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.

31. Ogle gorgeous drag queens

Miss’d America gives “beauty queen” new meaning. This year, the fund-raising drag tribute to the Miss America Pageant will be held at House of Blues on Sept 21, the week after the real competition returns to A.C. Contestants range from gifted amateurs to professionals like D.C.’s 
Shi-Queeta-Lee. Though not every state is represented, the show has all the elements of the original: Contestants vie for the top in swimsuit, evening gown, talent and interview segments, and there are showstopping production numbers. Former Weather Girl Martha Wash performed in last year’s event. The organizers are hoping that Carson Kressley will host for a third time when current Miss’d America, New York’s Sabel Scities (Timothy Byars) passes on the crown. houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/atlanticcity

32. Sup on surf and turf at the marina

The A.C. chapter of the 30-strong upscale steak and seafood chain Chart House at Golden Nugget has a prime position overlooking the marina. Through the room-spanning wall of glass, you can gaze at the boats and the A.C. skyline beyond—the lights are magical at night. The menu includes creative fish dishes such as macadamia-crusted mahi ($33) and twists on classics like a new wave surf and turf (short ribs paired with seared scallops or mahi; $37). Or drop by during happy hour (Mon–Fri, Sun 4–7pm) and soak up the million-dollar view with $6 cocktails, $3–$4 bottled beers and $5–$7 appetizers.

33. Golf in the birthplace of the birdie

Greater Atlantic City has 16 championship golf courses, including the Atlantic City Country Club (1 Leo Fraser Dr, Northfield, NJ; 609-236-4411, accountryclub.com), which was named the No. 1 public course in the state by Golf Magazine. Established in 1897, it has the distinction of being the spot where the term “birdie” was coined a couple of years later, when a player referred to his one-under-par shot as a “bird”—the 19th-century equivalent of “awesome.” If you fancy getting closer to golf’s Scottish roots, most of the holes at McCullough’s Emerald Golf Links (3016 Ocean Heights Ave, Egg Harbor Township, NJ; 609-923-3900, mcculloughsgolf.com) are modeled after celebrated originals in the British Isles, such as diminutive green the Postage Stamp at Royal Troon and the famously tricky 14th hole at St. Andrews. The Seaview Golf Resort (401 New York Rd, Galloway, NJ; 609-748-7680, seaviewgolf.com) hosts the prestigious ShopRite LPGA Classic (May 27–June 2). For more information on local courses and to book golf packages, go to playacgolf.com.

34. Celebrate the Fourth of July with a bang

For one night of the year A.C.’s illuminated skyline gets some competition in the razzle-dazzle department. For details on 
the best places to view the pyrotechnics, see doatlanticcity.com—but the Boardwalk is bound to be a prime spot.

35. Roll along the Boardwalk

Rolling chairs—a sort of pedestrian version of a pedicab—have been a fixture on the Boardwalk since the 1880s; based on wheelchairs, they originally ferried around infirm visitors taking the sea air but they quickly caught on—by 1923, A.C. had more than 2,000 licensed chairs. They certainly come in handy if you need to get from one end of the four-mile strip to the other while you’re casino-hopping—especially if you’re wearing heels. The fare is $1 per block. If you prefer to power your own set of wheels, cycling is allowed from 6:30am to 10am, and you can rent bikes from B&K Bicycle Rentals (Boardwalk at S North Carolina Ave, 609-344-8008). Rates start at $8 for the first hour, plus $1 for each additional 15 minutes.

36. Knock one back in Margaritaville

An outpost of Jimmy Buffet’s tropical-island-themed franchise is poised to open this month on the beach across the Boardwalk from Resorts. Waste away with the titular cocktail in the tiki bar, or gaze at the surf over fish tacos and beer in the LandShark Bar & Grill, which features retractable walls.

37. Eat, drink and mingle at the A.C. Food & Wine Festival

Rub shoulders with Food Network chefs, watch culinary demos and taste to your heart’s content at this seaside gastronomic celebration. The four-day event (July 25–28) takes place at Caesars, Harrah’s Resort, Showboat and Bally’s. Sample a cornucopia of food and drink at the Grand Market, get your fill of ribs, brisket and craft beer at the Blues, Brews & BBQ, and enjoy cocktails and appetizers on the sand with Robert Irvine, the Neelys and Rocco DiSpirito at the Beach Soiree, among other events. acfoodandwine.com

38. Shake your moneymaker at Boogie Nights

Party like it’s 1979, or thereabouts, at Tropicana’s tribute to the clubs of the disco era. Channel Tony Manero on the illuminated dance floor under the massive mirrorball and catch performances by a rotating cast of pop-elgangers, from Madonna to Michael Jackson. If you’re a more private dancer, reserve one of the groovy themed lounges such as the Love Shack, complete with its own pole. boogienightsac.com

39. Set sail on the A.J. Meerwald

New Jersey’s official tall ship will be docked in Gardner’s Basin from Aug 1 to Aug 12, when it moves on to its next port of call, Cape May. The 1928 oyster schooner offers afternoon and evening sails most days. Bring a bottle and picnic onboard for the two-and-a-half-hour ocean voyage. Though you can buy tickets at the boat half an hour before the sail, it’s wise to book ahead at ajmeerwald.org.

40. Have a beach day

In between all these activities and events, don’t forget to enjoy the resort town’s best asset: the Atlantic Ocean. Take time to stroll along the Boardwalk, inhaling the salty air, or claim a patch of sand—beach access is free in A.C.


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