The following statement is often said about a lot of places in the world, but in this instance, it’s absolutely accurate: there’s nowhere quite like Atlantic City, New Jersey. The city offers a fantastic blend of glamour, excitement, and a charming seaside atmosphere that is reminiscent of many UK seaside cities…only, in the true American way, bigger and better. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Atlantic City as a UK traveller.
- You can fly to Atlantic City International Airport from the UK, usually from London Heathrow and with a connection in Florida.
- Philadelphia International is the best choice in terms of physical proximity if you would prefer a direct flight, and you should be able to travel the hour or so to Atlantic City with relative ease thanks to the shuttle service.
- London to one of the New York airports is another popular choice; there are more flights available, the costs of flights tends to be lower, and there are regular bus and train options available for your onward journey to Atlantic City.
- Whichever of the above options you choose, you can usually expect a total flight time of around eight hours.
Atlantic City is very catered to guests, so there are plenty of options to consider when it comes to choosing where to stay. For the “true” Atlantic City experience, it’s often best to stick with well-known hotels such as the Borgata, which offer the chance to kick back and relax in a fantastic spa as well as see entertainment shows held right on-site.
Best time to visit
Many attractions in Atlantic City are open year-round, so you should be able to find plenty to do whatever the time of year. However, it’s usually best to avoid visiting in May due to the higher visitor numbers that flock to the city for Memorial Day.
In terms of temperatures, Atlantic City is not dissimilar to, for example, the southeast of England. Winter dip into minus temperatures (but not excessively), spring is warm but not overly hot, and temperatures climb to around 30°C in summer. Humidity, however, tends to be a little higher, and can become uncomfortable in summer, so keep this in mind when planning your trip.
Travelling around the city
As one would expect from a major tourist destination, travelling around Atlantic City is relatively straightforward. You can travel by cab, tram, or Jitney minibus, and many of the best-known sites are within walking distance. The city is also relatively easy to drive in, so renting a car is a possibility, and is especially worthwhile if you wish to take a daytrip to nearby areas such as Cape May.
Tipping is usually seen as something nice to do in the UK, but in Atlantic City – much like the rest of the US – it’s expected, and usually heavily relied upon by service workers as part of their wages. Expect to tip everyone from bellhops to housekeeping to dealers at the casinos (if you intend to visit). There’s no “right” amount to tip – everyone has different opinions on what is considered reasonable – but $2-3 dollars per person will usually be viewed as acceptable.
Things to do and see
Explore the boardwalk
The 4.2 mile Atlantic City boardwalk is one of the most famous in the world, so you’ll definitely want to experience it for yourself during your time in the city. There are shops, eateries, and piers (including the ever-popular Steel Pier) running the length of the walk, as well as great views of the Atlantic Ocean. For a nod to the city’s Victorian roots, you can also hire a rolling chair and travel the boardwalk in style for around $5 per block.
Tour a museum
Atlantic City is home to a number of fascinating museums, including Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! “Odditorium”, which is home to a whole array of unusual and bizarre exhibits, and the informative Atlantic City Historical Museum. You can also visit Absecon Lighthouse, both to explore the fascinating on-site museum and in order to climb to the top for a brilliant view over the city.
Enjoy the nightlife
Atlantic City is a wonderful city by day – as the options set out above make clear – but there’s no doubt that the city truly comes into its own at night. There are incredible restaurants, casinos, and entertainment venues (many of which are known to offer residences from some of the biggest names in showbiz) throughout the city, so you’ll never run short of options for how to spend an evening.
We hope you have a fantastic time in Atlantic City!