Favorite Delaware/ NJ/ VA Beach Vacation

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by CherylA, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. LiamandMaeve

    LiamandMaeve Mouseketeer

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    You can buy a daily beach tag or a weekly beach tag. The weekly tag is cheaper than buying a new one everyday. The tags are different colors or shapes for different weeks. Also, children 12 and under do not need beach tags. They can be bought at several stations on the boardwalk, at some beach access points, or by the ever-looming beach tag checkers that roam the beach. Often times, owners of rentals provide seasonal tags for their guests as they can be left for the next group.
     
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  3. cwhite92

    cwhite92 DCP Alum 2011

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    Love OC, NJ too! Won't go anywhere else! They have the rides and boardwalk, jetskiing, boating, beach, waterpark, tons of places to eat that are awesome!
     
  4. uromac

    uromac DIS Veteran

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    Another vote for Ocean City, NJ :thumbsup2:- LOVE the boardwalk - beach, and family feeling. FYI, Ocean City is a 'dry town', so no alcohol is sold there, but is readily available very close by in all of towns surrounding OC.
     
  5. Eureka

    Eureka DIS Veteran

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    We love Rehoboth. This will be our fourth year going. I live in MD but have never actually been to OC. The first time we went to Rehoboth it was just DH and me, and we splurged on the Boardwalk Plaza hotel, right on the boardwalk. It has a pool, but is very pricey. It is next door to the Atlantic Sands which also looks nice, don't know prices. We rent a house now and tend to cook dinner mostly, but when we go out, the wait isn't even close to two hours. Most places we go to, like Grotto Pizza or the Purple Parrot, you can't/don't make reservations. DH and I went to The Back Porch Cafe, a little more upscale, and that we made reservations before we arrives.
     
  6. holden

    holden DIS Veteran

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    True, which is why we BYO to wherever we are staying. You can't BYO to restaurants though. However, right across the bridge is Somers Point, NJ, which is NOT dry. Alcohol in all forms is served at restaurants/bars steps from the bridge! There is even a liquor store as you exit the bridge. Talk about a prime location!

    Other shore towns are relatively close too - Avalon, Stone Harbor, Cape May, etc. All are not dry.

    I grew up visiting Ocean City, NJ during the summers and throughout the year because we have family in Somers Point. What a great town!
     
  7. Iamthequeen

    Iamthequeen DIS Veteran

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    We always go to Ocean City Maryland for our beach vacation. We usually stay at either the Comfort Inn or Quality Inn on the Boardwalk. Both have outdoor beach front pools. The beach is free - no need for beach tags and there are lots of activities and restaurants to choose from.
     
  8. Suzanne74

    Suzanne74 DIS Veteran

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    I have lived in NJ or Md most of my life and have vacationed in all the beaches mentioned here. Ocean City, NJ is by far, the best family beach town. The beaches are clean, the city is a dry town, the boardwalk is family friendly with rides, shops, mini golf, water parks, arcades, stores, etc...and there are excellent restaurants in Somer's Point. The shops in Asbury are quaint and the old homes give a throwback feel.

    Getting Manco & Manco Pizza is reason enough to go to OCNJ :)


    The problem is they mainly do weekly rental homes but they do have some hotel/motel that have a pool, near the boardwalk. Even the ones considered motels are safe though. I let my 12yr old go to the boardwalk with her cousins. Something I wouldn't even do in my own home town. THAT is how safe that town is.


    Wildwood and OC, Md are NOT dry towns and their boardwalks are not family friendly in my opinion. Every store has nasty, degrading sex/drug shirts, there are drunks and smokers wandering. It just isn't that great but the rides are fun. The only hotel I wold recommend in OCMD is the Hyatt. It is beautiful beachfront with outdoor pools, patio, beach bar and family friendly. It is away from the boardwalk and it is a nice place to stay for a few days. We will stay there and get the Armbands during the afternoon to ride rides on boardwalk, eat dinner and then go back to hotel before the drunks come out.

    I wouldn't recommend any in Wildwood. There may be some but I just don't know of any.

    Rehobeth is nice but there are no rides for kids your age (only kiddie) and the boardwalk is small. Most hotels are really old and most don't have a resort feel. More of a timeshare feel.

    Not a fan of Virginia Beach. No rides on the boardwalk, lots of traffic. Overpriced hotels
     
  9. PA Princess

    PA Princess DIS Veteran

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    We have stayed in many of the beach towns mentioned thus far (in fact we stayed for many years in Ocean City, NJ).

