There’s Always Something To Do In Atlantic City, Not Just On Holidays Or During Summer

Written By Stephanie Loder on September 19, 2023
the beach is lit up by the ferris wheel on the steel pier in atlantic city, which features year-round activities for any kind of visitor

Atlantic City is a fun city to visit any time of the year. Whether it’s a casino show, a stroll on the historic Boardwalk or nightlife and disco dancing, there is always something to do somewhere around town.

While New Jersey is known for great beaches, there are also world-class restaurants, epic nightlife and exciting casino action.

So, it’s not just the summer warm weather, boardwalk beachfront and the scenic Atlantic Ocean that brings visitors to the South Jersey shore. Rather, it is a selection of restaurants, entertainment and oceanfront New Jersey casinos that appeal to anyone at any time.

Besides enjoying NJ gambling at the famous Atlantic City casinos, there’s plenty more to do all year.

1) Nightlife activities abound no matter the time of year

The night brings endless possibilities in Atlantic City.

DJs, dancing, music and drinks are on the agenda all night, every night. The best clubs in Atlantic City keep the party going from sundown to late at night. You’ll find a different atmosphere at each, so you can always move from spot to spot throughout the night.

When planning your big night out, be sure to look into Atlantic City’s best clubs be sure to check out:

  • 10 North Lounge
  • 5 O’clock Somewhere Bar
  • AC Jokes Comedy Club

Also don’t forget about Anchor Rock Club, an independent live music venue in Atlantic City located just off the boardwalk

2) Atlantic City Ballet provides an artistic entertainment outlet

For 31 years, the Atlantic City Ballet has been at the forefront of dance and is considered to be the premier ballet company in this area.

Founded in 1982, the AC Ballet serves as a prime artistic resource to the residents of Atlantic City and the surrounding areas and the company is comprised of professional dancers from around the world.

Look forward to upcoming performances such as Pops Repertoire in September, Dracula in October and It’s a Shore Holiday in November. Of course, there’s also the Nutcracker in December followed by Swan Lake, La Sylphide and Coppelia all coming in 2024.

3) Climb your way up Absecon Lighthouse

If you want to take your AC visit to new heights, visit New Jersey’s tallest and the country’s third-tallest lighthouse.

In 1993, the Inlet Public/Private Association adopted the Absecon Lighthouse as a symbol of the rebirth of the Inlet section of town. The restoration of the lighthouse was completed in 1999, followed by the reconstruction of the Keeper’s Dwelling in 2001. The third and final phase, the restoration of the two-acre site was completed in 2003.

Visitors can stroll the property, visit the Keeper’s Cottage museum and gift shop, and climb the 228 steps to the top of the lighthouse. (If Gov. Phil Murphy did it in 2022, so can you.)

Keepers are on duty and share with visitors the magnificent 360-degree view of the Jersey shore, and the magnificent 1854 First-Order Fresnel lens in the lantern above. (Now a dog-friendly destination, with water bowls, frisbees and leashed dogs are allowed in the museum.)

4) Rev up the action with indoor racing

The Lucky Snake arcade offers an indoor racing facility with an 875-linear-foot, state-of-the-art indoor electric go-kart track located inside with quality OTL super leggero go-karts imported from Italy that can move up to 50 mph.

The indoor entertainment arcade also is the home of the world’s largest crane game, a classic lineup of pinball machines, and VR games. With over 300 games, it’s the largest arcade on the East Coast. Showboat Hotel 801 Boardwalk.

5) Steel Pier with an array of rides and food

Atlantic City’s oldest theme park, the Steel Pier offers food and rides, including a helicopter at the end of the pier.

The views from the Observation Wheel on the 125-year-old Steel Pier are about as good as it gets. And we’re guessing you can’t get a better view than from a gondola. It’s a good chance to capture keepsake images from high above the Boardwalk.

The wheel is 227 feet tall, features 40 temperature-controlled gondolas that can hold six passengers and is illuminated at night with 14,500 lights.

