Historic Gardner’s Basin
“Wow, this is the Atlantic City that one knows about except the locals!” There are two restaurants here with outdoor decks (Back Bay Alehouse and the Flying Cloud Café) a quaint aquarium to visit and various artists’ cabins that make up a ‘crafters village’ where the visitor can watch artists at work in their studios and buy ‘one of a kind’ craft ware. Other stores include an antique shop and a fishing and diving equipment outlet. The Basin is also home to New Jersey’s largest clam fishing fleet and there is a great feeling of earthiness, camaraderie and nostalgia here in this hive of local industry and history. The Garden State Marina is also located here (see ‘Marinas’ section). A stoic statue of Neptune stands sentinel at the entrance to Gardner’s Basin and is testament to this enclave’s close association with the sea. There is a so called ‘widows walk’, where the wives of the fishermen at sea used to wander and look out for the safe return of their husbands back up the Absecon Inlet. On a more positive note, today’s visitors can look to the west from the same vantage point and see some wonderful sunsets. Gardner’s Basin is peaceful, unassuming and offers a great place to mix with the locals and take a step back from the towering casino developments and holiday resort throng of Atlantic City. Gardner’s Basin is located just across the water from Senator S. Farley State Marina and is easily accessible by tender, or there is a huge free car parking lot onsite, which is an equally convenient option.
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