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AC Beyond Casinos: Mansions, Lighthouse, Memorials, Heritage Sites and concerts at newest Casino

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

For people who have visited Atlantic City once or multiple times, visitors tend to focus on the casinos and the few miles of the Boardwalk from Ocean Resort Casino to Boardwalk Hall. Stop, look and see beyond the casinos for the unexpected. For a different view of AC, start first in the southern section of the Boardwalk.

Mansions along the Boardwalk

The Boardwalk's southern section from the Ventnor border reflects another time when Atlantic City was the major seaside resort on the entire East Coast. The neighborhood of Lower Chelsea reflects a more suburban feel, and many of the homes maintain their early 1900s architectural style.

World War I Memorial

In a busy traffic circle where Route 40 meets Atlantic Avenue is O'Donnell Memorial Park with a striking classical structure that honors World War 1 soldiers from Atlantic City. The rotunda houses a 9-foot bronze statue titled Liberty in Distress.

World War I Memorial

African American Heritage

One man’s passion for collecting has been turned into a museum with about 15,000 artifacts that tell stories of African Americans and their contribution to and impact on Atlantic City and the surrounding area. It's located in the Noyes Arts Garage on North Mississippi Avenue near the exit of the Atlantic City Expressway. About eight blocks north is the Civil Rights Garden that honors the long journey of black Americans to achieve freedom and equality.

(From the vantage point of the beachfront or boardwalk, this is a breezy overview of what you see, where to park and beach access, plus a bit or history and the latest happenings. See map below.)

Absecon Lighthouse

View from the top of the lighthouse

The tallest lighthouse on the Jersey Shore is the Absecon Lighthouse overlooking Absecon Inlet. Construction began in 1854, with the light first lit three years later. Climb the lighthouse for an amazing view of the northern end of Atlantic City and Brigantine. At this date, only Absecon and Cape May lighthouses are open for public visitation. Stop at the gift shop for a variety of Atlantic City memorabilia.


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at Absecon Lighthouse Gift Shop

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Ocean Resort Casino

The newest casino

At the northern of the Boardwalk is a sleek glass tower that's the tallest building in the city and can be seen for miles in every direction. The Ocean Resort Casino is the newest casino in Atlantic City and a popular place for gamblers and non-gamblers to spend the night.

The Ocean Resort Casino is one of nine casinos each of which has a hotel, except Borgata has two hotels. Non gaming hotels include Showboat Atlantic City, The Claridge HOtel, Sheraton Atlantic City, and Courtyard by Marriott.

New wind turbines west of the marina district.

When did Atlantic City get its name

Cape May to the south and Long Branch to the north established themselves as seaside destinations long before Atlantic City which was challenged because it could only be reached by boat. By 1850, Dr. Jonathan Pitney, a local physician, and a group of businessmen arranged for a railroad charter. Two years later, a civil engineer from Philadelphia, Richard B. Osborne, designed the city's layout and proposed the name Atlantic City.

Tips for visiting Atlantic City

What's New: Nothing new to report as the entertainment industry returns to normal.

Access and Parking: The city has direct access from the Atlantic City Expressway that ends four blocks from the beach. Two blocks west of the Boardwalk is Atlantic Avenue. It's the main thoroughfare in the city running south into Ventnor. A block east toward the Boardwalk is Pacific Avenue which leads to the six casinos on the Boardwalk and the parking lots closest to the beach. Parking is not free and can be expensive. Here's the official parking map.

Amenities: There are restrooms and showers has several locations on the Boardwalk.

Beaches: Free.

Starring Role: AC is famous throughout the world and in Hollywood, which has featured the resort in Atlantic City, King of Marvin Gardens, Eddie and the Cruisers, Warrior, The Bounty Hunter, Homeboy, The Pick-Up Artist, Snake Eyes, Godfather III, Celebrity, The Money, Marnie, Ocean’s 11, The Lemon Sisters, Desperately Seeking Susan, Eddie and the Cruisers.

This spring, summer and fall, follow Jersey Shore author and expert R.C. Staab as he walks the entire 139 miles of the Jersey Shore coastline from Sandy Hook to Island Beach State Park, the length of Long Beach Island from Old Barney to the Edwin Forsythe Wildlife Refuge, from Brigantine to Cape May.

Next stop: Ventnor at Jersey Shore Walk Mile post 80. See profiles of North Brigantine, Long Beach Island and every beach and town on the northern part of the Jersey Shore and Long Beach Island at


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Get the scoop on seafood, salt water taffy and ice cream joints. Plus discover quiet beaches, historic sites and outdoor adventures with 100 Things to Do at the Jersey Shore Before You Die.


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