Day trip to Atlantic City from New York City

If you are visiting New York City for a week, I hope that you can set aside a day for trip to Atlantic City. If you are looking for a week long, relaxing vacation, consider staying at Atlantic City, one of America’s best destinations.Are you on a budget? Atlantic City is the place to spend time. Loaded with cash? All the better! Atlantic City can provide you with everything you need to feel happy and relaxed. It is a true resort town that features many attractions, including, of course, gambling. No other city in America is remotely similar.

What do you like . . .

Do you like green adventures? Well, with over four miles of boardwalk stretching across natural sand dunes and ocean beach, you’ll find it here. Sun. Swim. Surf. Fish. Boat. Like casual dining? The area is flipflop friendly, even in the nicest of restaurants.

Like dressing up? Between the stunning casinos and high-quality entertainment, you’ll have plenty of opportunity. Got kids? Take them to the beach, then change them in a public restroom before returning home (all free). If your budget allows it, buy a roll of tickets and treat them to The Steel Pier, a world-famous amusement park.

Love to gamble? There are more than enough gaming tables and machines to satisfy the most ardent player. Atlantic City, however, is not just a gambling town. Unlike Indian reservation gambling and Las Vegas, when you step away from your game and its shimmering casino, you step into an authentic, sea-side resort that’s been going strong for over 150 years.

In my opinion, Atlantic City as a vacation destination gives you the most bang for your entertainment buck. It features every type of amusement imaginable, from beach pleasures to Broadway Shows to gambling, with prices that fit anyone’s budget (yes, there are really penny slots!). With its close proximity to New York City and Philadelphia, it is sophisticated, too.

For detailed information about what to do, consult, where you’ll also find special deals for those of you who wish to visit for several days.

What you will see . . .


This is the Atlantic City Visitor Center. The main road leading into Atlantic City is The Atlantic City Expressway. At the end of it is the main Atlantic City Visitor’s Center. Stop there to pick up a city map, brochures, and coupons, as well as use the rest rooms. Tip: When you leave town, the rest rooms in this visitor’s center are handy, too!


Casino parking is very inexpensive, however, we parked on the street very near to the boardwalk on Dr. M.L. King Boulevard for free. I recommend that you begin exploring from around this area, heading southwest for surprising views, then double-back northeast for equally surprising views.


Very strong people, not motors, push carts along the boardwalk for your distant riding pleasure. If you are on a very tight budget, take a $2 bus trip along Pacific Avenue.


Beach access is easy via any of boardwalk bridges that branch off the main boardwalk. In the picture above, you see typical sand dune vegetation, followed by the ocean, then the sky.


Bally’s Bikini Beach Bar is one of two restaurants located on the sand. Here, the pace is relaxed and prices are reasonable.

In terms of beauty, interest, and extent of investment, Bally’s outdid itself at Atlantic City. After buying up several properties, it transformed the area into the casino-version of Victorian Painted Ladies. The structure to the right (above) is the former Dennis Hotel, one of the original Atlantic City structures. On the left is Bally’s Wild Wild West.


Bally’s highly-detailed buildings extend for three blocks, followed by Caesar’s (the gold-colored buildings to the left of the picture). I love this area as it looks stunning and provides interesting things to do on the opposite side of the boardwalk.

The picture above provides a close-up of Bally’s detail work.


Caesar’s casino, next to Bally’s, features The Pier Shops at Caesar’s, a unique shopping center built on a long pier. Step inside to browse among its stunning stores, then continue walking toward the ocean where you’ll see a platform with many holes or The Water Show spraying fountains in full force. This watery-version of sparkling fireworks (pictured above) plays on-the-hour every afternoon, complete with music.


We watched The Water Show from the third floor, which also features decks that overlook the ocean and the beach by Caesar’s. Possibly because this area of the beach is protected by the pier, it appears to be the best place for very young children to play as the surf is more graduated. It won’t pull kids back out to sea.

Continuing along The Pier Shops’ third floor are picture windows fronted by beach chairs seated in sand. What a great place to rest! Further along this windowed hallway are several fabulous restaurants, which, I understand, showcase Atlantic City at night.

More, more, more . . .

There is much more to see along the southwestern portion of the boardwalk than what I’ve highlighted. These include boardwalk shops, several monuments, an amphitheater, a miniature golf field, great places to have fudge, taffy, and ice cream, plus a lovely outdoor restaurant named Flames.

The remainder of the pictures I’m featuring are of the northeastern portion of the boardwalk, an area which is home to the over-the-top, breathtaking Trump Taj Mahal.

Looking toward the northeast, you’ll see The Steel Pier amusement park peaking up above the sand dunes.

Immediately across from the Trump Taj Mahal is the entrance to The Steel Pier; an exciting tunnel with carny games on either side. Inside the park is The Rocket, one of the most scary rides in America (it catapultes you into the air at over 100 MPH), plus rides for children of all ages.

Also near the Trump Taj Mahal is the unusual Believe It or Not building, a must see!

Visit, visit, visit . . .

Under all circumstances, I highly recommend day trips to Atlantic City. If you plan to spend several days, take a few day trips to check out the casino hotels in person before making your reservations. Room prices differ and are generally lower (to much lower) than New York City rates, plus you can often find excellent deals that will make your stay particularly attractive. Consult for more lodging choices and special deals.

. . . and hey! If you stay in Atlantic City for a week, you can always make a day trip to New York City.


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Article and photos by Karen Little. First published on 7/27/2009 and re-published June 2017. All rights reserved by