ATLANTIC CITY: Cheap Hotels in Atlantic City
Just an hour from "Philly", on America's eastern Seaboard, is this favorite gambling seaside resort town. Boasting glitzy casino hotels and large chain hotels with great prices, Atlantic City has all the top drawer services, facilities, decor and dining you might need.
When to visit based on priceYour best time of year to visit Atlantic City, and realize savings on hotel rates and airfare is between September and November. You should also be rewarded with fewer vacationers and less crowds. Keep in mind that for travelers who are only interested in the Casino’s, these can be busy all year long,
Key AttractionsWhen one thinks of Atlantic City, thoughts immediately go to the Boardwalk, Casino’s and the beaches. The Boardwalk was created back in 1870’s, and it’s 4 miles of wood and two iconic piers contain bars, shops, restaurants and amusement parks. This is an excellent environment to take a long walk while enjoying that bag of salt-water toffee.
You’ve probably never heard of Lucy the Margate Elephant, but you might want to visit her. Located around five miles out of town, this six-story elephant was built in 1881 to attract homebuyers. Today you can climb up to the platform on her back for awesome views of Atlantic Beach. If you tour her belly, you’ll be in what was once a “secret beer garden” back during Prohibition.
No doubt your want to visit a casino or two while in Atlantic City, for sure Caesars Palace and the shops. However, there’s one very special and top attraction here in Atlantic City, and that’s Wild Wild West Casino located in Bally’s. This is especially true for the younger crowds, because the music is always good and bars are lively, and usually full. As per the name, it’s a western theme here, right down to the ladies outfits.
Having FunThere’s plenty of fun for all ages in Atlantic City, with its casino action, shows, amusement park rides, and of course the beaches and watersports.
ShoppingYou will find the Pier Shops at Caesars to your liking if you won large on the gaming tables. Names like Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and Burberry are found here and more is your funds can survive. If you are more budget minded, or had a not so fulfilling gambling experience, the Atlantic City Outlets are a great place for good bargains too.
NearbyYour close enough for a day trip to the “City of Brotherly Love”, Philadelphia. Here you can check out the crack in the “Liberty Bell”, Visit their excellent Philadelphia Zoo and get up close with a Snow Leopard and more. Check out some of the foods that make this city famous, like Soul Food, and more. If you really want to see Philadelphia, see it from the air. The Zoobaloon is a helium-filled balloon with a gondola that holds up to 30 guests. It takes you 400 ft above the ground for spectacular viewing of the city.
Another destination for a day trip off the boardwalk is Historic Smithville, which for those who didn’t get their fill of shopping the malls can fulfill fantasies. These shops are small boutique shops, making you feel you are back in the 1800’s.
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Flagship All-Suites, a fantaSea ResortYou’ll love the family friendly atmosphere of this luxurious resort and the excellent amenities that it has to offer – right in the center of the exciting Atlantic City action....ViewRooms from$62.00
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Local expert's tips
Atlantic City, N.J., still a great summer destination
As you walk the famous boardwalk, you can almost feel yourself being transported back in time, to women in hoop skirts, men in pinstripe suits and spats, and children scooting a ball along the boardwalk with a stick. There are stores and shops along the boardwalk to grab a pop or reminder of your visit. Still today, it’s an awesome “people watching” location, however, keep in mind, the ladies enjoy a lot less in swimsuits these days.
You can grab a big bushy cone of cotton candy or a snow cone, or the most iconic experience on the boardwalk, Fralinger’s! Fralinger’s Salt Water Taffy has been sticking to teeth for over a century on the boardwalk, with over sixteen flavors. In fact, Atlantic City is the birthplace of salt-water taffy.
Depending on the weather, how warm it is, or how tired you are from a night of gambling, we have a super option available to you. The Boardwalk Tram not only gives you a tour of the shops and restaurants, but also an excellent view of the Atlantic Ocean. And speaking of the beach, the white sands should be calling your name. You can spread a blanket for some sun and dipping, or get yourself a cabana for a little shade. Summers find the beaches pretty packed, but fear not, there’s enough water for everyone.
For young and old, and especially is you are a family vacationing with young children, there’s the famous Steel Pier. The pier is the perfect place to cure all that extra excitement and energy, with carnival rides, Ferris wheel, roller coaster and much more. For Mom and Dad, the perfect place if kids are older, and can be on their own, to grab a burger and beer or two.
When most people start their planning of an Atlantic City vacation, they know it will and should include some gambling, like of course, blackjack, poker and the roulette tables. And then there are the video bandits to scoop up your nickels, dimes and quarters. If I can give you any advice on gambling in Atlantic City or Vegas, it’s to budget ahead of your trip, how much you plan to gamble with, and potentially loose. Mack a pact with each other not to use your debit card to extend your budget, because everyone gets that feeling they are almost to a big jackpot. The casinos win every day with this belief.
