It’s easy to lose your head in Atlantic City. The booze is flowing, the tables are hot, and the party goes strong all the way through the night. We’re not out to kill the vibe, but there are a few things you should keep in mind before your weekend of revelry begins.
Don’t get too drunk
Especially when you’re out on the casino floor, drinks—like, free ones—are easy to come by. Enjoy yourself, of course, but don’t be that guy security’s removing from the dance floor or the blackjack table because you’re just too far gone.
Don’t stay cooped up in your hotel
Atlantic City’s casino resorts have absolutely everything you could need; great restaurants, fantastic amenities, gyms, spas, bars, and dance clubs. But make sure you take a few minutes during the weekend to, you know, go outside. A view of the Atlantic Ocean from your hotel room just isn’t quite the same as actually breathing in the salt air.
Don’t plan to drive
Atlantic City’s roads are roughly laid on a grid, so it’s not terribly hard to navigate downtown. But once you get out near the beach, things get a little bit winding, and it’s easy to get turned around. Plus, parking is expensive, especially around the bars and clubs. You’re much better off hopping in a cab or an Uber.
Don’t skip the ATM
There are plenty of ATMs on the casino floor and scattered throughout the resorts, but believe us – you don’t want to use them. They charge fees as high as $10 for a single withdrawal, so stop at an ATM somewhere else before you check in.
Don’t forget flats
There are plenty of places in AC where the dress code all but requires an incredible pair of stilettos, but the floors aren’t exactly made for walkin’. Between the gaps in the Boardwalk, and uneven surfaces such as the Tropicana’s cobblestones, it won’t be long until you’re wishing for flip flops. Plan ahead, and stick a pair in your bag.
Don’t skip the Boardwalk
Many of AC’s resort casinos have entrances off the Boardwalk, which makes it really easy for you to head down and take a stroll. The Boardwalk offers some of the best amusements, late night snacking, and people-watching in the city, so a walk down the planks is not to be missed.
Don’t leave yourself off the list
Especially on busy weekends, AC’s hottest nightclubs all have cover charges, which can sometimes be pretty steep. You’ll pay way less if you plan your night ahead of time, and put yourself on the guest list. Most clubs offer this option on their website or Facebook pages.
Don’t drive in the left lane
If you’re headed down the Atlantic City Expressway on a Friday afternoon, do us all a favor and get out of the left lane. New Jersey drivers use that lane for passing and passing only, and if you insist on staying there, you’ll have a lot of angry drivers on your bumper.
Don’t lose your car
Atlantic City’s parking garages are big. Like, really big. Which means it’s super easy to forget exactly which level you left your car on. There is nothing worse than wandering around a parking garage in search of your car in the harsh light of Sunday morning, so make a note of exactly where you park.
Don’t get separated
The casino floors are seriously big, and everything kind of looks the same. That means if you lose your friends, it’s going to be pretty tough to find them again. Keep tabs on each other, and make sure you designate a meeting place in case someone wanders off.
Don’t give in to the hangover
Atlantic City has some of the most incredible brunch spots, and you’ll miss out on all of them if you’re too hungover to make it out of your hotel room. Get it together enough to drag yourself to brunch, and greasy breakfast foods will make you feel instantly better, we promise.
Don’t stiff your servers
There are a whole lot of people whose job it is to make sure you have a great time in Atlantic City, and they all deserve a tip. Tip your bartenders, your casino dealers, your waiters and waitresses, and especially your hotel cleaning staff. Seriously, they’ve earned it.
Don’t touch the dancers
This is a hard-and-fast rule that applies not only in AC’s more… shall we say… risque establishments, but also in the regular nightclubs, where go-go dancers are often perched onstage or on pedestals throughout the room, keeping the party going. This should go without saying, but they’re at work. So leave them alone!
Don’t bet against your room
So you got carried away playing blackjack or roulette, and you’ve burned through your gambling budget. It happens! You can hit one of the aforementioned ATMs, or use your credit card to buy more chips. Just remember you haven’t been charged for your room until your official check-out time, and don’t spend more than you have!
Don’t forget to cash in your chips
If you win big, your instinct might be to pocket your chips and quit while you’re ahead. Good thinking – but don’t forget to take them to the casino window and exchange them for cold hard cash. Chips may be as good as gold in AC, but once you leave they’re just a pocketful of plastic.