Atlantic City is famous for its Boardwalk along the Atlantic Ocean. One side is bordered by sandy beaches. The other side of the four-mile-long boardwalk hosts casinos, shops, restaurants and attractions. The first part of the Boardwalk was opened in 1870 as a solution to sand being tracked into hotels from the beaches.
As you stroll from one end to the other, watch for the Mr. Peanut statue at the Garden Pier. Stop at Central Pier for a ride on South New Jersey's longest go-kart track. There's a Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, traditional Boardwalk food stands where you can pick up a hot dog or a slice of pizza, and Atlantic City's signature salt water taffy. Hire one of the Boardwalk's rolling chairs for your return trip.
Bike riding is allowed on the Boardwalk every day from 6:30 to 10:00 a.m. There are two bike rental locations.
The Steel Pier juts into the ocean on the Boardwalk near the end of South Pennsylvania Avenue. Opened in 1898, the pier hosted thousands of visitors every day during the summer season. In its heyday visitors could see the high-wire motorcycle act and the Diving Horse. Headliners such as the Three Stooges, Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Dorsey played one of the four theaters.
Today, the Steel Pier features classic rides such as bumper cars and a Ferris wheel and amusements including a rock climbing wall and trampolines.
New Jersey's tallest lighthouse, and the third tallest in the country, is on Rhode Island Avenue, four blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. The structure was first lit in 1857. Climb the 228 steps to the top for a view of the Atlantic City skyline on one side and the ocean on the other.
A history museum, gift shop, picnic area and exhibits surround the lighthouse.
Lucy the Elephant
About a five mile hike south to 9200 Atlantic Ave. in Margate City sits Lucy the Elephant. The 65-foot-tall elephant was commissioned in 1881 by James Vincent de Paul Lafferty Jr. Lafferty erected Lucy to attract buyers to his properties in South Atlantic City. Over the years, Lucy has housed a real estate office, summer home and a tavern.
Lucy the Elephant is now a tourist attraction. Climb 130 steps in one of the spiral staircases in her legs to a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean from the howdah on her back.
Atlantic Ocean Beaches
Atlantic City beaches are clean and wide. They're also free. There are fishing jetties where no license is required for salt-water fishing.
Surfing is allowed at Cyrstal Beach, Delaware Avenue Beach and Downtown Beach. Kayaking and windsurfing are permitted at Jackson Avenue. Boogie boards are allowed at all swimming beaches. Several of the hotels along the Boardwalk make beach volleyball equipment available for patrons and there are four beach chair rental locations.