    Currently our fav beach vacation is VA Beach - we really love it. Beach access is not limited by certain hours (like NJ beaches) and the same is true of biking the "boardwalk."

    As well, restaurants in OC are just terrible (and we have tried them all - repeatedly, all of the good ones have closed...ok pizza on the board, but that is all). VA beach has some absolutely fabulous restaurants. We are a big group (7), so we tend to dinner early (5-6) to avoid long waits. That has worked just fine for us both trips to VA in August.

    Oh, another nice feature in VA beach our equipment rentals (umbrellas and chairs if you want them). Yes, there is a cost, but so nice not to have to lug them, chase them if they are blown over, etc.

    Like you, we like a beach front hotel with pools (been there and done that with the house rentals, and for us vacation means housekeeping services). We have enjoyed immensely our stays at the Marriott Springhill Suites - 2 pools (in and out - both very nice), ocean views, a nice breakfast included, free parking, and a bit more space than a standard hotel room.
     
  10. uromac

    uromac DIS Veteran

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    Have to agree with most posters about everything that has been said about these shore towns.

    Although I love OCNJ the most, true dining experiences there we just go for boardwalk fare - Kohr's ice cream/custard - a must have although we were just in Key West, FL and there was one there!, Johnson's popcorn (get the refillable bucket it for refills at a discounted price - it's addictive, and of course Mack and Manco's Pizza - although I believe there is was a change in name to Manco & Manco due to a business split :confused3. However, fine dining is non existent, and you really have to go to other towns for finer fare - even for seafood :( ! If you want names of places, I'll be happy to post some later, as we are foodies too!

    Also, living in South Jersey, but not born and bred in this area - I know lots of people have loyal ties to a a particular town, depending where their friends and family vacationed every year that's where they will go. Honestly this is not something I personally fully feel the necessity to do - I do understand why, and as much begging as my friends ask me to 'come down to the shore' it doesn't 'do it' for me - Especially when entire families move down for the summer, husbands visit on weekends - and hang out with the same people that you're friendly with at 'home' and then they all come down to basically the same place and vacation together all summer. I do sometimes feel guilty, we have not kept up that tradition of having a 'shore home' for my kids, but they do go down on weekends to their friends' places - Brigantine, LBI, Margate, OC, etc... Personally, I prefer Disney in the summertime when we have family vacations (DVC members w/ AP's) more activities especially when it rains and seems it's cheaper for us @ WDW than a 1 week rental at the shore - even with airfare! ALSO, I want to get away from everything during my vacation, home, work, and friends ;), that's why WDW makes me happy :cool1::cool1::cool1: !!
     
  11. 3darlings

    3darlings DIS Veteran

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    We have visited all of these beaches so I will throw my two cents in. I grew up in MD so we went to OC MD most of the time. Now we live in DE so we go to Rehoboth or Bethany Beach. We have also gone to the NJ shore which is very big around here. Last summer we went to VA Beach.

    There are two main differences you will find at these beaches - the type of crowd and the level of activity. To me there is not much difference in the beaches themselves. What I have found with the NJ shore is people either love it or hate it. I personally hate it but know many people that love it. Generally there is a lot more activity there which I don't find very relaxing. But there is a lot to do. And to be honest, you have to deal with the NJ/NYC crowd which I personally find annoying after a while. We didn't like VA beach much at all. We stayed right on the boardwalk. While there was nothing wrong with it, it was hopping with activity and the town itself seemed rather run down. I do like the northern part of OC MD, but the lower part is very congested. We now usually stick with Rehoboth or Bethany. We always take day trips to Rehoboth because it is convenient and the small boardwalk is nice. If I was going to spend very long, I would go to Bethany. There is a lot less activity there but it is beautiful.

    So it comes down to what you are looking for.
     
  12. CherylA

    CherylA DIS Veteran

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    It's so hard to decide I'm leaning toward OCNJ for a few reasons.

    First I have youngish kids so I like that it's family friendly.

    Second my husband doesn't drink and I drink very little. I like a cocktail by the pool but I am cheap about cocktails so usually put my own cranberry and malibu over ice in a drink mug and bring it with me anyway. (they don't give you a hard time about stuff like that do they?)

    Third its the closest of beaches and since we are only going for 3 nights I like the lesser drive.

    Fourth I like that there is a high activity level. We are actually not really beach people, especially my husband, he is always looking for something to do. The kids like the beach and have never really been on a beach vacation so I thought it was time.

    Fifth we love yummy food but not froo froo food. Great fries and amazing ice cream are our idea of good food (oh yeah we're health nuts!) And we dont like to spend a lot to sit down to a meal and my husband and kids dont like seafood.

