While summertime is undeniably the main event in local beach towns like Ocean City New Jersey, the fall season brings its own set of attractions and benefits- especially for locals and visitors who stick around after tourists leave the Island! We have listed the 15 reasons why locals love fall in Ocean City NJ.
Don’t assume that Ocean City is asleep after Labor Day. While it’s definitely much quieter on the boardwalk and the beaches, there’s still plenty to do and enjoy during fall in Ocean City NJ. Besides, certain parts of everyday life get a lot easier in the fall including things like parking on the street and riding your bike on the boardwalk.
There are so many things that make the fall in Ocean City NJ magical but we’ve listed fifteen of them. Find out why locals love fall in Ocean City and start taking advantage of the many off-season benefits!
Here are 15 reasons why locals love fall in Ocean City NJ:
- Plenty of parking spaces and free meters
The city waives all municipal parking fees from November 1st until the end of March each year.
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- Dirt cheap hotel rates
Hotels like the Grand Hotel and Spa offer 30% off weekday rates and 20% off weekend rates during the fall.
- Discounted amusement park rides
Gillian’s Wonderland Pier has 3-ticket Thursdays as the season winds down, and Playland offers customer appreciation days in October where you can buy a $15 wristband for unlimited rides.
- Block parties for locals
The annual Ocean City fall block party is held in October, where hundreds of vendors and thousands of attendees gather along Asbury Avenue for boardwalk-style food, clearance-priced shopping, live music, and fireworks. There’s also a block party each spring to kick off the next year.
- Ocean City Halloween Parade
The Ocean City Halloween Parade is a big deal for residents and locals on the Mainland. Five blocks of the street are roped off for the parade and there are eight different categories of prizes to be won.
- No lines at the boardwalk shops
While most boardwalk shops close up after summer, the most popular ones stay open year round. Shoppers can order at Johnson & Johnson’s, shop at Hoys 5&10, and get service at several others without waiting in line.
- Relaxed dining environments
The Ocean City dining atmosphere is much different in the fall and winter. There is far less hustle and bustle which makes for a very relaxing meal. The restaurant owner and chef will likely come out to meet with you and the wait staff will be much more attentive because of the slower pace.
- Private gym classes without paying extra
Ocean City gyms and fitness centers like PLAAY Fitness and Yoga offer classes year round, but the class size is dramatically smaller in the fall and winter. You’re likely to have a private class or perhaps 1-2 other people as opposed to 8-10 other students. It’s a great opportunity to get one-on-one coaching without actually paying for private classes.
- Unrestricted bike riding on the boardwalk
After October 7th, you can ride your bike on the boardwalk any time without restrictions. During the summer, you can only ride your bike on the boardwalk between certain hours and certain days of the week. Not to mention, it’s far from relaxing due to the number of people strolling around during peak season.
- Walk your dog on the beach
The Ocean City Police Department website has posted that dogs are allowed on the beach from October 1st to April 30th. Dogs must be on a leash at all times.
- Drive your vehicle onto the beach
Motor vehicles are allowed on the beach during the off-season. You can drive onto the beach between September 15th to May 15th of each year, or obtain a permit for the rest of the year.
- Quiet Festival- 2 days dedicated to R&R
November 4th-5th, Ocean City is hosting a Quiet Festival at the Ocean City Community Center. The two-day program schedule includes low-key activities like checkers, tea time, stories and family yoga. It will help the whole family to unwind as we move into fall.
- Soup and seafood festivals
There are a few food festivals scheduled for fall in Ocean City NJ including the new Chili-Chowder Festival that was held on October 2nd and the annual Indian Summer weekend in mid-October where seafood vendors set up at the Ocean City Music Pier and merchants set up vendor tables down the boardwalk.
- Gorgeous weather conditions
Let’s face it- fall is really the best season at the Jersey Shore. It’s not too hot and it’s not too cold. There’s plenty of warm sun but the wretched humidity is replaced with an invigorated cool. This is the perfect season to enjoy being outdoors- especially if you’re participating in the one of walks/runs held in Ocean City each fall.
- Fall foliage and breathtaking scenery
The fall in Ocean City is a photographer’s dream. Most of the houses in ocean city are beautifully landscaped and most streets are tree lined. It’s a very pretty city in the fall as the foliage begins to turn. Best of all, the beach is clear and the ocean is as beautiful as ever. Schedule a family photo shoot in Ocean City this fall and you’ll capture a gorgeous atmosphere with the added benefit of more comfortable temps!
What’s your favorite thing about fall in Ocean City NJ? Let us know in the comments below!