Deciding where to stay in Atlantic City is one of the most important aspects of planning your trip. Between the different areas, resorts, and hotels in Atlantic City, there are a lot of options and not one size fits all.
As a New Jersey resident for over 30 years, I’m here to help you decide on the best place to stay in Atlantic City. Whether you’re in town to hit the casinos, check out the boardwalk attractions, visit some museums, or dive into the history of the area, there is a great place to stay for you.
And while you’re here, bookmark my guide to the 27 best things to do in Atlantic City for some ideas on how to get the most out of your trip.
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- Best Places to Stay in Atlantic City
- 3 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Atlantic City
- Tips for Staying in Atlantic City
- FAQs About Where to Stay in Atlantic City
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Best Places to Stay in Atlantic City
Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Atlantic City? Here are my top picks:
- 🏆 Best Overall Hotel – Club Wyndham Skyline Tower
- ✨ Best Luxury Hotel – Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
- 👪 Best for Families – Resorts Casino Hotel Atlantic City
- 👔 Best for Business – Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center
- 🛎️ Best Boutique – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
- ⛱️ Best Near Atlantic City Beach – Ocean Casino Resort
- 💵 Best Budget – FantaSea Resorts
Now let’s dive a little deeper into the best areas and neighborhoods in Atlantic City:
3 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Atlantic City
Depending on the neighborhood, Atlantic City is both a bustling metropolitan area and a seaside resort town.
The boardwalk area, which runs for four miles along the sea, is where you’ll find large resorts, casinos, shopping, an amusement park, long stretches of beach, and more. Heading inland will lead you to the downtown area with plenty of shopping and restaurants. Meanwhile, the Marina is another great seaside neighborhood that’s a little on the quieter side.
Essentially, where you decide to stay depends on what you’re trying to get out of your visit to Atlantic City. Here are three of Atlantic City’s most popular areas to stay in.
Atlantic City Boardwalk
The Atlantic City Boardwalk is where you’ll find most of the action. It boasts some of the best and most popular hotels and casinos in Atlantic City, such as the Resorts Casino Hotel and the music-themed Hard Rock Hotel.
You’ll also find a wide array of amazing restaurants that serve cuisine from all over the world. Make sure to stop into one of the many bars and lounges to have a drink and relax.
The Boardwalk section is where you’ll also find popular landmarks like the Steel Pier Amusement Park, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Of course, it’s also home to its namesake, the iconic Atlantic City Boardwalk, which is both the oldest and longest boardwalk of its kind on the planet.
Pros of Staying on the Boardwalk:
- You’re close to all the action
- The beaches are close by
- Iconic boardwalk with plenty of attractions
Cons of Staying on the Boardwalk:
- It can get crowded during peak season
- Hotels here can be expensive
📚 Boardwalk Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Fun & Entertainment
- ✨ Best Hotels – Ocean Casino Resort • Club Wyndham Skyline Tower • Resorts Hotel Casino Atlantic City
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – Carmine’s Italian Restaurant ($$$), Amada ($$), Casa Taco & Tequila Bar ($$)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – The Biergarten, American Craft Beer Joint & Eatery, Bally’s Beach Bar
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – Atlantic City Boardwalk, Steel Pier Amusement Park, Central Pier Arcade & Speedway
The Marina district is located further north of the iconic Boardwalk. It surrounds its namesake, the State Marina, and hosts some other popular Atlantic City hotels such as the Borgata and Harrah’s Resort.
If you’re staying here, but still want to enjoy some of that Boardwalk action, then you’re in luck. The Marina district is just a short 5 – 6 minute drive from the Boardwalk area. This area is more suited for you if want to enjoy the quieter side of town – you’ll get a little more peace without sacrificing proximity to the action, but only when you want it.
