Why Ocean City for Your Next Meeting or Event?
In Ocean City, unique meeting and convention spaces create memorable experiences. Attendees will find myriad opportunities to rejuvenate, connect and energize throughout their stay in this destination renowned for its sparkling blue waters and fiery pink sunsets.
With its prime location near many of the most important business hubs in the northeast, Ocean City is a supremely accessible and scenic destination for groups. Planners can choose from a diverse array of group-friendly venues and treat their attendees to activities that include relaxing along 10 miles of white-sand beach, strolling a three-mile Boardwalk, trying their swing at any of 17 championship golf courses and savoring the cuisine at more than 200 restaurants. Fishing experiences, sailing adventures and delicious, fresh seafood provide even more ways to engage meeting, convention and sports groups.
Located in the heart of Ocean City, the recently expanded Roland E. Powell Convention Center is a bright, state-of-the-art facility located along the Isle of Wight Bay. This vibrant hub of activity, which reflects the excitement and energy of Ocean City, is also home to Ocean City’s newest entertainment and event venue, the Performing Arts Center. Concerts, dance performances, and theater performances are hosted in the 1,200-seat venue, which also serves as an impressive space for private events.
With 10,000 group-friendly hotel rooms and thousands of condos for rent the destination is well-equipped, Ocean City to host groups of all sizes.
Taxes: Room tax, 5%; sales tax, 6%; total tax on hotel rooms 11%.
Convention Center: Roland E. Powell Convention Center; exhibit space: 95,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms: 21
Contact: Ocean City CVB
Transportation: Ocean City is served by Salisbury Regional Airport, 27 miles from downtown. Ground transportation costs from the airport to the convention center are about $69 via taxi and $49 via Uber and Lyft.
New and Coming Soon
Developers have proposed to build a Margaritaville Hotel and Resort on Ocean City’s Boardwalk. Plans call for a 265-room property that will include three restaurants, three outdoor pools, a fitness center and 14,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
Ocean City has unveiled a new campaign that highlights its appeal for those looking for an ideal warm-weather destination that’s within an easy drive of eastern U.S. cities. “Catch a Ride” is being promoted through a mobile pop-up event tour that also ties in with a new brand platform, “Somewhere to Smile About.” Among the first to witness the new brand reveal was a group of planners who participated in a fam trip in early May. The visit, which showcased the destination’s many offerings for the MICE segment, included hotel site inspections and tours of group-friendly area attractions like Windmill Creek Vineyard and Winery, the historic town of Berlin and Assateague Island National Seashore Park.
Ocean City continues to refresh and expand its group-friendly hotel offerings. The former Dunes Manor, for example, is being reborn as the Hilton Garden Inn Ocean City Oceanfront and is taking reservations for July 1 and beyond. The upgraded property has meeting space and a business center, as well as an indoor swimming pool. Also getting ready to show off a fresh look is the Ocean City Fontainebleau Resort, which has 40,000 square feet of meeting space; the property is under new ownership and is in the midst of a multi-million-dollar renovation. The Holiday Inn Oceanfront, meanwhile, is sporting refreshed interiors and a full overhaul of its outdoor space and swimming pool; the property has 6,700 square feet of meeting space.
Meeting and Event Venues
- The 250,000-square-foot Roland E. Powell Convention Center offers 75,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 19,126-square-foot Bayfront Ballroom, 15,000 square-foot Bayfront gallery, 21 meeting rooms, two executive boardrooms and a 1,200-seat Performing Arts Center.
- The Cambria Hotel Ocean City – Bayfront, located near the boardwalk, is a stylishly furnished property with an outdoor pool, business center, tiki bar, poolside cabanas and more than 2,400 square feet of meeting and event space.
- For a relaxed vibe near the beach, groups can consider a visit to Fager’s Island, which is home to the award-winning Fager’s Island Restaurant and Bar. The venue has lots of outdoor seating and serves a sophisticated menu of American and Pacific Rim cuisine.
- Fresh seafood and Angus beef are among the specialties at Harbor Watch Restaurant, which is located on the southern end of the Ocean City boardwalk. The venue offers banquet menus and space for up to 250 guests for private events.
- Groups can savor a variety of noteworthy wines at the Windmill Creek Vineyard, which serves reds, whites and a new line of fruit wine. The venue also offers fine dining at its Mariner House restaurant and frequently hosts live musical performances.
Sports Venues in Ocean City
- The Roland E. Powell Convention Center can accommodate a full range of indoor sporting events, while the Performing Arts Center can host a variety of events including cheer and dance competitions, and award ceremonies.
- Northside Park, Ocean City’s largest and most popular park facility, is located just 11 miles from the Roland E. Powell Convention Center. The 58-acre complex is well-suited for sporting activities, thanks to its impressive array of facilities, which include walking and jogging paths, three lighted softball/baseball fields, a lighted soccer field, a multipurpose sports field and even a fishing lagoon. Concession stands, two piers and a gazebo add to the venue’s appeal. Groups can also make use of a 14,200-square-foot gymnasium, complete with kitchen, community room, conference room and a sports annex with a 21,000-square-foot arena.
