Explore Atlantic City

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By: John Sargeson

When you think of traveling to Atlantic City, you may think that it is going to be a very expensive endeavor.  However, it is not as costly as you might think, and you can have a great time there.

My three friends and I left Monaca, Pennsylvania at 9 a.m. on a Monday.  We knew we had a six-and-a-half-hour drive to New Jersey, but all we could focus on was the time away from everything.  We put on the “Road Trip” playlist on Spotify and started our journey.

Fast-forward to about 4:30 p.m.  We arrived at Caesar’s Palace (no, not the one where Caesar actually stayed).  Since my friend had been there before, he got a free room, and all we had to pay for was the taxes and parking, which came to about $20 a person per night.

As we walked toward our room, I spotted a place that sold what I called “neat little pastries.”  They had all the cheesecake you can imagine, and they even had gelato.  I thought to myself, “Is this heaven, or is this Atlantic City?”

After we got settled in, we hit the casino, which was downstairs in the hotel.  They had more slot machines than I could even imagine, from penny slots, to a Willy Wonka slot machine, to my favorite, “Dragon Spin.”

Dragon Spin is one of the more expensive machines to play, costing a minimum of $0.50 per spin and going up to $4 a spin.  However, I told my friend that I honestly forgot I was betting actual money, because I was having such a fun time playing it.

The best thing about the casino, you ask?  Two words:  FREE DRINKS!  That’s right, as long as you are playing a machine, drinks are on the house.  There are some drinks that cost money, but the normal drinks that involve vodka, beer, and those variants are all free.  However, I would advise you to tip the waitress, because I did not one time, and she got mad and threw my napkin at me.  But hey, that’s what I get, right?

In theory, you could bring $20 to the casino, play penny slots and be there for an extended amount of time.  As long as you bet the minimum, which is literally a penny, you could sit there and drink all night for free if you wanted to.  If you win, the payout might not be as good as the other machines, but at least you won’t have to pay for the actual drinks!

The best thing about Caesar’s Palace, other than the casino, was the variety of things to do outside the casino.  The boardwalk and ocean were right outside our hotel, and there was a Johnny Rockets about five minutes from us.  My friends and I ate there a total of five times during our four-day trip.  They have a lot of different burgers there, including my favorite, which had onion rings, bacon and barbecue sauce on it.  I spent an average of $15 every time I went, but the food and milkshakes made the money worth it.

Across from our hotel was a magical place called, “It’s Sugar!”  When I say that they had boxes of candy as big as my head, I mean it.  They had flavors of cotton candy that I’ve never heard of before, including chocolate peanut butter (crazy, right?).  The boardwalk also had many different places to stock up on souvenirs and a place where famous artists come to perform.  Sadly, none were there during my stay, but Chris Tucker was there the day that I left—bummer.

All in all, I think that if someone in college wanted to take a trip to Atlantic City, I would highly recommend it.  The hotels are very inexpensive.  Also, you could stock up on snacks if you wanted to so you don’t have to eat out three times a day, and the beach is right outside Caesar’s Palace.  And as I said earlier, you can bring $20 to gamble with and just play the penny slots as the waitresses give you free drinks.  It is a great place to just get away for a few days.

Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-522-4700.

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