Pros of Staying in the Marina District:
- Short drive to the boardwalk
- Slightly quieter than the main Boardwalk area
- Great waterfront views
Cons of Staying in the Marina District:
- Not walking distance to the Boardwalk
- Not as many attractions
📚 Marina District Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for a Calmer Scene
- ✨ Best Hotels – Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa • Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City • The Water Club
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse ($$$), Chart House ($$$), Sirens Bar & Grill ($$)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – Back Bay Ale House, Borgata Beer Garden, Eden Lounge
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – The Borgata, Frank S. Farley State Marina, Atlantic City Cruises
A little further inland from the Boardwalk, but away from the Marina, you have the downtown neighborhood. This is where to stay in Atlantic City if you want to be close to the popular Tanger Outlets and the Walk. Locals and shoppers frequent this area.
It has a host of both chain and independent restaurants, although the only hotel here is the Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center. Because of this, visitors tend to stay in hotels closer to the Boardwalk. This area is great for shopping, or if you’re attending an event at the nearby Atlantic City Convention Center.
Pros of Staying Downtown:
- Close to Shopping
- Nice selection of restaurants to choose from
Cons of Staying Downtown:
- Not much to do besides shopping
- Not many hotels – most are close to the Boardwalk
📚 Downtown Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Shopping
- ✨ Best Hotels – Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel • Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino • Caesar’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse ($$$), Vegans Are Us Atlantic City ($$), Applebees Grill & Bar ($$)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – Tun Tavern Restaurant & Brewery, Wingcraft Kitchen & Beer Bar
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – Tanger Outlets, Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City Boat Show
Tips for Staying in Atlantic City
Be Mindful of When You Book
Booking hotel stays in Atlantic City can be pricey – especially during peak season in Atlantic City. Try to book your stay as far in advance as possible, and avoid the weekends if you can. Rates over the weekend can get up double or more than on weekdays.
📚 Related Reading: The Best Time to Visit New Jersey (A Local’s Guide)
As with any bustling metropolitan area, thieves and other nefarious folk do lurk. This is especially the case after dark and in remote areas of Atlantic City. Always keep valuables like your wallet close to your body and secure. Be mindful of your surroundings as well.
For more details on safety in Atlantic City, see my guide to “is Atlantic City safe?”
Watch Out For the Seagulls
I can tell you from personal experience – seagulls in Atlantic City are bold. As tempting as it may be to toss a fry towards a strolling seagull on the beach, don’t do it! They will miraculously summon all their friends and chase you down.
I’m not kidding when I say that they’ll snatch food and even other items right from your hands.
📚 Related Reading: 21 Best New Jersey Beaches (By a Local)
Enjoy Free Drinks
If you’re going to gamble at one of Atlantic City’s many casinos, then take advantage of the free drinks. As long as you’re gambling, drinks are on the house. But please, do drink responsibly.
Bring Your Walking Shoes
Atlantic City is home to a lot of awesome things to do. Those things, however, aren’t always close together. Especially if you’re enjoying a day at The Walk, Atlantic City’s outdoor mall, you’ll want to wear comfortable shoes.
Savor the Seafood
As with most seaside resort towns, fresh fish and seafood are caught locally. As a result, Atlantic City serves a multitude of the freshest seafood around. Take advantage of that by ordering yourself a big plate of fresh seafood.
📚 Related Reading: Where to Stay in New Jersey (Best Areas, By a Local)
FAQs About Where to Stay in Atlantic City
What is the nicest part of Atlantic City?
The Boardwalk is the nicest and most popular area to stay in Atlantic City. It has many well-known hotels and the iconic four-mile-long Boardwalk.
Is Atlantic City worth visiting?
Atlantic City is worth visiting. Atlantic City is home to popular casinos, world-class dining, and great live entertainment.
What is the main strip in Atlantic City?
The main strip in Atlantic City is the Atlantic City Boardwalk. This is where you’ll find most of the main hotels, resorts, casinos, and beach areas.
No matter what area you choose to stay in, you’re sure to enjoy your visit to lively Atlantic City. Looking for other places in NJ to pay a visit? Then check out 17 of the best places to visit in New Jersey for some great ideas!
I hope I’ve helped you figure out where to stay in Atlantic City. Now get planning what to do!
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