Well, hello Miss America! Looking good!
During our recent pilgrimage to Atlantic City as part of a weekend DO AC media junket we were afforded a variety of activities to partake in. If anyone thinks that AC is just about gambling they need to expand their minds and head down here for a few days to explore all the things one can do. Sure, I love gambling as much as the next guy. You can usually find me at a blackjack table or video poker machine plotting my strategy. Or demise! Yet, there is only so much gambling you can do with a limited budget. The golden rule – only gamble with a set bankroll that you are comfortable with. That being said, you have to be sure to make it last the whole time you’re here. Unless you’re hitting some good payouts to keep you going. I normally enjoy gambling during the evening which leaves open the whole afternoon for other things. If you love some shopping or just need to pick up a few things then AC is a perfect destination. Here’s a few suggestions based on just what we experienced.
If you live in the tri-state area Atlantic City is pretty easy to get to within 2-3 hours drive by car or bus. We usually prefer to drive down by renting a car in the city and rocking out to our favorite CD’s. It also enables us to stop along the way for bathroom and coffee breaks at the many service areas along the highways in New Jersey. If taking a bus from the Port Authority in NYC it’s a relaxing drive and sometimes offers a good way to get in some extra sleep with a nap. The bus can at times get crowded though and can be a bit dicey with the bathroom situation, so renting a car is worth it for us. The other option is to get there by train as the station is located right at the convention center, and across the street from the fabulous Sheraton which we stayed at recently. Only drawback is that the train takes a bit longer to get down there. No matter what travel option you prefer it’s still a pretty quick day trip or weekend getaway to have some fun in AC.
During our stay here we were put up in the Sheraton which is located steps away from the terrific Tanger Outlets and a short walk to the Boardwalk. Literally, you just walk out the front door, around the corner and a block away, boom, you’re right in retail nirvana. This was perfect for us as we desperately needed to score a few winter coats and with the good deals to be had here there was no problem doing just that. I have to say that even though the Sheraton is not a casino hotel we really enjoyed staying here. The place itself has so many amenities, is very clean and well maintained with comfortable beds, nice rooms, friendly attentive staff, and if you’re a Miss America fan it’s the place to stay. There are pictures of the present and past pageant winners in each room, along the hallways, on the outside of the building, and a bit of a museum in the main lobby showcasing the outfits and memorabilia of this historic yearly event. It’s actually quite interesting to read about each one and their backgrounds along with what they did as reigning Miss America. Oh, I did also enjoy the free breakfast buffet each morning along with use of the business center on the same floor. Did not have a chance to use the wonderful pool and well appointed fitness center, as we had so much to do in a short time! Maybe next visit I’ll fit them in.
Now here’s where you don’t need a car. It’s very easy to get around AC as the outlets are a quick walk, but there are the Atlantic City Jitneys that have been in operation for about 100 years if you want to get from point A to point B. They run pretty much 24/7 and makes stops at all the casinos, outlets, and around town. The whole fleet has recently been upgraded with shiny new vehicles that are powered by compressed natural gas. Gone now are those beat up faded powder blue jitneys that seemed to have had no shock absorbers in them. Man, some of those were like riding on a roller coaster at Great Adventure! The drivers are courteous and some will even offer a history lesson of the area. At only $2.25 a ride the jitneys offer a cheap convenient way to lug us around when our bellies are full from the buffet, or carrying a load of shopping bags full of outlet booty.
Speaking of retail therapy, the Tanger Outlets are great way to spend the afternoon if looking for that special gift or if you need some personal gear. Especially with the holiday season upon us now there is something for everyone here. Why spend your day fighting the zombie hoarde in overcrowded malls when you can walk around in fresh air among the dozens of name brand shops here. Take a coffee break at Starbucks ( peppermint mocha for me! ) or grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants located throughout to re-energize and head back to discover some terrific deals. Don’t forget to hit up the customer services center to sign up for the TangerClub and receive a free coupon book to use. We did and saved even more moolah on our purchases. Also, there is a huge Bass Pro Shop being built as I type this that will be open Spring 2015. If you have a fishing and outdoors enthusiast in your life this will be your go-to spot when in AC. As with any outlet center you have to devote some time to look around and find the best deals. Take your time and enjoy a nice afternoon walking the streets here among the throng of diverse stores. Open most days until 8 or 9pm, and until 7pm on Sundays so you have a lot of time to use those credit cards and charge it! It’s definitely a shopping experience.
Overall, sometimes I would rather spend my cash on goods that I really need so this is a better way to spend the day other than in the casinos gambling. Oh, I do make sure to still fit that in too after I’m done with shopping as those one armed bandits and blackjack dealers are calling my name. After all, gambling is fun and the name of the game here in Atlantic City even with all the other things to do.
Remember kids, always split aces and eights, and double down whenever you have the chance. Gamble smart and go for it! Heck, you might win some cash to spend at the outlet stores! Jackpot!
Sheraton Atlantic City – http://www.sheratonatlanticcity.com/
Tanger Outlets – http://www.tangeroutlet.com/atlanticcity/
AC Jitneys – http://jitneyac.com/
DO AC – http://www.atlanticcitynj.com/
( Disclaimer – my fiancee and I were invited for a Fall Getaway media weekend in Atlantic City courtesy of DOAC, and even though this was included as part of the itinerary, it in no way influenced my thoughts, feelings, or review of the experience. I highly recommend checking out the Sheraton, shopping, and using the jitneys! )