Both Bally’s and Caesars casino are available directly off the boardwalk, available for food and a $5 bet!
If you want to get out of the sun for a family outing, a visit to the Atlantic City Aquarium could be in order. It’s a great way to spend 2-3 hours, especially for little kids. Although its not massive like some aquariums, this one has lots of interaction for youngsters, including touching stingrays, sharks and other marine life. The area surrounding the Aquarium is a key destination for lunch, with many great restaurants nearby. You can also get onboard a cruise around the harbor right off the dock.
Adults may be interested in doing a little shopping while on the boardwalk, so jump off for a bit at the Playground Pier. Shop in Tiffany, Gucci and Armani and more over the ocean. Whether in the mood to buy or just window shop, you can enjoy fine dining and adult entertainment after dark.
Enjoy the time of your life in Atlantic City this year
If you want to experience the entire boardwalk, along with great views of the ocean, but not by foot, there’s always the Boardwalk Tram for you. These are cool looking, with great padded seats, open-air trams that are more like streetcars. For only $2.25 per person, you get a self-guided tour with piped in tour guide giving the history of the boardwalk.
Of course, weather depending, there’s nothing quite like relaxing on the beach, under a colorful beach umbrella, smelling suntan lotion and watching the bathers. In warmer weather, the ocean temps are quite nice and relaxing, so bring your suit. Of course there are oceanfront bar/restaurants so you can enjoy a cocktail or two, and still feel like you are on the beach.
The other main attraction on the Boardwalk of course is the Steel Pier, with its certainly a draw to those vacationers traveling with children, young and old. Mom and Dad, you to can re-experience those days when you too were young, screaming on the Ferris wheel or roller coaster. Trust us, your chances of winning something at the carnival games is much greater than at the gambling tables. And what could be better, and cheaper than grabbing a burger and cold beer for lunch or dinner, and then tempting fate with an after dark ride on the lit up Ferris wheel? Really? For those who really want challenging rides, you might take a look at the Slingshot, for a thrill or two.
If you are looking for a great restaurant with a view for dinner, look no further than the Steel Pier Pub or Ocean Reef Bar & Grill. Both offer excellent food at not so bad prices, and the best views of the waterfront. Another fairly in-expensive place to eat, and super experience for the kids is Johnny Rockets. All-American food, burgers, hot dogs, fries, cheese steak sandwiches, and of course milkshakes. They feature “period tunes” and terrific “kids meal” choices.
Adults, not to be left out, the new and exciting “Playground” is at your pleasure, located where the Pier Shops were at Caesars on the Boardwalk. This is where you can find well over 90,000 square feet of dining and entertainment. Music features inspiration from Austin Texas and Nashville, Tennessee. Although there are many pubs and dance clubs, my favorites are The Monkey Bar and 39N. Check it out!
So when you get tired of the boardwalk, gambling, people watching and eating, we have another exciting adventure for you.
Take an Atlantic City Cruise and enjoy the Bottlenose Dolphins while you get the best look at Atlantic City, and of course, some fantastic selfies. If you want to feel the ocean breezes in your hair, the outer deck is for you, open and spacy. The main deck is fully enclosed, and that’s where the cocktails and snacks are located. There are different tours available, like the morning sunrise, daily Dolphin Watch, and a special for adults, Evening Happy Hour Tour, if you have not already partied enough on shore.
Tips for a great Fall Atlantic City vacation
Recent years have seen a switch from entertainment as a main draw to the area, to popular music concerts, championship boxing and other interesting events. That being said, the history and inside stories of this historic city via local tours can be a blast.
There’s an awesome tour available called the “Welcome Tour of Atlantic City”, that will take you on an extensive tour and point out where to visit in the 17+ square miles of fun. You even get to ride and learn on the historic Absecon Island.
After running of the popular TV series. Boardwalk Empire about the gangster background of Atlantic City, wouldn’t a walking history tour be exciting? You will certainly enjoy the Historic Atlantic City Boardwalk Tour, and over 45 points of interest since it’s building in 1870. Professional guides narrate the goings on, back when organized crime ran rampant, seedy nightclubs and moonshine were abundant and speakeasy clubs ruled the world of play. One of the best parts of this tour besides gaining knowledge is you get to chew on authentic Atlantic City Boardwalk salt water taffy.
If you are like me and obsessively interested in the Prohibition Era and gangsters, there’s another popular tour for you. The Beach, Boardwalk & Bosses Tour is all about the “golden age of the boardwalk, and its bosses. This is more an adult tour, with lunch at The Irish Pub, which was once one of the popular “speakeasies”.
Staying with the theme of the historic past, one of the most popular shows is performed at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, The Burlesque Show. It’s a tribute to the golden age of burlesque back in the 1940’s, featuring stars from around the world.
So lets talk about your dining experiences for a bit. One of the most popular places to grab a meal and a cocktail and maybe a t-shirt is the famous Hard Rock Café. The only issue with this exciting choice is there is almost always a line and long wait.
