Atlantic City Travel Guides

Super useful & totally free travel guides, written by locals who love Colorado

Aerial view of the Atlantic City
Atlantic City Skyline

Why We Love Atlantic City: When it comes to Atlantic City, one of the first things people think of is the iconic Boardwalk. The second thing? Casinos. But there’s so much more to Atlantic City that doesn’t quite get the same attention. Between the stellar amusement park, shopping, world-class dining, and luxurious hotels, it’s no wonder thousands choose to vacation in Atlantic City every year!

Best of Atlantic City

Things to Do

Aerial view of the Steel Pier Amusement Park & Boardwalk in Atlantic City
Steel Pier Amusement Park & Boardwalk (photo: Mia2you / Shutterstock)

Atlantic City has great activities for everyone in the family, such as relaxing on the beach, shopping, an amusement park right on the boardwalk, and beautiful ocean views. Here are some of the best:

  • Steel Pier Amusement Park – Take in great beach views at this seaside amusement park. Situated right on the boardwalk, Steel Pier offers great fun with an amazing view.
  • Tanger Outlets – This open-air mall features all of your favorite outlet stores. Get great deals while you take in beautiful weather. Wear your walking shoes.
  • Atlantic City Boardwalk – The iconic Atlantic City Boardwalk is a must-see. It’s lined with shops, great restaurants, and popular casino resorts. Take a stroll early morning for peaceful views of the ocean.
  • Central Pier Arcade & Speedway – Here you can find classic arcade games, as well as the popular go-karts in the back. Kids of all ages have a great time here – even the big kids (a.k.a adults!).
  • Historic Gardner’s Basin – This private canal on a back bay offers a great respite from the hustle and bustle of the busier Boardwalk. It sits right across from the Marina. Sightseeing cruises often leave from this area.

👉 Explore all things to do in Atlantic City

🗺️ Where to Stay

Where you stay in Atlantic City depends on the kind of experience you’re looking for. Each area offers a different advantage and scenery.

  • Atlantic City Boardwalk – Stay in this area if you want to be close to the action. The Boardwalk is where you’ll find the beach and many popular resorts and casinos. 
  • Marina District – If you want a quieter experience, come to the Marina District. Here you can enjoy lovely views of Historic Gardner’s Basin, as well as see the quieter side of town.
  • Downtown – Further inland from the beach, it gets a little more residential in this area. There aren’t many hotels here, but there are a lot of shopping opportunities.

👉 Read the complete guide to where to stay in Atlantic City.

People walking on the Atlantic City Boardwalk
The Atlantic City Boardwalk & Shops (photo: EQRoy / Shutterstock)

🛎️ Best Hotels

Aerial view of the Ocean Casino Resort building in Atlantic City
Ocean Casino Resort (photo: Racheal Grazias / Shutterstock)

Atlantic City is home to a wide variety of great hotels and resorts. There are so many to choose from, but a few stand out from the rest.

  • Club Wyndham Skyline Tower – Stay at this all-suite hotel for a wonderful, family-friendly experience. It has indoor and outdoor jacuzzis, as well as an indoor pool. It’s centrally located so Atlantic City’s best attractions are steps away.
  • Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa – One of Atlantic City’s most popular hotels sit right in the Marina district. This luxurious hotel has a casino and features world-class dining. They also have a wide range of entertainment options for you to enjoy.
  • Ocean Casino Resort – For the ultimate in luxury when you come to AC, stay at the Ocean Casino Resort. This 5-star resort offers everything you could possibly want, and more, from your hotel. From upscale dining to a great casino, and even places to lounge.

🍽️ Restaurants

Atlantic City has a wide variety of amazing restaurants to choose from. Whether you want to go casual or opt for a fancy dinner with that special someone, AC has it all.

  • Margaritaville – It may be a chain restaurant, but it’s no less desirable to visit. Stop in after sightseeing for some drinks and casual American fare in a festive atmosphere.
  • Nero’s Italian Steakhouse – Come here for an exquisite dining experience. Because the food is so amazing, reservations are strongly encouraged. It’s located inside Caesar’s, right on the boardwalk, making it a great place to dine after a day of enjoying Atlantic City.
  • The Sugar Factory – It’s not just a restaurant, it’s an experience. Located in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, they serve up some of the most unique drinks you’ll ever see.
  • Bar 32 Chocolate & Cocktails – Chocoholics rejoice! This is your place for all things chocolate – including the cocktails. If you love chocolate, don’t miss Bar 32.
  • Carmine’s Italian Restaurant – This elegant restaurant is located inside the beautiful Tropicana Hotel. Their long-standing reputation for amazing food precedes them. As such, reservations are highly recommended.
The Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville from the outside in Atlantic City
Margaritaville in Atlantic City (photo: Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock)

