Ocean City is a city in Cape May County, New Jersey, United States. It is the county’s largest city by area and is the principal city of the Ocean City Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Cape May County. The city originated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 3, 1884, from portions of Upper Township, based on results from a referendum on April 30, 1884, and was reincorporated as a borough on March 31, 1890. Ocean City was incorporated as a city, its current government form, on March 25, 1897. Known as a family-oriented seaside resort, Ocean City has prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages within its limits since its founding in 1879, offering miles of guarded beaches, a boardwalk that stretches for 2.5 miles (4.0 km), and a quaint downtown shopping and dining district.
The Travel Channel rated Ocean City as the Best Family Beach of 2005. It was ranked the third best beach in New Jersey in the 2008 Top 10 Beaches Contest sponsored by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium. In the 2009 Top 10 Beaches Contest, Ocean City ranked first. From early June through Labor Day, Ocean City requires individuals age 12 and up to purchase a beach tag to access its beaches. For the 2013 season, a one-day pass costs $5, a weekly pass is $10, and a seasonal pass for the full summer season are $25 (though, if purchased before Memorial Day, seasonal tags are $20.)
Today, there are bike and surrey rentals available along many boardwalk cross streets, but bikes and surreys can only be ridden on the boardwalk before noon during the summer. Attractions along the boardwalk include two family amusement parks with rides and games, an arcade, the Music Pier, a water park and various themed miniature golf courses. The Ocean City boardwalk has a wide variety of dining options, from sit-down restaurants to funnel cake.