Several times I have been told by someone that there spouse or friend won't come to Atlantic City (AC) because there is nothing to do if they don't gamble. There is so much to do in Atlantic City and its environs, that I decided to write an article to spell it all out.
Atlantic City has 11 casino resorts, with eight on the Boardwalk and three in the Marina District. All are open 24 hours a day. Besides the casinos, Atlantic City is probably most famous for its four miles of boardwalk, with free access to the clean beach. "Boardwalk Rollers" are chairs pushed by attendants walking behind them for those too hot or too tired to walk. Prices are by the block, and are posted inside the chair, and are somewhat negotiable. The boardwalk is also lined with shops, restaurants, and fast food store fronts.
Summer brings beach bars with live entertainment and food at Trump Plaza, Bally's, and the AC Hilton. Beach chairs and umbrellas can be rented on the beach. There are restaurants with outdoor seating for people watching. There is horseback riding on the beach, and surf lessons from June to October. There are also concerts, comedy shows, live theatre, dance clubs, ultra lounges, and spas at various casino and non-casino venues. There is a mini golf course on the boardwalk opposite the convention hall, as well as several golf courses in the area. The Steel Pier has rides and games, as well as scenic helicopter rides. There is also an arcade with NASCAR go-carts. Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum is on the boardwalk with thirteen themed exhibits.
Trump Taj Mahal currently has "Bodies..." The Exhibition," an amazing exhibit which has authentic human bodies preserved to show the organs and inner workings of all the human systems. (There are similar exhibits in other cities in the U.S.)
Enjoy the Atlantic Ocean by taking a cruise for dolphin watching and sightseeing; deep water fishing; speed boat, canoe, and kayak rentals. There are bike rentals (near Resorts and Tropicana), and bike riding is permitted on the boardwalk between 6:30am and 10:30am daily.
There is high tech and luxury shopping at the Pier Shops opposite Caesars, with restaurants and a music water show at the end of the pier. The Quarter at the Tropicana has shopping, entertainment, and restaurants. Spice Road at Trump Taj Mahal has jewelry, florals, gifts, and clothing. The Walk is an outlet shopping area with restaurants and entertainment just off Atlantic Avenue.
The Atlantic City Aquarium has a new tropical rain forest; daily feedings at the shark and ray touch tank; a live diver feeding show; an exotic animal show; and interactive exhibits. The Atlantic City Historical Museum at the north end of the boardwalk is a little gem with vintage photographs depicting the history of Atlantic City, local artifacts, and video presentations.
There is a shuttle from the Atlantic City airport, and taxis are available at all the casinos. Thirteen passenger mini buses called Jitneys travel around the city 24 hours a day, and cost only $2.00. The Harrah's and Trump properties also have shuttles to and from their properties.
OFF THE BOARDWALK:
In Margate (5 miles south) is "Lucy the Elephant," an elephant shaped building constructed in 1882 as a real estate promotion. Today it is a tourist attraction, six stories high, weighing 90 tons. She can be climbed via stairs inside the legs, which lead to a "Howdah", an Indian chair, for viewing the beach and the ocean. Inside Lucy, there is a small museum and a video depicting the history of the famous elephant.
Historic Smithville (12 miles northwest) has late 18th Century buildings arranged along cobblestone streets. There are shops, restaurants, a train, a carousel, and paddle boats.
Wildwood (45 minutes southwest) has an almost 2 mile boardwalk with three amusement piers and two beachfront water parks.
Cape May has quaint Victorian architecture, a cobblestone pedestrian mall, trolley tours, and a winery with tours. There are also other wineries in the Atlantic County area that offer tastings and tours. There are seafood festivals in various towns during the summer.
So please encourage spouses and friends to accompany you to Atlantic City. There is a lot to keep them busy, and even in the Spring and Fall, there is an even climate and lots to do. There is a weekly Atlantic City Newsletter which can be obtained on-line to see what is going on.