🚗 Day Trips

A lifeguard post on a beach in Ocean City
Ocean City, NJ Beach & Lifeguard Post (photo: Andrew Pilecki / Shutterstock)
  • Ocean City – About a 20-minute drive from Atlantic City, is this family-friendly seaside resort city. It offers a beautiful beach and attractions that give you a break from the casino scene.
  • Brigantine Beach – A short 12-minute drive from Atlantic City Beach is peaceful Brigantine Beach. It’s a great place to visit if you want a day at the beach, but away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
  • Atlantic City Cruises – Take in views of Atlantic City from the ocean. Enjoy a variety of day cruises leaving out of the Marina District. You can choose from brunch, lunch, or dinner cruises.
  • Atlantic County Park at Weymouth – Come here for a day away from the city. It’s about a 40-minute drive, but well worth it. The beautiful Atlantic County Park features great outdoor activities for all ages.
  • Wildwood Crest – About an hour’s drive away, here you can find some great beaches as well. This area is more geared towards families and has a lot of activities, including a water park. 

🏘️ Neighborhoods

View of different shops in Atlantic City Boardwalk
Atlantic City Boardwalk (photo: George Wirt / Shutterstock)
  • Boardwalk – The most famous part of Atlantic City, is, of course, the Boardwalk. Lined with casinos, resorts, shopping, and great restaurants, the Boardwalk has it all.
  • Marina District – A little farther off from the busy Boardwalk area you’ll find the Marina District. It’s named such because it’s by the Frank S. Farley Marina. Here you can find some great restaurants and hotels, such as the Borgata.
  • Downtown – This area sits further inland from the beach and Boardwalk. The Downtown area features great shopping opportunities, such as Tanger Outlets.
  • Ducktown – A residential area that borders the Boardwalk. There isn’t much in this area if you’re just visiting. It’s close to Downtown as well, so you’ll find some shopping here.
  • Venice Park – This residential area borders the Marina district. There isn’t much in this area for tourists.

🍸 Bars

Drinks on a bar counter in Atlantic City
Drinks at a bar
  • The Biergarten Atlantic City – Exceptional and creative drinks served in a chill environment by the beach – definitely a win.
  • The Chelsea Beach Bar – This outdoor bar is lively and often features live music. It can get crowded but is overall a great place to stop in for a drink.
  • Borgata Beer Garden – This poolside bar provides great drinks with a relaxing vibe. There are restrictions to using the pool, so most come to just relax and have a drink.
  • Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall – This LGBTQ+ friendly bar serves up great food and drinks. It’s relaxing, and you have the choice to sit inside or on the back patio where you can enjoy ocean breezes.
  •  Chelsea Five Gastropub – It’s located in the Chelsea Tower of the Tropicana and serves more than just great drinks. They have a reasonably-priced menu that you can enjoy any time of the day.

🎰 Casinos

View of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino from the outside
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (photo: Mia2you / Shutterstock)
  • Borgata Hotel & Casino – Classy, upscale casino. They offer plenty of games from classic slot machines, to roulette tables.
  • Hard Rock Casino – This music-themed casino is clean, well-maintained, and offers a lot of gaming options.  
  • Tropicana Casino – This Havana-themed hotel and casino is a fan favorite. They even offer midweek discounts on certain bets.
  • Ocean Resorts Casino – Beautiful, upscale casino in a 5-star resort.
  • Harrah’s Casino – This casino is one of the more classic that you’ll find in Atlantic City. Clean, comfortable friendly staff, and great drinks.

Atlantic City Travel Advice

🗓️ Best Time to Visit

Atlantic City is a great place to visit when the weather is nice. This gives you the opportunity to be out and about and enjoy the beach, without worrying about cold or rain.

  • 🌞 Summer – This is the best time to visit Atlantic City if you want to enjoy the beach and boardwalk at its best. The summer also has optimal weather for a refreshing dip in the ocean.
  • 🌼 Spring – The second best time to visit Atlantic City. The milder temperatures don’t make it a good time for getting in the water. However, you can still enjoy refreshing sea breezes from the boardwalk.
  • 🍂 Fall – Come in the Fall for shopping and activities that vary between indoors and outdoors. The temperatures become cooler, but still comfortable enough to walk around places like Tanger Outlets.
  • ❄️ Winter – You may not want to come during this time. It gets very cold around here since it’s by the water. If you stay during the winter, it’s best to engage in indoor activities. The upside? Hotel rates are cheapest around this time.

👉 Read the full guide to the best time to visit Atlantic City.

🚌 Getting Around

When visiting Atlantic City, most people get around with a mix of walking and driving. They typically drive to a central location and then explore the area on foot.

