While most people think of visiting New Jersey and Atlantic City in the summer, fall offers visitors a totally unique experience. The fact is, the Garden State has a lot to offer visitors any time of the year. Read on, for the seven most compelling reasons to visit New Jersey in the fall.
Discounted, Off-Season Rates
After Labor Day, airfare and hotel rates to Atlantic City drop dramatically, as do the crowds. If you’d like to avoid the crowds and save money, Fall is the perfect time to visit Atlantic City. You’ll practically have the casino floor all to yourself and you may not need to make restaurant reservations.
While it might be too chilly to enjoy the pool or the beach, Fall is also a nice time to indulge in spa treatments. Nearly every hotel-casino resort in the city has a luxury spa for guests to enjoy.
Live Entertainment and Festivals
Live shows happen year-round in Atlantic City, and fall is a good time to experience a live concert, comedy show, or festival. Big-name acts routinely play in Atlantic City, and fall is a good time to see your favorite acts.
September in nearby Ventnor brings the annual Downbeach Seafood Festival. This family-friendly festival features the best seafood New Jersey has to offer. Smithville, a historic town 14-miles from Atlantic City, hosts both an Octoberfest and the Smithville Irish Festival.
Epic Christmas Shopping
Playground Pier in Atlantic City features 4-stories of high-end, designer shopping. You can pick up holiday gifts for friends and family at the Apple Store, Sports City, and B-Iconic. The Tanger Outlet Stores also offer Christmas shoppers plenty of deals on designer clothing and lots more. You’ll find dozens of high-end shops with discounted designer merchandise, ranging from Abercrombie & Fitch, J Crew, Reebok to Zumiez.
Visit the Amusement Park at Steel Pier
Enjoy all of the rides and attractions without the crowds at New Jersey’s oldest amusement park. It’s a place to have good, old-fashioned fun for kids of all ages. The best-known ride at Steel Pier is the iconic Wheel, the epic Ferris Wheel that can be seen all along the Board Walk.
It’s also a place to enjoy classic fair food, like hot dogs, funnel cakes, and ice cream. There’s also live music every day, adding to the festive atmosphere.
Drive outside of Atlantic City for fabulous fall color. The state has many small towns and hidden natural wonders, such as the beautiful Great Falls in Paterson.
But, closer to Atlantic City is the Wharton State Forest. Within the park are the historic Batsto Village, and the Atsion Mansion, built in 1826. During the fall, Wharton State Forest explodes with fall color, and it’s worth staying the night to fully enjoy the experience. While the forest doesn’t have slot machines, you can still play anywhere in the state from your smartphone. Find out more about mobile gambling in New Jersey here.
Long, Lonely Beaches
While the Jersey Shore beaches are the hottest thing going during the summer, it’s practically deserted by fall. If you crave an introspective experience, put on a sweater and walk the beaches in the fall. You’ll see and feel the Atlantic Ocean in all of its tumultuous, furious splendor once the weather turns chilly.
Fall is also a good time to go surf fishing in New Jersey. Late October surf fishing means you’ll be reeling in dogfish, skate, whiting, and best of all, big, fat striped bass and bluefish. However, the prime fishing beaches will not be lonely; surf fishers from all over the northeast flock here for the abundant catch.
Visit the Lighthouse and Aquarium at Absecon Inlet
Absecon Inlet is home to both one of the tallest lighthouses in the country and the Atlantic City Aquarium. It’s a fascinating look into the region’s pre-gambling maritime history.
Between 1857 and 1933, the lighthouse stood guard, guiding ships safely through the inlet into the bay. The lighthouse has a museum in the old light keeper’s house that tells the story of the region’s maritime history. Climb the 228 steps to the top for an expansive view of the surrounding region.
Not far from the lighthouse is the Atlantic City Aquarium. The Aquarium is home to more than 100 species of marine animals, including the fish found off the New Jersey coast. Both the aquarium and the lighthouse are a great day trip if you have brought the kids along.
While most people pay a visit to Atlantic City to enjoy not only the casinos but also the sunny, warm beaches, fall has a lot to offer too.