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If you are planning to visit the world’s playground, then this is your time. New Jersey’s hotspot is the best place to be from March to May and then during summers from June to August.
If you’re not one among the people who want to spend their weekend at the dazzling casinos, then saddle up, we have a lot of places to cover.
Take a stroll on the boardwalk
If you’re in Atlantic City, you cannot miss the boardwalk. It is inexpensive and you get to enjoy the real essence of America’s favorite holiday destination. Couples can take a leisurely stroll down the boardwalk that stretches 4 miles across the sea.
The best thing is that you’ll feel you are within a Hollywood movie set with all the glamorous casinos, brilliant restaurants and quaint shops lined up on the road-side.
If you visit during summers, then you might catch the annual ‘Thunder over the Boardwalk’ air show that shows off the prowess of the American Airforce.
Till now it’s one of the largest air shows in North America and many tourists plan their trip to AC around this event.
Have over-the-ocean, outdoor fun at Steel Pier
If you are on the boardwalk and craving fun, take a turn to reach Steel Pier. Claimed to be the oldest theme park in AC, this place promises you a day of fun.
If you are on holiday with your family, be sure to visit this 1000 ft. long amusement park for a variety of rides, games, events and even a helicopter ride. You can also book the Ocean Reef Oasis that has an amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean for special occasions or parties.
The only thing to remember when you’re at Steel Pier is that you’re never too old to have fun!
Halt at Fralinger’s Salt Water Taffy
This is especially for those who have a sweet tooth. Your Boardwalk stroll will not be complete without a halt at this Atlantic City classic – Franlinger’s Original Salt Water Taffy.
The best thing about this confectionary shop is that they have been serving homemade taffy since 1848. People who are not a fan of saltwater taffy, don’t worry, because you’ll get a variety of fudge, pecans, and macaroons too at this famous Boardwalk fixture.
Head to the Absecon Lighthouse
If you’re at Atlantic City during the summers, you’re sure to land at a bustling Boardwalk. If you want to get away from the crowd then head towards the centuries-old Absecon Lighthouse.
The structure has been guiding sailors since 1857. Now it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in AC. Situated near the Boardwalk, you can easily catch a 360-degree glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean from the top. Interested in history? There’s also a little museum at the entrance.
Take a pipe organ tour at the Boardwalk Hall
Another interesting place to be in Atlantic City is the Boardwalk Hall. It is one of the only surviving buildings from the city’s heydays.
Now, the Boardwalk hall hosts a range of entertainment shows, concerts, stand-up comedy shows and so on. But the highlight is that this place houses the largest musical instrument in the world, a pipe organ that is more powerful than a dozen orchestras.
If you visit on a Monday, you’ll be able to catch a free tour of this pipe organ along with a 30-minute musical concert.
Have Fun at the Beach
It is well known that if you’re not one of the casino tourists, then you’re a beach-indulgent. And rightly so. Atlantic City has some of the best and clean beaches which are free to access unlike some of the New Jersey beaches.
You can have beach-style fun at some of the popular downtown beaches at AC starting from the Atlantic City Beach, Margate Beach, Longport Dog Beach and so on. If you’re a surfer, then get your paddleboard out and hit the waves.
You can also level up your surfing skills for just $60 at the Atlantic City Surf School.
Run to a secluded coastal strip
If you want a quiet shore that is tucked away from the crowded beaches at the city-center, then take a 12-minute ride up to Brigantine Beach. The lush white sand and the wide coastal strip that is both clean and quiet is the best place to be if you’re looking for some mental peace.
However, first-time tourists keep in mind that you’ll require beach tags to access this lovely beach.
Experience Atlantic City Parasail
If you’re a fan of watersports, then do not miss the fun at the Atlantic City Parasail. Get on a boat then experience a once-in-a-lifetime bird’s-eye view of the Ocean up from the parachute.
Challenge the adrenaline junkie in you for just $75 per person. If you’re engaging in this activity during summer, ask them for a wee dip in the Ocean at the end.
Go dolphin-watching on a cruise
If you’re looking for more fun activities to do in AC, New Jersey, then it’s recommended you hop aboard an Atlantic City Cruise.
The flagship one is the Cruis’n’ 1 that is for sightseeing and other adventures across the Gardner’s Basin. You can also experience dolphin-watching from the cruise. Atlantic City Cruises pride themselves on their resident bottle-nosed dolphin.
Couples looking for a romantic getaway can also book one of the sunset cruises which give a wonderful view of the ocean during the golden hour of the day.
If you want to try your hands at fishing then you can go for High Roller Fishing or Twrecks Charters. Both these offer wonderful fishing excursions for novices as well as seasoned experts.
