It’s no secret that one of the best things about Atlantic City, New Jersey is its proximity to the beach. However, Atlantic City has so much more to offer to visitors, especially in the summer. In the summer, Atlantic City comes alive. It is booming with people excited to relax, lay out in the sun, drink delicious cocktails, meet new people, and enjoy time with the ones they love. One of the best things about Atlantic City in the summer is that guests can participate in all of the wonderful winter activities in addition to everything that is available to them in the summer. These activities include going to the beach, learning to surf and SUP, enjoying Happy Hour and dinner outside beach or bayside, and more.
For a full list of things to do in Atlantic City in the winter, check out our post here!
Below is a full list of the best things to do in Atlantic City in the summer, we hope you have as much fun doing these activities as we do!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running! Thank you for your support!
Watch the Sunrise over the Ocean
Theres nothing better than waking up early and enjoying a relaxing morning watching the sunrise on the beach. Grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and head to the beach because summer sunrises in Atlantic City are worth the 5:00 am wake-up!
If you don’t want to get sandy on the beach you can also watch the sunrise on the upper level of The Playground, located across the boardwalk from Caesars. The Playground has comfortable adirondack chairs for guests who prefer to stay inside. These chairs look over the ocean and are the perfect indoor spot to watch the sunrise.
Get Active with a Morning Walk/Run on the Beach
If you are someone who enjoys being active early in the morning, Atlantic City is the perfect place for you! In our opinion, the Atlantic City beach and boardwalk are the perfect places to enjoy a morning walk or run during the summer.
For those who enjoy running, the boardwalk spans the entire length of the city and even into the neighboring town of Ventnor with no shortage of views. In addition to great views, running on the boardwalk can be very easy and peaceful. Runners do not have to stop for cars or lights nor do they have to worry about hills or potholes!
For those who prefer a calm morning walk, Atlantic City is perfect for that too! Grab a coffee and your sneakers and enjoy a calming walk along Atlantic City’s iconic boardwalk.
Go to the Beach
It is no secret that many visit Atlantic City during the summer months for one main reason…the beach. The beach in Atlantic City is four miles long spanning the entire length of the city and its iconic boardwalk. The beach is the perfect place to relax, enjoy a cold beverage, swim, or all of the above if you are up for an adventurous afternoon at the Jersey shore.
Depending on where you choose to sit, some hotels offer beach chairs and umbrellas to guests. Additionally, if you find yourself sitting in front of one of Atlantic City’s many beach bars you can receive waitress service while tanning on the beach. I mean what could be better than that!
Atlantic City’s beach is free to the public.
Learn to Surf or Stand-Up Paddle Board
Hoping to learn to surf or stand-up paddle (SUP) board during you vacation in Atlantic City? No problem, visit AC Surf School. AC Surf School offers both day sessions as well as camps for beginner and intermediate surfers. Lessons are offered everyday including weekends and each session is three hours long. Sessions include ocean safety, board control, and “pop up” instructions as well as basic board maneuvers. Beginner lessons include a soft-top board and wetsuit while intermediate sessions include more advanced boards and wetsuits.
SUP board lessons are similar to that of surf lessons, boards are supplied and lessons are taught by some of the best SUP boarders on the east coast.
Pricing & Timeslots
Beginner Session 8:00 am – 11:00 am: $60
Intermediate Session 8:00 am – 11:00 am: $60
SUP 8:00 am – 11:00 am: $60
Beginner Session 10:30 am – 1:30 pm: $60
Intermediate Session 10:30 am – 1:30 pm: $60
SUP 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm: $60
Beginner Session 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm: $60
Intermediate Session 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm: $60
SUP 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm: $60
Evening Fun Surf ALL LEVELS 7:00 pm until dark: $50
Adult Camps Monday through Friday 8:00 am – 2:00 pm: $500
Children’s Camp Monday through Friday 8:00 am – 2:00 pm: $400
Enjoy a Few Cocktails at a Beach Bar
Below are a list of our favorite bars in no particular order.