But you can actually go to the head of the line with “priority seating “online, by just searching and paying via Google search. For like about $23 you get a prefix meal and just add cocktails, and no wait time.
The person watching in Atlantic City is almost better than a ball game, especially in the casinos. If you aren’t really a gambler, or want to learn a new game or two, that’s the best way to learn, by watching others loose their money, so you won’t.
Any time of the year is a good time to take a stroll or pack a picnic lunch and head to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. The well-manicured gardens and numerous endangered birds can help calm you down after maybe a hard night at the gaming tables. And while you are out and about, take a climb up the iconic Absecon Lighthouse, and get a selfie of yourself and the city below.
Experience the past and present “Boardwalk Empire” in Atlantic City, and walk away with cash still in your wallet!
Money Saving Tip #1: Trump Taj Mahal might not be the cheapest place to stay, but the buffet is well worth a look.
Interesting fact: In 1921 the very first Miss America Competition was held in Atlantic City.
If your searching for hotels just off the boardwalk, you might want to search the Margate or Ventnor areas close by for your hotel. It’s almost a guarantee that you’ll find better room rates there, and it’s still a short drive of taxi to the boardwalk and casinos.
As far as what time of year is best to visit Atlantic City, fall is when rates will fall at the hotels along with the temperatures. If indoor sports and attractions is the name of your game, this time is best. You can plan on saving some bucks on rooms during winter months also, and other than the holidays, crowds will be gone with the sun too.
If you can make it happen, being here during the week and not weekends will offer you better access to restaurants, shows and gaming tables. Remember, for East Coasters especially from New York, this is an easy weekend destination.
Casino Hot Tip:
Casinos in Atlantic City are just as aware as they are in Las Vegas, to the fact that the more you consume alcohol, the more you are likely to spend gambling. That being said, when actively gambling is when you want to grab a cocktail waitress and order a drink, because it’s free. Just don’t forget her tip!
Dining in Atlantic City can be a challenge to your wallet, so here are a few tips on where to eat, eats well, and save some money.
There are plenty of buffet’s to choose from, but if you want the best at a good cost to you, check out the buffet at the bigger more exclusive hotel/casinos like Trump Taj Mahal or Caesars Palace. You think we are talking big bucks here? That’s a matter of opinion, and depends on price and what quality food you are willing to eat. These hotels serve high quality food on their buffet table, usually overseen by their Executive Chef.
If you don’t want the buffet line, and want to avoid the high dollar casino restaurants there is another excellent choice for a meal or two, Pizza! There are many small pizza stands on the boardwalk, and though not as eye appealing as Roberts Steakhouse in Trump Taj Mahal, the pizza is excellent! Remember, those who frequent Atlantic City come from New York and Philadelphia, two towns that know pizza.
Money Savings Tip #2:
For traveling up and down the Atlantic City Boardwalk, there are trams available to you. Keep in mind that they are slow with frequent stops. An inexpensive alternative is the bus service that runs up and down Atlantic Avenue.
If you’re looking to see other attractions in Atlantic City that don’t require lots of cash and a table, there are some. Who doesn’t appreciate a good old historic lighthouse? Absecon Lighthouse is New Jersey’s oldest lighthouse, constructed back in 1855. You get to climb its 228 steps to the top for a very small fee, and it offers a nice view of Atlantic City.
You might also want to experience some of what the old days were like in 1920’s Atlantic City. Although the Ritz Carlton Hotel where the real Nucky Thompson from the Boardwalk Empire Series lived on it’s top floor is a now condo’s, you might want to check out the lobby. You can actually see the custom wood grand staircase that leads up to the original elevators surrounded by custom wood panel walls. It’s quite impressive, illuminates the mind, brings you back in time, and its free.
A visit to the Knife & Fork Inn located on the boardwalk, established back in 1912, has been renovated and restored to its old splendor. They advertise, “Nucky ate here, shouldn’t you”? Actually that’s a fact, the original sheriff, Nucky Thompson did eat there, and you might want to also. During Prohibition years, Nucky and his buddies Mayor Riddle and Commodore Keuhnle not only ate but also sipped their illegal “bootleg whiskey” here. It’s a nice place to experience some history, and maybe a burger and beer, and a lot cheaper than many places on the boardwalk.
Interesting fact: Lucy the Elephant is older than the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower.
A visit to Lucy the Elephant, the six-story historical landmark was constructed back in the late 1880’s is interesting and a sweet photo op. Believed to have been used to hang different color lights to warn smugglers if ok to bring in the booze or hang until the law was gone. And as you are right there, you might as well step next door to the oldest business on the boardwalk, James’ Salt Water Taffy established in 1880. This was also featured in the HBO series, and you can take a factory tour as well as a box of very first ever Atlantic City Boardwalk souvenir.