Destination Main Streets

Ocean City, New Jersey

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Ocean City, New Jersey was founded in 1879 and is best known as a family-oriented seaside resort. What helped the city gain that distinction was its prohibition on the sale of alcoholic beverages within its limits since the city's founding. But what also makes Ocean City popular with families is its boardwalk, which includes shops, eateries, amusements, and vast views of the beach and Atlantic Ocean. However, just a few blocks inland, Ocean City also has its very own downtown and historic district complete with Victorian era architecture. Its business district and Main Street grew up around Asbury Avenue, which is home to shopping, restaurants and other businesses.

Ocean City is located in Cape May County, New Jersey in the southern part of the Jersey Shore. Ocean City is about 65 miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and about 130 miles from New York City. The main part of Asbury Avenue's business district is between 12th Street and 6th Street. Main Street aficionados will want to check out Asbury Avenue but also be sure to check out the boardwalk as there's a lot of action and nightlife here as well. Other nearby Main Street communities include Cape May and Stone Harbor.

Photo Gallery Tour

We'll be taking a tour of Ocean City, New Jersey's Main Street, which is Asbury Avenue.  But first, we'll take a quick trip down Ocean City's famous boardwalk.  Ocean City is also know for its beaches, rides, and other attractions.
We'll be taking a tour of Ocean City, New Jersey's Main Street, which is Asbury Avenue. But first, we'll take a quick trip down Ocean City's famous boardwalk. Ocean City is also know for its beaches, rides, and other attractions.
Although this is a site dedicated to Main Streets across the county, we would be remiss in not spending at least a few minutes on Ocean City's boardwalk.  It does feature many of the things we look for on this site.  It's pedestrian friendly and has a mix of shops and eateries.  Here we see some bikers out on an early morning ride.
Although this is a site dedicated to Main Streets across the county, we would be remiss in not spending at least a few minutes on Ocean City's boardwalk. It does feature many of the things we look for on this site. It's pedestrian friendly and has a mix of shops and eateries. Here we see some bikers out on an early morning ride.
Along the boardwalk, we see gift shops, eateries, arcades, and even roller coasters.  Different lanes are set up for runners, bicycles, and surreys, the bikes that groups of people can peddle together.
Along the boardwalk, we see gift shops, eateries, arcades, and even roller coasters. Different lanes are set up for runners, bicycles, and surreys, the bikes that groups of people can peddle together.
As it gets later in the day, the crowds pick up on the boardwalk.  The sign on the light post says "8th street," so you can see where you are in relation to the rest of the city.
As it gets later in the day, the crowds pick up on the boardwalk. The sign on the light post says "8th street," so you can see where you are in relation to the rest of the city.
You get a pretty wild mix of sites to see, including a rampaging shark, on the boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey.
You get a pretty wild mix of sites to see, including a rampaging shark, on the boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey.
There are multiple places to get ice cream on a hot day.  The gorilla is welcoming visitors to play mini golf.  Also, that Surf Mall was once a movie theatre but is now a massive  store selling a wide variety of goods.
There are multiple places to get ice cream on a hot day. The gorilla is welcoming visitors to play mini golf. Also, that Surf Mall was once a movie theatre but is now a massive store selling a wide variety of goods.
Here's a view inside the Surf Mall.  So even though we'll be focusing on Asbury Avenue, I thought it would be good to point out there is plenty of shopping to be had on the boardwalk as well.  Now let's head over to Asbury Avenue.
Here's a view inside the Surf Mall. So even though we'll be focusing on Asbury Avenue, I thought it would be good to point out there is plenty of shopping to be had on the boardwalk as well. Now let's head over to Asbury Avenue.
We head up 11th Street to Asbury Avenue.  This is at the intersection of 11th and Asbury.  Here we will make a right and head down Asbury.  Our tour will take us on north east along Asbury Avenue.
We head up 11th Street to Asbury Avenue. This is at the intersection of 11th and Asbury. Here we will make a right and head down Asbury. Our tour will take us on north east along Asbury Avenue.
This is a view of the northern corner of 11th and Asbury.  Here we see a book store and a few other shops.  As we continue down Asbury we'll find more more shops and other businesses.
This is a view of the northern corner of 11th and Asbury. Here we see a book store and a few other shops. As we continue down Asbury we'll find more more shops and other businesses.
Across the street is a Starbucks and some stores selling beach gear.
Across the street is a Starbucks and some stores selling beach gear.
A short walk down 11th Avenue back towards the beach takes us to the Flanders Hotel.  The Flanders opened in 1923 and was named in memory of the fallen Allied troops of World War I's Battle of Flanders.
