Thursday, July 18, 2013

10+ Artsy Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in Atlantic City


By Jacquelin Carnegie - (Atlantic City, NJ)



(photo: ACA)
While Atlantic City, New Jersey is known for its 24-hour casinos and all-you-can-eat buffets, there's much more on offer here. The kitsch and the cool coexist, creating a unique environment that's fun to explore. Start on the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk, built in 1870. It's lined with all kinds of places from fast-food stands and funky shops to great restaurants and an array of resort hotels. You can stroll leisurely along, taking in the sights, or ride in one of the "Rolling Chairs," first introduced in 1887. Along the way, you'll be amazed at some of the lesser-known cultural offerings.
Ballet By the Beach

ACB on John Roloff's Étude Atlantis (photo: JCarnegie)
Atlantic City Ballet
www.acballet.org
If you thought Atlantic City was just full of roulette wheels and one-arm bandits, you're in for a treat. A multi-cultural company of young and enthusiastic professional dancers performs classical ballets and contemporary dance pieces throughout the year for audiences of all ages.
Oceanside Movie Viewing
Downbeach Film Festival/Atlantic City Cinefest

The AC Boardwalk (photo: ACA)

www.downbeachfilmfestival.org; Tel: 609/823-9159 Film buffs rejoice. Every October, Atlantic City celebrates the art of moviemaking. Along with showcasing new independent and studio films, this festival shines a spotlight on the directors and actors. Recent guests have included filmmaker Robert Downey Sr., Terence Winter (executive producer of HBO's Boardwalk Empire), and actor Peter Dobson. What could be better for movie lovers than seeing some great flicks while mingling with the filmmakers down at the shore?
Museums in Beautiful Settings
There are a number of artsy venues, including some lovely museums: Noyes Museum of Art
Mel Leipzig's paintings at The Noyes 

www.noyesmuseum.org 
The Noyes has an amazing collection of American folk art, vintage duck decoys, and exceptional examples of work by regional and national artists, currently displayed is various locations.
The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton College
2200 Fairmount Ave., Atlantic City; Tel: 609/626-3805; artsgarageac.com
Recently opened at The Walk in The Wave Parking Garage, this satellite of The Noyes Museum has three galleries, artist studios, an arts & crafts shop, and a café. Every month, on a Saturday, the AC Craft Market is held here.
Atlantic City Art Center
Garden Pier on the Boardwalk, at New Jersey Ave.,
 Atlantic City; Tel: 609/347-5837; www.acartcenter.org
Not every museum has the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop. This one has stunning views and three galleries featuring paintings, sculptures and photography by contemporary artists of local and national renown. 
Great Seaside Entertainment
The list of headliners performing on any given night in the various AC hotels is truly amazing. There are also many wonderful, free outdoor concerts and other free activities for the whole family; and be sure to check out some local talent:

(photo: JCarnegie)
14 No. Mississippi Ave, Atlantic City; Tel: 609/347-2162
Locals like to attend shows at this hidden gem and so will you. The beautifully-restored, 1920s' building now serves as a cultural center with concerts, professional and amateur theater productions, children’s shows, and special festivities.
Food Glorious Food

AC's famous Steel Pier (photo: ACA)
Throughout the year, you can pick up a quick, tasty snack or have a delicious, leisurely meal at any number of fine restaurants. Here's a fun way to sample the offerings:
Atlantic City Restaurant Week www.acrestaurantweek.com
In March, some 80 restaurants participate with prix-fixe, three-course meals at affordable rates. For fabulous Italian food anytime, try Capriccio at Resorts.
Where to Stay:
(photo: ACA)
There are hotels for all tastes in AC. Check out the Atlantic City Alliance for things to do and a place that suits you. Many of the AC hotels offer special packages along with mid-week and seasonal discounts. Plan your visit for any season. AC has great activities all year long, not just during the summertime.
Getting There: Drive or take Greyhound's "Lucky Streak" Bus: www.luckystreakbus.com

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