The Ferris Wheel is a must-visit attraction in this The Ultimate Guide to Atlantic City
Atlantic City is one of those places that Europeans rarely consider visiting when travelling to the USA. We’re often more attracted to the sights and sounds of New York, the glamour of LA, or the excitement of Las Vegas. But there’s so much to New Jersey city that it’s a genuine contender for any US destination bucket list.
Yes, believe it or not, Atlantic City is so much more than Boardwalk Empire or Jersey Shore (thank goodness for that!)
The Ultimate Guide to Atlantic City
Whether it’s poker at one of the many casinos or thrilling rides on the Steel Pier, here are just a few of the best things to do in a place known as America’s Playground.
Walk the boardwalk
It might sound like the most boring thing to do, as there are boardwalks in many coastal towns and cities across the world. But in Atlantic City it’s just different. For starters, the boardwalk is an incredible four miles long stroll, so you can spend some serious time exploring it.
There’s a real feeling of history about the boardwalk and you can’t help but feel that you’re in a Hollywood movie as you stroll along chewing on some local saltwater taffy. There are stalls selling food and gifts and if you walk to the end, you’ll find the Steel Pier, but more on that later.
Play at the Casinos
Ask anyone in the States to name a good city for a poker trip and most will tell you to hit Las Vegas. But did you know that Atlantic City is just as popular with residents on the east coast? It’s called America’s Playground for a reason. After all, there are nine fully operational casinos in this relatively small city.
There may not be as many here as in Vegas, but they’re just as much fun to play in as their Sin City counterparts. They’re opulent, glitzy, and have pretty much every game you could hope to find on the casino floor, so you’re guaranteed a fun night out.
While slot machines and games like roulette and even blackjack are easy to pick up, poker is a different matter entirely. The game is quite popular in local casinos, and New Jersey even has a thriving online poker industry. In fact, one of the best ways to learn the rules and pick up the various intricacies of the game is to play a little online poker before you hit the casinos. There are quite a few poker platforms to choose from, but the one that has the strongest connection to Atlantic City is probably 888 poker online. The brand has a very strong presence in the city, with New Jersey being its US base of operations.
Take in a live act
Atlantic City plays host to some amazing live acts. It’s often a stop for international acts such as Janet Jackson, Maroon 5, and Bon Jovi. In the past, the casinos hosted some of the most famous singers in the world like Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, and the one and only Elvis Presley. You can even see his Rolls Royce at the city’s Hard Rock Casino!
The city is also home to a lively comedy scene, and live shows abound on any day of the week. Most of the bigger stand-ups will perform at the casinos, but you can also find great laughs at the local comedy clubs too.
But the best thing about live acts in Atlantic City is the price of the tickets. Concert tickets often sell for half the price of what you’d find in the nearby New York City. So, if you’re hoping to catch a relatively cheap gig on your trip, then Atlantic City is an absolute must.
Hit the carnival
The Steel Pier comes alive at night!
Here we’re talking about the most iconic of US amusement arcades and fairs — The Steel Pier. If the boardwalk made you feel like you were in a movie, then wait till you hit the Steel Pier. It’s the quintessential US carnival with everything that you could hope to find and more.
One of the best things to do is to take a fifteen-minute ride on the pier’s Ferris Wheel, locally known as The Wheel. It’s $10 well-spent as you can get some great holiday snaps of the city and the Atlantic Ocean.
The rides on the pier are pretty wild. There’s a Locomotion Roller Coaster, Slingshot, the Freedom Flyer, and Monster Plunge, which looks every bit as terrifying as it sounds. There’s so much to do that you could easily spend an entire day here. It’s usually open from noon to midnight at the weekends, but you might want before you go as times can change depending on the season.
An honourable mention goes to Atlantic City Beach, where you can catch some rays or even a swim in the ocean. Be careful though, at the waves can get a little high from time to time. Then there are the many restaurants in the city that cover a truly diverse range of cuisines. And we haven’t even mentioned the helicopter rides, sand dune buggies, or the iconic Lucy the Elephant. Yes, it’s safe to say that if you take a trip to Atlantic City, boredom certainly won’t be an issue. You only need to make sure you’ve downloaded all the requisite travel apps and booked a nice stay for yourself, and you’re on your way to explore a true American vintage-vibe legend of a city.