What do the words “Atlantic City” bring to mind today? Monopoly? Casinos? The Boardwalk? Back in the late 1800’s, Philadelphians taking the train into Atlantic City had only one thing on their minds: the beach. Atlantic City’s beach served as a place to recuperate from the stress and ills of daily city life. That still stands true today.
The Atlantic City beach, linked to the casinos, shops and streets by the world-famous Boardwalk, is the cheapest entertainment you can find in the city. The cost to feel the warm sand beneath your toes and the cool ocean breeze against your sun-kissed skin: FREE! That’s right, unlike other beaches along the Jersey Shore, there are no badges or entrance fees for Atlantic City. Atlantic City’s beaches are even equipped with handicap access ramps so everyone can enjoy the sand and surf.
The Atlantic City beach is not only known for having the first Boardwalk, it is also known for having the first paid, professional lifesaving squad in the world. The free beaches have lifeguards on duty throughout the summer season between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., so you can feel safe testing the Atlantic Ocean’s waves.
Sunbathing and people watching are always a favorite past time of beach goers. You can also practice your architectural skills by constructing sandcastles, lounge in a beach chair engaged in a good book or start up a volleyball or touch football game in the sand.
There are many other ways to stay active on the beach too. Walks along the waters edge, a light jog or maybe even a full-out run on either the Boardwalk or the beach can burn off those extra few pounds. There are even designated beaches for water sports. Surfers showing off their skills as well as their boards can be found on Crystal Beach at New Hampshire Avenue, Delaware Avenue Beach and Downtown Beach at Raleigh Avenue. Kayaking and windsurfing enthusiasts can bring their equipment down to Jackson Avenue beach and spend hours out on the water.
When planning a large group activity or party on the beach, a permit is required from the city of Atlantic City. Also, grilling on the beach is only permitted on the summer holidays of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.
The beach is not your only recreational option in Atlantic City. There are plenty of activities right on the Boardwalk as well. Many people in Atlantic City take advantage of the Boardwalk all year round with a great morning exercise routine. Between the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., the boards are open to bike riders. You can also find walkers and joggers taking advantage of the low traffic during those hours.
A little competition never hurt anyone, so why not compete in a little miniature golf tournament. Located at Kennedy Plaza, across from Boardwalk Hall, you can enjoy the ocean breeze and continue to concentrate on your game at AC Miniature Golf.
At Central Pier you can enjoy an array of arcade games, as well as go-carts and paint ball.
If you want to experience unusual and bizarre exhibits, stop into the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum.
A rolling chair ride or tram car ride on the Boardwalk will make you feel like royalty and will get you quickly to your next destination.
Atlantic City has definitely encouraged locals and visitors alike to visit the beach bars. Each summer, you can beach bar hop from noon until late night.
Bally's Bikini Beach Bar
Bally’s Atlantic City
Bungalow Beach Bar
Hard Rock Beach Bar
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
LandShark Bar and Grill
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at Resorts Atlantic City
Don’t forget about the Bay
Since Atlantic City is an island, (yes, that’s right, an island) it would be unfair to leave out what the bayside of Atlantic City has to offer.
Fishing is permitted on the jetties along Maine Avenue and the Boardwalk and also in the inlet off the Boardwalk. There is no fishing license required for these areas. If fishing off a boat out on the water sounds more interesting, there are many fishing and cruising charters at several city locations.