40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer

From early-morning yoga to late-night pool parties, with surfing, wine tasting and shopping in between, activities in Atlantic City, NJ, go far beyond gaming.

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  • Courtesy of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority

    40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Climb to the top of Absecon Lighthouse.

  • Courtesy of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority

    40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Meet Mr. Peanut at the Atlantic City Historical Museum.

     

     

  • 40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: See the first two installations in the ARTLANTIC public art project.

  • 40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Go bargain hunting at Tanger Outlets–The Walk.

  • 40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Take a tour of the 1920s James’ Candy factory.

  • Photograph: Courtesy of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority

    40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Learn how to surf.

     

  • 40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Slurp local bivalves at Dock's Oyster House.

  • Photograph: Scott Frances

    40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Swim high above sea level at the Water Club.

  • Photograph: Courtesy of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority

    40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Meet Lucy the Elephant.

     

  • Photograph: Dale May

    40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Have a few laughs with Seth Meyers at Borgata.

  • Courtesy of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority

    40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Order an enormous sandwich at White House Sub Shop.

  • 40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Watch Miss America, Mallory Hagan, pass on the crown.

  • Photograph: Courtesy of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority

    40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Get your thrills at Steel Pier.

     

  • Photograph: courtesy Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority

    40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Watch sky-high stunts at the Atlantic City Airshow.

  • 40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Cheer on triathletes on the Boardwalk.

     

  • 40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: See Miss’d America, Sabel Scities.

     

  • 40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Catch the dazzling Fourth of July fireworks display.

     

  • Photograph: Courtesy of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority

    40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Ride in a rolling chair on the Boardwalk.

     

  • 40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Taste top chefs' creations at the A.C. Food & Wine Festival.

     

  • 40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Get down at Boogie Nights.

     

  • Beach and Steel Pier

    40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Have a beach day.

    Beach and Steel Pier

Courtesy of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority

40 things to do in Atlantic City, NJ, this summer: Climb to the top of Absecon Lighthouse.

21. Eat an enormous sandwich

For an old-school sammie, line up at the 67-year-old White House Sub Shop (2301 Arctic Ave at N Mississippi Ave; 609-345-1564, whitehousesubshop.net). At just under two feet long, the White House Special ($14.80) is laden with Italian cold cuts—Genoa salami, capocollo and cotechino—and provolone. Mike “the Butcher” Hauke offers a seasonally rotating menu of creative subs and pizzas at Tony Baloney’s (300 Oriental Ave at S Vermont Ave; 609-344-8669, tonyboloneys.com). His award-winning 20-inch Cheesesteak Olé  ($16), stuffed with sirloin marinated in ten Guadalajaran spices, is always on the menu. Which is the most-super hero? Try both and decide for yourself.

22. Welcome back Miss America

There she is…and she’s back in A.C. after an eight-year absence. In 1921, “beauty maids” representing eight Northeast cities competed in the first Miss America Pageant. The bathing suit–clad contestants were judged on their looks alone; a talent spot wasn’t added to the competition until 1935. These days the emphasis is on achievement as well as bikini hotness. For almost two weeks before the competition on Sept 15, A.C. will see a surge in immaculate blowouts and perfect teeth when 53 contestants are in town for preliminary competitions. On the day before the big night, they appear in themed finery (including decorated footwear) in the “Show Us Your Shoes Parade” on the Boardwalk. Former Miss Americas down the decades, from 1948’s BeBe Shopp to the current title holder, Mallory Hagan of Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, also participate. For info and tickets, visit missamerica.org.

