Those of us who grew up "down de Ocean" in the 50's and 60's remember some of the older family owned hotels in the center of town. They ranged from the larger ones to the small cottage type. Many of them are still around and have not changed much except for the paint colors. Some, especially the ones on the boardwalk, have redone their facades. Some, unfortunately, (or fortunately if you are not a fan) have given way to the condos that are creeping into the "Old Town" section. We try to stay in the older buildings because of the atmosphere and they are usually quite a bit cheaper. That leaves us more "Crab Money".
If you choose to stay in an older building, be prepared for lumpy plaster walls and low pressure plumbing. The rooms are usually clean and have a small fridge and/or microwave (check on website or at front desk to be sure). The porches are great places to get a breeze and most are close to restaurants and variety stores. Some even have their own bike rentals. The residents of these older hotels are usually very friendly and will share a beer or Coke with you. It is easy to make friends with your fellow travellers when you share a porch.
Since the older section of town is fairly small, you can walk to the fishing boat marinas on either side of the bridge and go deep sea or bay fishing. Be prepared to catch something - it is very seldom that a boat comes back empty.
Fishing is also available on the bridge that connects the "Old" part of town to West Ocean City (Rt. 50 Bridge) and on the pier behind the amusement pier off the boardwalk. You can surf fish in the early morning hours in the ocean when the beach is empty. Some of the bayside accomodations have canals and private piers for fishing. Check with the front desk at check-in if you are staying on the bayside. Most of the bayside piers also allow crabbing - bring your own traps and pots.
There is always something to do in Old Town Ocean City - even if it is only "vegging out".