What are the best things to do in Atlantic City?

Hayley Bosch

Whether you are hitting the casinos or lounging on the beach, you’ll find plenty to do in Atlantic City. With a slew of daytime activities and even more nighttime diversions, there’s something for nearly everyone. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for five best things to see and do in Atlantic City:
 
1. Soak up the sun. Unlike many beaches on the Jersey Shore, those in Atlantic City are free and don’t require badges to lounge in the sun. The wide beaches get crowded come summertime, when the warm weather draws beachgoers to the sand. If you’re looking to surf, head to one of the three designated surfing beaches — Crystal Beach, Delaware Avenue Beach and Downtown Beach.
 
2. Hit the slots. Atlantic City is known for its casinos. From Tropicana to Trump Taj Mahal, you can play slots and table games in a variety of themed venues late into the night.
 
3. Stroll the boardwalk. A boardwalk is a staple for any beach town — and Atlantic City’s wooden walk stretches for five miles. Lined with restaurants, shops and hotels, this main drag is a must-see. It’s also a prime historical attraction, as it has been around since the late 1800s.
 
4. Visit Absecon Lighthouse. Designed by Civil War general George Gordon Meade, the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey was completed in 1857. Climb the 228 stairs to the top of this 171-foot tower for a great view of the scenic Jersey Shore.
 
5. Cast your reel. Hop on a boat and head out to sea to catch dinner. Atlantic City offers some great fishing, both seaside and in deep water. Well offshore you’ll find everything from mahi mahi and tuna to marlin and sea bass; striped bass and bluefish are found closer to land.

  • On September 18, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    What’s the best time of year to visit Atlantic City?

    As with many beach towns, summer is the prime season in Atlantic City. Forbes Travel Guide editors have seen locals and longtime summer visitors spill onto the beach as soon as the weather warms up. Conventions take place at the massive casino hotels year-round — much like they do in Las Vegas — but Memorial Day through Labor Day is when you’ll find vacationers descending on the shore. The water is a manageable 70 degrees, and the boardwalk is filled with families. During the summer, Steel Pier — the nation’s first ocean side amusement park — is humming and open for business.
  • On September 18, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    What is the best thing to bring home from Atlantic City?

    You shouldn’t visit Atlantic City without bringing home some salt-water taffy,  crowned the first “Atlantic City souvenir” in the 1880s. Though you can get salt-water taffy just about anywhere along the boardwalk, Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend visiting Fralinger’s Salt Water Taffy to get your stash. (The candy shop has two locations on the boardwalk at Bally’s Park Place and at Tennessee Avenue.)  Joseph Fralinger perfected his recipe in the 1880s and it remains almost identical today. James’ Candy, a sister brand of Fralinger’s, is also known for its taffy — find it on the boardwalk at New York Avenue or at The Pier at Caesars.
  • On September 18, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    What are the five best Atlantic City food experiences?

    Spurred by its proximity to New York and Philadelphia, Atlantic City offers plenty to eat, from pizza and hoagies to upscale seafood. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the five best Atlantic City food experiences:
     
    1. Hoagies. Make your way to White House Sub Shop on Arctic Avenue for a delicious Italian hoagie — after all, nothing says New Jersey like a hoagie. The joint’s offshoot location is at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel on the boardwalk.
     
    2. Pizza on the boardwalk. Grab a slice of thin-crust, New York-style pizza and meander down the boardwalk. You’ll get a huge, flat slice — fold it in half and eat it on the go.
     
    3. Dock’s Oyster House. A seafood mainstay and the oldest restaurant in Atlantic City, Dock’s is a must-visit. The family-owned eatery is a favorite among both locals and longtime visitors.
     
    4. Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival. Each July, Food Network hits Atlantic City with top-notch chefs whipping up mouthwatering food served with great wine. Past participants include Andrew Zimmern, Robert Irvine and Guy Fieri.
     
    5. Chef Vola’s. It may be off the radar for some, but this comfort-style Italian restaurant is a must. This family-owned spot in the basement of a former boarding house located on a residential street. It’s reservations only, so start calling now.
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  • On September 18, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    Where is the best nightlife in Atlantic City?

    When the sun goes down, Atlantic City’s casinos come alive. Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend joining the revelers at the casino hotels that line the boardwalk and beyond. From comedy clubs to nightclubs, there’s more than just gambling at these resorts, though table-hopping at the casinos is still the area’s gold standard. Tropicana offers an array of entertainment options in addition to its legendary casino, such as The Comedy Stop and The Quarter’s IMAX Theatre. For gamblers, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel offers more than 3,500 slot machines and 200 table games. The newest kid on the block, Revel Atlantic City, has a casino and the trendy HG Nightclub.
  • On September 18, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    What is the best way to see Atlantic City in one day?

