resort town, Worcester county, southeastern Maryland, U.S. Ocean City lies along a 10-mile (16-km) barrier beach between a chain of bays (Sinepuxent, Isle of Wight, and Assawoman) and the Atlantic Ocean, 29 miles (47 km) east of Salisbury. It is the state's largest seaside resort, with a summer population of 300,000. The Ocean City Inlet (which had long been silted up until it was opened by a great storm in 1933) connects the bays with the ocean. The bays offer safe harbour for boats and amenities for deep-sea fishing, bathing, and surfing. The site, with its sandy beaches, began to attract tourists after the building of the Atlantic Hotel in 1875. The arrival of the railroad in 1878 facilitated the development of this resort town; later highways from the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., area provided access to the city. Ocean Downs Raceway is noted for harness racing. Assateague Island, a narrow barrier island and national seashore, is across the ocean inlet at the southern end of Ocean City's barrier beach. Stephen Decatur, the naval hero, was born (1779) on a farm near Berlin, a few miles west on the mainland. Inc. 1880. Pop. (1990) 5,146; (2000) 7,173.
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