Beyond Casinos: Outdoor Adventure in Atlantic City
Atlantic City is known for its shimmering casinos, exciting nightlife and exquisite dining scene. These are the characteristics that often draw people here. But what may surprise you is the array of activities in Atlantic City that take place outside the casino doors. The coastal climate breeds adventure. Take a surf lesson or spend the day kayaking on the ocean or perfect your golf swing on one of the many award-winning golf courses. Step outside and embrace the many adventures you can have in Atlantic City.
Opened in 1857, the Absecon Lighthouse became a beacon for boats approaching the Jersey Shore. Today, it’s a treasured icon in Atlantic City and welcomes thousands of visitors every year. The 171-foot lighthouse is the tallest in New Jersey and the third tallest in the country. The Inlet Public/Private Association adopted the structure 25 years ago and completed a restoration of the whole 2-acre site. Visitors can enjoy a quiet stroll around the historic grounds, making a stop at the museum and gift shop to learn the story of the lighthouse. Guests seeking a challenge can climb the 228 steps to the top of the lighthouse, where they can take in gorgeous 360-views of the Jersey Shore and get a glimpse of the original 1854 First-Order Fresnel lens in the lantern. Groups looking for something a little more special can sign up for a private group tour, or take part in a Keeper Sleeper Overnight, which explores maritime history and the life of lighthouse keepers in the 1800s.
Atlantic City Cruises
What better way to take in the sites of Atlantic City than from the water? Enjoy a sightseeing adventure with Atlantic City Cruises aboard its flagship vessel, Cruisn’ 1. Start the day with a Morning Skyline Cruise, where you’ll take in the stunning panoramic views, while learning all about Atlantic City and it’s boardwalk. Or cap off the day with a Happy Hour Cruise that takes you through the marinas and back bays as you sip your favorite drink. Animal lovers definitely won’t want to miss the Dolphin Watching Adventure. Guests onboard will experience educational commentary from a marine naturalist as they watch dolphins frolic around the boat and leap into the air. If you love skyline views and the sea breeze, then this is the adventure for you.
Atlantic City Beaches
It wouldn’t be the Jersey Shore without a bustling beach to enjoy. Atlantic City’s beaches are famous for their non-stop activities, daily entertainment, and thrilling adventures. No matter what groups are looking to do, there’s something for everyone. Grab a spot on the sand and soak in the sunshine as you dive into a good book or spend your time people watching. If you want to venture into the water, there’s plenty to keep you busy. Great surfing can be found at Downtown Beach at Raleigh Avenue, Crystal Beach at New Hampshire Avenue or Delaware Avenue Beach. If kayaking or windsurfing are on your agenda, head to Jackson Avenue Beach for a fun day on the water. Cast your line in from any of the jetties located on Maine Avenue or the inlet off the boardwalk. Toast to a great day of sun and sand at one of Atlantic City’s great beach bars or open-air restaurants.
Steps away from the beach action is the legendary Atlantic City Boardwalk. Started in 1870, the Boardwalk has grown into a New Jersey—and an American—icon. When you walk along the wooden way, you’re not just taking a casual stroll, you’re heading down a historic path. The Boardwalk has survived over 100 years of battle scars, with people flocking to the famed promenade for years to take in the beautiful sea and dozens of stores and attractions. Stop at any of the confectionary shops for a box of salt water taffy, pick up a souvenir or two at a boutique shop, or refuel with some grub from one of the many eateries lining the Boardwalk. You could spend the better part of a day wandering on the Atlantic City Boardwalk and still not see everything it has to offer.
Opened in 1898, Steel Pier was one of the most popular spots for shows, concerts, exhibits and family entertainment. As a result, it became known as the Showplace of the Nation. Today, it’s still the center of entertainment for thousands of Atlantic City visitors. Located on the Boardwalk, the amusement park features over 20 thrill rides for guests of all ages. Take a ride on The Wheel, an observation wheel overlooking the city; or get your heart racing on The Slingshot, which will skyrocket you 225 feet in the air in just 1.5 seconds. Put your skills to the test at one of the many carnival games, from shoot hoops to squirt guns, and see if you can win one of the elusive prizes. The pier is the perfect place to connect with your inner child and experience an Atlantic City classic.
Time to work for your next meal. Highroller Fishing offers half-day sailing trips to the Back Bay for fishing, where you have the chance to catch fluke, striper, weakfish, blues and more. You’ll receive instruction from the crew, and spend the day bobbing your bait in sea, waiting for a bite. If you do catch something—and most people do—the crew offers a fish-cleaning service, so all you have to worry about is showing off your immaculate catch. There’s no better way to get out on the water and experience a favorite Atlantic City pastime