10 things to do in Atlantic City

March 20, 2020

Are you planning to visit the resort town of Atlantic City, New Jersey? If the answer is yes, then read ahead for my top 10 things to do in Atlantic City.

We took a bus from Philadelphia to Atlantic City for a day trip. We were able to see all the things below in one day.

Our trip was at the beginning of April and the weather was still not warm enough so make sure you go when it’s summer.

 

***Honest Truth***

Keep in mind that in recent years Atlantic City has fallen out of favor and has definitely seen better days.

A lot of the properties are empty and some look ran down. I would recommend doing a day or weekend trip (unless you are there just for the beach or to gamble).

 

The bus station had all these homeless people sleeping on the benches or on the floor, constantly asking for change and one or two were shouting the whole time.

In addition, our bus was late for a few hours and it was midnight by the time it came.

The two of us were kinda scared because everything was very sketchy.

If you are going to Atlantic City by bus, then make sure you leave before it gets too late as the bus stop did not look safe to me at all.

Other than that, the bus station is very close to the Boardwalk so you will need to walk for just 10 min. from one to the other.

 

beach, buildings

View of the beach and some of the buildings

 

Quick tips:

  • It is very easy to get to Atlantic City with a bus from Philadelphia if you want to do a day trip
  • Some stores were cheap and some were expensive, there was a mix of both
  • They did have a bunch of souvenirs shops on the Boardwalk where you can get some not too expensive gifts
  • Make sure you have a light jacket or a sweater because at night it gets chilly
  • Don’t forget to try their seafood – try the oysters for sure
  • Fun Fact: Atlantic City is the home to the Miss America pageant. Also, the street names were used in the game Monopoly.

 

1. Boardwalk

There is no way you can miss it! The famous wooden Boardwalk is running parallel to the beach, connecting it from one end to the other.

On one side you see the shops, hotels/casinos and on the other is the beach. There are a lot of souvenir stores, bars, and restaurants along the Boardwalk.

If you get tired of walking, not to worry, there are these little trains that run along it which don’t cost too much.

There are also people pulling rickshaws that you can hop on if your feet hurt. You can negotiate the price with them.

Take a stroll on the Boardwalk and enjoy the lovely ocean view, stop for a drink or a bite or just people watch.

 

Atlantic City Boardwalk, New Jersey

The famous Boardwalk

 

2. Caesars Palace

Caesars Palace is one of the main hotels/casinos in the area. There are tons of stores and restaurants inside as well.

We went to check out the casino for a bit but not big on gambling so we preferred to chill on the beach. However, is it definitely worth the visit!

Don’t forget to check out the Playground Pier which is connected to the Caesars Palace by a long overhead tunnel (more on the Playground Pier below).

You can take some nice photos from the end of the pier as there is a nice balcony with chairs.

 

Caesars Palace, Atlantic City, travel blog

Inside the Caesars Palace

 

3. Chill on the beach

The beach looked very nice and clean. Unfortunately, it was too cold to go in the water but we sat on the beach and relaxed – definitely go after April to take full advantage.

I personally prefer nature rather than sitting in stuffy casinos so I was definitely a fan.

The sand strip is wide so it doesn’t look like it will be too crowded even in the high season as there is a lot of space.

Also, the beach is free to the public, anyone can access it. I am assuming there will be more activity once the weather is warmer such as water sports and beach activities.

 

Beach, Atlantic City, New Jersey

Relax on the beach

 

4. Absecon Lighthouse

A bit of a walk from the main attractions but if you have a car you can definitely drive to it.Otherwise, the walk is about half an hour to it from the main area.

This was my first chance to be inside a lighthouse so we walked there.

Absecon Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey and the third tallest in the U.S.

You can check it out from outside or you can climb to the top for a small fee. It is quite a climb, pretty steep and narrow but the view was nice.

There is a small museum and gift shop at the bottom. No need to book in advance.

For more info click here.

 

Absecon Lighthouse, Atlantic City

The Absecon Lighthouse

 

5. Shopping

There are a lot of shopping options available. That includes high-end brands as well as bargain stores.

