15+ Things to Do in Atlantic City NJ On A Romantic Getaway

Atlantic City, often dubbed “America’s Playground” on the Jersey Shore, is a destination that offers a plethora of activities beyond its well-known casinos and boardwalk. This guide is your key to unlocking all the exciting things to do in Atlantic City, whether you’re an adventure seeker, a food enthusiast, or just looking to relax on the beach. Let’s dive into the multitude of options that await you.

Once upon a time, Atlantic City was the “place to be” on the East Coast, with what was called “the most historic pedestrian promenade in the world.” Top bands and stars appeared here. Sun worshippers flocked to the Boardwalk and the wide, clean beaches.

Ocean Ave Beach Entrance Atlantic City NJ
Ocean Ave Beach Entrance Atlantic City NJ

Bert Parks sang “There She Is, Miss America” as a newly crowned beauty sashayed down the catwalk. Even the astounding Diving Horses had their moment of fame (before the ASPCA completely harnessed that breathtaking act). Atlantic City became tarnished by corruption and got even seedier when the casinos moved in during the late 1970’s.

Running on Margate City Beach near Atlantic City NJ
Running on Margate City Beach

Yes, there are still some unappealing parts of town, and some large casinos have shuttered, but visiting Atlantic City isn’t the place-your-bets-and-get-out place it once was. Major celebs are headlining again, sections of the city are gentrifying, and the boardwalk is still very much intact.

So, even if you are not a gambler, come here for some of the reasons our ancestors did. Sun, fun, excitement, hot bands, and cool nights.

Best Things to Do in Atlantic City NJ


No need to drive in AC. Short Jitney busses will transport you to both the Boardwalk (most casinos) and Marina (Borgata) side. Just be sure to get on the right one.

Atlantic City Boardwalk

DO: Stroll the Boardwalk

Originally built in 1870 to keep the Atlantic City beach sand out of the resort hotels and shoreline trains, the famous Boardwalk was widened and lengthened over the years to 4 miles long. It is still the best people-watching way to get exercise. Or not.  You can opt for a human-powered rolling chair to get you where you want to go.

Atlantic City free beach access

DO: Beach It!

Unlike most beaches on the Jersey Shore – Atlantic City’s beach is FREE to access. And surprisingly family friendly. So, pull up a patch of sand, enjoy the sun, take a dip, relax, and let your better half sweat the betting tables.

CRUISE: Dolphin Watching Adventure

According to locals, the waters off of AC are a dolphin playground. So, go on an Atlantic City Cruise line’s Dolphin Watching Adventure to watch them jump and frolic near the boat. Show offs!

SEE: New Jersey Korean War Memorial

Look for the New Jersey Korean War Memorial near the Boardwalk; it serves as a poignant tribute to the soldiers who served in the Korean War. This somber yet beautifully designed memorial features 19 statues and an eternal flame, offering a quiet space for reflection amidst the city’s hustle and bustle.

Steel Pier Ferris Wheel Atlantic City NJ

GO: Steel Pier Amusement Park

This was the famous Steel Pier that, from the Roaring Twenties until the 1960s, saw hot bands, hotter celebs, and the famous Diving Horses. Al Jolson, Frank Sinatra, and even the Beatles played on its planks.

Rebuilt after a fire destroyed the original, the 1,000-foot-long Steel Pier was purchased in 2011 by Anthony Catanoso and his brothers, who ran it as an amusement park.

Steel Pier Atlantic City NJ
Steel Pier

Since then, the Catanosos have sunk millions into the pier, adding many new rides, including 227 ft. tall Ferris Wheel, called simply “The Wheel.”

For a treat, head to the pub at the water’s edge. “It’s the only place you can have a drink 1,0000 feet out in the ocean without being on a boat,” says Anthony.

The Getaway Mavens recommend this as one of the Best Places to Propose in NJ.

DATE: Atlantic City Miniature Golf

Atlantic City Miniature Golf provides an unexpected yet delightful detour for couples in the heart of the bustling Boardwalk. Its well-designed course, complete with charming obstacles and whimsical features, offers a lighthearted escape that’s perfect for those looking to add a touch of playful competition to their romantic getaway.

GO: Absecon Lighthouse

Climbing to the top of the Absecon Lighthouse is a must-do activity for any Atlantic City visitor interested in history and panoramic views. As New Jersey’s tallest lighthouse and the third tallest in the U.S., this 171-foot tower offers a glimpse into the past with its restored 1857 design.

You can climb the 228 steps to the watch room and step outside onto the gallery for sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and the city skyline. The accompanying museum and replicated keeper’s quarters add another layer to your visit, allowing you to delve into the area’s maritime history.

SEE: Comedy Club at Borgata

What the Catskills were to Jewish Humor, the Borgata Comedy Club is for Italian, and you’ll find the same range of funniness here that you would in any New York City comedy club.

