsurfing, jet-skiing, powerboating, water-skiing, and more. For information on jet skis, contact Bay Sports, on the bay between 21st and 22nd streets (tel. 410/289-2144). For skiff and pontoon-boat rentals, try Bahia Marina, on the bay at 22nd Street (tel. 410/289-7438), or O.C. Parasail, Talbot Street Pier, near the inlet and at 54th Street and the bay (tel. 410/723-1464). For pontoon-boats, jetboats, or tubing, call Bayside Rentals (tel. 410/524-1948) for a wide variety of watersport rentals. Check the visitor center for brochures with up-to-date information.
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.