6) It should all sound familiar at the Orange Loop

Just steps off the AC Boardwalk – the Loop name comes from the world-famous board game, Monopoly – you’ll land on three blocks of one-of-a-kind stores and restaurants:

  • Coffee at Hayday Coffee
  • Yoga at Leadership Studio
  • Live music at Cardinal
  • Cuzzie’s Pizzeria Kitchen
  • Bars including The Irish Pub, Bar 32 Chocolate & Cocktails, Rhythm & Spirits, and The Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall

The Orange Loop includes the beach blocks of New York Avenue, St. James Place and Tennessee Avenue.

7) Island Water Park with one-of-a-kind experience

The Island Water Park, which opened in summer 2023, is located at Showboat and is the largest year-round indoor beachfront waterpark in the nation. The park features 11 slides, a surf simulator and nightlife entertainment.

They also lure guests with 35% off your Showboat Hotel room located steps from the waterpark and $10 off admission to the waterpark on 801 Boardwalk.

8) An eye-opening show from Hook at Caesars

“The Hook” show by Spiegelworld at Caesars Atlantic City is Atlantic City’s first permanent entertainment residency, which opened this summer.

The entertainment takes center stage with mind-blowing contortionists and jaw-dropping acrobatics.

It is a brilliant blend of circus, cabaret, comedy and interactive performance. VIP packages are available, and folks are encouraged to come in groups for shows that start Wednesdays and conclude Sundays.

9) Gardner’s Basin

Gardner’s Basin is a more subdued trip in the Inlet section of AC, away from people walking the Boardwalk or sitting on the beach.

The location on the back bay offers views of Brigantine, as well as Borgata, Harrah’s and Golden Nugget casinos across from the state marina and Coast Guard station.

Weather permitting, fishing and sightseeing cruises head out through the Inlet throughout the day.

10) And, of course, the restaurant scene

Satisfy the foodie in you while visiting AC. From pizza to hoagies, from seaside seafood to gourmet restaurant from a celebrity chef, there are unlimited best places to eat in Atlantic City.

  • White House Subs: White House is an iconic Jersey Shore spot that serves some of the biggest and most satisfying hoagies outside of Philadelphia. White House also has a location inside the Hard Rock Hotel.
  • Tony Boloney’s: All we can say is sure to get the Taco Taco Taco Pizza.
  • Tony’s Baltimore Grill: Opened in 1927, it’s what you get when you combine old-school charm with a new-school twist. They offer pizza, pastas, fried shrimp and meatball parms that hit the spot when a craving for red sauce Italian hits.
  • Angeline: Michael Symon finds the sweet spot between red sauce comfort and regional Italian dishes at Angeline inside the Borgata. At the stylish restaurant, named for the celebrity chef’s mother, start with baked clams or arancini and then move on to the shareable Sunday supper (available anytime), which is straight out of South Philly with meatballs, cavatelli, sausage and peppers.
  • Council Oak: Inside the Hard Rock Hotel, the Council Oak is a go-to for an upscale dinner of, well, steaks and seafood. The seafood tower is as deluxe and over-the-top as the Atlantic City experience.
  • Dock’s Oyster House: Since 1897, Dock’s has been shucking East Coast oysters and frying up seafood samplers to serve with classic cocktail and tartar sauces. Frank Dougherty, the fourth-generation co-owner of Dock’s, also owns Atlantic City’s historic Knife & Fork Inn and Dougherty’s Steak House & Raw Bar, a more recent addition inside Resorts Casino Hotel.
  • Chef Vola’s: Once you secure a table, a timeless world of red sauce goodness reveals itself. Linguini with clams and a plate-sized veal parm come with family-style chopped salads and garlicky sides of broccoli rabe at this BYOB.
  • Knife and Fork Inn: The iconic Tudor facade has been welcoming visitors to Atlantic City since the seafood and chop house opened in 1912. The retro lineup includes the likes of lobster thermidor and steaks served Oscar-style with lump crab, béarnaise sauce and asparagus.
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Stephanie Loder

Stephanie Loder is a freelance writer for PlayNJ. She provides coverage of New Jersey's Atlantic City casinos while also focusing on the beach, boardwalk, and special gaming events. Prior to writing for PlayNJ, she covered Atlantic City government, breaking news, and casinos for The Press of Atlantic City in Pleasantville, N.J.

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