The first (and unfortunately the only) time I visited Ocean City was in the early nineties. We were visiting our "cousins" (old family friends) who live in Glen Dale and we went to OC for the week-end.
The sand was soft, there were nets set up for a pick up game of beach volley-ball, and there was a boardwalk! I've seen lots of things like it on television (American tv, of course) but have never experienced it before.
There was carni games (complete with a ferris wheel), cheesy souvenir shops, an arcade -- it even had one of those "Voltar" machines ('member from "Big?"), and food stands that was so totally different from anything I had experienced at the time (keep in mind I was still a teenager then) that I had a thoroughly enjoyable week-end getaway. So much so, that I still have fond memories whenever I hear a song that played that summer.
Since then, I've been to the Santa Monica Pier; if you like the Pier, you'll like OC. But, that's just my opinion.
Sorry I don't have details of lodging; I didn't make the reservations, do any of the driving, nor have to pay for the room (thanks to the 'rents!). But I do remember it was walking distance to the beach and I experienced the most beautiful sunrise ever -- over crashing waves.