Ocean City, at the end of a long peninsula and pretty much the farthest eastern spot in Maryland, has been the state's most popular seaside destination since the 1860s. A sure sign of that is its population: only 8,000 permanent residents, but on a sunny summer day the number can rise to 350,000. A nine-mile-long resort area stretches between the communities of Berlin and Ocean Pines, and its three-mile-long boardwalk contains two amusement parks and other Ocean City event venues — all accessible from a hop-on, hop-off shuttle.
The closest commercial airport is Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport (SBY), which is closer to Salisbury, being 25 miles west of Ocean City. Its carriers are US Airways Express to Philadelphia and Charlotte, SC; and Allegiant to Orlando-Sanford.
Chief among event venues in Ocean City, the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, also known as the Ocean City Convention Center, has 2,556 square feet of meeting rooms and four exhibit halls, with A and B combining to offer 45,770 square feet of space. (The center can also be converted into an arena with 5,000 seats.)
Hotel venues in Ocean City include the 251-room Grand Hotel & Spa, which has 10,000 square feet of meeting space; the 250-room Clarion Resort Fontainebleau, which has a 40,000-square-foot conference center; the 237-room Carousel Oceanfront Hotel & Condominiums, which contains 12,000 square feet of meeting space; the 216-room Holiday Inn Ocean City, which has 6,700 square feet of meeting space; and the 85-room Coconut Malorie Resort, which has meeting space for 1,572 persons.
Since this is primarily a beach resort, interesting special event choices for groups include Duckaneer Pirate Ship Tours, which will take your group out into the Atlantic Ocean to play at being pirates, and Assateague Adventure Cruises, which can take groups of up to 80 persons from Ocean City to Assateague Island, where the wild horses live. At Ripley's Believe It or Not!, where the attraction is the odd, interesting and wonderful, there are 12 galleries and a 2,000-square-foot mirrored maze for your team to battle its way out of. There's also the GlenRiddle Golf Club, in Berlin, which has two 18-hole courses, a clubhouse and a Ruth's Chris Steak House; and Calvin B. Taylor Museum, also in Berlin, a 19th-century mansion, the west wing of which is all gallery space.
Restaurants that are able to cater to groups include Fresco's, serving an Italian-American menu, which can host 180 persons and has two semi-private rooms for 50 persons each; Jules, a fine-dining restaurant that has a private dining room; BLU Crab House & Raw Bar, which opened in late spring, 2012; Hemingway's at the Coral Reef, which is within the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites; and Phillip's Crab House, the first one to open in the chain.