Fishing is permitted from the jetties and on the shore
Swimming is permitted in various designated areas
On duty from 10 AM until 6 PM from Memorial Day through Labor Day
Fishing, Swimming, Body Boarding, Kayaking, Windsurfing
Lifeguards, Restrooms, Showers, Restaurants, Shopping
Free to access
Various free parking lots and garages near the beach
Long Branch Beach
Sandy Point Beach
Atlantic City Beach is one of the most famous beaches in New Jersey. It's located in Atlantic City, NJ along the state's southern coastline and is ironically home to the oldest boardwalk in the United States and the longest in the world.
The beach has everything from an expansive shoreline and butling boardwalk to five-star restaurants and live shows. Any beachgoer that's looking to enjoy ocean views, hang out at the beach, and enjoy fun beach activities, Atlantic City Beach is well worth checking out!
With so many things to see and do, the beach also makes for an excellent vacation destination for all kinds of travelers. With so many things to see and do, it's easy to spend a few days or weeks in this lively Jersey shore city.
Let's take a look at everything you need to know about Atlantic City beach, including its history, attractions, accommodations, and answers to common questions.
Atlantic City Beach History
Knowing a bit about Atlantic City's history makes way for appreciating what it is now. Long ago, the island was a summer home for the Lenni Lenape Indians, an Algonquian-speaking people.
In 1850, civil engineers Richard Osborne and Dr. Jonathan Pitney began the development of Absecon Island. The beautiful beaches and fresh sea breeze made way for the idea of a resort city.
In 1854, Atlantic City was incorporated, and a connecting railroad line from Camden, New Jersey was completed. With close proximity to major population areas, convenient train access, and appealing wide beaches, tourism began to boom.
On June 26, 1870, a small section of the Atlantic City Boardwalk opened to guests. This idea was born when a railroad conductor named Alexander Boardman thought that building a boardwalk could help keep sand out of the railcars and hotels.
The original structure was an 8-foot-wide temporary boardwalk that could be dismantled in the winter. This Atlantic City Boardwalk quickly became a popular summer attraction filled with family entertainment, from saltwater taffy shops and delicious restaurants to casinos and picture-perfect scenery. In fact, the city is where taffy candy was born in the early 80s.
In the 1970s, Atlantic City Beach took a hit in population and popularity due to the reliance on gambling for the economy. The state nor the city did much to diversify the local economy to make it less reliant on gambling, and the state's population hit an all-time low in 1990.
Today, Atlantic City's economy depends significantly on tourists. While casinos and gambling are still a large part of tourism, many guests come for beach activities, shopping opportunities, and other memorable attractions.
Atlantic City has so much to offer, including high-end retail boutiques for shoppers, water sports for adventure seekers, and local museums for history buffs. It's one of the few American beaches on the Atlantic Ocean with such a vast array of activities and entertainment.
Activities and Attractions
Atlantic City is bursting with activities and attractions for a fun-filled trip. Of course, the most famous attraction is the 5 ½ miles long, 60-foot-wide Atlantic City Boardwalk. This bustling boardwalk is one of New Jersey's most iconic piers. It offers most of Atlantic City's entertainment, including event venues, restaurants, and boutiques.
Atlantic City Beach has been called the “Las Vegas of the East” because of its many theaters and events, including beauty pageants and boxing matches. It's also home to gambling like Vegas!
Little ones love to visit Steel Pier, an amusement park overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It's on the Atlantic City boardwalk and has tons of rides, food vendors, games, and events. The colorful Ferris Wheel is a fan favorite, so be sure to check that out!
Of course, you'll also want to spend time on the beach. You can enjoy boogie boarding, kayaking, swimming, fishing, and windsurfing at the beach itself. And, although surfing isn't a hot topic in Atlantic City, there are actually great waves for those who want to surf. The long shoreline is also great for taking a stroll.
Tip: Atlantic City's beaches where more surfers hang out are Crystal Beach, Delaware Avenue Beach, and the Downtown Beach.
There is also plenty to check out if you're looking for other attractions and activities away from the beach while visiting Atlantic City. These include the Atlantic City Aquarium, Tanger Outlets, the historical Absecon Lighthouse and museum, and Egg Harbor Township Nature Reserve.
While Atlantic City Beach is filled with fun, there are some regulations and guidelines to follow to ensure all beachgoers' safety and enjoyment.
- Beach hours are from 6:00 AM until 10:00 PM. No visitors are permitted on the beach after hours.
- It's prohibited to be under the boardwalk at any time. However, this doesn't apply to city personnel, city contractors, or medical or law enforcement that are responding to an emergency. Visitors aren't allowed to enter, loiter, sleep, lounge or walk under the boardwalk.
- No alcohol is allowed on the beach unless you're a vendor with a permit that was issued by New Jersey law.
- Playing frisbee or catch is not permitted on the beach between June 15 and September 15.
- Spears and spear guns aren't allowed to be carried on the beach.
- Fires are only allowed in designated fire rings/pit structures.
Learn more about each of these here.
Where to Stay
There are tons of places to stay in Atlantic City, whether you're looking for a waterfront hotel or a place away from the hustle. Here are some of our favorite accommodations:
- Atlantic Palace Suites: laid-back apartment-style hotel rooms next to the beach and close to Atlantic City's main attractions.
- Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City: lively hotel with casino, nightclub, theater, and more on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
- Caesars Atlantic City Resort: a unique casino and hotel with an Ancient-Rome theme also within walking distance of the beach and boardwalk.
- The Water Club: sleek casino hotel a couple of miles from the beach, offering endless amenities, including a salon, a spa, restaurants, pools, and gyms.
Along with these hotels, you can find many others and vacation rentals.
Atlantic City Beach is an overall fantastic destination. It's one of the best beaches for enjoying some of everything. You can hang out on the beach area that's near all the action and enjoy watersports, live music, events, restaurants, and more. There are also quieter areas of the beach for visitors looking for some respite.
The beach is large enough for beachgoers to spread out and enjoy their beach day. It's also an excellent place to socialize and meet others.
Of course, if gambling is your thing or something on your bucket list, Atlantic City's casinos are perfect for you!
The iconic boardwalk is like no other. It's a great spot to stroll and appreciate the views, and it's home to restaurants, activities, and shops.