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There’s always something to do in Atlantic City, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Casino hotels like Resorts Casino offer affordable room rates to attract visitors, cheap motels can be found only a block from the famous Boardwalk, and visiting mid-week in the winter can mean amazing deals.
The Boardwalk is the heart of the action in Atlantic City. The four mile long walkway by the sea was first built in 1870 and is the oldest boardwalk in the United States. The Boardwalk is home to nine of the 12 casinos in the city, as well as many hotels, shops, and attractions.
Several piers lead off the Boardwalk, including Steel Pier, which was once a roaring 20s destination and now features an amusement park with rides, games, and snacks. Garden Pier is the place to head for arts and culture as it is home to the city’s historical museum and art center.
One of the best things to do in Atlantic City is stroll along the Boardwalk with its mix of carnival attractions and natural beauty. You never know what you might see and it’s the perfect spot for people watching. Best of all, it’s free.
A good, cheap hotel on the Boardwalk is Atlantic Club. It’s one of the most affordable hotels in this area, but still boats luxury amenities such as a health spa and indoor pool. Look out for its packages which are particularly reasonable.
The Resorts Casino Hotel Atlantic City offers inexpensive hotel rates right on the Boardwalk. Rooms have an art deco theme, and there are plenty of facilities including a casino, two nightclubs, numerous restaurants, a fitness center, and indoor and outdoor pools.
Many of the hotels in Atlantic City are large hotels with an on-site casino. Prices are often lower than other hotels, as they want to attract visitors to their casinos. Rates at the casino hotels vary greatly, so look out for last-minute deals and special rates mid-week and in the winter off-season.
If you're planning to spend most of your vacation gambling, casino hotels are a convenient option. They offer so many facilities—restaurants, bars, entertainment, swimming pools—that you’ll hardly need to leave. Even if you aren’t a gambler, it’s worth looking into these hotels as they can offer low rates. In particular, the packages at casino hotels can provide excellent value and include perks like show tickets, meals, health club admission, and gift cards. Most of the casinos are on the Boardwalk, including old classics like Resorts Casino Hotel and glitzy modern places like Revel which opened in 2012.
There are three casino hotels in the Marina District, which is a short taxi or bus ride from the Boardwalk, including Harrah’s Resort, which offers a variety of affordable accommodations. The highlight of the hotel is the tropical indoor pool with five hot tubs—relax here during the day or dance the night away when it transforms into one of the city’s most glamorous nightclubs. There are also 11 restaurants and 175,000 square feet of casino space.
Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino is another option in the Marina District. Rooms have a contemporary design and the casino offers classic games and live performance shows.
Join the casino’s players’ club if you find yourself staying at a casino. This free card you use when gambling helps you rack up points which can then be cashed in for things like rooms, dining, and other amenities.
If the casino hotels are out of your price range, then check out the cheap motels that line Pacific Avenue, only a block inland from the Boardwalk. You’ll still be close to the action but rates are far lower. Affordable motels include Rodeway Inn Oceanview; Eldorado Motor Inn, which is just across the street from Tropicana Casino; and Howard Johnson Inn Atlantic City, which has a pool.
There aren’t many hostels in Atlantic City, but one option is Atlantic City House, which has dorm beds and a shared kitchen, and is 600 meters from the Boardwalk.
The cheapest hotels in Atlantic City are a few miles or more from the Boardwalk. If you have a car and are on a tight budget, staying further afield will help you save money.
The Absecon area near Atlantic City airport is a budget area to stay. Superlodge Atlantic City/Absecon has really low rates and basic rooms with fridges, microwaves, and free WiFi. Royal Lodge is another budget-friendly motel; and Empire Inn and Suites is an inexpensive option with a pool.
Atlantic City’s wide beach has soft sand and is free. You can go swimming, surfing, fishing, windsurfing, sailing, or play volleyball. The 3D Light and Sound Show on the Boardwalk features remarkable special effects projected onto Boardwalk Hall. The eight-and-a-half minute show is free and runs each night every half hour from 8:30 p.m.
The Atlantic City Historical Museum on Garden Pier is free and a good place to learn about the city’s rich history. You can watch a movie about the city’s rise and fall and its more recent resurrection; and if you're a fan of the Boardwalk Empire TV show, get insight into the real-life Nucky (the corrupt political boss Enoch Johnson).
If you venture away from the beach and Boardwalk, the Absecon lighthouse is one of the oldest in the country dating back to 1857. It’s free to visit, but it’s worth the $7 fee to climb the 228 steps for views of the city’s skyline and the Jersey Shore. If you are visiting in the summer, there are free concerts at Gardner’s Basin with world-class performers.
The summer is the most popular time to visit Atlantic City. If you are planning to spend time on the beach, then June through August offers the best weather, but it’s also the most crowded and expensive time of year.
There's plenty to do in Atlantic City year round, and if you are looking for really cheap hotel rates in Atlantic City, visit mid-week in the winter off-season. You can still gamble in casinos, go shopping, and enjoy the shows and restaurants.
Atlantic City International Airport is located just ten miles from the city and you can take a jitney, taxi, or rent a car to get into town.
Atlantic City is an hour from Philadelphia and can be reached by train or bus. New York City is only two hours away. The cheapest way to get to Atlantic City from Philadelphia and New York is the low-cost casino buses that take you direct to a casino. Many include betting coupons.
Once in Atlantic City, the jitney bus is the best way to get around town and only costs $2.25 a ride. It covers the Boardwalk, Marina District, convention center, and railway station.
© 2016 Hipmunk, Inc. Hipmunk is a trademark of Hipmunk, Inc.
© 2016 Hipmunk, Inc. Hipmunk is a trademark of Hipmunk, Inc.