A short walk down 11th Avenue back towards the beach takes us to the Flanders Hotel. The Flanders opened in 1923 and was named in memory of the fallen Allied troops of World War I's Battle of Flanders.
We return to Asbury Avenue.  Here we see many beach style houses that have businesses on the ground floors.
We return to Asbury Avenue. Here we see many beach style houses that have businesses on the ground floors.
More businesses and shops, including benches along Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, New Jersey.
More businesses and shops, including benches along Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, New Jersey.
Shop owners show off their merchandise along the sidewalk on Asbury Avenue.
Shop owners show off their merchandise along the sidewalk on Asbury Avenue.
A little further down Asbury Avenue, we find a home furnishings store.
A little further down Asbury Avenue, we find a home furnishings store.
We make it to the corner of 10th Street and Asbury Avenue.  On the north corner of the intersection is an ice cream shop.  Nautical themes are painted on the electrical boxes.
We make it to the corner of 10th Street and Asbury Avenue. On the north corner of the intersection is an ice cream shop. Nautical themes are painted on the electrical boxes.
This massive bead shop takes up the size of two full stores inside this building with some interesting architecture.
This massive bead shop takes up the size of two full stores inside this building with some interesting architecture.
Some more shops along with some fun eateries on Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, New Jersey.
Some more shops along with some fun eateries on Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, New Jersey.
Asbury Avenue is only a few blocks from the beach so it helps to have convenient access to a beach shop.
Asbury Avenue is only a few blocks from the beach so it helps to have convenient access to a beach shop.
A little further up Asbury Avenue are more shops and eateries.
A little further up Asbury Avenue are more shops and eateries.
And across the street are boutiques and home design stores.
And across the street are boutiques and home design stores.
A view looking back at the way we came, we see a coffee shop with some outdoor seating.
A view looking back at the way we came, we see a coffee shop with some outdoor seating.
Next door, at the corner of Asbury Avenue and 9th Street is a park with a gazebo where a City Hall annex building once stood.
Next door, at the corner of Asbury Avenue and 9th Street is a park with a gazebo where a City Hall annex building once stood.
If we head down 9th Street towards Central Avenue, we find some some restaurants and interesting architecture.  Also, just a note, 9th Street is a major point of entry for many people if they come into Ocean City on State Route 52 over the Stainton Memorial Causeway.
If we head down 9th Street towards Central Avenue, we find some some restaurants and interesting architecture. Also, just a note, 9th Street is a major point of entry for many people if they come into Ocean City on State Route 52 over the Stainton Memorial Causeway.
Across the street is The Chatterbox Restaurant.  The building itself was built in the 1920s and was designed by Vivian Smith an architect who also worked on the Ocean City Music Pier and the Flanders Hotel.  The restaurant has changed hands many times over the years and as of this writing the restaurant is closed, but maybe it will reopen again soon.
Across the street is The Chatterbox Restaurant. The building itself was built in the 1920s and was designed by Vivian Smith an architect who also worked on the Ocean City Music Pier and the Flanders Hotel. The restaurant has changed hands many times over the years and as of this writing the restaurant is closed, but maybe it will reopen again soon.
More restaurants and historic buildings on the corner of 9th street and Central Avenue.
More restaurants and historic buildings on the corner of 9th street and Central Avenue.
We head back up to Asbury Avenue where we find City Hall on the corner of 9th and Asbury.  The City Hall was built in 1914 in the Beaux-Arts architectural style.  You can find visitor information and public restrooms inside.
We head back up to Asbury Avenue where we find City Hall on the corner of 9th and Asbury. The City Hall was built in 1914 in the Beaux-Arts architectural style. You can find visitor information and public restrooms inside.
Here is a view looking southwest down Asbury Avenue from the top steps of City Hall.  You can see the intersection of 9th Street and Asbury Avenue.
Here is a view looking southwest down Asbury Avenue from the top steps of City Hall. You can see the intersection of 9th Street and Asbury Avenue.
And here is a view looking northeast up Asbury Avenue from that same vantage on the top steps of City Hall.  The large building with the renovations is the former Stainton's Department Store founded in 1912.  Today the bottom floor is made up of independent retailers and the upper floors are rental condominiums.
And here is a view looking northeast up Asbury Avenue from that same vantage on the top steps of City Hall. The large building with the renovations is the former Stainton's Department Store founded in 1912. Today the bottom floor is made up of independent retailers and the upper floors are rental condominiums.
