Ogmore-by-Sea lies east of the Ogmore river and at the western end of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. The beach is sandy at low tide, with some pebbles and backed by low cliffs of carboniferous limestone. A P&D car park is located just above the beach, and has plenty of space for picnics. There are toilets here and usually an ice-cream van. Dogs are allowed at all times, and lifeguards patrol in summer. There is easy access to the beach for anything with wheels down a new concrete slipway.
About 500 yards east of the main beach is Bwlch Gwyn, a beach of small shingle and some sand, with plenty of streams and rockpools. Access is down a slipway.
At low tide the river can be waded across to reach the beach and sand dunes of Merthyr Mawr warren, but bathing in the river is prohibited - partly because of strong currents and partly because of a sewage treatment works just upstream. During the low tide period caves to the east can be explored and it's possible to walk to neighbouring Dunraven Bay (Southerndown). Just over a mile offshore is the tidal reef of Tusker Rock, once a hazard to shipping and now a popular diving location.
There are two main surf breaks: one in front of the Lifeguard station which works best around low to mid tide and one by the river mouth which works around the high tide period. Hazards here include strong rips and rocks.