1. Bally's Beach Bar
Bally’s Beach Bar is centrally located outside of Caesars Atlantic City and Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino and next to The Playground. The beach bar opens daily around 12:00 pm and serves up amazing signature drinks and crisp cold beers from open to close. What’s better than enjoying your favorite beverage while listening to the waves crash on the beach and getting a tan? Yea, we don’t think anything can beat that either.
Bally’s Beach Bar also offers daily drink specials. Regardless of the day you are sure to find something you like on special.
Corona Extra/Corona Light $5
Mount Gay Black Barrel Cocktails $6
Hennessy Black Cognac Cocktails $6
Souvenir Pitchers $30
Leinenkugal’s Summer Shandy $5
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale $5
Bacardi Cocktails $6 Upgrade to a Bucket $14
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Cocktails $6
Wind Down Wednesdays
Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Hard Cider $5
Truly Lime Hard Seltzer $4
Henry’s Strawberry Kiwi Hard Sparkling Water $4
New Amsterdam Cocktails $6
Jameson Cocktails $6
1/2 Price Frozen Cocktails
Miller Light $4
Blue Moon Belgian White $5
Tito’s Handmade Cocktails $6
Captain Morgan Original Spiked Cocktails $6
On The Hunt Fridays
Coors Light $5
Stella Artois $6
Absolut Shaker Cocktails $6
Malibu Coconut Shaker Cocktails $6
Miller Light $5
Truly Lime Hard Seltzer $5
Coors Light $5
Henry’s Strawberry Kiwi Hard Sparkling Water $5
Not sure what to order? Kevin and I love the Tropical Storm and Blueberry Spritzer or a refreshing beer is always a good choice on a hot summer day!
2. LandSjhark Bar & Grill Atlantic City
Located on the boardwalk in front of Resorts Hotel & Casino is Jimmy Buffet’s LandShark Bar & Grill Atlantic City. Open Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 am until 10:00 pm and Friday and Saturday from 11:00 am until 11:00 pm, LandShark is the place to be in the summer. Regardless of whether you are with friends, family, or just your spouse you are bound to have a good time at LandShark Bar & Grill. LandShark offers guests adirondack chairs and cold beverages along with great views of the ocean and beach.
Don’t want to sit in the sun? That’s okay, LandShark Bar & Grill has indoor as well as porch seating.
3. Bungalow Beach
Looking for a beach bar with some California or Miami vibes, then Bungalow Beach Bar is the beach bar for you! Bungalow Beach Bar is located on the beach in front of Tropicana Atlantic City.
Bungalow is an open air venue featuring beach chairs, day beds, and cabanas. In addition to being an amazing place to relax and soak up the sun, Bungalow Beach Bar also allows guests to cool off in its very own pool! Need a refreshing drink? No problem, they offer a variety of different beer and cocktails as well as hookah and light food options for those who need a quick bite to eat.
Unlike LandShark Bar & Grill, Bungalow Beach Bar is not necessarily for everyone. This venue is packed with young adults and their friends looking to have a good time and meet new people.
4. The Beach Bar at Hard Rock
Located on the beach next to LandShark Bar & Grill and in front of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is The Beach Bar at Hard Rock. The Beach Bar at Hard Rock provides customers the typical tropical oasis with Hard Rocks’ famous rock star twist. Guests can put their feet in the sand while sipping on some of Atlantic City’s finest frozen cocktails and listening to some of south Jerseys best bands and DJs. No worries though if frozen beverages aren’t your drink of choice, The Beach Bar at Hard Rock offers a fully stocked bar so guests can order whatever they are craving.
Party on the Beach at HQ2 Beachclub
Located in Ocean Resort & Casino is HQ2 Beachclub. HQ2 is open Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend and is known for throwing the best day parties in Atlantic City. HQ2 features the most sought after DJs and welcomes some of the biggest celebrities each summer. DJs who have preformed here in the past include Kaskade, Dirtybird Players, Steve Aoki, DJ Snake and more.