  • 🚶‍♀️ Walking – With an average WalkScore of 74, Atlantic City is decently walkable. The Boardwalk area is especially favorable for walking.
  • 🚗 Driving – Parking can be difficult, so if you’re going to drive, you’ll typically have to do a fair amount of walking. Park in a central area, then walk to take in the scene.
  • 🚇 Public Transit – The most common form of public transportation in Atlantic City is the Jitney. With the Jitney, you can travel throughout Atlantic City for a low price.
  • 📲 Ride Share – Uber and Lyft are great options in Atlantic City. They come in handy if you or another member of your party can’t do much, or any, walking between destinations.
  • 🚴‍♀️ Biking – Biking is most common on the boardwalk. However, you can only bike during certain times. During peak travel season, biking is permitted from 6 am – 12noon. It’s 24 hours every other time of the year

👉 Tips & Things to Know

  • 🐦 Watch Out for the Seagulls – Atlantic City seagulls are a special breed! These birds can get aggressive if you have food or if they think you have food. Please, don’t feed them.
  • 🍸 Enjoy Free Drinks at Casinos – Most casinos offer free drinks while you’re playing, and many bring the drinks right to you. So enjoy, but please do so responsibly.
  • 🇮🇹 Grab some Italian Food – Atlantic City has a plethora of great Italian restaurants. While you’re visiting, pay a visit to one or more, and delight your taste buds with exquisite Italian cuisine.
  • 🦐 Indulge in Fresh Seafood– Especially with a marina right in town, AC is home to some of the freshest seafood around. Make sure you enjoy some when you go out to dine at one of the many amazing restaurants.
  • 🚨 Be Cautious – As with any bustling metropolitan area, sometimes pickpockets prey on tourists. Keep your belongings close to you, and avoid unpopulated areas.

🧳 What to Pack

  • 🧴 Sunscreen – The sun is out in full force in the summers. To protect your skin, make sure to pack and slather on a good sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher – especially on the beach.
  • 🏖️ Beach Umbrella – Always bring a good beach umbrella. It’s another great way to protect yourself from harmful rays, and blaring sun on the beach.
  • 👜 Crossbody Bag – These are great when you’re out and about. They keep your belongings safely close to you and don’t have to worry about a bag slipping off your shoulders.
  • 🩱🩳 Swimwear – This stands to reason if you’re going to enjoy the beach. Even if you don’t go to the beach, you can also use it to enjoy a pool day at your hotel.
  • 👟 Comfortable Walking Shoes – Since walking is one of the main modes of transport in AC, you want your feet to be comfortable. Sandals and flip-flops are great for keeping your feet cool in the summer heat as well.

🤓 Facts & Info

  • Census Population (2020) – 38,497
  • Time Zone – Eastern Time (UTC -5 / UTC -4 during daylight savings)
  • Area Codes – 609
  • Airports – Atlantic City International Airport (ACY)
  • Nickname – America’s Playground & Monopoly City
  • Demonym – N/A
  • State – New Jersey
  • CountryUnited States of America

💵 Costs & Budgeting

  • 3-Star Hotel Room – $200/night
  • 1 Bedroom Apartment Rental – $300/night
  • Rental Car – $80/day
  • Public Transit Ticket – ~$3 for Jitney
  • Ride Share from Downtown to Airport – $35
  • Take Out Meal for Two – $50
  • Sit Down Dinner for Two – $100 
  • Draft Beer – $8 – $10

FAQs About Visiting Atlantic City

Is Atlantic City safe for tourists?

Generally speaking, Atlantic City is safe for tourists, as long as you take precautions. Stay in well-populated areas, and keep your belongings close to you to avoid pick-pockets. Save solo excursions for the daytime.

Is Atlantic City worth visiting?

Atlantic City has a lot to offer and is worth visiting. You can enjoy the beach, world-class dining, and unique attractions.

Which part of Atlantic City is the best?

The Atlantic City Boardwalk is the most popular destination in Atlantic City. This iconic walkway stretches 5 miles long and features luxurious accommodations, amazing restaurants, and unique shops.

How do I spend a day in Atlantic City?

Start with a stroll along the Boardwalk, then grab a bite to eat at one of AC’s great restaurants. Go view some local attractions and finish your day with some fine dining.

Meet Our Atlantic City Travel Expert

Yvette Griffith

Yvette Griffith is a New Jersey-based Freelance Travel Writer who loves all things travel! She takes advantage of every opportunity to get away, often with her young daughter, as they explore their state as well as the world around them. From Southern Cali, to cruises to the Caribbean, to local adventures, Yvette is always ready for her next adventure.

👉 Read Yvette‘s Articles

📰 Atlantic City Travel Guides

With so much to offer, it’s no wonder visitors from all over come to AC every year for vacation. Love Atlantic City? Check out some other amazing places to visit and unique things to do in the city!

🗺️ Atlantic City Map