We continue walking along Asbury Avenue past the shops and businesses in various historical buildings.
We continue walking along Asbury Avenue past the shops and businesses in various historical buildings.
Shoppers peruse merchandise displayed out on the sidewalk along Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, New Jersey.
Shoppers peruse merchandise displayed out on the sidewalk along Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, New Jersey.
We reach the intersection of Asbury Avenue and 8th Street.  What appears to have once been a bank is now a trendy shop at the corner.
We reach the intersection of Asbury Avenue and 8th Street. What appears to have once been a bank is now a trendy shop at the corner.
Also on the corner of Asbury and 8th is the Bourse Building, which was constructed in 1895.  Check out the interesting crosswalks.
Also on the corner of Asbury and 8th is the Bourse Building, which was constructed in 1895. Check out the interesting crosswalks.
As we continue down Asbury Avenue, we come across some restaurants with outdoor seating, including this one with some interesting statuary.
As we continue down Asbury Avenue, we come across some restaurants with outdoor seating, including this one with some interesting statuary.
Across the street are more shops and businesses in a wide array of architectural styles.
Across the street are more shops and businesses in a wide array of architectural styles.
Across the street, a family window shops in front of boutiques and even a crab shack.
Across the street, a family window shops in front of boutiques and even a crab shack.
More shops and businesses along Asbury Avenue.  In the distance, looking back the way we came on the corner of 8th and Asbury, that tall structure is the Crown Bank Building, which was built in 1924.
More shops and businesses along Asbury Avenue. In the distance, looking back the way we came on the corner of 8th and Asbury, that tall structure is the Crown Bank Building, which was built in 1924.
We continue heading north east along Asbury Avenue.  Here we find more boutiques, eateries, and other services.
We continue heading north east along Asbury Avenue. Here we find more boutiques, eateries, and other services.
Bikers take in a sunny day along Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, New Jersey.  Hoy's is a chain of discount stores along the Jersey Shore that have been in business for over 70 years.
Bikers take in a sunny day along Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, New Jersey. Hoy's is a chain of discount stores along the Jersey Shore that have been in business for over 70 years.
Shops line Asbury Avenue, including a large surf shop, which is convenient since the Atlantic Ocean is only a few short blocks away.
Shops line Asbury Avenue, including a large surf shop, which is convenient since the Atlantic Ocean is only a few short blocks away.
We see another biker along Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, New Jersey.
We see another biker along Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, New Jersey.
A candy store and a yoga studio on Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, New Jersey.
A candy store and a yoga studio on Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, New Jersey.
Some more shops, including a pet store, and some other services along Asbury Avenue.
Some more shops, including a pet store, and some other services along Asbury Avenue.
We make it to the corner of Asbury Avenue and 7th Street.  This historic building is occupied by an interior design firm.
We make it to the corner of Asbury Avenue and 7th Street. This historic building is occupied by an interior design firm.
More shops along Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, New Jersey.
More shops along Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, New Jersey.
Some of these buildings have a beachy feel to them.  It also would make sense that they would be surf shops as well.
Some of these buildings have a beachy feel to them. It also would make sense that they would be surf shops as well.
A colorful outdoor cafe on Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, New Jersey.
A colorful outdoor cafe on Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, New Jersey.
We're getting to the far end of downtown now so the shops are getting more sparse.  There are still some businesses though such as what you see in these well-kept buildings.
We're getting to the far end of downtown now so the shops are getting more sparse. There are still some businesses though such as what you see in these well-kept buildings.
We find a gym and an art gallery along Asbury Avenue.
We find a gym and an art gallery along Asbury Avenue.
We reach the end of our tour, but there's one last shop to check out.  Once we hit the corner of Asbury Avenue and 6th Street, it's safe to turn around and head back into town.  Maybe hit the beach or grab a bite to eat.
We reach the end of our tour, but there's one last shop to check out. Once we hit the corner of Asbury Avenue and 6th Street, it's safe to turn around and head back into town. Maybe hit the beach or grab a bite to eat.

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