Being one of the largest Boardwalks of the world and the embodiment of the Jersey Shore, The Ocean City Boardwalk has more than 100 shops of all kinds, ranging from taffy stands, candy stores, dougnnut stores, restaurants, bars, pubs and one of a kind boutique shops that sells everthing from clothes, beach wear, bath and beauty and a lot more. there are also some rides and attractions for the family as this is a family centered boardwalk after all.
opens: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm everyday
What to buy: all the tacky and quaint items that you can see like assorted clothes, beauty ware, costumes, junk foods, souvenirs and a lot more.
What to pay: depends on what you buy.
There are lots of places to buy fudge on the Boardwalk, but trust someone who goes to OC all the time... accept no imitations and buy your fudge from "The Fudge Kitchen." It's the only place with copper kettles in the window. Sometimes you can watch them make it in the window. They are almost always giving out free samples. One taste and you will see why any other fudge is a waste of time. The fudge is totally creamy without any graininess at all (lots of pure cream!) Other traditional favorites are molasses paddles, taffies, marzipan, chocolate covered strawberries, pectin squares, chocolates and more!
What to buy: FUDGE!!!!
What to pay: a lot, about $9 a pound
Mia's Christmas Gallery is some amazing. I have been going here since I was a little girl. It's a christmas shop, that they call a gallery, which I love, because it is open 24/7 - 365 days a year ! It's christmas all year long ! I love it . It's so nice to be walking on the boardwalk in the dead of summer , and you can step into this air conditioned , winter wonderland . And when I say wonderland , I mean , tree's fully decorated , lights , electronic dolls , fake snow .. it's the beautiful christimas we always have to wait for but - you don't have to wait .. well .. to open gifts you will , but not to shop !
What to buy: anything christmas !
What to pay: a little pricey but you can find things on sale too
Delicious pastries and other sweet delicacies are found at this cute little ocean city shop. People line up early (7am) out front of this little gem to get fresh pastry's in the morning. They bake all day, but, in the morning, nothing is better than a fresh apple, blueberry, cherry, or cheese danish! When I say delicious .. believe me ! Mmmm !
What to buy: apple, blueberry, cherry, or cheese danish! Or anything else they have there ... delicious !
What to pay: About average for delicious pastries
Be sure while you are walking the boards and stuffing yourself that you save room for Monkey Bread. If you have a sweet tooth, Monkey Bread is not to be missed. A cinnamony glazed monkey bread with a goopy layer of icing is sure to send you into a sugar coma that you'll never forget. I love them and look forward to them on every visit! They're great because they don't have nuts to ruin the soft doughy ecstacy... Yummmmmmmmy. The Monkey Bread shop on the boardwalk is easy to miss because it is small, so keep your eyes peeled. There is a second location off the boardwalk on 34th Street that is a cafe setting where you can sit and have a light bite to eat, a cup of coffee and some Monkey Bread, of course! Make sure to you your Monkey Bread warmed.
The Surf Mall is an old movie theater converted into a mall without borders. There is an assortment of "shops" with all kinds of cool goodies geared toward people under 25. Posters, clothes, jewlery, apparel, drug paraphanalia, surf culture stuff, incense, etc. A very cool place that has an ever changing assortment of goodies.
What to buy: Patchouli and hackey sacks?!?!
The surf shop is where the locals go. It's convinient because it's right next to the beach located near the beaches zoned for surfing. They've got surf and body boards for sale, various supplies, wax, wetsuits, swimsuits and whatnot.
What to buy: Reef sandals are hard to find and this is the spot! Reef sandals are a hefty $50 plus but I guarantee they are the comfiest shoes you will ever own. I wear mine year-round.
What to pay: more than average
There are tons of little ice-cream, sno cone, water-ice and other frozen novelties for sale on the Boardwalk. In my opinion the best is the old-fashioned favorite Kohr Brothers soft ice-cream. It is the creamiest, tastiest soft serve ice-crem around. For water-ice, try something a litte different, go to TLC's Polish water ice stand. Ask for a free sample if they don't have any out. The flavors and bright colors are a real hit with the kids!
What to pay: $1-$4
Fralinger's, the one and only place to buy really good salt water taffy. Shriver's is the only other reputable company that makes salt water taffy, but Fralinger's is the best, bar- none!
16 flavors of regular taffy
8 flavors of sugar-free
8 flavors of chocolate dipped taffy (hell-oooo can you say toothache???)
12 flavors filled center taffy
and other old-fashioned favorites such as macaroons, molasses paddles, toffee and a respetible (but not great,) fudge.
What to buy: My favorite salt water taffies are the 2 flavors everyone is afraid to try: "molasses mint" and "teaberry." Totally not weird and totally delicious.
What to pay: Usually $5.95 a pound, but there are various discounts and coupons.
Washington Street Mall is about 3 blocks of pedestrian shopping. Nicely kept and a good mix of shops. It has expanded recently, but even so, is still a relatively small shopping area.
The Ugly Mug pub is nice place to stop and refresh if you fancy a Guinness!
If you've been to Ireland recently and wonder where all the Irish people are, you can find half of them here working in the shops! USA college kids always quit their summer jobs early to get back to school and so local businesses are hiring Irish teens by the droves because their schools don't start until after our tourist season.