Hoping to see your favorite DJ at HQ2 Beachclub this summer? We recommend purchasing tickets in advance. Tickets are generally $20 for ladies and $25 for men; however they can cost more depending who is spinning that day. HQ2 Beachclub also offers bottle service, so if you are looking for a good place to host a bachelor or bachelorette party you may want to check out this spot. Bottle prices vary depending on the type of bottle you purchase and the amount of people in your party. HQ2 also offers a number of different cabanas for guests to purchase depending on their group size.
HQ2 Beachclub is open every Saturday from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm and every Sunday from 12:00 pm until 6:00 pm in the summer, weather permitting.
Parasail over the Ocean with Atlantic City Parasail
For those who don’t enjoy sitting on the beach all day or swimming in the ocean, Atlantic City Parasail has just the thing for you! Founded in 2010, Atlantic City Parasail offers customers the chance to see the beach, beach bars and the oceans amazing sea life all while guiding above the waves a few meters off shore. Equipped with an Ocean Pro 31, this safe and enjoyable experience can hold 12 passengers per trip so don’t forget to bring 11 of your closest friends and family!
Parasailing with Atlantic City Parasail costs $80 per person and is an experience you’ll never forget!
Enjoy the Rides & Munchies at Steel Pier
Steel Pier, located at 1000 Boardwalk across from Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, is a 1,000 foot amusement park stretching over the ocean. Founded in 1898, Steel Pier is Atlantic City’s oldest theme park and is full of enjoyable play to win games and exciting rides. Steel Pier offers ride options like Slingshot, Bumper Cars, Crazy Mouse, and more. In addition to an array of different ride options, Steel Pier also offers guests helicopter rides over Atlantic City.
If helicopter rides aren’t for you, but you are looking for great views of the city that is okay. Steel Pier is also home to an observation wheel where riders can enjoy views of the beautiful city and coastline while seated safely and comfortably inside the wheel.
Tickets & Pricing
Single Tickets: $1.25 each
Book of 50 Tickets and Coupons: $45.00
Book of 80 Tickets and Coupons: $65.00
Two Ticket Tuesday: All rides 2 tickets from 1pm-6pm
Rockin’ Wristband Thursday: Unlimited Rides from 1:00 pm until 6:00 pm: $30.00 per wristband
Looking for a quick bite? Steel Pier has a great assortment of the classics, they serve up everything from funnel cakes and ice cream to hot dogs and pizza!
Go for a Dip in the Hotel Pool
If you have read our previous post, Things to do in Atlantic City in the Winter, you know it doesn’t have to be summer to swim in Atlantic City. Most hotels offers guests both indoor and outdoor pools so guests can enjoy swimming no matter what time of the year. Below is a list of our favorite outdoor hotel pools in Atlantic City.
1. H2O Pool
Located on the 6th floor roof at Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino is H20 Pool. H2O Pool has a beautiful pool located at the center of the space as well as hot tubs, fire pits, private party cabanas and daybeds, and an amazing cafe and bar. This is a great place to get away from the casino action and have a relaxing afternoon or could be the perfect place to spend the late afternoon pregaming and getting ready for a fun night out in the city.
H2O Pool is complimentary to those staying at the Golden Nugget. For those staying at another hotel there is a $25 entrance fee per guest ($40 on holidays such as 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day).
During the day the pool is open to everyone, however, guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. After 7:00 pm, H2O Pool only permits adults 18 years of age or older to enter the venue.
2. Eclipse: The Pool at Ocean
Eclipse is Ocean Casino Resorts family-friendly indoor/outdoor heated pool. Eclipse is located oceanside offering guests beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean while swimming. This pool is open daily from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm all year for guests staying at Ocean Casino Resort. Unfortunately, those not staying at the hotel are not permitted to swim here and will be asked to leave if caught.
3. The Boardwalk Pool
Also located at Ocean Casino Resort is The Boardwalk Pool. The Boardwalk Pool is HQ2 Beachclub during the week. Yes thats right, during the week HQ2 Beachclub is open and referred to as The Boardwalk Pool. This pool is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm during the summer season. Here guest can enjoy a full bar including bottle service, a cold food menu, and music played by the best local DJs.
Much like H20 Pool at the Golden Nugget, The Boardwalk Pool offers guests the best of both worlds. Whether you want to relax poolside and work on your tan or want to get the night started early the option is all yours!
