Ocean City is one of the best beaches in America.
Siesta Key is obviously the best but when the weather is good and the ocean is in the right mood OCMD tough to beat.
Also, West Coast beaches are overrated. Water is too cold.
And this doesn’t have anything to do with crowds, prices, etc. this is about the beach only.
I go to South Bethany, which is a great beach.
You're right regarding water temp in California, but there are some incredibly beautiful beaches like Laguna Beach and La Jolla that this area can't come close to. Plus, better wildlife viewing out there.