    This town is brimming with things to do and see, but our Forbes Travel Guide editors narrowed down the essential Atlantic City experiences to be had in one day.
     
    Start off the morning with a leisurely bike ride on the historic Atlantic City Boardwalk. Bikes are only allowed on the wooden walkway until 10 a.m., so do this first. (Rent bikes from B & K Bike Rental, located on the boardwalk at North Carolina Avenue.) Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head down the shore for a pancake breakfast at Country Kitchen before making your way to the beach.
     
    Go to Crystal Beach if you want to surf — it’s one of the city’s three designated surfing spots. When your stomach starts rumbling, it’s time for a real New Jersey experience: a hoagie. While plenty of places serve subs, you’ll want to go to White House Sub Shop for an Italian hoagie. There’s one inside Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel on the boardwalk; for the original experience head to the sub hop on Arctic Avenue.
     
    Walk along the boardwalk after lunch and stop into a few of the souvenir shops before a quick trip to the amusement park Steel Pier — located just off the boardwalk — where you’ll find games and rides galore.
     
    Next, make your way back to your hotel to freshen up for dinner. Reservations at Amada are a must — it’s located inside the new Revel resort and serves up authentic Spanish tapas under the direction of celebrity chef Jose Garces.
     
    After dinner, hit the gambling floor at Revel. Atlantic City is known for its casinos and you simply can’t visit without experiencing at least a few pulls on a slot machine lever.
  • On September 18, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    Where is the best shopping in Atlantic City?

    If you’re looking for high-end shopping, Atlantic City is full of it — many of the casino hotels offer upscale shops. The Pier Shops at Caesars has 75 shops and restaurants. Luxury stores ranging from Gucci to Louis Vuitton will appeal to big winners, while mainstream shops like the Apple Store and The Levi’s Store, will suit nearly everyone.
     
    Head to Tanger Outlets — located near the convention center — for deals on well-known labels like Polo Ralph Lauren, Under Armour, J.Crew, Nike and Lacoste. Of course, head to the boardwalk for beach-bum souvenirs, as it’s lined with entertaining souvenir shops that sell everything from Jersey Shore t-shirts to seashell key chains.
  • On September 18, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    What are the best things to do with kids in Atlantic City?

    While the glitzy nightlife scene is geared toward adults, kids can have a blast during the day in Atlantic City. From games and rides at Steel Pier to the long stretch of beaches, your little ones won’t be short on things to do. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend these five things to do with kids in Atlantic City:
     
    1. Hit the beach. The beaches are wide but they can get crowded with plenty of playmates for your kids. The thick sand makes for primo sandcastle building, and summertime water temperatures reach up to 70 degrees.
     
    2. Explore the boardwalk. Lined with restaurants, shops and hotels, the Atlantic City Boardwalk is known as the grandfather of American boardwalks (it is said to be the first). Kids can play games at arcades, indulge in candy and fuel up at one of many kid-friendly restaurants on the seaside strip.
     
    3. Play on Steel Pier. This is where kids can be kids, no matter how old they are. Steel Pier is home to dozens of amusement park games and thrill rides. Take a spin on the double-decker carousel or a heart pumping turn on the Sea Dragon.
     
    4. Tee off. Break from the beach and challenge your kids to a round of mini-golf. Atlantic City Miniature Golf has realistic contours, great views and is located right on the boardwalk.
     
    5. Rent bikes. You’ll have to get up early if you want to ride on the boardwalk, as bikes aren’t allowed on the wooden walkway after 10 a.m. Rent a surrey (a multi-person, four-wheeled bike) for whole-family fun.
  • On September 18, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    What are the best things to do in Atlantic City?

    Whether you are hitting the casinos or lounging on the beach, you’ll find plenty to do in Atlantic City. With a slew of daytime activities and even more nighttime diversions, there’s something for nearly everyone. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for five best things to see and do in Atlantic City:
     
    1. Soak up the sun. Unlike many beaches on the Jersey Shore, those in Atlantic City are free and don’t require badges to lounge in the sun. The wide beaches get crowded come summertime, when the warm weather draws beachgoers to the sand. If you’re looking to surf, head to one of the three designated surfing beaches — Crystal Beach, Delaware Avenue Beach and Downtown Beach.
     
    2. Hit the slots. Atlantic City is known for its casinos. From Tropicana to Trump Taj Mahal, you can play slots and table games in a variety of themed venues late into the night.
     
