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Ocean City's 3-mi-long boardwalk is lined with retail outlets for food, souvenirs, more food, and more souvenirs, with a smattering of surprising specialty stores. Side streets are filled with still more shops, as are the avenues parallel to the beachfront in the older, southern end of the island. Farther north, the atmosphere changes; the beaches a block away become almost incidental. Shopping plazas—several composed of factory outlets—vie for attention behind acres of parking.

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