Atlantic City was once called “America’s Playground”, and though the glory days of this New Jersey town may have been and gone, there’s still plenty to see and do during a 24-hour stay. Check out our guide for how to spend one day in AC!
8AM – Breakfast at Gilchrist
The best way to start a morning in Atlantic City is with a hearty breakfast. You might initially think that pancakes overlooking the boardwalk is the classic way to eat breakfast here, but we’re thinking outside of the box.
Gilchrist Restaurant can be found off the boardwalk on the dock with a large patio. It’s been a part of the Atlantic City landscape since 1946 and is the best place to get your American breakfast, with brunch options also available if you’re a late riser.
10AM – Visit the Absecon Lighthouse
OK, we know you’re probably wondering why we’re listing a lighthouse as a place of interest on this list but listen up. Absecon Lighthouse was originally built in 1854 and is listed on the Historic American Buildings Survey. It was de-activated as a navigational aid way back in 1933, but its light still shines bright every night. It’s the third tallest masonry lighthouse in the US and has a very fascinating past, so be sure to give it a visit!
12PM – Catch Lunch at Kelsey’s
There’s no better time to hit the boardwalk for a spot of lunch than midday, when the sun’s at its highest point in the sky. So why not grab some lunch at Kelsey’s on Pacific Avenue before strolling down to the boardwalk?
Kelsey’s is an Atlantic City institution with Kim and Kelsey Jackson renowned for giving back to the local community. Highlight dishes include Bang Bang Shrimp, Calamari Fritti, Buffalo Chicken Tenders, and Fish Tacos. The catering trays for a large group are also worth considering with beef short ribs, beef brisket, and BBQ chicken platters all available. Delicious.
2PM – Gamble at the Tropicana
Though a few big-name casinos have fallen victim to the financial climate (namely The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel and Trump Plaza) and have departed the city’s sky-line over recent years, there are still several resorts alive and well.
The Tropicana is one of those still fighting fit, boasting over 3,000 slot machines and 135 table games. Table limits will be far more appealing in the afternoon than in the evening. The venue also underwent a $90 million renovation during 2017, so it now offers state-of-the-art facilities, too.
5PM – Dinner at the Knife and Fork Inn
The early lunch you picked up before hitting the casino floor probably means you’ve worked up an appetite by now. Looks like an early dinner is on the cards! Pardon the pun. We’re mixing things up here. You’ve done the tourist stuff and boardwalk experience so live like a local and visit the Knife and Fork Inn.
The seafood and steak on the menu here is to die for, while the upstairs wine room is perfect for getting a night on the pop started. It’s also just a short walk from the main attractions in the city.
7PM – The Steel Pier
This item on the itinerary is on the understanding that you’re visiting Atlantic City on a weekend or during the holidays between April and October when the Steel Pier is open. Atlantic City’s oldest theme park is 1,000 feet long and built on a pier that’s situated opposite the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
The park was first constructed in 1898 and has been an iconic part of the city’s boardwalk ever since. There’s plenty for all the family to do including beach buggies, carousel, dodgems, spinning tea cups, monster plunge, rollercoasters, slingshot, and a helicopter ride.
10PM – Chill at the VUE
After an exhilarating day, a relaxed chill-out session with a few drinks at a rooftop lounge bar is exactly what you need. The VUE Rooftop Lounge and Bar can be found on the 23rd floor of the Claridge Hotel. It’s open until midnight Monday to Thursday, 2am on Friday and Saturday, and 11pm on Sunday.
It’s won numerous awards such as The Best Bar You’ve Never Heard Of and The Best Happy Hour in Atlantic City. The open mic night sessions with Bob Eagen are also great to experience if you’re there on the first and third Mondays of each month!
1AM – Night, Night
The longest (and most fabulous!) day of your life has come to a close and you’re looking for somewhere to lay your hat for the night. Atlantic City has a wealth of hotels to choose from, but you’ll want to take advantage of the promotional offers linked with the casinos in the city.
The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa stands out as the finest option. It offers a range of deals that will suit all budgets, and the amenities are second to none. After a much-needed rest, you can wake up the next day refreshed and ready for a bit of cheeky gambling. If you feel up to it, that is…