Atlantic City Beach

Miles of golden sands await you in New Jersey’s premier stretch of beach. Eat, drink and relax, then get ready to do it all again the next day.

Get off the boardwalk in Atlantic City and discover what brought visitors to this east coast spot originally: the beaches. The main city beach attracts most of the tourists, with its wide stretch of golden sands, while locals head to beaches slightly out of town, such as Wildwood (which has a ’50s kitsch feel and an abandoned casino) or Sea Isle City Beach (which is good for bird spotting). In August, the city beach hosts Beachfest, with family-friendly concerts and movies on the sand in front of Bally’s Casino. Every weekend in summer, music, beer and film festivals pop up like the sandcastles on the beach.

Don’t want to get sand in your pants? In the summer months, locals hit the hotel pools and their sundecks for MTV-style pool parties. Harrah’s Resort is weekend party central, with hot tubs, VIP cabanas and more frozen drinks than you can slurp up in a season. Kick back amongst the tropical plants and discover Atlantic City’s party spirit. Another Atlantic City institution is the ritual of Sunday brunch.

Arrived in America’s Playground on a rainy day? No problem. There’s an IMAX and an aquarium to amuse kids of all ages. If you like your amusement parks old school, you’ll fall for Atlantic City, as there’s less new tech and more an embrace of old-fashioned funfairs. Steel Pier has 25 stomach-dropping rides, while Storybook Land has been entertaining kids for 60 years with more gentle amusements.

For a sense of Atlantic City’s cultural side, visit the Noyes Arts Garage where you can watch artists at work, peruse exhibitions and relax at the on-site café. Consider buying an original artwork here; there’s no better souvenir to remember your time in Atlantic City.