The Boardwalk Pool is complimentary to guests staying at Ocean Casino, though it is open to non-guests for a small fee of $20.
4. Caesars Rooftop Pool and Observation Deck
Another one of our favorite outdoors pools in located right in the heart of the city at Caesars. Caesars Rooftop Pool and Observation Deck may be small then the other pools on this list but it is definitely worth a visit. This rooftop pool is strictly a 21 and over environment and is complete with a large deck bar, comfortable lounge chairs, and cabanas. The lounge chairs are first come first serve, however, the cabanas could be either reserved in advance or first come first serve on slower days. Included in the price of the cabana is either two drinks and fruit basket or a professional massage, your choice!
Caesars Rooftop Pool and Observation Deck is open to Caesars guests only for a small fee of $5 Monday through Thursday and $10 Friday through Sunday and on holidays. Seven Star and Diamond members receive complimentary access for themselves and a guest as long as their member card is shown at the entrance.
5. Borgata Outdoor Pool
Though this pool does not have a specific name or title it should definitely not be overlooked. The outdoor pool at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has over 400 chaise lounges, cabanas, and daybeds as well as one of the largest most refreshing pools on this list. This is a great place to relax in the sun while enjoying some of your favorite food and drinks.
Unfortunately, you must be 21 or older to get into Borgata Outdoor Pool.
6. The Water Club Outdoor Pool
Whether you want to relax and sunbathe or party the outdoor pool at The Water Club is the place for you, if your 21 that is! Similar to Borgata’s outdoor pool, The Water Club’s outdoor pool offers guests cabanas and daybeds as well as amazing poolside snacks and cold beverages. Daybeds and cabanas do need to be rented at this particular pool so make sure to rent them in advance.
Enjoy Dinner or Happy Hour by the Beach or Bay
Atlantic City is a great place to enjoy Happy Hour or dinner outside. Whether you want to eat and drink on the ocean or by bay the option is all yours. Here are some of our favorite outdoor Happy Hour locations.
Harry's Oyster Bar & Seafood
Harry’s Oyster Bar & Seafood is home to some of the freshest and best seafood on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. In addition to amazing entree and appetizer options, Harry’s Oyster Bar & Seafood offers a delicious Happy Hour. Monday through Friday from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm, Harry’s “Buck-a-Shuck” is offered at the bar. “Buck-a-Shuck” consists of $1 oysters on the half shell, $3 Bud Light drafts, $4 Blue Point Toasted Lager, $5 red and white wines, and $5 house gin or vodka cocktails.
Harry’s Oyster Bar & Seafood also offers weekday specials on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays. What’s that mean? Come out on Tuesday to take part in “Tito’s Tuesdays” when Tito’s mixed drinks and martini’s are only $5. On Wednesdays, Harry’s hosts Wine Wednesday where select glasses of wine can be purchased all day for only $5!
Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall
Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall is located just steps from Atlantic City’s iconic boardwalk and beach. Here guests can enjoy hanging out with friends and family over a few beers and their favorite snacks. Tennessee Beer Hall features over 100 draft and bottled beers as well as a generous wine and cocktails list for those interested in drinking something other than beer.
At Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall, Happy Hour is served daily from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm Monday through Friday and from 10:00 pm until close Sunday to Thursday. Yep, you read that right, Monday through Thursday Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall offers Happy Hour twice a day! During these times, select craft beers and wines are $5, AC Tea and their Perfect Tenn Margarita are $6, and shots of Jack Daniels are $3. They also offer Happy Hour snacks for those looking for a quick bite. The snacks range from $3 to $5 and consist of nachos, chips and dip, fries, burgers and more.
Sirens Bar & Grill
Looking for a place to relax, have a few drinks, listen to live music, and play some outdoor yard games? Head over to Sirens Bar & Grill located in Kammerman’s Marina in Atlantic City. Sirens Bar & Grill was established in 2017 and has been busting at the seams ever every summer. Since Sirens is located on the bay guests can come by boat, by car, or even by foot if they so choose.
