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Famed as a family-oriented seaside resort, Ocean City sprawls along a picture-perfect stretch of sand on the Atlantic Coast and is a popular place to rent an RV in New Jersey. It centers around a lively boardwalk that extends for 2.5 miles along the beachfront and is on the doorstep of bird-filled wetlands and protected reserves where you can enjoy the great outdoors.
Ocean City was founded in 1884 and is named after its setting on the Atlantic Ocean, although Europeans had used it since around 1700 for storing freshly hunted whales. Originally a barrier island, it’s now connected to mainland New Jersey and is well developed with shopping strips, services, and family-friendly RV campgrounds.
Book an RV rental in Ocean City and head to the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge, which provides critical habitat for both wildlife and migratory bird species. Every year, hundreds of thousands of shorebirds come to rest and feed here during their spring migration from Central and South America before heading north to their breeding grounds in the Arctic. Keep your eyes peeled for threatened piping plovers, yellow-throated warblers, and peregrine falcons as you explore the walking trails, together with Atlantic horseshoe crabs and southern gray tree frogs.
Just to the south sprawls the Beaver Swamp Fish and Wildlife Management Area, which centers around a freshwater pond that was once populated by beavers. After the wooden dam of Clint Ludlam’s sawmill began to erode, the beavers left the pond and haven’t yet returned (despite the dam’s restoration in 1992). However, the reserve is one of the most reliable places in the area to witness bald eagles who come to nest and forage here, with sightings of red-tailed hawks, wintering waterfowl, and colorful butterflies also rewarding.
Farther inland near Woodbine is the Belleplain State Forest, a 21,320-acre protected area that supports a healthy population of young pine, oak, and Atlantic white cedar trees. There are more than 40 miles of walking trails to explore that lead between the reserve’s lakes and ponds, with fishing, boating, and swimming also permitted. It’s another popular birdwatching destination, with threatened barred owls and Cooper’s hawk sightings among the highlights, together with prairie warblers, scarlet tanagers, and Baltimore orioles.
Pick up your camper rental in Ocean City and pull into one of the leafy RV sites at the Whippoorwill Campground in Marmora. There are a swimming pool and “kiddie” pool where you can cool off during the summer months, as well as an adjacent Snack Shack, a children’s playground, a gaming arcade, and a well-equipped gym.
Slightly farther away is the Lake & Shore RV Resort, a wooded campground that’s ideal for families. There’s a children’s playground and a small water park with a splash pad, as well as direct swimming access to a freshwater lake from their sandy beach.
Also nearby is the Ocean View Resort Campground, another family-friendly (and pet-friendly) RV destination that nestles in a wooded setting. Three playgrounds, two gaming arcades, and recreational courts are among the amenities, together with a well-stocked fishing lake, paddle boat rentals, and a sandy swimming beach.
Or, you can make the 20-minute drive to Egg Harbor Township’s Walmart where you may be able to set up for a night or two with the manager’s permission.
Park your RV rental near Ocean City and stroll along the beachside boardwalk, which is lined with shops, restaurants, and amusement parks. Browse for souvenirs or grab an ice cream, then head down to the sands for a dip in the Atlantic Ocean. No trip to the beachfront at Ocean City is complete without picking up some fudge or taffy at Shrivers, which is a local institution where you can actually watch the taffy-making machines in action.
If you’re traveling with kids, don’t miss a visit to Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, a historic amusement park that was established in 1929. It’s packed with classic rides such as the Giant Wheel and a vintage-inspired carousel, as well as The Man & Dog animatronic ride. Alternatively, you can head south to Playland’s Castaway Cove, which is also on the boardwalk and features a themed mini-golf course and numerous roller coasters.
Need some retail therapy? Give your credit card a workout on Asbury Avenue, which carves through the heart of Ocean City. It’s home to more than 100 retail stores where you can shop for the latest fashions or gifts for the home, as well as pick up a new swimsuit or sunhat. Also located on Asbury Avenue is the Discovery Seashell Museum where seashells, rocks, and minerals from around the globe are showcased.
Ocean City is home to numerous supermarkets where you can stock up on groceries, as well as plenty of fast food restaurants and eateries if you want to dine out. There are also gas stations if you need to fill up your motorhome rental in Ocean City
Whether you’re visiting Cape May County for its migratory birdwatching or beachside entertainment, book an RV in Ocean City and start exploring.