Atlantic City + The Jersey Shore

Things to do in Atlantic City + The Jersey Shore

Whether you’re a beach bum or a night owl, there’s always something to do in Atlantic City. The boardwalk was the first ever built, put up over a century ago by local business owners who wanted to prevent sand from being tracked onto their properties. Walk the stretch for entertainment, gambling, and ice cream. Lucy the Margate elephant is a phenomenon unique to AC. The beachfront mascot was constructed in 1881 to attract land buyers to the area. Since then it has been used as a hotel, a beach cottage, a private mansion, and a tavern (when she was almost destroyed by rowdy patrons). Now, Lucy is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places and is open for tours by the public. Comedy Club is Atlantic City's most popular place for standup-- great to unwind after taking chances while gambling. Afterwards, check out the indoor theme park at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino, Tivoli Pier. Stop in at the Blue Martini, one of Atlantic City’s boardwalk lounges, or drop by the Atlantic City Historical Museum for a look into AC’s quirky past.

Stop by this tourism center to grab a free map for a Doo-Wop Preservation Tour of Wildwoods’ wildest neon-lit 1950’s architecture.

You'll find well-priced industrial-modern pieces at this excellent furniture boutique.

Just when you think this beach couldn't possibly get more retro - not an iPod or cell phone in sight - a clean shaven Wally Cleaver look-alike drives up in his vintage 1960's Good Humor ice cream truck. $5 day passes can be purchased from the tag-checkers who roam the shoreline.

Shore punks flock to this bowling alley for rock shows and a friendly bar.

A Riviera-style private beach club lures peace-seeking fashionistas with trendy drinks, open-air lounges, and serviced cabanas by the sea. When the sun fades, the DJ starts spinning.

Specializing in a mix of contemporary designers and disco-era vintage.

A shop packed to the rafters with driftwood sculptures and seashells.

About 30 miles up the coast from Atlantic City, Long Beach Island is a narrow strip of sand just two blocks wide and 20 miles long that's linked to the Jersey mainland by a narrow causeway. There's only one route on and off the island, which gets backed up for miles on weekends.

Take one of the excellent guided birding walks at Cape May Point, on the Delaware Bay.

One of the best-preserved Victorian districts in America, with crape myrtles sprouting from sidewalks and American-flag bunting hanging from impeccable gingerbread porches laden with rockers and wicker furniture, Cape May is the nation's first seaside resort and southernmost point in New Jersey.