The East Coast version of Las Vegas, Atlantic City is known for its white-sand beaches, exciting casinos, world-class spas, and high-end shopping.
Whether you wish to visit historical landmarks, walk the legendary Atlantic City Boardwalk, discover a museum with bizarre exhibits, or take your kids to the Atlantic City Aquarium, there is much to look forward to when visiting this fabulous seaside resort in New Jersey.
To help you decide where to go, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do in Atlantic City.
1 Steel Pier Amusement Park
Originally built in 1898, Steel Pier is one of Atlantic City’s most popular tourist attractions. This spectacular amusement park is located right on the boardwalk and extends out over 1,000 feet into the sea. If you are searching for a family-friendly activity while staying in the area, look no further than Steel Pier.
There are a variety of exhilarating rides for all ages, ranging from tiny train rides for the little ones to swing carousels and roller coasters suitable for older kids and adults.
Don’t miss the impressive Ferris wheel, which stands at a height of 227 feet and carries more than 200 passengers in gondolas. The amusement park is also home to adventurous rides like the Slingshot and the Flyer.
2 Atlantic City Boardwalk
One of the most iconic coastal walks in the US, the Atlantic City Boardwalk is a five-and-a-half-mile-long seafront promenade that stretches between Madison Avenue and Jackson Avenue. It is a perfect place to go for a pleasant stroll and enjoy breathtaking ocean views.
The boardwalk is packed with tourist attractions, from casinos and shops to world-class restaurants, bars, and amusements galore.
Travelers can hop on the city’s iconic electric tram, snap a photo in front of the Entrance to the Stars (the Atlantic City version of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame), or ride on the famous rolling chairs.
3 Atlantic City Casinos
There is no shortage of casinos in Atlantic City. More than just places to gamble, these casino resorts are home to live music venues, restaurants, bars, and relaxation spots. With most casinos open 24 hours a day, you can visit anytime to try your luck at card tables and slot machines.
Crowd favorites include places like Borgata, Tropicana, and Caesars. If you are visiting Borgata, check out their Old Homestead Steak House for mouthwatering steak and the Gypsy Bar for artisan cocktails.
4 Atlantic City Ballet
Culture vultures can book a ticket to one of the dance shows at the Atlantic City Ballet, where some of the world’s most talented dancers perform. Situated inside the Circus Maximus Theatre, the ballet school was opened back in 1982.
This highly respected ballet school hosts a wide range of shows including classics and original pieces. Some of the most popular shows include Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dracula, Swan Lake, and Nutcracker.
5 Atlantic City Aquarium
The Atlantic City Aquarium is a wonderful place to visit, especially if you are traveling with little ones. Open seven days a week, year-round, the aquarium features a variety of interactive exhibits showcasing marine life from all over the planet.
Step inside this beachfront aquarium to see everything from tropical fish and turtles to sand tiger sharks, stingrays, and iguanas. The tropical shark and stingray touch tanks are extremely popular with children.
Although this is a small aquarium, it’s very entertaining and has a bunch of cool hands-on interactive exhibits that are a blast for children and adults alike.
6 The Tanger Outlets
Shopaholics visiting Atlantic City are spoiled for choice. The city is home to a variety of shops, boutiques, and shopping centers, so the most difficult task is choosing where to go. That said, spending a few hours at the legendary Tanger Outlets, an open-air mall with more than 100 stores, is a must.
From big-name brands such as Adidas, Michael Kors, Hilfiger, H&M, and Calvin Klein to luxury clothing spots like Polo Ralph Lauren, there is something for everyone. In addition to stores, the Tanger Outlets is also home to several eateries.
7 Absecon Lighthouse
The most historical of all tourist attractions in Atlantic City, Absecon Lighthouse is a national landmark definitely worth visiting. Built in 1857 and standing 171 feet high, this black and white structure is actually the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey.
Visitors can climb the lighthouse right to the top to enjoy breathtaking views over the city and the Atlantic Ocean. Keep in mind there are 228 steps to the watch room.
Aside from views, the lighthouse often hosts art exhibits, shows, and festivals. On your way out, check out the gift shop to score fun lighthouse souvenirs.
8 Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Ripley’s Believe It or Not is one of the most unique tourist attractions in Atlantic City. This wild museum offers 12 galleries, each fitted with quirky crafts and amusing oddities from all over the world. Also known as the Odditorium, the museum is home to some seriously bizarre exhibits.
See everything from creepy shrunken heads to a spider made from scissors and knives. The museum also offers the Laser Maze Challenge, where visitors must crawl and navigate a unique maze without touching the surrounding laser beams.
Atlantic City is an amazing place to visit. From the picturesque seafront boardwalk and family-friendly tourist attractions to casinos and historical sites, the city truly offers something for everyone. If you’ve never been and are considering visiting, you definitely won’t regret it!