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Beach FAQs

Guide to Ocean City Beaches

Ocean City enjoys eight miles of oceanfront beaches that serve as the centerpiece of summers in "America's Greatest Family Resort" and a year-round destination for families, individuals, surfers, fishermen, walkers, runners and more. Here's what you need to know to take advantage of all Ocean City has to offer.


The Ocean City Beach Patrol urges bathers to swim only at guarded beaches. The OCBP staffs lifeguards each year from Memorial Day Weekend to mid-September. To see updated lists of protected beaches and to learn about ocean safety, flag systems and more, visit www.ocnj.us/OCBP.

Beach tags are required for all beachgoers ages 12 and older and are in effect from early June through Labor Day. To learn more and to purchase your tags, visit store.ocnj.us.

  • Smoking or vaping is against the law on all beaches and beach entrances.
  • Dogs are not permitted on the beach at any time between May 1 and Sept. 30.
  • Drinking alcohol on the beach or in public is strictly prohibited.
  • Do not feed the gulls or any other wildlife.
  • Any type of fire or barbecue is prohibited at all times year-round.
  • Never walk on the dunes.
  • Ball playing "that is deemed unsafe to the public" is prohibited.
  • To hawk or peddle, sell or offer for sale any article, goods, wares, or merchandise on the public beaches is prohibited.
  • It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle (including an automobile, truck, motorcycle or any other vehicle of any nature driven by motor power) on the beaches of the city (without an off-season permit for fishing). 

  • Tents and canopies will be limited in size to 10 feet by 10 feet and cannot block public or emergency vehicle access. As a matter of courtesy on crowded beaches, please set up on the soft sand closer to the dunes.
  • Please allow a right-of-way for people walking down the beach below the high-tide line.
  • Please check downwind before shaking sand from towels or using spray dispensers.
  • Please check downwind (and check wind speed) before you set up umbrellas and other equipment that can become sails and projectiles.
  • Please respect property that’s not your own. Don’t move other people’s stuff to make room for your own.
  • Remember not to leave trash behind.
  • Don’t leave food unattended and accessible to gulls.


Ocean City works constantly to make streets, sidewalks, the beach, bay and boardwalk accessible to those with disabilities or limited mobility. Check www.ocnj.us/HandicappedAccessibility for more information.


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Are barbecue grills and bonfires allowed on the beach?

The starting or maintenance of a fire on the beach, including any form of barbecue at any time during the entire year is strictly prohibited. This ban includes tiki torches, sparklers and every other form of flame or fire.

Is smoking allowed on the beach?

An ordinance passed in 2018 prohibits all forms of smoking on all Ocean City beaches.

Are dogs allowed on the beach?

Dogs are allowed on the beach only between October 1 and April 30. Dogs must be leashed, and owners must clean up after their pets. Dogs are not allowed on any beach at any time of day between May 1 and Sept. 30.

What beaches are open for surfing?

When Ocean City Beach Patrol lifeguards are on duty during the summer, the following beaches are designated for surfing:

  • Waverly Boulevard
  • Seventh Street
  • 16th Street
  • Beaches south of 36th Street where lifeguard stands are three blocks apart.
Which beaches have rest rooms?

Public Rest Rooms are located at: 1st Street, 6th Street, Music Pier (between 8th and 9th), 11th Street, 12th Street, 34th Street and 58th Street. All bathrooms are handicapped accessible. Family bathrooms are located at 1st, 6th and 12th streets.

Are tents and canopies allowed on the beach?

Tents and canopies no larger than 10 feet by 10 feet are permitted on all beaches. They may not block public or emergency vehicle access. As a matter of courtesy when the beaches are crowded, the city asks that they be set up on the soft sand closer to the dunes.

Where can I buy beach tags and how much do they cost?

Complete information on beach tags is available on the Beach Tags page

Which beaches have Ocean City Beach Patrol lifeguards and what are hours?

The listed of protected beaches and hours is posted on the OCBP page.