Ever since members of the Lenni Lenape tribe became the first visitors to Absecon Island (where Atlantic City is located today), people have loved taking a stroll in the fresh sea air. But the Atlantic City Boardwalk wasn’t built as a footpath for tourists. It was actually the brainchild of one Alexander Boardman, a conductor for the Camden & Atlantic Railroad who couldn’t stand the sand piling up in his railcars. In 1870, Boardman designed his 10-foot-wide “Board Walk” from wooden planks, and it turned out to be a big hit. Now it lines 47 blocks of Atlantic City’s casinos, hotels, restaurants and shops.
You don’t have to stroll the entire Boardwalk to enjoy it. Whether you want to explore all 47 blocks, or just a few, here are some fun ways to do it.
Hop in a Rolling Chair
Despite what you may think, rolling chairs are not uncool. They’re a fun and nostalgic alternative to walking. Introduced in the late 1880′s, vacationers considered them a luxurious way to take a scenic tour of the Boardwalk. Today, they’re a great way to travel from one casino to another. As an added bonus on sunny summer days, the wicker chairs have a canopy that protects riders from the hot sun.
It’s easy to flag a rolling chair down. You can find them anywhere along the Boardwalk, especially around the casino entrances and the entrace to the Pier at Caesars.
The chairs operate year-round, and you pay by the block. So make sure you count the blocks to be certain you are charged correctly. And don’t forget to tip the driver!
Take a Stroll
Take it slow and explore the boards on foot. Stop for an ice cream cone, pizza or taffy, play some amusement games, or go casino-hopping. Make it an all-day event, or spend only an hour. This is Atlantic City at its best.
Ride a Bike
Bike riding is permitted on the Atlantic City Boardwalk between 6:30 am and 10 am daily. It’s a great way to get some exercise, watch the sunrise and explore the Boardwalk when it’s peaceful and quiet. You can rent bikes at B&K Bicycle Rental, Inc., which has a location at the south end of the Boardwalk at Iowa Avenue near Tropicana Casino and Resort and one at the north end, at North Carolina Avenue near Resorts Atlantic City.
Go for a Run
Get your morning run in while the Boardwalk is still deserted. It’s just you, the seagulls and the salty sea air. Or take it a step further and jog along the beach by the edge of the water. What could be better than that?
Shop ’til You Drop
You could actually spend the day walking from one shopping area to another. Grab your credit cards or some cash, then start at The Quarter in Tropicana Casino and Resort, and work your way up to the Pier Shops at Caesars. From there, keep going — there are luxurious shops in all of the casinos, and lots of fun and kitschy souvenir shops lining the Boardwalk.
[Photos courtesy of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority]