Ocean City Wins Best Beach in America Bracket

The New Jersey resort town bested Huntington Beach, California — a.k.a. “Surf City, USA” — in the finals of the 30-beach tournament.

Ocean City beach

Photo | Dan McQuade

It may not feel like it today, but New Jersey’s shore towns are quickly waking up from their winter slumber. It’s only 47 days until Memorial Day!

Last month, we told you about Wildwood being named a top-10 beach town. Now, it’s Ocean City’s turn for an accolade: It recently won the 2016 Best Beach in America bracket — beating out Huntington Beach, California, in the finals.

That’s a pretty good win over stiff competition, considering Huntington Beach’s website URL is literally surfcityusa.com. (Okay, it won that title after a long trademark dispute.)

The Daily Catch, the blog of Coastal Living magazine, hosted the 30-beach town bracket over the month of March and into April. The site shouted out Ocean City’s boardwalk as one of the reasons for its victory: “Ocean City has eight miles of sand and a 2.5-mile-long boardwalk that runs along the beach and ocean, which includes two amusement piers, a water park, miniature golf, and lots of cool spots to grab souvenirs and boardwalk bites.”

Subway - Haunted golf

That’s all true; the Ocean City boardwalk also has a combination Subway and haunted miniature golf course, as well as several locations of Manco & Manco’s Pizza, which remains open despite its owners getting busted for tax crimes.

And though the island beach resort doesn’t serve alcohol, there’s nothing preventing you from bringing it in from Circle Liquor Store just over the bridge. (“A dry town will never get my vote,” reads one comment on Coastal Living’s announcement of Ocean City as the winner. Another posits that the contest was rigged.)

Ocean City defeated Ogunquit Beach, Maine; Hammonasset Beach State Park, Connecticut; Crescent Beach, Rhode Island; Tybee Island, Georgia and Huntington Beach to win the crown.

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