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Cape May picture in Atlantic City
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Just about 45 miles south of Atlantic City is a much calmer stretch of Jersey shore – Cape May. Founded in 1620 by the Dutch, Cape May didn't reach its stride until the 1800s when it became a vacation spot for wealthy Southerners who reportedly didn't want to venture much farther into Yankee territory. Today, vacationers from all over – not just the South – flock to Cape May for its relaxing-bed and-breakfasts (many of them complete with rocking chairs and wraparound porches) and clean, family-friendly beaches. To enjoy Cape May's beaches – from Higbee to Poverty – you'll need to purchase a beach tag. Daily beach tags cost $6 and three-day passes cost $12. You can find beach tags at the beach entrance and adjacent City Hall.

Visiting families loved Cape May and its beaches because of their cleanliness and quiet atmosphere. Many travelers also appreciated the use of tags because it made the beaches less crowded.

Cape May's welcomes beachgoers between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. (You'll need a vehicle to drive from Atlantic City to Cape May's shores.) Lifeguards are on staff until 5:30 p.m. in the summertime. For more information, visit Cape May's tourism website. You'll also find eateries along Beach Avenue, a cache of independent shops at Washington Street Mall and some art galleries in Cape May.

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#1 Atlantic City Beach If you're not visiting Atlantic City to gamble, chances are you're coming to hit the beach. The city's beach is wide and its camel-hued sands are soft ... Read more » Brandon Lee / Getty Images

#2 Atlantic City Boardwalk The Boardwalk isn't named after its wooden planks. Its namesake actually comes from its inventor, Alexander Boardman, who developed the walkway in the 1870s. Since then it's remained ... Read more » Driendl Group / Getty Images

#3 Casinos Atlantic City is practically synonymous with gambling. The seaside city is home to several casinos with everything from slots to table games like blackjack, roulette and poker. Crowd favorites include ... Read more » Davor Lavincic / Getty Images

#4 Cape May Just about 45 miles south of Atlantic City is a much calmer stretch of Jersey shore – Cape May. Founded in 1620 by the Dutch, Cape May didn't reach its ... Read more » runneralan2004 / Flickr

#5 Tanger Outlets Atlantic City To spend some of that freshly won casino cash (or not), head to the Tanger Outlets. With stores that range from J.Crew and Abercrombie & Fitch to Michael Kors ... Read more » Dan Dalton / Getty Images

#6 Storybook Land Visitors with kids will enjoy this 20-acre amusement park, where children's literature reigns supreme. Storybook Land's rides are themed after classics like "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Dumbo ... Read more » Courtesy of Storybook Land

#7 IMAX Theatre at Tropicana On rainy days, AC visitors can see a blockbuster on a big screen at Tropicana's IMAX Theatre. Even when it's not raining, many families with kids say visiting the ... Read more » Courtesy of Tropicana Casino and Resort

#8 Atlantic City Aquarium Sitting along the Absecon Inlet, the Atlantic City Aquarium features a variety of interactive exhibits the kids will enjoy. You can touch sharks, stingrays and coral and see other creatures ... Read more » jareed / Flickr

#9 Playground Pier The Playground Pier is a four-story shopping, dining and nightlife complex that sits on a 900-foot-long pier that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. The mall houses several high-end stores ... Read more » Dan Dalton / Getty Images

#10 Absecon Lighthouse You can climb the Absecon Lighthouse's 228 steps for a great view of your surroundings. And a great view it is – located at the northern end of the city ... Read more » caite_maire / Flickr

#11 Lucy the Margate Elephant Although she sits about 5 miles southwest of Atlantic City, the drive is worth it; where else are you going to see a giant elephant? The six-story tall, 90-ton elephant ... Read more » Jim, the photographer / Flickr

#12 Steel Pier If you're traveling to AC during the summer (or on fall weekends), you might want to spend a few hours at the Steel Pier amusement park. Opening nearly a ... Read more » Kevin Jarrett / Flickr

Atlantic City Beach picture in Atlantic City
Atlantic City Boardwalk picture in Atlantic City
Casinos picture in Atlantic City
Cape May picture in Atlantic City
Shopping picture in Atlantic City
Storybook Land picture in Atlantic City
IMAX Theatre at Tropicana picture in Atlantic City
Atlantic City Aquarium picture in Atlantic City
Playground Pier picture in Atlantic City
Absecon Lighthouse picture in Atlantic City
Lucy the Elephant picture in Atlantic City
Steel Pier picture in Atlantic City
Atlantic City Beach picture in Atlantic City
Atlantic City Boardwalk picture in Atlantic City
Casinos picture in Atlantic City
Cape May picture in Atlantic City
Shopping picture in Atlantic City
Storybook Land picture in Atlantic City
IMAX Theatre at Tropicana picture in Atlantic City
Atlantic City Aquarium picture in Atlantic City
Playground Pier picture in Atlantic City
Absecon Lighthouse picture in Atlantic City
Lucy the Elephant picture in Atlantic City
Steel Pier picture in Atlantic City

The beach in Atlantic City is praised for being flat, wide and clean.  Brandon Lee / Getty Images

The boardwalk is one of the best ways to get to know Atlantic City. Stroll along to take in the sea views and check out the shops, hotels and casinos along the way. Driendl Group / Getty Images

The casinos in Atlantic City are a main draw for gamblers thanks to the variety of gaming options, including slots, poker and black jack. Davor Lavincic / Getty Images

Just about an hour south of Atlantic City, Cape May's beaches are a favorite among families. runneralan2004 / Flickr

There are many shopping opportunities in Atlantic City. Travelers can visit the Tanger Outlets for discounts and deals or peruse Playground Pier, which is known for housing upscale designer stores. Dan Dalton / Getty Images

Courtesy of Storybook Land

The IMAX movie theater screens big-name and family-friendly films. Courtesy of Tropicana Casino and Resort

Visitors say the Atlantic City Aquarium is small but worth a visit for those with young children.  jareed / Flickr

Dan Dalton / Getty Images

Built in the mid-1800s, the Absecon Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey. caite_maire / Flickr

This six-story elephant-shaped attraction in Margate City (a few miles southwest of Atlantic City) was constructed in 1881 in an effort to increase tourism. Jim, the photographer / Flickr

Steel Pier is known for its rides ike the Ferris wheel and Slingshot. Kevin Jarrett / Flickr

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