The ABC’s of Holiday Shopping in Ocean City

The streets and boardwalk in Ocean City are filled with fabulous shopping options, ideal for getting all of your holiday gift purchases completed this year. From the sports enthusiast to the fashion-savvy gift recipient, Ocean City shops and boutiques offer a wide array of items, perfect for all individuals on your gift list.

Pine cones Pixabay

The following ABC’s of holiday shopping will help to point you in the right direction as to finding the right gifts for all of your friends and loved ones:

  • Artwork: For those on your gift list who would love nothing more than to receive a lovely painting or ceramic art piece this year, visit the Ocean City Fine Arts League or Ocean City Arts Center and peruse the possibilities. There are a wide range of art-related offerings at both spots, many of which are created by local artists.
  • Bath and Body Products: Scented soaps, luxury lotions and other fragrant bath options can be found at spots such as Artisan Body Products, Blue Lotus and Stainton’s, to name a few shops around town which specialize in bath and body goods.
  • Culinary Gifts: The foodies on your gift list will adore the options you choose for them from the wide array of culinary-related shops in Ocean City. Pick up some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and accompaniments from City2Shore Gourmet, some caramel corn from Johnson’s Popcorn, fudge and candy from Rauhauser’s and sticky buns from Mallon’s. Then, wrap it all up in a gorgeous gift basket and mark your foodie friend off as “completed” on your holiday list.
  • Dining Gift Cards: In keeping with the culinary gifts listed above, those who enjoy dining out, and good food in general, will be thrilled to receive one or more gift cards from the exceptional restaurants in town. Some of the eateries offering gift cards include Jon and Patty’s, Randazzo’s and more. Have a favorite dining establishment in Ocean City? Pop in and ask if they offer gift cards which you can purchase for your friends and family members!
  • Entertainment Gifts: For the gift recipients on your list who love a night out on the town filled with entertainment, consider giving them tickets to one or more shows at the Music Pier. A wide array of shows are held year-round, ranging from fabulous local productions, courtesy of the Greater Ocean City Theatre Company, to city-presented shows, like the Mr. Mature America competition held each spring, to national acts, such as Blues Traveler, The Beach Boys, Citizen Cope and others. Peruse the current ticket offerings online.
  • Fitness: Fitness aficionados are sure to appreciate fitness-related gifts in their stockings this year. Many of the local gyms offer memberships and gym passes of a wide variety (which make the perfect fitness-themed gift), such as Local Gym and Fitness, Atilis Gym and Exodus Sport and Fitness.
  • Garden Gifts: For the gardening gurus on your list, stop into Hearth & Sole to pick up a unique piece of garden art or head over to Wallace Hardware for some gardening tools to wrap up in pretty bows and packaging.
  • Holiday Décor: Whether searching for items to decorate your home this holiday season or seeking out the perfect holiday-themed gift for friends and loved ones, you’ll find plentiful options along Asbury Avenue, including the holiday-inspired shop, Mia’s Christmas Gallery.
  • Inspirational Gifts: For many individuals, giving is even better than receiving, throughout the holiday season and beyond. Whether this is your motto or that of those on your gift list, consider making a donation to a local charity organization or church in your name (if it’s for you) or your friend or family member’s name, which supports the local community and is a gift which keeps on giving.
  • Join a Club, Dance Studio or Organization: A multitude of activities are available in Ocean City throughout the year and offer fun and educational options for children and adults to enjoy. Why not purchase a dance class session at The Dance Place for a child on your gift list or sign a family member up for a membership or class at the Ocean City Aquatic and Fitness Center? Not only will they enjoy their time at the classes, but they will learn a new skill, too.
  • Keepsake Items: Although sweaters, socks and pajamas are perfect for keeping us warm and cozy in the winter (and will hopefully be one or two of my gifts this year!), it’s also a nice idea to give keepsake items as gifts. Some of the spots you can visit for keepsake gifts include The Flying Carp, Stainton’s and the Cricket Box.
  • Locally-Made Gifts: In addition to shopping for the family and your close friends, it’s also nice to support local businesses and artisans by purchasing locally-made gifts. Fortunately, quite a few shops in Ocean City offer goods made locally, including Peace of Wood and the Ocean City Fine Arts League (“Art on Asbury”).
  • Music and Musical Instruments: There is never a bad time to support the arts and purchase music and musical instruments. Fortunately, local music shop GrassRoots Music Store is able to answer the call with a wide array of musical instruments, accessories, vinyls and more.
  • Nautical Gifts: As a seaside town, it’s no wonder that you’ll find plenty of spots in which to purchase nautical-themed gifts. Whether you’re thinking about purchasing a kayak, whereby quite a few local retailers can help, including Dak’s and Harbor Outfitters, or are more in market for nautical home décor, where Interiors by Joann can lend a hand, you’re certain to find what you’re searching for in town.