SEE: Atlantic City Ballet

With a repertoire that ranges from classical ballets to contemporary pieces, an evening at an Atlantic City Ballet performance is a sublime experience that adds an artistic touch to your visit. Whether you’re a ballet aficionado or new to the art form, this is a perfect setting for a refined and romantic outing.

SEE: Pick A Show, Any Show

On any given night, there’s something – many things – going on. Nightlife in AC proves to be an embarrassment of riches – with a tab that can run from zero to thousands. This town still draws the best of the best.

BUY: Fralinger’s Salt Water Taffy From James Candy

When Philadelphia fishmonger Joseph Fralinger took over a taffy shop on the Atlantic City Boardwalk in the 1880s, he perfected his recipe and started stuffing oyster boxes with the freshly made confection for tourists who wanted to take a bit of Atlantic City home with them.

Over 130 years later, you can still purchase a pound of Fralinger’s Taffy at James Candy on the Boardwalk – making it one of the least expensive, relevant, and delicious souvenirs you can buy.

PLAY: Central Pier Arcade

Central Pier Arcade is a bustling entertainment hub that offers a slice of nostalgia along with modern thrills. Located on the Boardwalk, this arcade features a variety of classic games, from skee-ball to claw machines, and even offers go-kart racing for those seeking a faster pace. It’s a fun-filled stop that captures the spirit of Atlantic City’s diverse entertainment options.

Restaurants in Atlantic City

EAT: Tony Boloney’s

Opened “for the Revel construction workers” in the middle of the “aughts,” this sub and pizza dive, Tony Boloney’s, is more inventive, fun, and tasty than any run-of-the-mill pizza joint in town. Though a bit remote, fans don’t mind – the food is that good.

“Jewish Cowboy” – is a whole “Passover Seder” as a pizza pie – 8 hour burnt end brisket, passover sauce, dry aged mozzarella, babushka beet horseradish, havarti. Or try the JERZEY JEZEBEL® Sub – Nashville Hot Chicken and stuff – among dozens of crazy options. Ironically, though Tony Boloney’s opened during Revel construction, it’s outlasted that bombastic casino (now the Ocean Casino Resort).

View from deck of Gilchrist Restaurant, Atlantic City, NJ
View from deck of Gilchrist Restaurant

EAT: Gilchrist Offshore Restaurant

Though Gilchrist opened up a few more outposts, you’ll find the original on the Gardner’s Basin side of AC, adjacent to a row of commercial fishing boats tied up to the bulkhead. It’s the anti-AC, no glitz whatsoever, and you may question where you are exactly.

If it’s a nice day, sit on the deck overlooking the canal with casino hotels in the distance. Get the “Short Stack Hot Cakes” – a fan favorite – two unadorned pancakes the size of a dinner plate. Nothing fancy , just good, hearty fare.

EAT: Locals Recommend

Apparently, Atlantic City is huge on steaks and Italian. Cardinal, Chef Vola’s, Superfrico, and Scannichio’s at Lefty’s rank high. But I had a most fantastic meal at Cafe 2825, which features traditional Italian dishes and table-side fanfare. Be sure to order the raclette, melted from a hollowed wheel of Pecorino cheese, right at the table. Super duper.

Atlantic City Hotels

STAY: Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center

One of the benefits of staying in the off-the-main-drag Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel, especially for non-gamblers, is the fact that it’s one of the only upscale hotels in AC without a resident casino.

A small statue of Bert Parks holding a Miss America crown greets you in a lovely entry garden, and inside the lobby.

Rooms are not over the top but up to Sheraton-Marriott standards. And they are certainly less expensive than those on the ocean.

Check In Borgota Hotel Check In Atlantic City

STAY: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

Over the top, the Borgata--considered the best Atlantic City casino–houses a slew of slots and tables. But anyone interested in ritzy décor will want to at least walk through this cool gaming palace. If you stay here, see a Comedy Show.

Ocean Casino Resort Pool Atlantic City NJ
Ocean Casino Resort Pool

STAY: Ocean Casino Resort

What was the Revel is now Ocean Casino Resort. With its high-profile roofline, it can’t be confused with anything else. Fortunately, Ocean kept Revel’s cool roof deck pool intact.

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  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen

    Malerie Yolen-Cohen is the Author of the cross-country travel guide, Stay On Route 6; Your Guide to All 3562 Miles of Transcontinental Route 6. She contributes frequently to Newsday, with credits in National Geographic Traveler, Ladies Home Journal, Yankee Magazine, Shape.com, Sierra Magazine, Porthole, Paddler, New England Boating, Huffington Post, and dozens of other publications. Malerie’s focus and specialty is Northeastern US, and she is constantly amazed by the caliber of restaurants and lodging in the unlikeliest places.