What Everyone Should Know When Visiting Atlantic City

Woman Pulling a Suitcase With an Atlantic City Background

1 – The Best Time to Visit is March Through August

Because New Jersey is in the north the weather turns cool in the Fall and stays that way until Spring. Visitors best enjoy Atlantic City’s beautiful beaches and outdoor views when the weather is warm and friendly.

Of course the summer months are the busiest time of the year because all the kids are out of school and families plan their vacations around summer months.

City travel guides usually recommend that people who want to avoid the crowds visit earlier in the year, during the March through May early season.

If you’re looking for discounts on hotels and airfares then wait until after Labor Day. September is still a warm month and you’ll miss a lot of the crowds.

2 – There are 9 Casinos to Explore in Atlantic City

While It’s true there were once many more casinos in New Jersey’s gambling Mecca you’ll still find more choices than in most cities that host gambling resorts.

These are the casinos you can still visit:

If you play blackjack know that the casinos cannot ask advantage players to leave if they are caught counting cards. So they use 8-deck autoshuffling shoes. Card counting doesn’t work there. But they may offer better rules than Las Vegas to attract players who favor basic strategy.

Most of the roulette tables are single zero games – which is better than you’ll find in the majority of Las Vegas casinos.

The Borgata owns the largest of Atlantic City’s poker rooms but the Golden Nugget still offers 10 tables if you’re looking for a game.

Don’t expect to gamble online (legally) with the New Jersey casinos. Only state residents are allowed to play at the legal online casinos.

As in Vegas, it’s customary to tip anyone who provides you with personal service including baggage handlers, bar tenders, dealers, drivers, and restaurant and cocktail serves. Tips are usually in the $1-$3 range or no more than 10-20% gratuities.

3 – How to Reach Atlantic City by Land and Air

Philadelphia is just over 60 miles east of Atlantic City and it has the nearest large airport.

Travelers who want to fly directly to Atlantic City International Airport will have to book tickets on Spirit Airlines or charter a plane.

Spirit Airlines flies to most major eastern US cities and many cities in the Caribbean and South America. The majority of Spirit Airlines’ flights require a connection but they offer direct flights to and from Atlanta, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Nashville, New Orleans, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Tampa.

You’ll want to check online flight booking services to find the best route for you to reach Atlantic City by air.

Busy Boardwalk in Atlantic City

If you’re traveling by road then Interstate 76 enters Philadelphia from the west and Interstate 95 is the north-south corridor. Most drivers take state highway 42, the Atlantic City Expressway, from Philadelphia to Atlantic City. I-76 leads right to the expressway.

Travelers staying in Philadelphia can pay about $10 for a 90-minute train ride to Atlantic City. Free shuttles pick up train passengers and ferry them to and from the casinos.

Greyhound offers bus service from New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Locals tell people that parking can be expensive in Atlantic City. They recommend commuting by train if you stay in Philadelphia. The trip is scenic.

If you take a bus instead, print the ticket and take to customer service at the first casino you visit. Some of the coach companies have special arrangements with casinos. You may qualify for a voucher for slot games.

4 – Average Temperatures and Weather in Atlantic City

If you visit during the Spring expect temperatures to be in the 50s through 60s. That’s a little cool for swimming but there are still some warm, sunny days.

June is the driest month during the tourist season. September and October are also usually fairly dry. Other months average between 3 and 4 inches of rain.

5 – Peak Tourist Season Occurs in July and August

In other words, these are the months when the hotels are most expensive. If you must visit during either month you’ll find that prices are usually highest in August.

June and September are moderately priced compared to the peak months but still more expensive than the March through May Spring season.

6 – There Are Shows in Atlantic City

Although it’s smaller than most cities in America, Atlantic City boasts some high quality entertainment for a community of its size.

Selections are modest and some shows are seasonal.

Some of the famous acts you should look for include Julio Iglesias, Kool & the Gang, Rick Springfield and Richard Marx, Taylor Dayne, touring comedians, and various local artists.

7 – Plan Ahead

There are dozens of ways to save money and enhance you trip to Atlantic City. If you’re planning to go clubbing then register for their guest lists online in advance. You may save a lot of money on cover charges that way.

Did you know Atlantic City has great surfing waves for the east coast?

Groups may save money by renting a limo rather than taking taxi cabs.

Atlantic City casinos still have indoor smoking areas. If you prefer to avoid the smoke be prepared to ask directions for the non-smoking play areas.

In addition to gaming you’ll find shopping opportunities, including a Tangier Outlet Mall. While Atlantic City may not be legendary for its shopping choices it’s not a typical small town.

Hotel in Atlantic City

Family-friendly entertainment includes the art museum, Atlantic City Aquarium, Playground Pier and the Boardwalk, the beaches, Absecon Lighthouse, and local shows. The Atlantic City Ballet performs the Nutcracker every December so you’ll usually even find something in the off-season.

Among the more bizarre things to beware of are the seagulls. These aggressive birds are not shy about seizing food from your hand or that you drop. While things aren’t like an Alfred Hitchcock movie, keep an eye out for things falling from the sky and dress appropriately.

You should also expect to see pan handlers and other people plying their trades on the streets. It’s best to avoid them. Travelers report some of them can be quite rude but most visitors to Atlantic City report a safe, enjoyable experience.

Conclusion

There aren’t many small cities in the USA that draw such large crowds of visitors. Atlantic City history is unique because it was built for tourism almost from the start. You’ll hear a few stories while you’re there, to be sure.

The city attracts conventions, gambling tournaments, and other major events. Don’t expect a big city experience in a small town. Instead, expect an unusual small town experience in one of America’s oldest tourist destinations.

Travel and hospitality have defined Atlantic City for nearly 200 years. It’s worth visiting at least once. And if you take your kids you can introduce them to the city that inspired the board game of Monopoly.