    The more I type the more it seems like OCNJ is the right choice.

    Now to convince the husband who is going to try to tell me we should just do Disney for 3 days! :rotfl:

    I'm looking at Biscayne Suites for $279/nt or Beach Club Hotel for $266/nt in OCNJ. Any thoughts on those or better suggestions?
     
  13. Suzanne74

    Suzanne74 DIS Veteran

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    Atlantic City and maybe Wildwood may have some NYC people but OCNJ, Avalon, Sea Isle, does not. It is Philly, pa suburbs and south jersey who are the main representation. I think they are all very friendly.

    Others are right about what you are looking for. There is a beach to serve everyone's needs.

    VA beach - no rides, flat boardwalk, restaurants, tons of hotels, lots of traffic. The vacationers are the whole spectrum, nothing stands out more than another. Bush Gardens close by for another day option.

    OCMD - lots of rides, attractions, lots of high rise hotels and condos, beach is tight and gets very crowded, boardwalk area full of motels, bars. High hispanic population on the beach by the boardwalk pier (I mean like NO ONE speaks English down there) Salisbury college students start heading into area by mid August. Avoid Biker Week at all costs. Northern end is quieter and much more family oriented. Average to very good restaurants up and down strip. Best one, Marlin Moon, is gone :(

    Rehobeth - fairly quiet, small boardwalk, kiddie rides only, a few high rise resort/condos. There is a high gay population that lives/vacations there. Most people are okay with that but just wanted to mention it. Fabulous restaurants.

    Bethany - So quaint and quiet. Not many places to stay just for a few nights. If complete relaxation is what you want, look no further.

    OCNJ - family friendly boardwalk. No classy restaurants on it but there are rides, golf, water park, great boardwalk style food. All hotels (not many) are near boardwalk. The beach area is more condensed there, especially 4-10th street. The southern end is large 4-6 bedroom homes that are PRICEY weekly rentals ($5-7.5K a week!!) Entire city is dry. Philly and South Jersey crowd but all families. Restaurants are weak but Somer's Point have some good ones. Cape May Zoo is outstanding.

    Wildwood, NJ
    Huge beach - seriously huge. Best boardwalk rides for thrill seekers. Great water park. A lot of hotel options. If you avoid the weekend, it is doable, especially Wildwood Crest. Weekends are insane and where OCMD has bars, Wildwood has clubs and that increases the teens and 20's from Philly, NYC. Restaurants are average to good. Cape May Zoo close by.

    Cape May, NJ
    This is an option. Quiet, quaint but has some great restaurants and Wildwood boardwalk an easy trip for an evening. It is popular for weddings and has a lot of B&B's. Not a dry town but not full of drunks either. Happy medium
     
  14. Suzanne74

    Suzanne74 DIS Veteran

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    Beach Club!
     
  15. CherylA

    CherylA DIS Veteran

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    Okay elaborate, why? It has to have some good points above Biscayne since I get a suite at Biscayne and not at Beach Club (Beach Club Suites were 500/nt)
     
  16. livsmom04

    livsmom04 DIS Veteran

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    We like Ocean City, NJ (haven't been in years since moving to North Carolina and being closer to Myrtle Beach, SC.) But when we lived in Maryland we liked Virginia Beach too.
     
  17. LiamandMaeve

    LiamandMaeve Mouseketeer

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    From living my whole life a few minutes from OC NJ and working in Cape May, Stone Harbor, and other shore towns for 10+ years, I can say that the North Jersey/NYC crowd doesn't come down that far typically. I'm sure there are exceptions, but usually that crew goes to LBI. We're mostly South Jersey/Philly/French Canadians in OC and south in the summer.

    For OC NJ, the farther you are away from the boardwalk, the more peaceful it will become. My family goes to one of the "locals" beaches located @58th street. We avoid many tourists and have a more peaceful, bigger beach. The boardwalk beaches are usually crowded from 6-14th streets.
     
  18. dizcrazy

    dizcrazy DIS Veteran

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    I second the vote for Beach Club in OC, NJ. It is on 12th and the Boardwalk. 12th seems to be towards the quieter end of the Boardwalk, which is preferable. A
    I have friends that will only stay at Beach Club or the Port-O-Call.
     
  19. CherylA

    CherylA DIS Veteran

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    I'm off to book the Beach Club now. Seems to be the only one, on the boardwalk/beach with a pool. I think it will be great. Thanks to everyone who helped with this!:flower3:
     

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