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May 24, 2024

Atlantic City: Everything you need to know about the beaches and things to do there this summer

What live shows are happening in AC this summer? And answers to other questions you might have as you plan your next trip to the Jersey Shore's entertainment capital.

Travel Jersey Shore
atlantic city boardwalk CHRIS LACHALL/USA TODAY NETWORK

Atlantic City hosts 27 million visitors each year who come for the Jersey Shore town's casinos, live shows, restaurants, nightlife and beaches.

Atlantic City is a history-rich town known as the "entertainment capital of the Jersey Shore."

Located about an hour drive from Philadelphia, Atlantic City was the original home of the Miss America Pageant, and it is the inspiration to the board game Monopoly and "Boardwalk Empire," the book and TV series. Construction on its expansive boardwalk began in 1870 and the shore town now hosts 27 million visitors each year.

Atlantic City has something for every tourist, including free beaches, amusement and water parks, casinos, boardwalk shops, restaurants, live entertainment and clubs. 

From this summer's events to beach rules, here's what to know before you visit Atlantic City this summer:

What are some things to do in Atlantic City this summer?

It is easy to find things to do in Atlantic City, but a couple places to start your search for a good time are the calendars compiled by Visit Atlantic City and the casino-focused Do AC.

As far as entertainment and events go, Atlantic City has no shortage of concerts, comedy shows, magic shows, fights, exhibitions, DJ music and other live performances at its various casino theaters, Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall and the Atlantic City Convention Center.

Live shows in Atlantic City this summer include Snoop Dogg, Jay Leno, Patti Labelle, John Legend, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kesha, Pat Benatar, Donny Osmond, Ludacris, Pete Davidson and Boyz II Men. Visit Atlantic City keeps a comprehensive list its website.

When it comes to major festivals this summer, Atlantic City will host the North to Shore festival, June 17 to June 23, featuring Frankie Valli, and the Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival, on Saturday, July 13, at Bader Field with live music and more than 100 breweries on hand. Later this summer, planes will soar through the skies over the beaches during the Atlantic City Airshow on Aug. 13 and Aug. 14.

Besides the beaches and boardwalk, a major draw to Atlantic City are its casinos, offering everything from poker tables to penny slots, as well as a long list of restaurants, clubs, and entertainment venues.

Check out one of the shore town's beach bars or attend The Hook by Spiegelworld, a Vegas-style residency that opened last year. There are also plenty of family-friendly things to do around the city like visiting the historic Steel Pier theme park on the boardwalk or the new indoor Island Waterpark at the Showboat casino.

A few steps from the beach and boardwalk visitors will find Tennessee Avenue, which boasts a beer hall, pizzeria, brunch restaurant and a chocolate dessert spot. There's a second location of Philly's Good Dog Bar in Atlantic City, at 3426 Atlantic Avenue, not far from Stockton University's Atlantic City campus.

Do you need a beach tag in Atlantic City?

Atlantic City's beaches are free to enjoy, so no beach tags are required.

When are Atlantic City's lifeguards on duty?

The Atlantic City Beach Patrol was established as the the first paid, professional lifeguard squad in the United States in 1891. Continuing that tradition, Atlantic City's lifeguards will be on duty this summer from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from July 1 through Labor Day at various beaches from Caspian Avenue to Jackson Avenue

A limited number of Atlantic City beaches will also be protected from Memorial Day through July 1, and from Labor Day through Sept. 30. Beachgoers can find out daily beach conditions and real-time status of guarded beaches online.

There are also 11 District Stations in Atlantic City that can provide first aid, certified EMTs and communications. They are located at Caspian Avenue, New Hampshire Avenue, States Avenue, South Carolina Avenue, Kentucky Avenue, Michigan Avenue, Mississippi Avenue, Texas Avenue, Chelsea Avenue, Albany Avenue and Bartram Avenue.

What are the rules on Atlantic City's beaches?

No one is permitted on the Atlantic City beaches after hours. Visitors also cannot go underneath the boardwalk. Swimmers are urged to enter the water only in designated areas where lifeguards are present. Fishing is permitted from the jetties and on the shore.

Surfers are welcome on Downtown Beach at Raleigh Avenue, Crystal Beach at New Hampshire Avenue or the Delaware Avenue Beach. Kayakers and windsurfers can use the Jackson Avenue Beach. Boogie boarding is permitted on all Atlantic City beaches, as long as riders have leashes connected to their boards.

No alcohol is allowed on the beach, except in the case of vendors with permits issued by the state of New Jersey. Spears and spear guns cannot be carried onto the beach. Fires are only allowed to be set in designated fire rings or pits. 

Handicap beach access ramps are located along the boardwalk, and 175-foot-long handicap beach access mats are located at Tallahassee, Bartram, Albany and Raleigh Avenue entrances. Several public restrooms are located along the boardwalk. 

For people driving to the beach, there are many parking lots and garages throughout the town. There is also a jitney service that travels throughout Atlantic City, which costs $2.50 for cash fare.

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