By MADDY VITALE
Spectacular sun-splashed skies, warm breezes, Boardwalk amusements and a host of shopping and dining choices — it seemed Monday had it all for residents and visitors in Ocean City.
Except for the crowds, trouble finding parking and long lines.
While it wasn’t a bustling early fall day, plenty of people were biking on the Boardwalk, lounging on the beaches, shopping and dining in Ocean City, and relishing the last of the summer-like days.
People said they were ready for fall, which is filled with events in the resort leading up through New Year’s Eve.
Kristen and Johnny Mitchell, of Medford Lakes in Burlington County, came down to Ocean City with their 3-year-old twins Savannah and Lochlan, to visit Kristen’s grandmother.
They munched on some pizza and enjoyed the ocean view before their next adventure — playing miniature golf.
Although they visit as often as they can in the summer, the fall is their most enjoyable time to come to Ocean City, they noted.
“This is our favorite time of year to come down because the weather is nicer. It’s cooler,” Kristen said. “We got free parking, too. We plan on playing miniature golf after pizza.”
Johnny added, “It’s quieter now than in the summer and not too hot. I’m from Scotland. We don’t like being too hot.”
Helen Eisinminger, of Ocean City, took a stroll with her sister and brother-in-law Terri and Dave Ogden, from Phoenix, Arizona.
“I like all of the stuff they do this time of year,” Eisinminger said. “The classic car shows and the Fall Block Party are fun. There are a lot of things the locals can enjoy. I really like how family oriented it is.”
Terri Ogden added, “This is my favorite time of year because the crowds aren’t crazy and you can enjoy yourself and there aren’t the long lines.”
While people took in the sights from the boards, others went down to the beach.
Cousins Faith Jensen and Christine Stoudt, both of Blackwood in Camden County, enjoyed lounging on beach chairs on Ninth Street beach.
But unlike a typical sunny day in the same location when tourists flock to that beach, there were just a few other beachgoers.
And that was just fine to the cousins.
“It is quiet and relaxing. There was no traffic and I enjoy the weather. It is not too hot, not too cold,” Jensen noted. “It is just very soothing to sit at the beach. There’s just something special about it.”
Stoudt said the cousins discussed heading to the shore a few days ago and couldn’t wait to get to Ocean City.
“It was a stressful week for both of us, so we decided to head down for some quiet time on the beach,” she noted.
Pete Angelo, of Egg Harbor Township, brought his children, Tripp, 12, and 1-year-old son Dominick to Ocean City for a quick getaway.
Both Angelo and his older son, helped Dominick play in the sand near the water’s edge on Eighth Street beach.
“I work in Atlantic City so I spent the whole summer with a lot of people. It is nice to be out here to enjoy the weather,” Angelo said.
Tripp even took a dip in the ocean.
“I think it is beautiful out,” he said. “I wish it was a little warmer in the water, but other than that it is nice.”
Friends Derron Gingrich, who owns a home in Ocean City and in Lancaster, Pa., and Tanya Smoker, of Lancaster, Pa., took a walk on the beach with Smoker’s dog, Raiya.
Ocean City allows dogs on the beach on certain hours beginning Oct. 1.
“This is her first time on the beach. I think she is doing pretty well,” Smoker said. “She likes the water.”
Gingrich said they came down Sunday. “The weather was so nice, we figured we’d come down. The water isn’t too cold. I got in to my knees.”