History Meets Fun in Atlantic City

If you’re planning a trip to the Mid-Atlantic region, you might be thinking New York City is where all the action is. Not so fast. The Big Apple’s cousin to the south, New Jersey, is a great vacation hot spot in its own right. In particular, Atlantic City is steeped in history and teeming with activities, making it a fun-filled destination for couples and families alike. Incorporated in 1854, the seaside resort city has gradually blossomed into one of the country’s go-to places for casino action, vibrant nightlife and relaxation, thanks in part to its prime location along the Atlantic Ocean.

One of the area’s biggest draws is the historic Atlantic City Boardwalk, whose history stretches back to 1870 and along which travelers will find a host of shops, resorts, hotels, piers, arcades, museums and much more. (The Boardwalk is a whopping 60 feet wide and more than 4 feet long.) Among the Boardwalk’s notable attractions are the Atlantic City Aquarium, with more than eighteen exhibits including a 25,000 gallon tank; Gardner’s Basin, a bayside park boasting everything from fine dining to sightseeing cruises; and the Garden Pier, which now houses the Atlantic City historical museum and Art Center. The annual Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival – slated to run July 29 through August 1 – features four jam-packed days of events, celebrity appearances and food and wine tastings. Even if you’re not an aviation junkie, you’ll enjoy “Thunder Over the Boardwalk,” where impressive aerobatics maneuvers and flybys that reach up to 150,000 feet and as low as 50 feet over the water are sure to hold spectators spellbound.

Boardwalk Hall, declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1987, once held one of The Beatles’ largest-ever concerts and currently hosts the Miss’d America Pageant and men’s college basketball games. Lovers of the outdoors can commune with nature at Wharton State Forest while boating buffs will feel right at home at the Farley Marina, whose 640 floating slips can accommodate yachts as long as 300 feet. If traveling from New York City to Atlantic City by train, travelers can take advantage of Atlantic City Express Service (ACES), which runs Friday through Sunday and takes passengers from New York’s Penn Station to Atlantic City Rail Terminal in less than 3 hours on average.

The Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort is conveniently situated at the top of the Boardwalk. Though you’re more than 2,000 miles away from Las Vegas, you’ll feel immersed in the excitement Sin City gaming while inside the casino, which offers slot and table games including Blackjack, Poker and Roulette. The resort also has a state-of-the-art theater built to showcase the talents of such noted celebrities as KC & the Sunshine Band. Plus, the resort’s 13,000 square-foot Health Spa comprises a steam room, sauna, hot tub and indoor swimming pool.

Affording splendid views of the Atlantic City skyline are Travelodge Bayside and Comfort Bayside Inn. Though a little further from the world-famous Boardwalk – two and four miles away, respectively – both properties suit business travelers and pleasure seekers alike. Travelodge Bayside features an expansive outdoor swimming pool and meeting rooms, while Comfort Bayside Inn offers free Continental breakfast and complimentary shuttle service to the Tropicana Casino on Fridays and Saturdays.

Half a block from the Boardwalk and adjacent to the Tropicana lies the Ascot Motel, a great option for the budget-minded. The outdoor pool is open seasonally (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend) and guests can start their day off right with complimentary coffee in the lobby. Though the property might be thinner on amenities than its hotel counterparts, that doesn’t mean travelers will have to sacrifice comfort, let alone good service – the front desk is open 24 hours a day. La Renaissance, meanwhile, is synonymous with family-friendly. Its One and Two Bedroom Suites, all with balconies, feature separate living and dining areas and are spacious enough to sleep anywhere from four to six people.

Though New York City may still lay claim to the title of most popular destination in the Mid-Atlantic, there is no denying Atlantic City holds its own as a place where couples and families alike can lap up a profusion of great attractions.

Atlantic City Tipping Guide

Have you ever thought; “How much should I tip this person?” when on vacation in Atlantic City, NJ? Most travelers visiting Atlantic City for the first time, have no idea who and how much to tip casino service providers. For sure, if you read my guide to tipping, you’ll feel much more comfortable about it next time. 

It’s important to keep in mind that many casino workers rely heavily on tips from customers, some make a very low hourly wage to begin with and rely on the extra income from tips. In some cases tipping some key people can turn into an incredible experience for you and your posse. How would you like an upgrade to a nicer room or suite, and  a VIP table in a top nightclub or front row seats for a show, it’s all possible if you follow this guide. OK, here we go!

Restaurant Maitre d’ – During busy times or if you desire a specific table location, it may necessary to take care of the Maitre d’. Simply fold a $10 or $20 bill in the palm of your hand and shake his hand, asking if there are any available tables. If there is nothing he can do, he will hand your money back to you.

Showroom Captain – Some Casino shows are General Admission, in this case, identify the Showroom Captain and shake their hand with a $20 bill, they will gladly find a great location for you. This works with all general seating shows.

Nightclub Bouncer / Doorman – This is one underused do to the intimidation factor of these big guys. If you want to by pass a line or get into a certain area of a nightclub, have the first guy in your party put $50 in his hand, follow in a single file line, the first guy shakes the bouncers hand and says, “I have # of people with me”, the bouncer will escort you into the club, if he is unable to accept tips he will say so and give the money back.

Front Desk Clerk (Room Upgrade) – I do this one everywhere I go. When you arrive at the Front Desk, place a $20 bill between your ID and your credit card, simply hand to the Front Desk agent and say “Are there any complimentary upgrades tonight?.” Once again, if they are unable to help, they will hand back your money.

