Atlantic City in New Jersey is one of those strange places that is not known for one thing but several things and all of these things coexist in a harmony that most people would expect, and most places wouldn’t tolerate. If you’re headed to Atlantic City for a Weekend Getaway you’re in for a real treat because there are so many things to do that you can narrow your weekend down to one genre of activities or move around and skip from activity to activity.
Gambling Getaway in Atlantic City
Atlantic City’s popularity has waxed and waned throughout the years and in the 1970s it was at one of its low points. Some ingenious city leaders watched their city crumble as Las Vegas thrived and a new idea was born, gambling in Atlantic City Vegas-Style. In 1976 the citizens of New Jersey approved gambling and the first casino opened in 1978 to very lackluster enthusiasm. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Atlantic City seems to really find its groove and now has finally established itself as an exciting destination, due in part to the incredible casino/hotels that have cropped up. Some Atlantic City hotels to consider are The Atlantic City Hilton, Bally’s Atlantic City, The Borgata, Caesar’s Atlantic City, Harrah’s Atlantic City, Resorts Atlantic City, Showboat, Tropicana, Trump Marina, Trump Plaza, and Trump Taj Mahal to choose from its no wonder that people are more interested in turning these resort/casinos into destinations in themselves. Each hotel features the full range from headline entertainment, a complete range of table games and slots, themed attractions, and lavish accommodations with top notch spas, restaurants and nightclubs.
Beach and Boardwalk Getaway in Atlantic City
The beachside location of Atlantic City made it an obvious tourist destination and prime real estate but the problem was there was a lot of marshland between that strip of land and the rest of the state. In 1854 the city was incorporated and train service began. The first boardwalk wasn’t far behind and cropped up in 1870. The boardwalk was originally designed to help the luxury hotels along the beach keep sand from traveling into their lobbies on the souls of their guests. The combination of two boardwalks along the Jersey shore which connect together total 5.75 miles and are the world’s longest boardwalk. Along the boardwalk you’ll now find hotels, themed piers, casinos, shops, an art center and historical museum. But of course the best thing that lines the boardwalk in Atlantic City is the Atlantic Ocean and the beach. Atlantic City has some of the best beaches around with soft white sand that stretches up to 100 feet wide. The beaches are groomed regularly to keep them soft and supple, the descent into the water is gradual and there are almost not serious drop offs, and once you get about 50 feet from the water’s edge there is a nice sandbar to relax and play on. This makes the surf rather tame, which isn’t too great for surfers but awesome for swimmers and families.
Golf Getaway in Atlantic City
Atlantic City has no shortage of golf courses and golf resorts and it’s a great place for a vacation because the seasonal weather is very hospitable and the landscape is uniquely challenging. The courses to choose from include Atlantic City Country Club a part of Harrah’s Resort, Twisted Dune, Harbor Pines Golf Course, Blue Heron Pines, The Links at Brigantine Beach, Mays Landing Golf Club and about 25 more courses in the immediate vicinity of Atlantic City. It’s almost impossible imagine all the golfing opportunities in Atlantic City and the variety of courses and challenges offered. Look for a golf package to get the best deal and give you the variety you are looking for.
Historic and Cultural Getaway in Atlantic City
Atlantic City is full of historic and cultural spots that can excite the mind as well as the eye. The city has a lot to offer if you know where to look. One of your first stops should be the boardwalk which is very famous and historical but it’s not as exciting as where it leads you. Follow the boardwalk to Garden Pier which was opened in 1913 and was considered a very upscale destination at the time with theaters and ballrooms. Now the Garden Pier is home to the Atlantic City Art Center and the Atlantic City Historic Museum. The Absecon Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey and one of the oldest in the country. You can walk up all 228 steps of the lighthouse and at the top in addition to the breathtaking views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean you can see the first order Fresnel Lens which was originally lit in 1857. In addition the lighthouse has gone through a multimillion dollar restoration which includes a replica of the light keeper’s dwelling, an educational museum, a gift shop and the grounds. There is also the Atlantic City Aquarium, Noyes Museum of Art, and the famed Lucy the Elephant.
Cheap Getaway in Atlantic City
And for those people looking for a cheap vacation packed with deals, Atlantic City has some great options that can easily fill a getaway weekend. The beaches in Atlantic City are totally free so there’s a day of fun there without any expense at all. The noted Atlantic City Historical Museum and the AC Arts Center are both free and have free parking. There is also the AC Free Public Library which isn’t very exciting for vacationers but their free concert series at Kennedy Plaza sure is. There are also free outdoor concerts at Bally’s Casino. Another exciting event is The Show at the Showboat Casino which is a Mardi Gras parade that takes place four times daily. Every hour there is The Water Show at the end of The Pier Shops, a nice relaxing break in between shopping. Absecon Lighthouse and museum is free although there is a small charge to climb to the top.
Atlantic City is a great place to spend a weekend getaway no matter what you like to do, but for the best experience, try to taste a little of everything the city has to offer.
Photo credit: StangGT