A Day at the Beach

Sorry that I haven’t posted in a few days, but I got a surprise from my husband and have been here-

Ocean City NJ

For a mini vacation to celebrate my birthday.  This seaside town is very special to me,  I have been to many more famous, exotic, and prettier beaches, but Ocean City, NJ will always be the happiest place on earth.   Since I was a child my parents rented a beach house here every August.

Lazy days spent on the beach while making new friends and playing in the water all day.  Chilly nights outfitted in sweatshirts for carefree strolls on the boardwalk.

Between my Freshman and Sophomore year in college, I worked as a waitress at a restaurant that used to be on the boardwalk. I was 19 and the drinking age in ‘New Jersey back then was 18.  It was the best summer of my single life.   I am sure that you have such a place you hold close to your heart – one that holds the fondest of memories.  Ocean City, NJ will always be mine.

” Cause down the shore, everything will be alright”    – Bruce Springsteen

We arrived on Tuesday night and decided to eat at a bay side restaurant called, The Inlet.  This is a fairly new restaurant.  I like it as it has lots of outside seating.  We came by car, but I think it would be fun to come by boat, dock it and then come in for dinner.  We then stayed at a friend’s beach house overnight.

Dinner BAyside

The Inlet

Going  “down the shore”  means two things – one is for “the food”.  This salad was the healthiest thing I ate during our trip.

Goat Cheese Salad

The other and best thing is for the – nice, big, clean, wide, and sandy beaches.

Ocean city NJ

A day in OC for me always starts with a bike ride to have breakfast at Browns.  It is right on the boardwalk over looking the beach.  The food is good, as all food eaten in the ocean air tastes better for some reason.  The reason people flock to Browns however, is not for their eggs or pancakes, but for their-

Browns Donuts Ocean City NJ

WARM, Crispy on the outside, fresh from the fryer, DONUTS!!!  YUMMM

Browns Donuts Ocean City NJ

The line every morning is at least 15 minutes or longer, but so worth the wait and the gazillion calories you are about to consume.  My favorite is the Cinnamon Sugar. You have to eat them while they are hot – saving them for later is not an option.

Browns Donuts Ocean City NJ

After eating I wanted to go check out my favorite beach house.  I like this house for its architecture, the porches, its old-fashioned feel, but…

Favorite Shore House

 I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE  this house…

Favorite Shore House

All the other houses that line the beaches here are all in a line and only get a one sided- frontal view of the beach and water.  Corner lots get a 90 degree view.   This home  survived a hurricane in the 50’s or 60’s.  They never rebuilt homes out that far after that.   I like it’s loneliness. It used to be green and white, but it has had a makeover or two over the years.  There is a wall built around it now – for protection, but when I was a kid there were no dunes, just flat beach right up to the bulkhead.  I remember playing right where the planter is in the the photo, as there used to be a foundation left from another house or I remember people saying it was a hotel.  It was like playing on ruins.  If the tide was high, you could ride on your raft right up to the house and the ruins next to it.

Shore House OCNJ

Street side view…  Ahhh,  Someday – I can only dream.

OCNJ House

After seeing the house we went to the beach and I planted myself right along the water’s edge with my beach chair, Dan Brown’s, The Last Symbol, shades, hat, and lots of sunscreen.  Bliss.

OCNJ Lifeguards

I put my tootsies in the water, but that was all as the water temp was a lovely 68 degrees.  Brrrrr


Breathing in all the wonderful ocean air makes you hungry, so we went to have a slice or two or three of the best pizza ever, Mack and Manco.  Also famous for all the cute guys dressed in all white that they hire to make the pizza and serve you.

Mack and Manco Pizza

I prefer plain with lots of oregano and an ice cold Birch Beer.  If you have ever had this pizza, I know you are smiling now.

MAck and Manco Pizza

Then we headed back to the beach for some more great views-


Water views that is.


I think I mentioned food, ocean air making you hungry.  We had an afternoon snack of some Carmel popcorn.

Johnsons Popcorn OCNJ

Served warm, fresh, and piled high.

Johnsons Popcorn OCNJ

The day went way too quickly.  We stayed on the beach till 6:00 and watched it empty out – lifeguards gone. I love the late afternoon on the beach the best.  It is not crowded and the sunlight isn’t quite so strong – everything is more peaceful and serene.  I didn’t want to leave :(

OCNJ Beach

We walked up on the boardwalk for a while

OCNJ Boardwalk

as we could not go home without a  few handful’s of Shriver’s Salt Water Taffy.

