The beach is better

We are currently at a relaxing, minimally planned vacation at Ocean City, NJ. I asked DD4 which was better the beach or WDW…the beach! I know she had a lot of fun. At WDW but I guess there’s just something about the beach and the relaxation. In any case, she saved us some $, solidifying my decision not to return to WDW for several years,



I bet if you asked that question while at Disney you would get a different answer


We went to Ocean City right before DS started school at UMD, it was a lot of fun. Really different from our past beach vacations which tend to be places where the beachfront is much less developed. We rented a catamaran, went down to Assateague, saw the ponies, etc. It’s a really cool area. The drive over to DC was interesting, too. Have a great time!

I think our next big trip is going to be the Grand Canyon. We had planned some smaller backpacking & camping trips around the Yellowstone area for the summer, but it’s not summer yet! The road from our house to there is closed again, it’s still snowing up higher. It was supposed to be open a month ago. I just don’t know how much is going to melt by August, even if it opens the trails will be a mess. I’ve never seen it this cold this late in the year. Very disappointing. But my lawn looks great, silver linings I guess!

I’m not sure when we’ll get back to WDW. Another thing we want to do is take the family to Italy and then DH and I want to cruise the Rhine. I’m thinking it’lll be a minimum of 5 years to get back to WDW, or DH & I will go by ourselves after the SW hotel opens. The nice thing about having several years between WDW visits is that when we DO go, it’s a big deal, so I feel justified in spending the money to do it up right. We had a blast last month, but I don’t want to do that every year.


My kids enjoy Disney but would not necessarily pick it over road trips or cruises. I have kids who say the best part of traveling is the drive there! :anguished:

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The beach? Seriously? I mean, there’s just water and sand.

In my family, I’m the least likely person to want to go to the beach. We stopped at Hilton Head Island on our drive back from Disney in 2016 just so the kids could see the ocean. While my wife and the kids played along the water, I tried to nap on the hard, uncomfortable sand.

But, we are a family who generally doesn’t count a trip as a vacation unless an amusement park is involved. (Or, at least, I don’t!)


I have been going to Ocean City, NJ (NOT Maryland!) every summer since I was 4 years old! My siblings and I now all go with our families for the same week each year with our kids and grandkids - 32 of us! We rent 6 houses/floors all next to each other, about a half block from the beach.

My boys growing up would probably say they loved OC a bit more than DW - and they really loved DW! (We went to Disney about every 18 mo.- 2 years until high school and sports schedules made it hard to go regularly.) Ocean City is where they could play with all their cousins (who live far away from us so it was one of the few times a year we saw them), swim and go up on the boardwalk for mini-golf and for the rides.

It’s wonderful because now my 4 year old grandson talks about going to Ocean City AND going to Disney World all the time. We have his first trip planned for late October. He doesn’t really remember his past trips to OC and of course has never been to DW, but we keep talking about how much fun they will both be and he is all in!

I wholeheartedly recommend Ocean City, NJ for a true relaxing family vacation —great beaches and a 2.5 mile boardwalk. The island is dry - no alcohol sold in stores or restaurants so it is very family friendly. AND - there is a huge liquor store right over the bridge! :slight_smile:


I live a 15 minute drive from Ocean City, NJ and haven’t been there in years. Haven’t been to the beach there in probably 20 years. I grew up going to the beach EVERYDAY in the summer. If I didn’t have 2 kids begging I probably wouldn’t venture to the beach the twice a year I do. Ocean City has a great First Night Celebration though that I intend to take my kids to for the first time this year.
I guess it would make a nice short vacation if you like the beach and boardwalk, but I wouldn’t put it anywhere near WDW league.

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Our favorite beach-focused vacations included giant homes rented with friends. Crazy-good times.

My husband and sons don’t enjoy the beach as much as my girls and I do. They do enjoy an uncrowded beach where they can play sports in the sand.

Our happy medium is cruising where Mama and sisters get 5-6 beach hours and the rest is ship-based fun.

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qwerty6 - I forgot to mention in my post that after the first crazy fun week with 32 family members, my sister and I stay an extra week - just the two of us. Pure bliss.


We are in OCNJ. Glad to hear you have wonderful memories.

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Maybe. Too late now :grinning:

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Personally WDW is too hectic for me but the beach a bit too slow. I like vacations where I can do maybe 2 tourist attractions a day and then relax. Before kids, we very much enjoyed winery tour vacations. Oh well.

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Yes, Flutegarden, , I saw it was NJ - I think Pod thought it was Maryland. And whenever I tell someone Ocean City, they assume it’s the Maryland one (which I think is better known) so I wanted to emphasis NJ.
Make sure you have pizza at Manco and Manco’s and donuts at Brown’s!

I think describes my husband’s POV.

I would be right with you regarding the beach, except we scuba dive. (We’ve done Dive Quest twice). After a couple of hours laying around in the sand, I’ve had it. And most of the family sunburns easily so we actually can’t just stay on the beach, especially closer to the equator.

But there are other things to do at the beach, like diving, snorkeling, kayaking, sailing and hiking (depending on which beach you go to) and visiting the surrounding towns which usually have great history. I suspect, though, that a lot of people get bored at the beach which is why places like Ocean City exist.

Kind of like Cedar Point. Started out, more than 100 years ago, as a beach destination along the great lake.

But then, you know. it is just a beach. So, they decided it needed an amusement park added. :wink:


My oldest, who is now 17, has made a similar statement about travelling via car. She prefers the drives so she can see the changes, especially in winter, as we approach warmer climates.

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We love OCNJ, great place for a family vacation !!! :smiley:

The Great Lakes are not a super snorkeling destination, and diving there leaves much to be desired. Unless you like diving in a dry suit, it’s too darn cold.

That’s why we skipped Dive Quest this time- the first thing out of DS21’s mouth when I suggested we go again was “It’s too cold!”. He’s skinny and the rental wetsuits never fit him. It doesn’t matter that its technically “tropical”.