The East Coast’s answer to Las Vegas, Atlantic City, N.J., is more than the casinos that line the Boardwalk, begging to take the money of passersby.
Here are some nearby attractions for attendees to visit when they’re not too busy attending education classes and walking the show floor:
Absecon Lighthouse: New Jersey’s tallest lighthouse is open daily for people to climb the 228 steps to the top. At 171 feet, it’s also the third-tallest lighthouse in the country. Visitors can also explore the 2-acre property and visit the Keeper’s Cottage museum and gift shop. Admission: lighthouse, $7 adults; museum and grounds, free. 31 S. Rhode Island Ave., A.C.; (609) 449-1360.
Atlantic City Art Center: Visitors to the Garden Pier location have the opportunity to view work of noted national and regional artists. Admission: free. New Jersey Ave. & Boardwalk, A.C.; (609) 347-5837.
Atlantic City Aquarium: You won’t find Nemo, but the aquarium is home to a tank featuring clownfish and anemones. The aquarium also has a 900-gallon interactive stingray touch tank with daily feeding times at noon and 3 p.m. The food is sold at the gift shop. Don’t forget to stop and see fan favorite Groman, a loggerhead sea turtle. Admission: $8 adults. 800 N. New Hampshire Ave., A.C.; (609) 348-2880.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa: The hotel features a collection of blown glass sculptures from contemporary glass artist Dale Chihuly. The chandelier in the main lobby is one of his pieces, and others are displayed throughout the hotel. 1 Borgata Way, A.C.; (609) 317-1000.
Balic Winery: Established in 1966, Balic Winery offers more than 30 varieties of wine from a vineyard planted in the early 1900s. The vineyard offers free wine tasting tours and winery and vineyard tours every day. 6623 U.S. Route 40, Mays Landing, N.J.; (609) 625-2166.
Bass River State Forest: Pack your warm clothes and choose from eight easy walking trails at the park centered on Lake Absegami. The trails range from 1 to 3.2 miles and start at the second parking lot at the beach. A portion of the Pink Trail passes through the old Civilian Conservation Corps camp near East Greenbush Road. 762 Stage Road, Tuckerton, N.J.; (609) 296-1114.
Civil Rights Garden: If it’s the outdoors you’re craving, walk outside closer to the city by visiting these tranquil public gardens with 11 granite columns, winding paths and sculptures with inscriptions related to the history, events and people of the civil rights movement. Pacific Ave. & Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., A.C.; (609) 347-0500.
Golden Nugget Casino: View the biggest gold nugget in the world, acquired by the Atlantic City casino from its sister property in Las Vegas last year. It’s worth an estimated $5 million, and some guests swear that viewing the nugget infused them with luck in the casino. 1 Castle Blvd, A.C.; (609) 441-2000.
The Piers Shops at Caesars: Luxury has a home at this upscale shopping venue on the Boardwalk. The venue features 575,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, plus features panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows on Level 3 that are perfect for enjoying sunset views. 1 Atlantic Ocean, A.C.; (609) 345-3100.
Qua Baths and Spa: Relax and take advantage of the city life by enjoying a spa treatment followed by a complementary signature Roman bath. Reminiscent of old Roman bath houses, you’ll find three pools, each a different size and temperature. 2100 Pacific Ave., A.C.; (609) 348-4411.