23. Sample local wines

The countryside around Atlantic City has a rich legacy of wine making. Founded in the 1860s by a Rheims master vintner fleeing grape plague phylloxera, Renault Winery (72 North Bremen Ave, Egg Harbor City, NJ; 609-965-2111, renaultwinery.com) is one of the oldest wineries in the U.S. The list of more than 30 wines includes classics like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as more unusual specialties like the semisweet Blueberry Champagne ($16.99). On a 40-minute tour, which includes a tasting and souvenir glass, you can compare antique equipment (such as a manually operated corking machine) with contemporary facilities—time it right and you may even see grape-crushing or bottling in action. Yugoslavian wine maker Savo Balic purchased Chateau Balic (6623 Harding Hwy, Mays Landing, NJ; 609-625-2166, balicwinery.com) in the 1960s; it’s now run by his nephew Bojan Boskovic, who offers free tours of the vineyards and facility. Afterward, you’re welcome to taste as many of the winery’s 30-plus wines as you like, from the robust red Alexander the Great ($15.95) to the semisweet—and allegedly antioxidant—Pomegranate wine ($13.95), while snacking on free chocolate fondue.

24. Go dolphin-spotting

Jeff George, who has been running dolphin-watching cruises in Atlantic City for 16 years, has about a 95 percent success rate—and in the unlikely event you don’t see a flippered friend during the two-hour voyage, he’ll let you come back another time for free. George, a former education director for the Marine Mammal Stranding Center across Absecon Inlet in Brigantine, gets text tip-offs from local lifeguards and goes where dolphins are likely to congregate—around Margate and Ventnor until around mid-June; Brigantine Beach later in the summer. Cruises on the double-deck Cruisin 1 depart from Gardner’s Basin. atlanticcitycruises.com. Through May 29, Oct 2–19 Wed, Sat, Sun 1pm; June 1–Sept 29 daily 1pm. $34, seniors and students $29, children $18.

25. Get your thrills at Steel Pier

A.C.’s classic amusement pier looms large in the resort town’s mythology. Not only was it the  site of the controversial diving horse stunt (which saw the equines plunge into a pool from a height of 40 feet), some of the biggest stars of the 20th century performed there, from the Three Stooges to Frank Sinatra. Eight new rides are arriving this season, including adult bumper cars and the Turbo Twist, which rises to 48 feet and spins at 20rpm. Steel Pier is open weekends only until June 14, then daily through summer; see website for hours. steelpier.com. Tickets start at $1.

26. Marvel at massive sand sculptures

Not merely sand castles, the ephemeral masterpieces on the beach at Missouri Avenue during the World Championship of Sand Sculpting (June 13–30) sometimes resemble complete cities. Competitors from 17 countries tackle such subjects as city skylines, nudes and allegorical studies. Artists use large molds, similar to concrete forms, to compact wet sand; the blocks are stacked and carved using masonry tools and kitchen utensils to create detailed pieces that  reach heights of more than 12 feet. worldchampionshipofsandsculpting.com

27. See an Englishman in NJ

If you missed Sting’s 25th-anniversary gigs in NYC, here’s another chance to catch him on his Back to Bass tour at Borgata (June 14, 15). The veteran rocker will be reviving his back catalog in stripped-down form, accompanied by a five-piece band. theborgata.com/entertain

28. Keep your eyes on the skies

The Atlantic City Airshow has been a summer highlight for more than a decade, and the organizers of this aeronautic spectacle aren’t letting sequestration keep it down. While this year’s show won’t include military flights, there will be no shortage of sky-high stunts and exhilarating maneuvers on June 26. doatlanticcity.com

29. Catch a glimpse of the world’s fastest boats

If high-speed spectacles float your boat, watch an anticipated 40 craft compete at up to 170mph alongside Atlantic City Beach, from Revel to the Atlantic Club, in the Atlantic City Offshore Grand Prix on June 23. Try to nab a spot on Steel Pier or the end of the Pier Shops at Caesars for the best view. But don’t worry if the boats are a blur—for two days before the race, you can admire arriving craft in the “Race Village” outside the Golden Nugget. atlanticcityoffshoregrandprix.com

30. Cheer on triathletes

Around 2,000 fleet-footed athletes storm the Boardwalk during the Atlantic City International Triathlon on 
Sept 15 after swimming A.C.’s intercoastal waterway alongside Bader Field and biking on the expressway. If watching all that exertion makes you hungry, the event coincides with the Atlantic City Seafood Festival ($10), also in Bader Field. actriathlon.com


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