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Atlantic City, NJ

One Day in Atlantic CityAAA editors suggest these activities for a great short vacation experience.

Morning Jump-start your day by fueling up at a breakfast buffet in one of Atlantic City’s casino hotels. A popular choice is the Borgata Buffet at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa (1 Borgata Way).

Take a detour to nearby Margate to see Lucy the Elephant (9200 Atlantic Ave.), an elephantine structure built in 1881 that's said to be one of the oldest American roadside attractions around. If you want to get to know “The World's Greatest Elephant” better, join a guided tour, where you'll learn about her interesting history. Then climb a spiral staircase to enjoy a wonderful panorama.

If the weather is nice, consider reserving a spot on the morning skyline tour provided by Atlantic City Cruises (800 N. New Hampshire Ave.). The narrated trip, departing from Gardner's Basin, travels past the city’s eclectic assortment of casino hotels, providing a good orientation to the various points of interest you’ll no doubt visit later today. And you’ll enjoy the coastal scenery and cooling ocean breezes, too.

Those seeking a greater level of activity—perhaps to burn off that buffet breakfast—can head toward the Boardwalk's northern end to visit Absecon Lighthouse (31 S. Rhode Island Ave.); there are 228 steps leading to spectacular views from the top. (A replicated lightkeeper’s quarters will interest those who don’t want to tackle the steps.) You can peer through the lighthouse’s lens toward the south—you’ll want to head in this direction so you can spend the afternoon exploring the Boardwalk, Atlantic City’s pride and joy.

Afternoon Stroll along the Boardwalk (or have someone push you in a rolling chair), and you’ll encounter amusements interspersed among the casino hotels. If you’re traveling from the north end of the Boardwalk (near the lighthouse) to the south, head to Steel Pier (1000 Boardwalk) for some good old-fashioned fun on the midway—complete with bumper cars and cotton candy.

Continuing southward along the Boardwalk, be on the lookout for Fralinger’s Salt Water Taffy (1325 Boardwalk at Tennessee), where they're still using the original 1880s recipe. Near the junction of Park Place and the Boardwalk, you’ll encounter the New Jersey Korean War Veterans Memorial , inscribed with the names of New Jerseyans who died in the conflict. As you approach the intersection of the Boardwalk and Arkansas Avenue, you’ll find plenty to do.

Want to unwind? The Playground (1 Atlantic Ocean), once known as The Pier Shops at Caesars, features shops, such as Apple and Tiffany & Co., as well as restaurants and bars.

If you’re looking for a snack, head 3 blocks west at Boardwalk & Mississippi to arrive at the White House Sub Shop (2301 Arctic Ave.). You might want to split one of the enormous hoagies or cheesesteaks, which you and a friend can savor while checking out the celebrity photos and other bric-a-brac displayed on the walls.

Evening Retrace your steps back to the Boardwalk, where you can pick up some literature at the Boardwalk Information Center (2301 Boardwalk). The center resides in Boardwalk Hall, famed for hosting the Miss America Pageant. Sneak a peek at the hall’s pipe organ, said to be the world's largest.

You'll find a number of restaurants around the Boardwalk. Dock’s Oyster House (2405 Atlantic Ave.), a local favorite since 1897, is known for its raw bar and Italian-inspired seafood dishes. Japanese restaurant, Okatshe (2831 Boardwalk inside Tropicana Atlantic City) is hidden behind the faux wall of a "candy store." The speakeasy-style restaurant has a modernized menu featuring ramen, sushi and small plates.

You’ll have no trouble entertaining yourself during Atlantic City evenings. If you’re hoping to encounter Lady Luck, you need only wander the Boardwalk or hop on a shuttle bus (known as a jitney): Tropicana Atlantic City (2831 Boardwalk), Bally's Atlantic City (1900 Boardwalk) and Caesars Atlantic City (2100 Pacific Ave.) are included in the lineup of casino gambling venues bordering the oceanside promenade.

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Atlantic City, NJ

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.

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Courtyard by Marriott Atlantic City

1212 Pacific Ave. Atlantic City, NJ 08401

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Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

One Borgata Way. Atlantic City, NJ 08401

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Travel Information

City Population

39,558

Elevation

21 ft.

Sales Tax

New Jersey's statewide sales tax is 7 percent; the county has a 10 percent lodging tax and $5 per day rental car surcharge.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(609) 347-5780

Hospitals

AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, (609) 345-4000.

Air Travel

Atlantic City International Airport

Rental Cars

Hertz offers discounts to AAA members; phone (609) 646-7733 or (800) 654-3080.

Rail Service

New Jersey Transit travels from the rail terminal at 1 Atlantic City Expwy. to Absecon, Egg Harbor City, Hammonton, Atco, Lindenwold, Cherry Hill and Philadelphia. A valid rail ticket also can be used for free shuttle service from the terminal to casinos; phone (973) 275-5555.

Buses

Greyhound Lines Inc., (800) 231-2222, and New Jersey Transit, (973) 275-5555, operate from the terminal at Michigan and Atlantic avenues.

Taxis

Companies include Mutual Taxi & Limousine Service, (609) 345-6111; and Yellow Cab, (609) 344-1221. Base fare is $3.40, plus 60c per one-tenth mile. Maximum fare to any city destination is $13 for up to five people.

Public Transportation

The buses of New Jersey Transit operate along Atlantic and Ventnor avenues as far south as Longport. The fare is $1.60 each way; 75c (ages 5-11 and 62+).

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