Atlantic City Guide
About Atlantic City
Atlantic City is synonymous with gambling. It is located on Absecon Island on the Atlantic coast of the USA and situated 160 miles south of New York City in the state of New Jersey. The location of this gambling paradise makes it a huge favorite with gamblers.
Atlantic City was founded in 1854 but it achieved the height of fame in the 1920’s when it became a favored vacation destination of the rich and the famous. Atlantic City came to be populated by several amusement parks, shops and nightclubs, which catered specifically to the vacationing crowds.
In an attempt to rejuvenate Atlantic City, the state of New Jersey declared casino gambling legal in the 1970s and Atlantic City’s Boardwalk roared back to life. It came to be lined with huge casino hotels like the Showboat Atlantic City Casino Hotel, the Trump Taj Mahal, the Tropicana Casino and Hotel and Creasers Atlantic City, which succeeded in luring back the crowds to this old-world playground of America.
Today, Atlantic City is known to be a choice destination for gambling, shopping and fine dining, which is usually favored by vacationers looking for a weekend break.
Where to stay in Atlantic City
Atlantic City is not very big per se as it extends over a 5.75 mile strip of beachfront land on tiny Absecon Island connected by bridges to the mainland New Jersey. Most of the large casino hotels, nightclubs, restaurants and stores are clustered around Atlantic City’s famed boardwalk, which is the epicenter of all the action in this city.
Besides boardwalk and the marina district, Atlantic City does have a few distinct neighborhoods like Ducktown, which was once associated with the city’s early Italian immigrants and is now largely the abode of the city’s Asian and Hispanic populations. Gardner’s Basin, which stretches between New Hampshire Avenue and the Bay, is the take off spot for many whale and dolphin watching cruises. Gardener’s Basin is also known as Atlantic City’s art gallery district, populated by many galleries, street artists and popular attraction of the Atlantic City Aquarium.
Places to see in Atlantic City
Besides its casinos, Atlantic City does offer some diverse attractions, which provide sight-seeing opportunities for those visitors who want a break from gaming.
Civil Rights Garden
The Civil Rights Garden is a dignified, elegant and somewhat somber attraction in a city that is known for its glitz and glamour. This garden, which is located within the Marina District, features 11 granite columns that sport inspiring messages from some of America’s greatest leaders associated with the the Civil Rights Movement and African-Americans' post-slavery struggle for equality.
Besides these columns, the garden also features other sculptures like a bronze bell and a large upraised hand that are considered to be symbols of liberty.
Lucy the Elephant
This large wooden elephant is located in the Margate section of Atlantic City and was constructed in 1881 by a local developer who wanted to attract crowds to this area of Southern Atlantic City. The rooms located within the feet of the elephant house a tavern, a home, a guest house and a speakeasy.
Tours of ‘Lucy the Elephant’ further reveal a closet in one of its shoulders and also provide access to the howdah on her back from where you can get great views of Atlantic City and its many attractions. Today this unique ‘Lucy the Elephant’ landmark features on the National Register of Historic Places.
Atlantic City Historical Museum
The Atlantic City Historical Museum offers numerous exhibits that catalogue its history as the ‘ Playground of America’ These exhibits consists of photographs, posters, costumes and artifacts, all providing a valuable insight into the history of the evolution of Atlantic City. The Atlantic City Historical Museum is a free public access attraction in Atlantic City. It’s a must see attraction for Atlantic vacations.
The Absecon Lighthouse is over 150 years old and is situated in the neighboring town of Smithville. This functional lighthouse was built in 1857 and still sends out a beam of light nightly. Moreover, it also offers stunning views of the Atlantic City skyline and the Jersey Shore from its summit, which can be accessed by hiking up 228 steps. The Absecon Lighthouse is the tallest light house in New Jersey and the third tallest lighthouse in the USA.
The Atlantic City Boardwalk is the city’s most prominent attraction built in 1870 as a barrier to keep sand out from the upscale beach side hotels. Over the years, this boardwalk, which was only a mile long and a few feet wide, was enhanced to its present state extending over 5 miles in length and 24 feet in breadth. The Atlantic City Boardwalk today hosts most of its hotels, restaurants, shops and other attractions and is the hub of all the activity in Atlantic City. Atlantic city vacationers must visit this place for a real feel of the city.
