Best Ways to Enjoy Atlantic City Outside of the Casinos

Man Pointing With Thumb to Atlantic City Seal With a City Background

Atlantic City is a destination for 27 million people every year. Many of those tourists are gamblers making their way to one of Atlantic City’s fantastic casinos.

Even the most grizzled of casino gamblers occasionally need a break from the action, though. Fortunately, Atlantic City has plenty of fun to offer.

Here are the top seven ways to enjoy yourself outside of Atlantic City casinos.

Atlantic City Aquarium

The Atlantic City Aquarium is open seven days a week. So, you can get a break from the baccarat table nearly any day of the year.

Plus, admission won’t break your casino bankroll. Adults get in to see the fish for $10, and children (12 and under) are only $6. Little ones under the age of three are free.

The aquarium is definitely geared towards the younger demographic or at least the young at heart. You’ll find several interactive exhibits that will keep the kids engaged and excited.

While, technically, the aquarium isn’t the only place in Atlantic City where you can pet sharks. It’s highly recommended you stay away from the sharks that inhabit the Atlantic Ocean.

Atlantic City Aquarium

In fact, sharks aren’t the only hands-on exhibit at the aquarium. You can even touch living coral and pet stingrays as they glide over the sandy bottom of a shallow pool.

You won’t have to worry about paying for parking at the aquarium, and you’ll be in the middle of the hopping Gardner’s Basin.

Here you can find some great restaurants, shopping, and even ticket booths for water rides and boat tours of the harbor.

Don’t miss the Atlantic City Aquarium if you need a break from the casino or are traveling with kids.

Absecon Lighthouse

Reaching an impressive 171 feet into the air stands the historical Absecon Lighthouse. The lighthouse is the tallest in New Jersey and the third tallest in the United States.

The lighthouse has a beautiful museum inside, which gives a full history of the lighthouse and shipping in the area. This Atlantic City staple also hosts various events throughout the year.

These special events range from art exhibits to live shows. It’s best if you check ahead of time as they may impact the usual hours.

Most people come for the climb to the top of the lighthouse. The price to make the ascension for adults is $7, and for children is $4.

After climbing the 228 spiraled steps, you’ll be greeted by one of the finest 360-degree views in Atlantic City.

Absecon Lighthouse is a great way to get out of the casino and breathe some fresh ocean air high above the busy city street.

Lucy the Elephant

Don’t even visit Atlantic City if you aren’t going to go see Lucy the Elephant. This National Historic Landmark was erected in 1881 as a means of attracting homebuyers.

The 6-story Lucy weighs in at a cool 90 tons and has weathered everything the harsh North Atlantic has thrown at it. Although, as you can imagine, there have been numerous renovations over the years.

For over a century, guests have climbed Lucy to stand atop her and bask in all of her magnificence. Thanks to the recent push and designation as a National Landmark, visitors will be able to enjoy Lucy for decades to come.

Lucy the Elephant Atlantic City

Lucy will bring out the kid in even the grumpiest of visitors. It’s difficult to be mad when you’re standing face to face with a 6-story elephant.

Probably the coolest aspect of Lucy is the recent addition to the Airbnb portfolio. For only $138 per night, you can sleep in the belly of the massive beast.

You’ll have to get lucky to stay inside Lucy. The initial offering is minimal. However, the listing may see an extended offering in the future.

You won’t want to miss the opportunity to have a group photo taken at the Atlantic City attraction.

The Atlantic City Boardwalk

The Boardwalk is probably Atlantic City’s main attraction. The Boardwalk truly has something for everyone.

This 4-mile stretch of Americana has unique shops, lively bars, fresh seafood restaurants, and dozens of carnival-style games to play.

You may walk away from the Boardwalk with a giant bag full of saltwater taffy or a giant Teddy Bear for your special someone. Atlantic City is the largest producer of saltwater taffy in the world.

This massive entertainment venue is perched along the shoreline and has several piers that reach out into the ocean. Some of the piers are full of fisherman looking to get the freshest seafood available.

However, others are owned and operated by entertainment companies and offer an amusement park experience high above the crashing waves.

You may want to stick to the casinos after dark. The Boardwalk has some less desirable aspects late in the night when the bars begin to close.

Atlantic City Beach

The star attraction of Atlantic City is, without any question, the ocean. The Atlantic City Beach fills up during nice weather.

The water at the Atlantic City beach is perfect for body surfing. The small waves will also delight the kids as they jump into the pint-sized surf.

Adults may prefer to lounge under an umbrella in their favorite beach chair. The popular site offers some truly unique people watching.

Atlantic City Beach

The beach also provides the perfect setting for a relaxing stroll after hours on the casino floor. You can also rent kayaks nearby to paddle out and drop a line.

The piers are available to the beachgoers and make an excellent spot to grab a bite to eat or enjoy some cold beverages.

Best of all is that unlike many New Jersey beaches, the Atlantic City beach is completely free.

If you’re looking for activities that won’t dent your gambling budget, the beach is a great way to spend an afternoon. You can even spend your days at the beach and, after a shower, head down to the casino.

Storybook Land

Storybook Land is for the kids. However, it makes this list for the parents and grandparents.

If you’ve ever traveled with kids, you understand the importance of tiring them out. A day full of activities at this literary-inspired stop will have them in bed early.

When my wife and I travel with our siblings, we alternate nights of being on parenting duty. So, one couple will be in charge of the little ones for the night while the others are free to play.

Storybook Land is precisely the type of place my wife and I would choose on our day with the kids.

This 20-acre amusement park has small roller coasters and trains for the kids to ride. The entire park is based on favorite children’s books and fairy tales.

You can go to grandma’s house to avoid the big bad wolf or sit down for lunch at the Gingerbread House.

Admission for the park is $25, which’s an excellent bargain for the number of attractions. Be sure to check online for discounted tickets and specials.

The amusement park is 100% geared towards children, but the adults will appreciate the perfectly manicured gardens. At the very least, the smiles on the kid’s faces should be more than enough to make this stop a value.

Tanger Outlet Mall

Tanger Outlet Mall is located a few blocks from the Boardwalk and directly behind the Caesars and Bally casinos.

The shops are a great place to spend hours window shopping and browsing. The expansive shopping area has stores from retailers like Brooks Brothers and the Beef Jerky Outlet.

If you didn’t do well on the casino floor, there’s even a Dollar Tree outlet store. I’m not sure what’ll find at a dollar store outlet, but you can surely buy a lot of whatever they have.

Tanger Outlet Mall Atlantic City

While you’re here, you can do some Christmas shopping or spoil your loved ones with treats from Coach, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, and Polo.

In fact, the Atlantic City outlet mall has over 65 different retailers for you to browse. Indeed, you won’t have trouble finding the perfect gift for even the pickiest family members with so many choices.

The shops are obviously free to visit, but the shopping excursion will be much more fun with a pocket full of the casino’s money. So, take them for all you can.


The fabulous Atlantic City has plenty of things to do to keep gamblers entertained. However, it’s unhealthy to spend all of your time on the casino floor.

Give yourself a break and check out these top seven ways to enjoy Atlantic City outside the casino.