12 STEP PLANET: Atlantic City

The gambling mecca of the US east coast, Atlantic City is a perfectly-preserved monument to mid-twentieth century America, with it's world-famous boardwalk and endless sea, sand - and casinos.

Where exactly is it?

Atlantic City lies on the eastern coast of the United States, in New Jersey. The city is famous for its casino nightlife, lively boardwalk, and beautiful beaches.

How do I get there?

Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from Dublin to Atlantic City. Instead, fly to New York and take a bus, train, or rent a car for the remainder of the journey.

When should I go?

Summer is ideal. But you can still catch some of that gorgeous sunshine at the end of spring or beginning of autumn. The beaches can be crowded at weekends so, if you have the option, you might consider visiting Monday to Thursday.

Where should I stay?

If you want to live like you’re in Vegas, you can stay in a number of casinos along the boardwalk. The Borgata Hotel (1 Borgata Way, theborgata.com) and Caesars (2100 Pacific Ave, caesars.com/caesars-ac) would be your best bets for the classic casino and touristy Atlantic City experience. Keep in mind that the beaches right off the casinos are very crowded; if you stay at a casino, you’ll have to walk down the boardwalk for a clearer beach. There are a number of smaller lodgings such as The Carisbrooke Inn (105 S. Little Rock Ave, carisbrookeinn.com) and Come Wright Inn (5003 Ventnor Ave, comewrightinn.com). Some are technically in Ventnor City but they’re only a half-hour walk to the casinos along the boardwalk.

What language do they speak?

American-English. You’ll hear a variety of languages as you get closer to the casino area. You’re in a tourist hotspot!

What is the transport like?

The Jersey Shore has a railway system. If you have time, explore Ocean City or Wildwood; there are a number of beaches up and down the coast, each with its own “personality”. A minibus called a “Jitney” connects Atlantic City and nearby Ventnor City.

What’s the food like?

Atlantic City hosts a number of great seafood spots. Dock’s Oyster House (2405 Atlantic Ave, docksoysterhouse.com), Harry’s Oyster Bar & Seafood (1900 Pacific Ave, harrysoysterbar.com), and Chart House (644 Huron Ave, chart-house.com/locations/atlantic-city). The boardwalk is also a great place to pick up ice cream and water ice, fudge and salt water taffy. There’s nowhere better to gorge and lounge about then the beach! A local’s tip: if you are off the casino’s beach, a friendly man walks up and down the beach all day selling ice cream. You’ll hear his “ICE CREAM, ICE COLD ICE CREAM” chant from a block away!

What should I drink?

I’d definitely recommend Wet Willies (2801 Pacific Ave, The Quarter at Tropicana, wetwillies.com/Locations/Atlantic_City.html) which has a number of tropical, beach-themed frozen slushies. If craft brews are more up your alley, check out the Vagabond Kitchen and Tap House (672 N. Trenton Ave, vagabondac.com); it features a great atmosphere and the best local beers available.

What’s the nightlife like?

The casino nightlife is lively and has a reputation for being the “Gambling Capital of the East Coast”. If you don’t like to live it up at the casino, the boardwalk is active at night and filled with great restaurants. You can also find a number of great concerts and comedy shows, some right on the beach!

What are the touristy things to do?

Atlantic City has activities for the entire family. One of the best examples is Lucy the Elephant. Lucy is an pachyderm-shaped building (yes, you read that correctly). It has been used as restaurant, business office, tavern, and, most recently, tourist attraction. Guided tours run every day inside this enchanting and historic edifice. Lucy is down the coast, but well worth the pleasantly long walk or short drive.

Anything else?

There are a number of museums with a maritime theme: the Atlantic City Aquarium (800 North Hampshire Ave, acaquarium.com) and the Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum (120 W. Main St, Tuckerton, tuckertonseaport.org). Or, if you’re looking for a little more background on city itself, check out the Atlantic City Historical Museum (Garden Pier on S. New Jersey Ave, atlanticcityexperience.org). Lastly, the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum (ripleys.com/atlanticcity) is right on the boardwalk and a great stop-off for adults and children alike!

What should I bring home?

Shopaholics are catered for – especially those on the hunt for summer-themed clothes. This being a seaside resort, there are a huge variety of candy vendors from which to chose. Indulge your sweet tooth!

The local currency is the US Dollar.

Something to remember...

The original Monopoly board was inspired locations in and around Atlantic City.

Why should I go?

Atlantic City caters to all tastes and wallet sizes. Exciting or laid-back, family-oriented or not, there is something for everyone here.

By Shanah Sloane


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