The Playground Pier which is connected to the Caesars Palace by an overhead tunnel has very high-end storessuch as Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Burberry, etc.

This luxurious shopping mall is situated right on the Boardwalk. There are also some fancy restaurants there as well.

 

If you are looking for bargain shopping then check out the Tanger Outlets which are few blocks from the Boardwalk (10 min walk).

The Tanger Outlets, unlike the Playground Pier, are outside and more spread out. Some of the stores you will find are Calvin Klein, J.Crew, H&M, and Abercrombie & Fitch.

If you are planning to go shopping there, here is a link for the Tanger Outlets.

 

shops, Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey, travel

Many different shop are situated on the Boardwalk

 

6. Casinos/gambling

Again, gambling is not my cup of tea but we checked out a few of the casinos and played on the slot machines (I don’t know how to play any of the other games, to be honest).

If you like gambling, there are a lot of casinos to check out.

Most of the big hotels have a casino so if you are up for it, try your luck.

The number of casinos is constantly changing so check your options online before you go.

Quick note: Trump’s Taj Majal is no longer there. It is now called the Hard Rock Hotel Casino and it looks very different. When we were visiting, they were dismantling the Taj.

 

casinos, gambling, hotels

Try your luck at the casinos

 

7. Steel Pier

The Steel Pier is like a small amusement park situated on a pier. It has a few rollercoasters and arcade games.

It will be an interesting place to explore for teens and children. Some of the stuff to find at the Steel Pier is the Crazy Mouse ride and a Ferris Wheel.

We didn’t spend a lot of time here as we were both not interested in the amusement park rides but we walked around to check it out.

It looks very charming at night when the whole thing is lit up. If you have children, this is the place to be for some family fun.

 

amusement park rides, Steel Pier, family fun

The Steel Pier with the many amusement park rides

 

8. Food

There were many amazing restaurants including the Gordon Ramsey Pub and Grill restaurant which is situated inside the Caesars Palace.

You need to make a reservation prior to visiting.

We tried the famous Beef Wellington which was tasty but the meat inside (according to the recipe) is very lightly cooked so keep that in mind before you order it.

The atmosphere is a high-class English pub. The service was exceptional.

Check it out over here.

 

Atlantic City is famous for its seafood. Take a guess what we ate (see below lol).

I would highly recommend Harry’s Oyster Bar and Seafood which is located in Bally’s hotel. Bally’s is located on the Boardwalk and it is easy to find.

We had lunch there and it was really good.

If you love seafood, check out the menu here.

 

Atlantic City is famous for the saltwater taffy (any Friends fans here?). Personally, I am not a huge fan as it gets stuck to my teeth but I do recommend trying it if you never have before.

There are different flavors, I like the strawberry one 

 

Harry's Oyster Bar and Seafood

Harry’s Oyster Bar and Seafood lunch

 

9. Boardwalk Hall

Boardwalk Hall is a big stone building – can’t miss it as it is right on the Boardwalk. It is the main event venue in Atlantic City.

They have concerts, comedy shows, sporting events etc. Inside you can also find options for foods and drinks (mostly fast foods). We just saw it from the outside as we didn’t have tickets.

If you want to check out the events coming up, check out this link.

 

Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City

The Boardwalk Hall

 

10. Helicopter ride

We didn’t have time for a helicopter ride but I loveee helicopters and I wish we did it.

Most people just walked up to the booth and booked the time (I would check online if you are going in the high season).

The helicopters were flying around all day long and the view would have been very nice. You can see the entire coastline and the hotels.

If I ever go back, I am definitely jumping on one of those helis. You can catch them from the end of the Steel Pier.

Here is their link if you are interested.

 

Helicopter ride, Atlantic City

Book a Helicopter ride for some amazing views

 

There you have it – 10 things to do in Atlantic City. I would highly suggest you go when it’s summer as when we went (the beginning of April) it was not very warm and in the evening was very windy.

Check out if there are any events going on in the Boardwalk Hall, play some slots, have some seafood and take a ride on a helicopter.

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