Happy Hour is served Monday through Thursday from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and includes $5 house wine, $4 domestic beer, and more.
Back Bay Ale House
Back Bay Ale House is quite a hit among both locals and tourists. Located in Historic Gardner’s Basin right along the bay, Back Bay Ale House is famous for the Basin Mason!
The Basin Mason’s are cocktails served in mason jars ranging from 16 to 32 ounces. Some popular Basin Mason’s are Blueberry Lemonade, Sunset Margarita, and the Mojito, but if none of those are making your mouth water don’t worry there are eight more to choose from!
In addition to great drinks, Back Bay Ale House offers great sandwiches and seafood as well as a fun Key West vibe!
20 of the Best Happy Hour Spots in Atlantic City
Looking for more of the best Happy Hour spots in Atlantic City?
Check out our post below where we go into details about all of our favorite spots!20 of the Best Happy Hour Spots in Atlantic City
Enjoy a Booze Cruise
There’s no better way to end your day or start your evening than a booze cruise… am I right? Atlantic City Cruises offers an awesome Happy Hour cruise daily at 6:00 pm from Historic Gardners Basin. This Happy Hour cruise takes guests through the calm marinas and back bays of Atlantic City all while sipping on their favorite beverages, listening to great music, and having fun with friends and family.
All are welcome on Atlantic City’s Happy Hour cruises however prices range depending on age.
Cruise & Open Bar Cocktails: $40
Adults (Ages 16 – 61): $20
Seniors (Age 62 +): $15
Children (Ages 5 – 15): $10
Military Personal: $15
Sing Along to Your Favorite Artist at a Beach Concert
For the last few years Atlantic City has been entertaining guests with amazing concerts on the beach held by some of the top artists of that year. Artists like Sam Hunt, Cole Swindell, Jimmy Buffet, Blake Shelton, P!nk, and more have performed on the Atlantic City beach and its not stopping there. This year (2020) Atlantic City is hosting BRT Weekend. BRT Weekend is Atlantic City, New Jerseys Beach Music Festival which is the ultimate destination day-party series. This festival will be held from July 10th until July 12th and tickets can be purchased online at Eventbrite.
Watch the Atlantic City Airshow: Thunder over the Boardwalk
Thunder over the Boardwalk is Atlantic City’s annual airshow that has been held every summer since 2003. This airshow was one of the first of its kind and has set the bar for airshows all over the country. What makes this airshow so unique? Not only is it held on a Wednesday but it is held over the Atlantic Ocean and right in front of AC’s iconic boardwalk and casino resorts. Thunder over the Boardwalk is also completely free to guests, unless you wish to purchase premium seating, and one heck of a good time!
Guests can watch the airshow from their hotel rooms, the beach, any of the beach bars (they open early that day to accommodate visitors), or the boardwalk. If you have never been to Thunder over the Boardwalk Kevin and I can’t recommend it enough, its an experience like no other!
Our Packing Essentials
Atlantic City is a great place to vacation whether you are looking to get away for a day, a weekend, or a week. Atlantic City is located along New Jerseys’ famous coast and known for its entertaining casinos, top-notch spas, and amazing restaurants. However, there is more to Atlantic City then just this. In the summer, AC is booming with guests looking to get away and enjoy the beautiful weather, sandy beach, awesome beach bars, and exquisite Happy Hour and dinner locations.
- Watch the Sunrise over the Ocean
- Get Active with a Morning Run on the Beach
- Go to the Beach
- Learn to Surf or Stand-Up Paddle Board
- Enjoy a Few Drinks at a Beach Bar
- Party on the Beach at HQ2 Beachclub
- Parasail over the Ocean with Atlantic City Parasail
- Enjoy the Rides & Munchies at Steel Pier
- Go for a Dip in the Hotel Pool
- Enjoy Dinner or Happy Hour Outside
- Enjoy a Booze Cruise
- Sing Along to Your Favorite Artist at a Beach Concert
- Watch the Atlantic City Airshow: Thunder over the Boardwalk
As always, if you have any recommendations that we missed please leave us a comment below. Kevin and I love to learn about new things to do and see in one of our favorite south Jersey cities!