- Additional public parks with sports facilities include John Walter Smith Park, which has basketball, tennis and pickleball courts as well as an 18-hole disc golf course, and Newton Park, which has baseball, softball and baseball fields, a walking and mountain bike trail and fishing pond.
- The Ocean City Tennis Center can host a number of tennis activities, including tournaments.
- With 17 championship golf courses surrounded by beautiful landscapes and water views, Ocean City is well-equipped to hold golf tournaments of any size. The destination is also home to several miniature golf courses.
- Skateboarders of all ages and skill levels will find lots to like at the Ocean Bowl Skate Park, which is billed as the oldest operating municipal skate park in the United States.The 17,000-square-foot, concrete-based park features an innovative, 13,000-square-foot open concrete street course, complete with hit walls, hips and a small bowl.
- The nearby town of Berlin is home to a popular facility for sports enthusiasts: the Northern Worcester Atlantic Complex, which has multiple baseball, softball and multipurpose fields as well as walking trails, a pavilion with grills and a concession stand.
Things to do in Ocean City
- Countless year-round events and attractions in Ocean City provide visitors and groups with exciting options, year round. Here are a few attractions and activities in Ocean City that are ideal for groups looking to enjoy some fresh air and memorable experiences.
- The OC Foodie Walking Tour takes groups on a tasty outing around Ocean City, diving into culinary traditions as well as the town’s rich history.
- The Ocean City Boardwalk is a scenic pathway that stretches from the southern point of Ocean City, running north for approximately 46 blocks. Known for its varied food offerings, arcades and rides (including multiple Ferris wheels and a carousel that dates to 1902), it’s a delightful place to stroll.
- Maryland’s only ocean park is located on Assateague Island, a barrier island bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by Sinepuxent Bay. Two miles of ocean beaches offer swimming, beachcombing, sunbathing, surfing and fishing. Groups can also canoe to secluded coves on the island’s bayside and spot deer and feral horses in the beautiful marsh areas.
- Fishing and sightseeing charters are among the most popular outdoor activities for groups visiting Ocean City. Attendees can find excitement on the water with the Islander, a six-passenger, 26-foot Mako Center Console boat available for fishing and scenic cruises. Planners can arrange two- to four-hour excursions that depart from the Fisherman’s Marina in West Ocean City.
- Groups can learn about the history of the U.S. Life Saving Service, a government agency dedicated to saving the lives of shipwrecked people in the late 19th and early 20th century, at the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum. The facility offers discounts on private tours for groups of 20 to 60.
- Golf enthusiasts won’t want to miss taking a swing at Eagle’s Landing, a renowned Ocean City golf course. The only Maryland course that’s certified as an Audubon Sanctuary, Eagle’s Landing offers a noteworthy mix of sporting activities and natural beauty, with views of both Sinepuxent Bay and Assateague National Seashore. The course is appropriate for players from beginner to pro, and groups can make use of the Caddy Shack Café, which seats up to 130 people inside and 40 on the outside deck.
- Ocean City’s prime oceanfront location makes fishing charters a natural choice for many groups, especially during the peak fishing months from May to September. Among the many options for private charters is Tortuga Fishing, which operates a 54-foot, 42-passenger boat. Even those not interested in fishing can enjoy the views during private party and sightseeing cruises.
- Talbot Street Watersports offers an 80-minute cruise along the region’s coastal bays. Guests can view wild ponies and bird species, visit a marine animal “touch park” and enjoy the scenery of Assateague Island, a 37-mile-long barrier island. Private sailings for up to 80 guests are accommodated.
- Planners can infuse their programs with artistic vibes at The Art League of Ocean City Center for the Arts, which features a spacious, two-story gallery, a pottery studio, art library and five working artist studios. The work of regional and local artists is the focus of the exhibits here and facility rentals are available.
- Events take on a decidedly festive vibe at Trimper Rides, Ocean City’s oldest amusement park. The family-friendly attraction’s party packages are available for a minimum of 10 guests, and all participants receive a Mega Pass, which provides free access to all rides, including bumper cars and the 1912 Herschell Spilman carousel. Add-on amenities include souvenirs, catering and use of a private party room.
- Attendees may be accustomed to facing challenges during their daily work life, but they’ll find their wits tested in new ways at Escapomania, an escape room chain with multiple Ocean City locations. Themed rooms include Black Sail’s Lost Treasure, Poltergeist and — debuting in summer 2023 — the Egyptian Tomb/Mayan Temple. The venue hosts corporate events and team building programs for up to 25 players in one location.
- There’s a new way to say “cheers” in Ocean City. A group-friendly restaurant called Embers has debuted a new, onsite microbrewery: The Other One Brewing Co. The facility, which shares a dog-friendly courtyard with the neighboring Blu Crabhouse, has private meeting and event space and serves a wide variety of brews as well as beer-inspired cocktails. It’s a great place to sample local favorites like Hoop Tea, a spiked iced tea that was born on the boardwalk of Ocean City.