Ocean City NJ, America's Greatest Family Resort

Ocean City, New Jersey is America’s greatest family resort, and the beach town prides itself on being a haven for families of all types looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With a population of less than 12,000, Ocean City, NJ provides a welcome change of pace for those used to congested roadways and high-rise buildings home to many other resort towns in the United States. And with nearly 8 miles of pristine sandy beaches to its name, it’s not hard to imagine why Ocean City, NJ has been a favorite vacation destination for families for years. Ever since Ocean City was incorporated in the late 19th century, the coastal New Jersey city has welcomed families from across the country to bask in its warm sun and enjoy all the activities a great beach town has to offer, including water sports, exploring, miniature golf courses, amusement parks, water parks, and more! Geared towards providing a fun and safe environment for families to enjoy together, Ocean City, NJ is home to both year-round residents and summertime vacationers alike. Check out information about the Ocean City, NJ neighborhoods to see which neighborhood in Ocean City could be your family’s new home!

History of Ocean City

If you don’t know much about Ocean City, New Jersey’s history, you may not know that it wasn’t always the Ocean City, NJ that we know and love today. Back in 1700, a whaler named John Peck began using the barrier island as a storage location for freshly caught whales. The island eventually became known as Peck’s Beach and was used for a variety of purposes, including as an Indian summer fishing camp, a picnic and hunting spot for mainlanders, and also as an area for cattle to graze. Although John Peck may have been one of the first people to use the island, it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that people actually began to live in Peck’s Beach. During that time, a man named Parker Miller and his family became the first year-round residents on the island and lived in what is now the corner of 7th Street and Asbury Avenue. Parker Miller worked as an agent for marine insurance companies, and he also farmed and raised cattle. 

But that wasn’t the end of Ocean City’s transformation. In 1879, four Methodist ministers by the name of James Lake, Ezra B. Lake, Wesley Lake, and William Burrell purchased Peck’s Beach to be turned into a Christian seaside resort and camp meeting place. It was these four men who came together, chose the name “Ocean City” and founded the Ocean City Association, building streets and selling commercial and residential lots for hotels, cottages and businesses. The four founders of Ocean City built the Tabernacle, a center that offers interfaith summer religious services, which still stands between 5th and 6th Streets and Asbury Avenue. Influenced by its religious origins, and its founders who wanted the city to remain a pure retreat that exemplified Christian ideals, Ocean City remains a dry town – the sale or public drinking of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on the island. The first bridge was built to Ocean City in 1883 and the first railroad came soon after. The first Ocean City school was founded in 1881 and the infamous Ocean City boardwalk was built and relocated several times, although it remains one of the most recognizable landmarks on the island.

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