One of the most famous cities on the New Jersey Coast, Atlantic City is known for its iconic Boardwalk, sandy beaches and glamorous casinos.
Everyone comes to Atlantic City! A tourist destination since it was founded in the 19th century, the city attracts visitors from all over the world as well as weekenders from New York and Philadelphia.
Atlantic City is a family-oriented town with attractions for everyone. It's a top entertainment spot and big-name stars regularly appear in its hotels and theaters.
You'll find a vast range of activities including swimming, surfing and fishing. Whether you love music and dance or whether you're a history and culture fan, you'll be enchanted by Atlantic City.
Gambling has been a key attraction since it was legalized in the state of New Jersey in 1976. Some of the city’s notable casinos include Caesar’s Atlantic City, The Borgata, Harrah’s and the Golden Nugget.
Atlantic City is spa central and its indoor pools make any season feel like summer. Enjoy a traditional massage or a luxurious facial at one of the Borgata’s two spas or relax under a glass-domed roof by the stunning palm tree fringed indoor pool at Harrah’s.
It's an entertainment capital, and you can expect to see famous names in Atlantic City's leading hotels throughout the year. You’ll also find great local acts at beachside venues like the Landshark Bar & Grill.
Enjoy a snack on the Boardwalk or discover Atlantic City institutions like Dock’s Oyster House or Knife and Fork. Visit in March for Atlantic City Restaurant Week to sample some of the best.
The Jersey Shore is as popular with locals as it is with visitors. Relax in a deck chair while the kids dig in the sand or enjoy a dip in the Atlantic Ocean. It's also a leading surf destination, and those new to the sport can take lessons with NSSA national team members or East Coast champions at Atlantic City Surf & SUP School.
The world's first boardwalk stretches for 4 miles along the Atlantic shore and offers access to casinos, hotels and shops. There are two piers, Steel Pier where you’ll find an amusement park complete with roller coasters and Ferris wheel and Garden Pier, home to Atlantic City Arts Center and the Atlantic City Historical Museum.
Atlantic City Aquarium is the perfect choice for a day out with friends and family. See a wide range of marine exhibits, shipwreck finds and sea creatures in its eight enormous aquariums.
Hire a traditional rolling chair and sit back and relax as a local guide pushes you along the magical Atlantic City Boardwalk. It’s a fun way to get from A to B as you enjoy the sea air. Fares for these shaded surreys depend on distance traveled – there is a minimum charge of $5, and you’re expected to tip.
One of the oldest restaurants in Atlantic City, Dock’s Oyster House first opened way back in 1897. The raw bar is incredibly popular and Dock’s wasabi tuna is a don’t-miss specialty.
Some of the world’s most famous music stars, including Rod Stewart, The Temptations and Elvis Costello have played Atlantic City. Comedians Wanda Sykes, Jerry Seinfeld, and Lewis Black come back almost every year and Nik Wallenda’s circus troupe often performs here. Add the Atlantic City Ballet and dozens of sporting events; you’re guaranteed world-class entertainment at any time of the year.
Summer, from March to the end of August is peak season in Atlantic City and you can expect temperatures of 80 – 84F during the day. The pleasant breeze from the ocean offsets the summer humidity. Visit from March to April or from September to late October when the city is less busy to take advantage of lower prices and less crowded attractions. Any time is ideal if you’re a gaming fan and many casinos offer deals and discounts throughout the year.
Some visitors choose to fly into Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) which is 9 miles from the city center. Spirit Airlines offers flights to Atlantic City from various places including Miami, Denver, Chicago and Tampa. From the airport, a bus service operated by NJ Transit can take you to the city center. Taxis and rental cars are also available. Alternatively, you can fly to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL); it’s 60 miles west of the city. Take a train or rent a car for the one-hour drive to Atlantic City.
NJ Transit runs trains to Atlantic City from Philadelphia. A one-way ticket costs $10, and the trip takes 1 hour 30 minutes. When you arrive at Atlantic City Rail Terminal, you’ll find free Jitney shuttles to the city’s casinos. Taxis are also available, or you can board NJ Transit buses at the Atlantic City Bus Terminal just two blocks from the station. Travel from New York City on the service from Penn Station to Trenton which connects with the RiverLINE service to Pennsauken Transportation Center. From there you can take the ongoing Atlantic City Rail Line train. A one-way ticket is $21.
