Atlantic City

This city offers that most rare of New Jersey experiences - the free day at the beach. Atlantic City has no beach tags, so you're welcome every day, no charge.

Along with that, Atlantic City probably has the most diversity you'll find on any southern New Jersey beaches, because it draws visitors from all over the world.

Plus there's more to do on a break from the beach in Atlantic City than anywhere else around. The 6-mile boardwalk in Atlantic City is a defining element of the southern New Jersey Shore. It's claimed that Atlantic City was home to the world's first boardwalk. Expect street performers, lots of food, candy and treats. You can people watch, as the boards are filled with interesting locals and beachside shopping. There are also casinos for the adults to visit and a mingolf course in front of Boardwalk Hall for the whole family. Don't feel like walking? Hop a rolling chair and take a ride down the boards.

While not as exciting to young children as other southern New Jersey boards, the Atlantic City Boardwalk does offer something for everyone in the family. Want to ride the rides? Visit the Steel Pier, 1000 Boardwalk, which offers everything from a rock climbing wall to a ferris wheel. You can visit the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum near St. James Place, stop by the The Playground pier shops at Caesars at Missouri Avenue and the Boardwalk for some upscale shopping and dining, or head to The Quarter at Tropicana Casino & Resort for shopping, dining and a chance to see an IMAX movie.

Serious surfers from all over flock to States Avenue and nearby beaches for the waves. Plus several casinos have bars right on Atlantic City's beaches, so you don't even need to leave the sand to get a refreshing beverage - or to dance to live music sometimes. Some casinos even host free concerts on the beach occasionally, including big musical names that can really pack the place.

Parking here is easy - just pull in to one of the many casino parking garages that line the boards. Atlantic City also offers more public restrooms than most other places - you'll find them on the beach side of the Boardwalk along most of its 4-plus-mile run through town. If they're closed or there's another personal emergency, most casinos have restrooms just a few steps inside their doors off the Boardwalk.

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