The hardest thing about getting from the Big Apple to the Boardwalk is choosing your method of travel. Atlantic City is such a popular day trip from New York that there are several travel options available for getting from New York City to Atlantic City.
When you make the 127-mile trip from New York to Southern New Jersey, you’ll have to set aside a whole day because it usually takes two to three hours each way.
Bus from New York City to Atlantic City
Buses are the most popular means of travel between New York and Atlantic City because of the choice of options, the low cost, and the frequency. You’ll have the greatest choice of departure times and the least expense if you take the bus.
Pros of the Bus:
Cheapest travel option
Lots of choices
Cons of the Bus:
You will probably have to leave from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. That means you’ll have to take a subway or cab ride to reach the bus.
Only one bus company, Greyhound, offers hourly service.
You will have to leave and return on schedule.
Academy operates 10 buses a day from Manhattan’s Port Authority Bus Terminal to seven different Atlantic City casinos. Buses depart gate #1 between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. each day. Service is also available from Staten Island. The fare is $38 a day, and return service is available from the casinos. Check the website because schedules change.
Greyhound Lucky Streak
Greyhound operates two buses to Atlantic City from Port Authority each hour between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. every day, making it the most flexible option. The Lucky Streak stops at all major casinos and offers return service every half hour. Lucky Streak buses have Wi-Fi service and electrical outlets available for all passengers. Standard fare is $37.00 per round trip, but it is not refundable. Refundable tickets are available for $59.50 apiece.
This company operates one bus every two hours from Port Authority to various Atlantic City casinos. The cost is $35 to $40 for a round trip. Times vary, so check the website before you go. One drawback is that the last bus leaves Atlantic City at 8 p.m. Megabus will give you a $5 discount if you take an off peak trip.
New Jersey Transit
The transit agency’s Bus 319 offers direct service from Port Authority and Journal Square in Newark to Atlantic City Bus Terminal. Check the website before you go because departure times vary. Free transfers between buses and trains are available. One drawback is that no direct service to casinos is available. You will have to walk, take a local bus, or hire a cab to reach your final destination. The cost is $39. Discounted fares are available for senior citizens and children.
Driving from New York City to Atlantic City
The drive from New York to Atlantic City is not an easy one because of the traffic in the Northeast. The usual drive time is around two-and-a-half hours, but it can often be longer because of construction traffic jams and other delays.
Cons of Driving:
Parking can be expensive and hard to find in both New York and Atlantic City.
You’ll have to pay tolls to drive over the bridge or the tunnel and to drive on the Turnpike in New Jersey.
Traffic is terrible in both New York and New Jersey, so the trip can be both long and stressful.
Pros of Driving:
You can depart and leave when you want.
You can make other stops along the way.
Taking the Train to Atlantic City
There is no direct rail service available from New York City to Atlantic City. Instead, you’ll have to take an Amtrak train from Pennsylvania Station to Philadelphia and transfer to New Jersey Transit’s Atlantic City Rail lines. That means the train will usually take an hour longer than the bus.
Several Amtrak trains provide direct service from Penn Station to Philadelphia, so there is a train leaving every hour. The fastest is the Acela Express, which takes around an hour to reach Philadelphia.
Pros of the Train
It is more comfortable. You have a choice of seating options.
You can eat on the train. There is usually a café car and sometimes a bar car on the trains.
You are less likely to be delayed in traffic.
Cons of the Train:
It takes longer because you will have to transfer at Philadelphia.
It will be more expensive if you take the Acela Express.