It’s easy to reach Atlantic City by car. If you’re coming from Philadelphia or South Jersey, just take the Atlantic City Expressway toll road to the Marina district, Brigantine or the city center. The Garden State Parkway toll road connects with the Expressway 10 miles from Atlantic City for those driving from New York or Cape May. US Highway 9 is a toll-free, if slightly slower, alternative.
If you prefer to travel by bus, Greyhound offers services to Atlantic City from Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and New York. Expect to pay between $20 and $40 for the round trip depending on your embarkation point.
Since most of Atlantic City’s hotel’s tend to be either large chains or casino/hotel resorts you can expect affordable accommodation and good service, even though décor can be bland. You’ll also find luxury options like The Borgata and Chelsea; Atlantic City is perfect for fabulous vacations and romantic breaks.
Absecon – Atlantic City is built on and around Absecon Island. The Absecon district is the city’s central or downtown area and where you’ll find many of its businesses and shopping malls.
The Boardwalk – The Boardwalk runs for 4 miles along the Atlantic Shore and it’s a great place to relax with the locals. It’s also where five-eighths of the city’s casinos are located.
Pacific Avenue – A block inland from the Boardwalk, Pacific Avenue casinos can be reached easily using the Atlantic City Jitney 24-hour minibus service.
The Marina District – Home to several casinos, the Marina district is where you’ll find Harrah’s Resort, the Borgata and the Golden Nugget.
Ducktown – Historically the Italian/American district, Ducktown runs between Missouri and Texas Avenues. Points of interest include Boardwalk Hall, the Boardwalk Dante Hall Theater and St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church on Mississippi Avenue.
Hire a rolling chair on the Boardwalk or take a Jitney, a local green minibus, to most of the city’s landmarks – a single fare is $2.25. If you’re venturing a little further from the Boardwalk, NY Transit buses cover the city and suburbs.
You can pick up local taxis outside any casino or at drop-off points at Atlantic City Convention Center, or book by phone. A ride within the city limits should not cost more than $13 plus tip.
If you prefer to drive you can rent a car at the airport or at car rental outlets in the city. The Boardwalk is pedestrianized, but the rest of Atlantic City is easy to navigate. Public transport can be limited, so a car is ideal if you’d like to see local landmarks like Lucy the Elephant in nearby Margate City. The famous sculpture is a National Historic Landmark and was built in 1881 and it’s just a 2-mile drive from the city.
Atlantic City is an affordable destination for visitors, even though it’s slightly more expensive than other New Jersey cities such as Trenton. Expect to pay $25 for a basic meal and $80 for a three-course dinner for two in a mid-range restaurant.
From specialist shops like Steel’s Fudge, the world’s oldest family owned fudge maker, to stylish boutiques and bustling malls, shopping in Atlantic City is a treat. Visit the Pier Shops at Caesar’s for designer brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Gucci or Tanger - The WalkOutlets for stores ranging from Bass Pro to Calvin Klein. The Shore Mall in Egg Harbour is also good and stores include Burlington Coat Factory and Boscov’s.
You’ll find plenty of supermarkets and stores where you can pick up basics like food and toiletries. Popular options include Boom and Save-a-Lot.
Whether you feel like a quick snack or a three-course dinner, you’re spoiled for choice in Atlantic City. Boardwalk vendors sell local and traditional favorites like salt water taffy, funnel cakes, hot dogs and cotton candy that can be enjoyed on the beach or while sitting on the boardwalk enjoying the panoramic Atlantic views. Be sure to try sandwiches from White House Subs in Ducktown; the landmark shop has been visited by hundreds of celebrities. See if you can spot the photographs of the Beatles!
Atlantic City’s coastal location means that seafood is a staple. Try Dock’s Oyster House for oysters, lobster, crab and excellent service. If you’re not a seafood fan, local favorite, Tony’s Baltimore Grill on Atlantic Avenue serves great pizza. Or, try surf and turf at Knife and Fork where visitors and locals have dined since 1910.