Very few people fly to Ocean City, but if you just have to fly into town, there’s a municipal airport about 10 minutes south of town. It’s a small-plane airport, so if you’ve got a private pilot’s license it’s worth getting in touch with these guys. There’s also a larger regional airport in Salisbury, Md., about 30 miles west of town, but if you’re flying into the region you’re likely going into Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia or Norfolk, which are all at least 1.5 hours away.
You can get to Ocean City via Greyhound; the bus carrier has connections to Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., and from these towns, the rest of the country. The bus station is on the mainland in West Ocean City.
More likely than not, you’ll be driving into Ocean City. It’s about three hours from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore heading east on Route 50, but that timing can be significantly increased by traffic on the Bay Bridge, which connects Maryland’s Western and Eastern shores. It’s also three hours to Philadelphia, which is north on Route 1, but your chances of being caught in bad traffic are much reduced. If you come north from Virginia Beach, Va. (because, y’know, the beaches there aren’t boardwalk-y enough), it’s a 2.5 hour drive through the amazing Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
Basically, Ocean City is connected by one road: Route 528. From the inlet (the south end of the Boardwalk), 528 divides into one-way Philadelphia and Baltimore avenues. Numbered streets run perpendicular across 528, from First Street in the south to 145th Street at the Delaware border. At 33rd Street, Philadelphia and Baltimore avenues combine into Coastal Highway, which becomes Route 1 in Delaware. When Ocean City is particularly crowded, traffic can be slow. As there’s no real "dead" stretches of the OC and you’ll likely be staying near the Boardwalk, save yourself the driving headache and use your feet to get around.
There is decent public transportation in Ocean City, although you’ll never really have to go far. During the summer season the Coastal Highway Transit Bus runs along Coastal Highway from 6AM until 3AM, every 10 minutes, from the bottom of Ocean City to the Delaware border. Service is fairly reliable, although the buses may be a few minutes late here and there. From 3AM-6AM the buses still run, just every 20 minutes, and in the off-season buses come every 15 minutes during normal hours, every 30 minutes late night. During the busy summer season, The Boardwalk Tram runs up and down the length of the Boardwalk. The fare is $3.
Most taxis charge a $3 initial fare, plus 20 cents per 10th of a mile (30 cents per minute when traffic is slow). Beach Taxi
(410-524-TAXI and 410-289-TAXI) and Century Taxi
(410-524-8888) provide reliable 24-hour service. Since Ocean City is basically one long road, there’s not a lot of room for cabbies to screw with you.