Shrivers Salt Water Taffy

As we left the island, we stopped once again to have dinner at the Inlet on the bay as we had done the night before for some lobster and New Jersey white corn.  Then back to the real world – no more days at the beach.  Back to work , but with some pleasant memories to add to the ones I have already have of the happiest place on earth.

Lobster Dinner


OCNJ Boardwalk

Shore sign

What to do for a day in Ocean City New Jersey

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  1. Hi Diane, What a wonderful wedding. Your daughter and new son-in-law looked so happy with all their friends and family around them. Lovely pictures, thanks so much! I have my pass port ready to go and one day will be travelling down to see all those fabulous places you showed us. Love reading your blog and looking forward to more. Regards, Peggy from B.C. Canada

  2. Hi Diane,
    My name is Jane and I’m with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Ocean City to share on our site and I came across your post…If you’re open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!

  3. Dowingtown Momma says:

    Mack and Manco’s! You are right, I was smiling and drooling! I see you were viewing the cuties at the beach on 14th street. I prefer the cuties up at 12th St. Beach. Headed back down tomorrow. Should I get a Brown’s donut for you?
    Love your blog.

  4. Carmie of the Single Nester says:

    What a lovely escape you have given us in your post. I spent several summers down the shore after graduating college. There was nothing like it.

  5. I’ve gone to Ocean City since the late 60’s and it holds a special place in my heart. My parents went there when they were dating and their parents before them. I live in Ohio now and my visits to O.C. aren’t as frequent. Brown’s, Mack & Manco’s, Johnson’s Caramel Corn (lid off), Shriver’s – I can’t wait to go back!!

  6. Stephanie@cre8tive says:

    I don’t know if you watch Cake Boss, I love that show. They were just talking about the NJ beaches and how this one employee was trash talking NJ, how it smelled so bad…I don’t know what she meant by that, but he put her in her place and said that everybody leaves their paradise to come to Jersey Shores. And she admitted it he was right Now I see why people go there, your pictures tell it all.

    1. Hi Stephanie-

      There are many, many beaches along the Jersey shore, some not as pretty as others but I guess that has more to do with zoning laws. New Jersey gets a bad rap because of the few towns right out of NYC with lots of stinky smelling manufacturing plants with stacks spewing out some not so pleasant odors. If you have ever traveled up I-95 around Newark you are familiar with the smell I am talking about. It is only a small area of NJ and some think the whole state is like that. But it is not – It is the Garden State. Lots of veggie farms, cute towns, and open space.

  7. Rhoda @ southern Hospitality says:

    Hi, Diane, your beach looks wonderful too. I just love the beach and everything about it. Love all your pics!

  8. stacy fisher says:

    Thank you for the beautiful pictures of my favorite beach town too! Your pictures really captured it’s feeling. I agree there are other exotic beaches we have been also, but nothing beats the time spent in OC. I got engaged on the beach there, brought my children on their first rides there and rode my first boogie board there! ;) As my husband and I have dreamed for many years of having our own little place there, this year we are about to purchase our dream and by house in OC! No, not quite the huge one on the beach you showed. But a perfect little one for us, and we looking forward to having a future of special times shared at the beach! Seeing your pictures made me even more excited about our decision to make our dream come true! Happy Birthday! Maybe we will see you next year at the beach! :)

    1. Diane @ InMyOwnStyle says:

      Hi Stacy-

      I always tell my husband I could live in a shack if it were by the beach. I hope you have many many happy days and nights and build lots of wonderful memoires. My family always vacationed on the southern end of the island. – 40th – 59th street -that is where my favorite house is. Not sure where your house is, but if it is in OC, you are very very lucky. Have an enjoyable summer.
      My best- Diane

  9. beachhouseliving says:

    That is a wonderful house. No wonder you love, love, love it. Ocean City is a great place to go.

  10. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    What a great day you had! Thanks for sharing these great pictures. It looks like it wasn’t too crowded either. All the food looked so delicious!

  11. What a nice trip! Happy birthday and your husband clearly adores you. We went to Wildwood a couple of years ago and it was a fun time. My husband is a NY native and I’m from Louisiana. I’m used to Florida beaches but this was a great experience for me and the kids. Neat place. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Ann –

      How have you been? My husband is used to Florida also. His mom used to live in Sanibel. I remember many wonderful days swimming in the warm water there and collecting shells when my girls were little. Now all I can think of is how all that oil is going to effect all the beautiful beaches.