Here’s Quick Look Guide at Tipping in Atlantic Casinos – Lucky 21

1. Dealers – Rule of thumb is $5 per hour you are playing at a table.

2. Cocktail Servers – $1 per drink on the casino floor.

3. Slot Attendants- Hand Pay Outs – 0.5% to 1% of total jackpot payout.

4. Keno Runners – $1 per ticket, more if you hit one!

5. Horse Racing Teller – Always leave the change for each cashed ticket, give more if you win.

6. Massage Therapist – Generally 10% – 20%, check to make sure the tip isn’t included.

7. Hair Salon Technician – $5 per hair cut, 15% for other services like nails etc.

8. Concierge – $5 per dining reservation, more for additional services.

9. Musician / Singer / Entertainer – $5 per night if you enjoy the music, $10 for requests!.

10. Shuttle Driver – $2 for Free Shuttle Service to other casinos.

11. Wine Steward – 10% – 15% of the total wine bill, hopefully he delivers on your requests.

12. Houseman – Delivers extra blankets, Pillows, Towels etc give him a minimum of $2.

13. Cab Driver – Atlantic City trips are short so $2 plus change for the short trips 15% longer.

14. Limousine Driver – Short free trips $5,  

15. Parking Valet – $2 – $5, I say $2 for standard cars and $5 or more for luxury cars.

16. Chambermaid – $1 – $2 per day is sufficient. Most commonly overlooked service provider.

17. Room Service – 15% (May already be included)

18. Waiter/Waitress – 15% for coffee shops and casual dining, 20% for fine dining and gourmet.

19. Tour Guide, Driver – $2 – $5 depending on length of tour.Trolley Tours, Vineyard Tours etc

20. Doorman $1 to $2 if he hails you a cab, $1 to $5 if he carries your bags.

21. Bellman – $1 per bag, $2 for very large or heavy bags.

Wow, that’s a lot of potential tips a customer visiting an Atlantic City hotel or casino could have to fork out of their pocket. As you can tell, some of these service industry positions do not require a tip, however, it’s based on your discretion. I believe in paying forward good Karma, thus, tipping whenever I can to hopefully make someone’s day I hope this guide to tipping really helps you enjoy your next casino vacation at the Jersey Shore.

Recommended Hotels Near the Walk of Atlantic City

The Walk in Atlantic City is home to many stores with wide selections of apparels, beauty and cosmetic products, electronic gadgets and many other items. Many stores give big discounts, making your shopping more affordable. This place is ideal for visitors who love to shop or those who just enjoy window shopping.

While you are on vacation or on a business trip, hotels within the area are ideal for your accommodation needs. They are accessible to the many attractions around.

Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel
The Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel provides the friendliest service that will make you feel at home and comfortable. Guests are offered many exciting options to enjoy shopping, the casinos or a stroll at the boardwalk outside.

There are 502 guestrooms available combined with Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed for maximum comfort and features a high-speed Internet access, keeping you connected with colleagues or business clients.

Guestroom amenities include:
o Club Level Room
o Movies and Video Games
o Cable TV with Remote Control
o Handicap Accessible Facilities
o Fax service/Copy service/Printing
o Cribs
o Oversized Desk
o Rollaway Beds
o Coffee Maker
o Voicemail
o ISDN Telephone Line
o Maid Service
o Room Service
o Smoke Detectors
o Telephone
o Smart Room
o Connecting Rooms Available
o Individual Climate Control
o Refrigerator Available (Charge)
o Iron and Ironing Board
o Non-Smoking Room
o Data Port
o In-Room Safe
o Ergonomic Desk Chair
o Jacuzzi in Room
o Bathrobes
o The Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Dog Bed Available
o Hair dryer

A complimentary breakfast is provided, served daily with your choice of breakfast. For lunch and dinner, you can dine at Boulevard Café or at the Shoe Bar. They serve the most delicate cuisines, cocktails and many other menus which will surely satisfy your appetite.

You can still do business through the hotel’s business center that provides services such as fax, photocopy and printing. You can also request for office supplies available free of charge. You can host corporate events at the hotel’s spacious conference rooms equipped with all the necessary facilities. The business rooms are conducive to large gatherings.

After a busy schedule, guests can indulge in exciting activities such as golfing, play tennis, fishing, and water sports. They can opt to jog along the boardwalk.

Showboat Mardi Gras Casino Hotel
The Showboat Mardi Gras Casino Hotel is ideally located at one of the beaches of Atlantic City. This hotel provides the best entertainment package plus superb accommodation with its 1,300 luxurious guestrooms.

Guests can choose from the different types of accommodation:
o Deluxe Rooms
o Premium Rooms
o House of Blues Studio
o Bourbon Tower Suite

Guestroom amenities:
o High-speed internet access
o Microwave oven
o Satellite TV
o Pay movies
o Telephone
o Fully air conditioned rooms
o In- room safe
o Desks with chairs
o Room service
o Wake up call

The hotel is an ideal place to stay, with many dining places and entertainment areas nearby.

All guestrooms feature an outstanding view of the oceanfront.

Have the most exciting game of your choice at the casino featuring wide array of games from slot machines, table games and many other games.

Guests can have a refreshing dive at the swimming pool located at the rooftop or have a healthy workout at the fitness center with state-of-the-art equipments.