Four things come to mind when I think of New Jersey: Atlantic City, Governor Chris Christie, “Jersey Shore,” and “Jerseylicious.” Although there weren’t any sightings of Christi during my recent trip to New Jersey, and I didn’t see anyone that remotely resembled the characters on “Jersey Shore” or “Jerseylicious,” I did experience a taste of Atlantic City. Although the economy has slowed the growth of this eastern seaside resort, it is still known as America’s Playground, mostly because of its wealth of casinos. However, despite its reputation for being the capital of gambling on the east coast, Atlantic City has much more to offer its visitors. Here are some places you don’t want to miss.
I was pleasantly surprised by the width of The Boardwalk. At 60 feet, there’s plenty of room for bikers, runners and strollers, but to accommodate the crowds, biking time is limited. Shops, nightclubs, restaurants, and resorts line one side of The Boardwalk, and the beach, which is at least 200 feet wide, is on the other side.
If you want to travel the full distance of The Boardwalk, which is approximately four miles, but you aren’t into hoofing it, why not consider going by way of a rolling chair? These manually-pushed buggies, which have been used since the late 1800s, are still a popular mode of transportation, providing a fun and unique way to see it all. In addition to the diverse array of shops and restaurants, The Boardwalk hosts several special events during the year, such as the April Fools Marathon, which is actually a 7K and 11K race, and Thunder Over the Boardwalk, an air show featuring exciting maneuvers by both civilian and military pilots.
The beach, which is available to the public from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. is manned by lifeguards at designated areas from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Handicap surf chairs are available free of charge, and restrooms and showering facilities are available for the beachers’ convenience.
The Outlet Stores
Located across the street from the Atlantic City Convention Center, where I attended the annual Classic Car Show and Auction, I took a break from car shopping to do a different kind of shopping. Tanger Outlets The Walk, in Atlantic City, with its 100+ shops, spans three blocks. Trekking to and from the outlet stores requires crossing busy Atlantic City streets, but the excitement of the buzzing metropolis, combined with the good bargains you’re sure to find, make dodging the traffic well worth it.
Gambling isn’t the only reason to visit Caesar’s Palace. From the statue of Caesar and his chariot, located outside the Palace, to the spectacle of the statues inside, it isn’t hard to imagine the decadence of that era.
Aside from gambling and sightseeing, there are plenty of other things to do during your visit to the Palace. If you didn’t have enough shopping time at the outlet mall, you can visit The Pier Shops, where you’ll find Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Betsey Johnson, Coach, Tommy Bahama, and Michael Kors. At the ocean end of the building, you can watch a water fountain show, set to music, which is scheduled every hour, beginning at noon.
You won’t be disappointed in the wide selection of restaurants, with menus to accommodate the most discriminating customer. Then, to satisfy your sweet tooth, stop by the Bakery, where the assorted pastries look as delicious as they taste.
House of Blues
For music, check out The House of Blues, located in the Showboat Casino. Here, you will see headliners, such as Guns ‘N Roses, Eddie Money, Chevelle, Marilyn Manson, and Weird Al Yankovic.
Absecon Lighthouse, the third tallest lighthouse in the United States, is located on Rhode Island Avenue, only a few blocks from the Showboat Casino. Although the walk from the casino is short, it is a 228-step climb to the top of the lighthouse, so be sure to wear your walking shoes.
When to Visit Atlantic City
If you want to avoid the crowds, but you prefer vacationing when temperatures are milder, spring and early fall is the best time to visit. The least expensive time of the year is December through February, but make sure to bring warm clothing for your walks along the beach.
Getting Around in Atlantic City
Driving and parking in Atlantic City can be challenging, particularly in-season, so you might want to consider using other modes of transportation, such as taxi cabs or Jitneys. Jitneys, which are 13-passenger mini-buses, travel designated routes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are an inexpensive way to get to many of the city’s main attractions.
Calendar of Events