Renowned for its casinos and historic boardwalk, Atlantic City is a popular destination for travelers interested in an exciting East Coast getaway. You won’t miss a moment of the action when you stay with Bluegreen at Atlantic Palace, a contemporary 31-story resort situated on the Atlantic City Boardwalk with views of the Atlantic Ocean. On the Boardwalk, you will be surrounded by a wide range of diversions, including shows by the world’s best performers, luxurious spas, and cuisine prepared by some of the top chefs in the country.
However, Atlantic City offers much more than just gaming and lavish leisure opportunities. The city is also rich with sandy beaches and open-air attractions that let you really relax. To take a break from the casinos and other indoor activities, check out these five outdoor destinations:
The Steel Pier
A fun destination for visitors of all ages, the Steel Pier is located right on the Atlantic City Boardwalk and extends 1,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. The Steel Pier was first opened in 1898 as a theater and soon became famous for hosting some of the best entertainment in the world. For example, the Pier has presented legendary shows like the Diving Horse and renowned entertainers such as Frank Sinatra and The Beatles.
After a recent $23 million renovation, the Pier is now prepared for the modern visitor, with updated arcade games, delicious food, and 25 rides that range from gentle to extreme. The Pier also features an ocean-front family restaurant and bar that frequently features live entertainment.
From the Steel Pier, you can experience stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlantic City skyline. Helicopter rides from the Pier are also available, giving you a birds-eye view of the shoreline, the city, or a combination of both.
The Atlantic City Fishing & Dive Center
Enjoy some fresh ocean air and take a tour with the Atlantic City Fishing & Dive Center. The Center offers a number of cruises and charters, including bottom-fishing and sport-fishing charters on boats that are inspected twice a year and certified by the United States Coast Guard.
On year-round charters, you can fish for various ocean species, such as shark, seabass and cod, while other sea life can be fished on a seasonal basis. For instance, winter flounder fishing charters are available in the spring and Mahi Mahi fishing trips are conducted between July and September.
The Atlantic City Fishing & Dive Center also offers sightseeing and party cruises so anyone can experience Atlantic City from a different perspective. Skyline tours journey along the picturesque coastline and sunset tours reveal the city in its best light.
The Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm
Located at Atlantic City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm is the first wind farm in New Jersey. It features five, 380-foot turbines that can produce enough energy to power nearly 2,500 homes.
The wind farm works in combination with the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) solar energy project to power the wastewater treatment plant, and since its founding in 2005, the farm has reduced ACUA energy costs by more than $3.8 million. The ACUA wind farm and solar project also prevent an average of nearly 9,000 metric tons of CO2 from infiltrating the atmosphere annually. According to the ACUA, the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm is unique as an urban, eastern, coastal, on-shore, industrial and multi-turbine wind farm.
The ACUA offers tours of the facility and will customize the experience based on the group’s interests and age levels. There are two tours available: one tour focuses on the Haneman Environmental Park and another tour explores the wind farm, the solar project, and the wastewater treatment center.
The Senator Frank S. Farley State Marina
At the Senator Frank S. Farley State Marina, experienced boaters can rent one of the marina’s 640 floating slips, which can accommodate yachts as long as 300 feet. The harbor is sufficiently sheltered, with no wakes and a minimal current, and dock attendants can even help boaters navigate the slip. As a registered marina guest, you have access to private showers, bathrooms, and the on-site fuel dock.
You can also visit the marina for a casual dining experience at The Deck, one of the two restaurants located in the two-story marina building. The Deck also hosts outdoor entertainment when the weather permits.
The Civil Rights Garden
To experience more of the beauty and history Atlantic City has to offer, visit the Civil Rights Garden on Pacific Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard. The public sculpture garden honors the pivotal role Atlantic City played in the Civil Rights Movement with a tranquil arrangement of Gingko trees, flowers, and winding pathways. As a tribute to the leaders behind the Civil Rights Movement, the Garden also includes 11 granite columns and sculptures with inscriptions about notable people and historic events.
The Civil Rights Garden in Atlantic City is also the site of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day ceremony in January and other related events, such as the Fannie Lou Hamer commemorative ceremony.