You may think of Atlantic City, New Jersey as a gambling destination but there is plenty for families to do on a vacation there too.
Our visit was in partnership with Visit Atlantic City. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.
I’m sharing more about adventures around Atlantic City that are fun for the whole family.
Stroll along the World Famous Atlantic City Boardwalk
The Atlantic City Boardwalk is the oldest and longest boardwalk in the world. You’ll find something to do along the boardwalk day or night.
The original boardwalk dates back to 1870. It’s 5.5 miles long with lots of shops, restaurants, casinos, hotels, and attractions along the way.
If you get tired of walking on the Boardwalk you can catch a ride on the Boardwalk Tram Service. Or try a rolling chair. The rates are charged by the amount of time traveled or the block and don’t include the tip.
I would definitely recommend walking the Boardwalk at different times of the day because the energy is so different.
Enjoy Amusement Rides at the Steel Pier
1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City
The Steel Pier has a range of rides that will appeal to anyone from toddlers to teens and beyond.
How to Save Money on Steel Pier Admission
For the best value, try to visit on Rockin’ Wristband Thursday for Unlimited Rides from 1pm-6pm – $30.00
(Pricing is accurate at the time of this article- check the Steel Pier website for pricing before you go)
*The Ferris wheel requires additional tickets.
There are 20+rides and attractions on the pier with a variety of thrill levels for all comfort levels.
Our favorite rides were the bumper cars that we rode at least 10 times and the Crazy Mouse.
None of us were feeling crazy enough to ride the “Mix” that takes you straight up into the air and upside down.
Relax at the Beach
Of course, you can’t be this close to the ocean and not spend time at the beach!
Atlantic City has miles of shoreline perfect for swimming or relaxing on the beach.
Beach access from the Boardwalk is easy to find and we decided to enter from the access bearing my home state of Kentucky’s street name.
Area Attractions in Gardner’s Basin
Atlantic City Parasail (Gardner’s Basin)
If you want to add some adventure to your visit, I highly recommend an adventure with Atlantic City Parasail.
You’ll need to arrive 20 minutes prior to your scheduled departure so that you have time to fill out waivers, etc.
I would also recommend scheduling your adventure ahead of time if you have a preferred time slot.
The photo package from Atlantic City Parasail is definitely worth it because we had lots of images and footage from our ride which was great.
The expressions that she got on our faces were PRICELESS.
My husband is not really a heights guy which shows on his face. He did end up enjoying his experience once he trusted the equipment.
You can reach heights around 450 feet in the air which gives you a birdseye view of the skyline and the ocean.
We also requested that our boys get a dip…because we could…and they needed it.
So, of course, they requested that we got dipped in the water during our turn.
If you are debating parasailing, it’s very safe and your ascent and descent are very gradual to and from the platform of the boat.
If heights aren’t your thing you can visit the Atlantic City Aquarium or enjoy a Dolphin Watch Adventure from Atlantic City Cruises while you are in the area.
Rent a Wave Runner
1501 N Albany Ave, Atlantic City, NJ
If you are feeling the need for speed, Waverunner rentals of AC has you covered. You can opt for a full or half-hour Yamaha Wave Runner rental.
Before your ride, you will watch a safety video and a licensed instructor will then lead you to the course on the back bay. The instructor is out on the water with you the whole time so that you stay safe.
My boys LOVED riding on the wave runners!
10am-1pm are the most ideal times with the best riding conditions of the day and you can make advanced reservations online.
Bring Home a Deal from Tanger Outlets
2014 Baltic Ave, Atlantic City, NJ
If you are looking for a great deal on some of your favorite brands, you will want to check out the Tanger Outlets in Atlantic City.
I normally don’t think that outlet prices are much better than the regular stores but everyone in my family found crazy good deals during our visit.
Our best finds of the day were at the Nike and the Addidas store with prices that were WAY over half off of regular retail.
You can find additional savings and parking perks if you are a TangerClub member.
Parking at Tanger Outlet
Make sure that you park in the Tanger Outlet official lot (Wave parking garage- 170 N Mississippi Ave Atlantic City) and you can get your parking validated for $4 if you spend over $50 in purchases that day. You have to bring your receipts and wave parking ticket to Shopper Service located at 2014 Baltic Ave.
We learned the hard way that the Cabelas parking is not part of that outlet deal and you need to show a receipt from Cabelas to be validated for that lot.
Great Places to Eat in Atlantic City
Atlantic City has several family-friendly places to eat while you are in town.
201 S New York Ave, Atlantic City, NJ
If you have a love for Cajun food and BBQ you will definitely want to plan a meal at Bourre!
We opted to dine outside because the weather was great and the boys wanted to play cornhole while we waited for our food which makes it very family-friendly.
We ordered the Cajun fries as an appetizer, Red Snapper, Wings, Mac and cheese and the Swamp pasta and EVERYONE was very happy and FULL.
Back Bay Ale House (Gardner’s Basin)
800 N New Hampshire Ave, Atlantic City, NJ
Located steps away from AC parasail and the NC Aquarium, Back Bay Ale House is a great place to enjoy lunch with seating options inside and out.
I highly recommend the Jamaican Jerk Combo with two Caribbean pork shanks, 1/2 pound of Jerk wings, and a skewer of JuJu shrimp and the shrimp tacos with JuJu sauce (you need to try that sauce!)
Sugar Factory located in Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
1000 Boardwalk Ave, Atlantic City, NJ
Home of the craziest milkshakes I’ve seen!
The Sugar Factory is a popular restaurant for celebrity sightings and you can feel like one too by taking a picture in front of the giant candy dots at the entrance.
The portions are LARGE and the menu is creative.
We ordered the Waffle breakfast burger, South Beach flair (a burger with fried plantain on it- it works in the best way), Chicken Alfredo, and the Blue Cheese Bacon Burger.
Our desserts were the campfire S’more, Cookie Monster Make a Wish, Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookie sandwich, and the cookie jar.
The Oreo sandwich even had an Oreo baked into the chocolate chip cookie!
If you decide to purchase some of your favorite candies when you leave, remember that you pay by the pound.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the Courtyard By Marriott Atlantic City located at 1212 Pacific Ave, Atlantic City, NJ.
The hotel was located a short walking distance (1 block from Margaritaville) from the Boardwalk.
For breakfast, the Courtyard Bistro offers delicious options.
You can find deals on area hotels here.
We enjoyed our first visit to Atlantic City. You can find more information on the area from the Visit Atlantic City website.
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