(Sept. 20, 2019) Today is the final day to take a self-guided tour of 10 private residences during the Art League of Ocean City’s 15th annual Sand Castle Home Tour.
The tour, which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., takes participants to residences ranging from private family, vacation and retirement homes, at their own pace. The tour homes are located throughout Ocean City, West Ocean City and Ocean Pines.
Volunteers will be stationed in each home to guide visitors through the rooms and outdoor spaces, and to answer questions.
“Each year we go to a different neighborhood. There’s always a variety of homes,” said Rina Thaler, executive director of the Art League of Ocean City. “The tour gives them a glimpse of what it’s like to live in Ocean City and showcases the many decorators, designers, architects, furniture stores in the area and also the Ocean City lifestyle and the people who opened the doors to their home.”
Originally, the Art League of Ocean City created the home tour to build the new Center for the Arts on 94th Street, which was constructed eight years ago.
The tour continues to benefit the Art League and allows the organization to remain free to the public.
“It’s great to go in a group with friends or with your spouse … you can get a lot of decorating ideas and see so many creative things that people do in their homes,” Thaler said. “Some of the builders are on site sometimes, and will talk about their homes.”
The houses are selected by members of the Art League; the process can take an entire year to complete.
While the homes featured on the tour are not for sale, it can help people who are interested in relocating or retiring to the area get an idea of what it’s like to live here.
“Each homeowner whose house is on the tour gets – as a gift from the Art League – will have an artist do a portrait of either their home or their view from their home,” Thaler said. “Some people want the view. If they live on the water, they’ll ask for it to be done of their view instead of their house.
The homeowners also receive a floral arrangement, which is displayed during the home tour.
The Ocean City Center for the Arts is the home of the Art League of Ocean City, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing the visual arts to the community through education, exhibits, scholarships, programs and community art projects.
“It’s a really pleasant way to spend the day,” Thaler said. “The people who take the tour are so gracious and really appreciate that others are opening their homes to them, and the people who put their homes on the tour we appreciate so much because it does allow us to do all the programming and keep the art center open and free to the public.”
The event is limited to 1,000 people. The cost is $30, which includes a guidebook, driving directions and special offers. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, as a limited number are available.
Tickets can be purchased at www.artleagueofoceancity.org, by calling 410-524-9433 or by visiting the Ocean City Center for the Arts on 94th Street.