Atlantic City- Vegas’ Poor Cousin?

10 sec takeaway: Atlantic City has a lot to offer- Casinos, Beaches and nightlife, just that it’s Vegas’ poor cousin. So, if you’re expecting AC to be anything like Vegas, you’re in for some disappointment. However, if you just want to take a 2- 3 day vacation without a big burn in your pocket- this is the place to go.

Trip Type: Casinos, Beach, Shopping

Last summer, I went on my first international road trip across East Coast in the United States. It was the most amazing and fun experience I’ve ever had and it helped me overcome most of my apprehensions. And the best part was seeing my friends along the way in different cities. I absolutely loved driving across the US and loved every bit of my road trip.

Atlantic city- Las Vegas of the East Coast
The drive was really beautiful

One of the last places I added to the trip was Atlantic City- Vegas of the East. But honestly, I added it to the trip only because of beaches, entertainment and shopping. On sharing the plan, I did hear mixed reactions from my friends but if there’s a beach, it can’t be a bad idea I thought!

So, we headed to Atlantic City and the drive to the city was beautiful.  

Atlantic city- Las Vegas of the East Coast
Entering the city

We had booked ourselves at the infamous Trump Taj Mahal. And a humongous building was standing to welcome us.

Atlantic city- Las Vegas of the East Coast
Welcome to the Trump Taj Mahal
Atlantic City- Vegas of the East cost
The palatial entrance Hallway

Although we reached in the morning, the huge neon light signage’s, helium air balloons, festive lighting wasn’t something we could ignore.

We rested in our beautiful room for a bit and then hit the swimming pool in the hotel.

Atlantic City- Vegas of the East cost
The view from the spacious room on the 19th floor
Atlantic City- Vegas of the East cost
Taj Trump Casinos

At about 4 pm, I headed out to the beach for a bit to soak in the sun and sand. It was quite clean but it wasn’t the one where you can swim. Shore of the beach also houses something of a mini amusement park for kids

Atlantic City- Vegas of the East cost
Life is good when there is beach involved


Atlantic City- Vegas of the East cost
Clear waters


In the evening, we headed out to the Boardwalk (It’s the Strip of Atlantic City)- the place has a lot of options for entertainment, some outdoor dining, shopping and lots of lots of casinos. The Boardwalk is the biggest entertainment hub and prime spot to explore while you’re in the city. If you’re lucky, the Boardwalk might be hosting free festivals and events that can keep you super entertained. The beach facing bars and restaurants have live music playing.

Atlantic City- Vegas of the East cost
Boardwalk: The Ripleys Believe it or not
Atlantic City- Vegas of the East cost
The crowd walking up and down boardwalk

Boardwalk has a long line-up of limitless options for outdoor dining, shopping, casinos, entertainment, etc- somewhat similar to Vegas. But, I’d like to call it the poor cousin of Vegas- for many reasons.

Atlantic City- Vegas of the East cost
Casinos in the city are open 24*7
Atlantic City- Vegas of the East cost
 Empty streets at 3 am on Saturday night 🙂

The vibe is just nowhere close to the larger than life vibe you get in Vegas. Walking alongside the beach with these lined up shops selling cheap stuff at exorbitant prices, felt like walking in some sort of a cheap fair- with a lot (LOT) of neon lights, outdoor eating options that aren’t really great and even the crowd is nothing comparable to what you see in Vegas. It’s definitely a cheaper option if you’re looking for casinos and beaches- but I’d say it’s a little too much calling it the Vegas of the East.

Atlantic City- Vegas of the East cost
Hardrock cafe AC- dont miss out noticing images of goddess saraswati and lord ganesha on the backdrop

Having said that, spending two days is not a bad idea- anything more than that is an overkill. Also, if you have a shopping streak, the city has a large spread of outlet stores to satisfy your retail itch. And, I’m told this is a great place to surf. You can also spoil yourself with a spa at the Exhale spa in Revel Casino hotel. You can also visit the Steel Pier while in the city- it’s a historical gift which was built in the 20th century but got some serious burn down in the 70s. Although it is going to be remodeled like the London Eye but the work is still on its way yet I think view of the Atlantic Sea from it is exceptional.

If you enjoy nightlife, look out for gigs at the various beach bars- nothing can beat the breeze in your hair, sand in your feet, martini in your hand and a live performance to tickle all your senses. That really was the best part of my trip.

Atlantic City- Vegas of the East cost
My fav part of the city
That margarita- yummmmmmmmmm
And that view while sipping your margarita
Atlantic City beach bars are a must visit

Although Atlantic city was a little disappointing from what I’d expected, all in all I got a decent deal with a little bit of gambling, some beach time, some nightlife and some shopping. So, if you’re planning to visit Atlantic city, please DO NOT I repeat DO NOT have any Vegas like expectations from the place and you’ll enjoy it J

Shop shop shop till you drop 🙂

If you’ve visited Atlantic City, please share your views J

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