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What International Visitors Must See in AC
Atlantic City was a very popular resort created in the 1850s to restore health and improve well-being. Its name became synonymous with beaches, boardwalk and casinos – and soon lived up to its nickname: America’s Playground. America’s first hotel and first boardwalk came along and so did the visitors.
Now considered a popular business meeting and convention destination as well as an entertaining family vacation locale Atlantic City has something appealing to offer each and every visiting guest. Whether you’re from out of the country or simply out-of-town, you’ll find a plethora of pleasurable activities and sights in Atlantic City.
See something big – the world’s largest
: Lucy the Elephant
began her life in 1881 as an advertising gimmick – the six-story office of an enterprising young real estate salesman to attract potential customers to South Atlantic City (known as Margate). Take a tour and check out the views of the sights in Atlantic City from the howdah (carriage) of this National Historic Landmark. Tour prices: $8/adult, $4/child 3-12
And speaking of spectacular views, climb the 228-step spiral stairway to the top of the Absecon Lighthouse
located on the northern end of the city. Host of festivals, art exhibits and shows, the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey is the 3rd tallest in the US. Admission fee of $2 includes a museum tour; $7 for the privilege of climbing it.
Take at least one or more of these AC tours:
- Boardwalk Empire Tour of Atlantic City – Take yourself on a self-guided tour of the city to seek out popular landmarks that appear in the awarding-winning HBO series – and were actually frequented by the real Boardwalk Empire characters of the 1920s.
- Midmer Losh Pipe Organ in Boardwalk Hall –Designated the largest (and most powerful) pipe organ in the world by The Guinness Book of World Records, this ginormous musical treasure was recently restored to its pre-depression glory. Free noon concerts Monday-Friday can include a free 30-minute tour. Detailed specialty tours are also available with a suggested $20 donation.
- Check out these attractive Atlantic City group tour itineraries and take advantage of local companies with knowledgeable drivers and guides to enlighten you with Atlantic City history: Great American Trolley Tours and A1 Tours offer a variety of AC tours for sightseeing at Atlantic City historic attractions and popular landmarks.
Explore the Historic Boardwalk with a ride on a rolling chair. TripAdvisor reviewers recommend haggling loudly with the independent owner-chair pushers for the best rate and that older “pushers” seem more knowledgeable and willing to share that information.
Amuse yourself at the Steel Pier amusement park. Since 1898 this famous, family-oriented entertainment center attracted the top performers and novelty acts of the day – not to mention kids of all ages. Celebrating its 110th anniversary in 2008, the Steel Pier continues to operate as a fun seasonal amusement park albeit without big name performers, magicians and a diving horse!
One of the most incredible sights in Atlantic City is the nightly 3-D Light & Sound Show projected onto Boardwalk Hall, an 8½-minute story created with the latest video mapping technologies, surround sound and theatrical lighting. Several laser light shows can be seen throughout the year, including Boardwalk Beat, Duality, AC Dreamin’ and a holiday-themed one. Family friendly and Free!
And while the sights in Atlantic City are something special, don’t neglect your other senses, either. Be sure to grab a sweet souvenir with Atlantic City’s Salt water taffy – after all it was invented here in the 1880s. James ’Candy and Fralinger’s Salt Water Taffy are still making the popular sweet treat from original recipes and offer summer tours of the factory– for $2 admission, applicable to your first purchase.