  • Outdoor Activities: Outdoor activities are readily available in Ocean City. Surf lessons, kayaking tours, SUP tours and more keep residents and vacationers entertained as well as enable them to learn a new activity, if they are new to a particular sport. Shops around town offer seasonal lessons and tours and a gift of a surf lesson or kayak tour is a unique gift option to pursue. Visit Heritage Surf and Sport (now offering discounts on surf lessons and summer surf camps!), 7th Street Surf Shop, Dak’s and Harbor Outfitters for some more ideas as to how to gift a lesson or tour to that someone special.
  • Pet Products: You can’t possibly forget about that favorite furry family member on your list! Visit Animal House for some pet-oriented products for your favorite furry someone. And, if you wish to give a donation in a gift recipient’s name, Mew to You (part of Cape Atlantic C.A.T.S.) always accepts donations to provide food, products and medical care to the cats which call Mew to You home until they find their forever home.
  • Quick Bite to Eat: Okay, so now’s a good time to remember to enjoy all that Ocean City dining establishments have to offer. At some point during your shopping spree, remember to visit the local eateries for a quick snack or meal before you head back out on the shopping trail. Whether you’re craving donuts and coffee from Drip N’ Scoop or want to sit down at Ocean City Café for lunch, remember to refuel and then let the shopping continue!
  • Reading Fans: For that special someone who loves a good book, visit Sun Rose Words & Music, Hoy’s 5 & 10 and The Bookateria Two to check out the selection.
  • Skateboards and Surfboards: If you’re thinking that a skateboard or surfboard would be the ideal gift for your loved one, visit Heritage Surf and Sport, 7th Street Surf Shop and Peace of Wood to see what options are available for those who’d like to see a skateboard or surfboard wrapped up in holiday paper this year.
  • Toys: Toys are sure to be on your gift list, whether purchasing items for your kids, other family members or children of friends. Hoy’s 5 & 10 and Kay Jay’s Doll Shoppe are great places to start your shopping venture.
  • Unique Clothing and Accessory Items: It can easily be stated that each and every business on the island has a unique factor to it, which is one of the many things which residents and vacationers love about Ocean City. For a few ideas as to where to find unique outfits and accessories, try Ta-Dah, Colette, Marty’s, Henry’s, Blue Lotus, B & B, Bowfish Kids and Seagrass Boutique, to name a few to get you started.
  • Variety of Gift Items in One Location: For those who are big fans of one-stop shopping, you’ll find a variety of gift items in one set location when you visit either Hoy’s 5 & 10 or Stainton’s. Hoy’s has a lot of something for everyone within its spacious store and Stainton’s features plentiful amounts of individual vendors, such as Pumpkinbuds, The Cricket Box and other one-of-a-kind artisan sellers.
  • Warm Weather Accessories: One can never go wrong by gifting warm weather accessories (unless the gift recipient lives in a warm weather climate 365/24/7, that is). From cozy, cotton sweaters to colorful scarves, you’ll find plenty of warm weather accessories at the shops in Ocean City. Any of the clothing stores listed above are certain to have a good inventory of warm weather goods to wrap up for your friends and loved ones this year.
  • (E)Xcellent Items to Wow Your Holiday Guests: As a majority of your shopping may be gift-giving-based, don’t forget to pick up some niceties to have around the house for when your holiday guests arrive for dinner, cocktails or other gatherings. Stainton’s has a lot of options, where individual vendors sell items such as candles, hand towels, holiday dining items and other entertaining necessities you should have on hand.
  • Yoga Gifts: Yoga is extremely popular for a wide array of reasons, including for the benefit of the mind, body and soul, and is why many individuals take part in yoga activities daily. A gift certificate to a local yoga studio, such as Yoga Ginger or Golden Buddha Yoga, provides an ideal gift for your friends and family members who wish to continue with yoga or try it for the first time.
  • Zen Gifts: Gifts which promote inner peace are always welcome options for those of your friends and family members who strive for overall calm and serenity. A gift certificate for Basalt Bodywork, which specializes in massage therapy, is a wonderful way to help your loved ones relax after a busy holiday season.

These are just a few of the places to stop in and purchase gifts this holiday season. The town is filled with excellent shopping options of all varieties and you are sure to find exciting and unique gifts in all of the shops as you walk around town and along the boardwalk.

If you are an Ocean City business owner and your store is not listed above, I welcome you to list your shop’s name in the comment section below and note which category you would like your store to be listed under. I am more than happy to add!

With all of the wonderful Ocean City shops available to you, getting your holiday shopping done is an easily achievable goal.

Happy shopping!

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