Steel Pier is Atlantic City’s celebrated amusement park. It first opened its doors to the public in 1898. This amusement park was devastated by a fire in 1982 but was renovated and reopened in 1993.
Today, it offers a whole host of exciting rides like the Pumpkin Wheel, the Rocket, the Sea Dragon, the Crazy Mouse Coaster, Grand Prix Go Karts , Rock n Roll and an international food court and helicopter rides.
Best time to visit Atlantic City
Since Atlantic City is located on America’s East Coast, its climate mirrors that of neighboring cities like Philadelphia and New York City. Atlantic City experiences hot and humid summers, which are followed by cold and frigid winters. July is the hottest month in Atlantic City during which temperatures achieve average highs between 75.2 °F (24.0 °C) and 90 °F (32 °C).
The summer months extend from June to August and are considered to be the peak tourist season in Atlantic City; though post Labor Day, things begin to quieten down till they ramp up again around Christmas time.
The city experiences an off peak season between January and May when visitors usually abandon the Jersey Shore and its best known attractions shut down for the winter. Casino-goers, however, still continue to patronize the many gambling halls of Atlantic City during this season for weekend gambling trips.
Getting around in Atlantic City
Flying is often the fastest and best way to travel to the city during weekend trips. Fare Buzz offers you cheap air tickets to Atlantic City from where ever you are coming from. You can also find equally interesting premium economy options.
Since the total area occupied by Atlantic City is quite small, most visitors to this gambler’s paradise walk, bike or take a taxi to get around. The Public transport system in Atlantic City comprises of taxis, public buses and jitneys.
Jitneys are large vehicles that can transport up to 13 people at a time. These jitneys operate 24 hours a day all throughout the year on major beach routes from Pacific Avenue to Jackson Avenue and cover the entire city. In addition to these public modes of transport, several large hotels in Atlantic City offer their customers free shuttle service between their hotel properties and major boardwalk attractions.
You can also check your options from a range of attractive car rentals offers on our platform.
Where to shop in Atlantic City
Atlantic City offers a plethora of shopping opportunities for vacationers and guarantees to please even the most discerning shoppers. The many stores that line Atlantic City’s Boardwalk offer a wealth of souvenir shopping opportunities; so if you have commemorative t-shirts and other knick-knacks on your shop in Atlantic City shopping list, you should head to the boardwalk stores to acquire them. Also located here are Atlantic City’s famous sweet shops like Steel’s Fudge and James Salt Water Taffy which should be considered a must-do on any Atlantic City vacations itinerary.
Aside from souvenir shopping, Atlantic City also offer upscale shopping opportunities at its many luxe malls like the Shore Mall, and The Pier Shops at Caesar which feature several big name brands like Gucci, Burberry, Hugo Boss, Bottega Veneta, Salvatore Ferragamo and many more.
Additionally, Atlantic City even offers shopping opportunities for bargain-hunting shoppers for it is equipped with an outlet mall called Atlantic City–the Walk that offers myriad outlet stores of popular brands like Old Navy, Calvin Klein, Timberland and many more.
Where to eat in Atlantic City
Atlantic City is considered to be a prominent dining destination in the USA and this gambler’s paradise features restaurants that cater to all vacation budgets; from super expensive eateries that feature the creations of renowned chefs like Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay and restaurateurs like Stephen Starr to mid range restaurants that serve local eats to fast food restaurants and dives that cater to budget travelers Atlantic City has them all and more.
Some of the highly ranked restaurants in Atlantic City according to recent surveys include eateries like Tisha’s Fine Dining( New America), Buddakan( Asian), Steve and Cookies by the Bay( Seafood), Knife and Fork Inn(Steakhouse), Tomatoes( Californian) and Dock’s Oyster House( Seafood).
Nightlife in Atlantic City
The nightlife scene in Atlantic City is centered on its casinos like Trump Taj Mahal, Caesar's, Bally's Wild Wild West Casino, Borgata and Tropicana which stay open 24/7 and offer numerous party places, bars and night clubs like the Pool After Dark at Harrah’s and Club Mixx at Borgata Hotel and Water Club. Besides these casino clubs and bars, Atlantic City has several other popular nightlife spots like the casual sports bar Ducktown Tavern and slick night clubs like Casbah, Dusk and the 70’s themed Boogie Nights.