Ocean City, Maryland, rentals – a booking guide

The thrum of the boardwalk bars, the neon lights of the Ferris wheels, the scents of saltwater taffy and cotton candy – it's all a heady mix of hedonism and fun come the summer on the MD shoreline. To experience it all for yourself, you can use this guide to score amazing Ocean City, Maryland, rentals. Some are right by the coast. Others are tucked into neighborhoods behind.

Different categories of Ocean City rentals

One of the first steps in planning an Ocean City escape you'll remember is choosing the right sort of vacation rental. Cue the pointers below, which run through just a few of the most popular types the resort town has up its sleeve.

Condos – the mainstay choice for Ocean City vacays

Ever since Ocean City entered the limelight and became a summertime breakaway and a spring break mecca, it has been the condominium that's proved the most popular accommodation choice. Why? Well, you'll find countless options looming high above the main beach, with ocean-view balconies. And there are some seriously enticing shared facilities, from coastal swimming pools to gyms.

Your own private villa in Ocean City

Away from the hubbub of Atlantic Ave and the boardwalk, there are certain sectors of Ocean City where there's extra square footage up for grabs in the vacation homes. It's in those that you'll be able to spread out and relax in a private villa or townhouse. It's even possible to get places with small yards, waterfront decks, and boat moorings – check out the communities along Assawoman Bay.

A resort complex – added creature comforts

Short of going for a fully-fledged hotel stay in Ocean City, you might prefer to spring for a duplex or condo in a shared resort area. There are some great bonuses if you do. You keep the flexibility and privacy of your own living room and fitted kitchen, only you gain the services of on-site restaurants, fitness centers, spas, bars – the list goes on.

An area guide for anyone booking OCMD rentals

On a barrier island that spans more than eight miles from the Delaware state line to the start of the Assateague State Park, in a resort that has one foot in great bays and another in the open ocean, it can really help to have an idea about what different areas are like before booking any vacation house rentals in Ocean City, MD.

Atlantic Avenue – a hot spot for oceanfront stays

This long boulevard runs parallel to Baltimore Ave and the beachfront as it picks up from where the boardwalk ends and goes north through the heart of Ocean City. With mini golf courses and pirate-themed water parks on one side, along with oodles of condos with multi bedroom options, it's one of the best places for families and groups of friends with kids in tow.

Join the party with Ocean City Boardwalk rentals

Get lost in the haze of beer-sloshing pubs, rum bars, dancing clubs, taquerias, and pizza-pie outlets by going for a stay that pops up on the iconic Ocean City Boardwalk. This is considered the most vibrant and sleepless part of town for a reason, and the local rentals are just perfect if you're heading here during spring break.

Sunset Island and other bay-side areas

You can often save plenty and ensure a little more peace and quiet by trading in the beachfront for the bayfront in Ocean City. That means making for districts like Sunset Island, where clutches of modern-build villas line canals and boat channels. Some even have their own moorings, just in case you were planning on bringing the yacht along.

The search for bargain OCMD vacation rentals

Ocean City rentals should never break the bank. Even during the popular summer party period, there are just so many accommodation choices in town that prices tend to stay rather competitive. That said, following the hints below could cut costs even further and help leave more in the budget for sunset cocktails once you arrive.

Book early – beat others to it

In the run up to Memorial Day and spring break, there are huge spikes in demand for Ocean City vacation rentals. That's when families, fun-seeking young'uns, and romantic couples start thinking about their summertime escape. Unfortunately, that can push prices skywards, leaving most with more to pay. To ensure that's not you, booking early is key.

Beachfront rental – not needed

Atlantic Avenue and the boardwalk might be pulsing with life, but they aren't the only spots worthy of attention in town. There are sound-side rentals and hidden homes to the north, from where you might need to drive to the attractions, but you'll also pay lower rates on average.