These rides are available from May to October. But if you’re planning to visit this year, it’ll be wise to check them out beforehand as the cruise lines were closed for the pandemic.
Check out the historic Gardner’s Basin Aquarium
More and more tourists are shifting from the city-center to enjoy more off-beat attractions like the Gardner’s Basin in Atlantic City. This place will be easily accessible if you’re taking one of the cruises. Tourists of all ages can find something to do in the Gardner’s Basin.
The Atlantic City Aquarium, located at this place, is one such place where you can have a great time with your family.
You might be interested to know that it took $4 million to build this magnificent, three-story, interactive Aquarium. The key highlight of the place is the touch tanks where you can ‘pet’ starfish and even sharks.
Grab a drink at the oldest bar in town
If the list of places seems exhausting, then you can kick back with a drink for a while at The Irish Pub. However, the history of the place might intrigue you more.
If you want to experience the taste of the old Atlantic City that featured in the popular HBO series, “Boardwalk Empire,” then it’s the Irish Pub you’re looking for.
Back in the days of Prohibition, this was a speakeasy. If you’re at one of the Boardwalk Casinos, then this pub should be easily accessible to you.
Find cultural respite at the Atlantic City Art Center
If you want a break from the glitz and glam of the casinos or the hustle-bustle of the beaches, you can take a cultural break.
Visit AC’s popular Art Center located at Garden Pier that has three galleries to showcase exhibits from renowned artists and sculptors. There’s a flurry of year-round exhibitions and the exhibits keep changing every month.
Not only that, the entire stretch of Garden Pier has something soothing to offer. Once you exit the Art Center there are breathtaking flower gardens and stretches of Spanish Renaissance architecture that set this place apart from the boardwalk.
Stop by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium
If you’re traveling with children, be sure to stop by the extraordinary Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum to check out a variety of odd exhibits.
The museum is a few yards from the Boardwalk and the tickets range from $18.99 for adults to $12.99 for children. Have fun looking at shrunken heads, or the statue of Hulk made with car parts.
You can also try your luck in the Laser Maze Challenge offered by the Odditorium.
Hike to the Home of wildlife
If you want to get away from the cityscape, go for a hiking expedition to the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, just north of Atlantic City. The place is a haven for migratory birds and other ecologically preserved wildlife.
If you’re traveling by car, you can enjoy an 8-mile-long wildlife drive that will be both calming and exciting at the same time.
Splurge on fine dining
If you’re at AC, don’t forget to visit one of the most intriguing restaurants, Chef Vola’s, which still maintains an air of secrecy. The establishment was once a speakeasy during the Prohibition era and is now one of the most popular destinations in AC. Be sure to get your reservation a month ago, or you might return disappointed.
During your stay there, you can also check out Bobby Flay Steak, or restaurants at Caesar’s Resort, namely KWI Restaurant, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill or Nero’s Italian Steakhouse.
Want to get away from fine dining? You can devour a variety of seafood available at the little shacks by the seafront. Remember to order lots of clams, lobster and oyster.
Save some time for a therapeutic spa
Your vacation at Atlantic City will not be complete without a therapeutic time at the spa. It’s the best way to let off the steam and relax. Borgata’s Immersion Spa offers some of the best spa treatments in the city.
Treat yourself to a nice day at the Borgata or the spa at Caesars Atlantic City. The starting cost of these full-body treatments is $25 per half-hour but you can also go for cheaper $20 alternatives for some relaxation.
Visit Cape May
Vacationers! Flock to Cape May to relax and have beach fun simultaneously. This place is 45 miles south of Atlantic City.
It comprises family-friendly beaches and is popular for its cozy bed-and-breakfasts that have rocking chairs facing the ocean. If you want to shirk off your summertime sadness and just laze around, this is the place to be.
Have Disco-style fun at Boogie Nights
If you want to check out Atlantic City’s nightlife, then stop by Boogie Nights for some disco fun. Located inside one of the popular hotels in town, Tropicana Atlantic City, this place draws you because of its 70s-80s style oldie disco décor. If you visit on a Thursday, you can wear your 90s-style ripped jeans as it takes you to that era.
Other than that, you can also head to HQ2 Nightclub or The Pool After Dark for a memorable night-out at AC.
Try out your luck at a casino
Last but not the least, you have to step foot in one of the casinos even if it’s just to feel the glitz. There is a line of casinos along the boardwalk and almost all the popular resorts of the City have their own casinos.
Some of the best casinos are the ones at The Borgata, Tropicana Atlantic City, Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino, Caesars Palace Atlantic City and so on.
If you’re a beginner, try our luck at the Roulette, Wheel of Fortune or Blackjack and remember to keep your bets low.
These are some of the things that you shouldn’t miss when you’re in AC. Hope it helped in planning your next trip!