    3. Stroll the boardwalk. A boardwalk is a staple for any beach town — and Atlantic City’s wooden walk stretches for five miles. Lined with restaurants, shops and hotels, this main drag is a must-see. It’s also a prime historical attraction, as it has been around since the late 1800s.
     
    4. Visit Absecon Lighthouse. Designed by Civil War general George Gordon Meade, the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey was completed in 1857. Climb the 228 stairs to the top of this 171-foot tower for a great view of the scenic Jersey Shore.
     
    5. Cast your reel. Hop on a boat and head out to sea to catch dinner. Atlantic City offers some great fishing, both seaside and in deep water. Well offshore you’ll find everything from mahi mahi and tuna to marlin and sea bass; striped bass and bluefish are found closer to land.
  • On July 31, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Where are the best places to eat in Atlantic City?

    Atlantic City’s casino hotels are known for more than blackjack tables and luxury digs, they’re also full of glitzy gourmet restaurants. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the five best places to eat in Atlantic City:
     
    1. Buddakan Atlantic City. This trendy Asian-inspired eatery is part of the expansive Caesars Atlantic City. The eclectic and modern menu is filled with innovative dishes such as butternut squash dumplings with truffle vinaigrette and lobster fried rice.
     
    2. SeaBlue. Located inside The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, SeaBlue features the creations of celeb chef Michael Mina. Many of the fresh fish options are grilled over mesquite wood in a tandoori oven. The eight-page menu includes a page for you to design your own salad — crayons are placed on the table for filling in the blanks.
     
    3. Bobby Flay Steak. Also located within The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, Bobby Flay Steak is all contemporary chic. The Food Network star’s fine-dining restaurant churns out traditional top-end steakhouse fare, like a Louisiana-inspired filet mignon topped with béarnaise sauce and crawfish.
     
    4. Amada. With views of the ocean from inside the new Revel Atlantic City resort, Amada is the brainchild of “Iron” chef Jose Garces. It’s the first offshoot of his wildly popular tapas restaurant in Philadelphia. The menu features small and large plates served in an authentic Spanish atmosphere with tiled floors and rustic woods.
     
    5. Knife and Fork Inn. An Atlantic City mainstay since the 1920s, this historic steak and seafood restaurant is still worth a visit. Knife and Fork Inn sticks to the classics, serving standard steakhouse fare executed to perfection.
  • On July 31, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Where are the best places to stay in Atlantic City?

    Atlantic City is known for its casino hotels, and there’s a bevy from which to choose. Here is Forbes Travel Guide’s take on the five very best places to stay in Atlantic City:
     
    1. The Water Club at Borgata. Soaring 43 stories above Atlantic City, The Water Club is the upscale sister property of The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa. A contemporary vibe flows from the verdant sunroom off the lobby to the nature-inspired guest rooms, each with a stunning water view. Boardwalk-weary guests can relax in rooms with flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations and 400-thread-count Egyptian sheets.
     
    2. Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel. The Trump Taj Mahal is the most opulent hotel on the boardwalk. Rooms at the 17-acre resort are spacious and feature contemporary decor, marble bathrooms and spectacular views of the city. High rollers can book the Alexander the Great suite, a 4,500-square-foot suite with a steam room, sauna, weight room, lounge and pantry.
     
    3. Revel Atlantic City. Revel is the newest and splashiest resort casino and it offers a modern twist on the area’s typical beachfront property. Opened in 2012, this trendy hotel has 1,800 rooms, 10 pools, a private beach, a massive spa, two nightclubs and 14 restaurants helmed by some big-name chefs. The rooms are stylishly sleek and steer clear of beachy kitsch in favor of cool tones and modern lines.
     
    4. Caesars Atlantic City. This oceanfront hotel, dubbed “Rome on the Jersey shore,” is a favorite for conventioneers with 26,000 square feet of meeting space and a well-appointed business center. But leisure-seekers won’t be disappointed either. You can sample international cuisine from the hotel’s Roman-themed eateries, Chinese and Japanese restaurants, head to the Pier Shops at Caesars for upscale shopping and book at retreat at Qua Baths and Spa for some serious pampering.
     
    5. The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa. A room at this stylish resort is a luxe haven from the traditional casino style with cool earth tones, contemporary furnishings and advanced in-room technology. The hotel’s restaurants include Wolfgang Puck’s American Grille and Bobby Flay Steak. If gambling isn’t your thing, head to Spa Toccare, where a wide variety of relaxing treatments melt tension away.