A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Atlantic City vs. Mystic for Nightlife, Attractions, Beaches, and Families

Should you visit Atlantic City or Mystic?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Atlantic City and Mystic. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Atlantic City

Atlantic City is a flashy, party-oriented, and colorful city. Other reasons to visit include food, beaches, and shopping.

Mystic

Mystic is a charming, quaint, and laid back town. It's also known for food, beaches, and shopping.

Atlantic City and Mystic: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Atlantic City or Mystic?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Mystic. Although Atlantic City and Mystic are both popular with visitors, Mystic has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Mystic is more popular for its museums, beaches, and shopping, while Atlantic City is known for its nightlife and resorts. Atlantic City is more touristy than Mystic and is popular for its casinos, gambling culture, nightlife scene, and wild personality Mystic is popular for its New England charm and local character. It is also home to the Mystic Seaport Museum.

How is Atlantic City different from Mystic?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Mystic and Atlantic City. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Atlantic City or Mystic?

Atlantic City
Mystic

Mystic is well known for its museums and landmarks. However, Atlantic City is not particularly known for its historical sights.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Mystic. There's a decent selection of museums around town with some of the favorites being the Mystic Seaport Museum, the Mystic Museum of Art, the Denison Homestead Museum, and the Old Lighthouse Museum, The Mystic Aquarium is also a popular destination.

While most people don't head to Atlantic City specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. While most people don't spend their time in museums, there is the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, the African American Heritage Museum, and the Noyes Museum Galleries.


Is the Food Better in Atlantic City or Mystic? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Atlantic City
Mystic

Foodies will find both Atlantic City and Mystic both to be good destinations.

Atlantic City offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. There are budget buffets around town as well as seafood restaurants and even some fine dining. Salt water taffy is a local specialty that you should pick up while you're in the area.

Mystic has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. As a coastal town, you'll find no shortage of seafood at many restaurants. Popular dishes include oysters, shrimp, or fish. There are also many casual restaurants that serve comfort food for classic American favorites like mac and cheese, pasta, or burgers.

Is Atlantic City or Mystic Better for Nightlife?

Atlantic City
Mystic

Atlantic City is an amazing city to visit for nightlife. Also, Mystic is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife and partying.

Atlantic City has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. This is a city that is all about its nightlife scene. Many visitors come here just to party, and you'll find clubs with DJs or bands playing from sunset to sunrise. There are glitzy lounges and dive bars with everything in between. As a gambling town, there are casinos and all-night activities that keep the energy going round the clock.

Mystic has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. Head downtown for the most interesting bars and breweries. You can sip wine or enjoy a cocktail at a laid back pub with friends or family.

Is Atlantic City or Mystic Better for Resorts?

Atlantic City
Mystic

Atlantic City is an excellent place to visit for its luxury resorts. However, Mystic is not a resort destination.

There are plenty of resorts in Atlantic City to choose from. The beach and boardwalk are lined with casinos and resorts. There are many recognizable names such as Harrah's, Bally's, Caesars, Hard Rock, and the Tropicana.

Mystic is not a resort destination.


Is Atlantic City or Mystic Better for Beaches?

Atlantic City
Mystic

Mystic is well known for its beaches. Also, Atlantic City is still popular, but not quite as popular for the beache.

Many people visit Mystic for it's beautiful beaches. The beaches are accessible from town and offer a laid back setting that's not overly developed. Families will like Ocean Beach Park but Williams Beach Park is one of the easiest beaches to access. If you're willing to drive a bit out of town, you should check out Misquamicut State Beach.

Atlantic City is a good option for a beach vacation. There's a Boardwalk that runs along the beach and is lined with piers and hotels. The Downtown Beach is the most accessible, and where most tourists hang out. If you're willing to travel a little further, there are some nice beaches nearby such as Margate Beach and Brigantine Beach.

Is the Shopping Better in Atlantic City or Mystic?

Atlantic City
Mystic

Mystic is well known for shopping. Also, Atlantic City is still popular, but not quite as popular for its shopping opportunities.

Mystic is an extremely popular place for shoppers. Head downtown for scenic shopping streets with boutiques, artisan craft shops, and jewelry stores.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Atlantic City. You'll find many souvenir shops along the boardwalk. There's also a Tangier Outlet Mall in the area. Some of the hotels such as the Tropicana have their own shopping areas as well.

Is Atlantic City or Mystic Better for Families?

Atlantic City
Mystic

Mystic is well known for its family-friendly activities. However, Atlantic City is not particularly known for its kid-friendly activities.

Mystic is a very family-friendly place to visit. Animal lovers will enjoy wandering around the many trails at Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center or visiting the famous Mystic Aquarium. You can also visit the shops around Olde Mistick Village or dine at one of the many kid-friendly restaurants.

For families, Atlantic City is not always the best place to visit. Most families avoid this area for more family-friendly beaches, but if you find yourself in the area, you can check out Ripley's Believe It or Not or go on a dolphin cruise. Also popular is Steel Pier, which has rides for all ages.


Is Atlantic City or Mystic Better for Couples?

Atlantic City
Mystic

Atlantic City and Mystic both good destinations for a couple.

Atlantic City is a nice destination for couples. It's not exactly known for its romance, but there are casinos, hotels, and a beaches that are fun to visit. You'll also find several spas and sunset cruises in the area.

Mystic makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Check out Mystic Seaport or drive down the coastline and visit the lighthouses. You'll also find breweries around town as well as many fun or romantic restaurants.

Is Atlantic City or Mystic Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Atlantic City
Mystic

Atlantic City is a good destination for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Mystic is lacking in options for backpackers.

Plenty of backpackers visit Atlantic City. There is a hostel in the area. You'll also find a younger crowd and plenty of partying.

Mystic is not the best destination for backpackers and budget travelers due to its high prices. It's not high on the list for most backpackers.

Is Atlantic City or Mystic Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Atlantic City
Mystic

Atlantic City is a good destination for times when you don't have a car. However, Mystic is lacking in options for its public transit.

Atlantic City has some public transit options. The Jitney are shuttle buses that runs from one end of the city to the other. They pass by most of the hotels and casinos along Pacific Avenue.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Mystic. There is a bus but it has limited stops and only runs on weekdays.


Is Atlantic City or Mystic a more walkable city?

Atlantic City
Mystic

Atlantic City is an excellent place to visit for its walkability. However, Mystic is lacking in options for its high level of walkability.

Atlantic City is very walkable. Many of the hotels are walkable and located near the boardwalk.

Mystic is generally not very walkable. While parts of town are very walkable, you'll need a car if you want to see the sights that are a bit further away.

For even more information, also check out Is Atlantic City Worth Visiting? and Is Mystic Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Mystic or Atlantic City?

How long in Atlantic City or Mystic?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Atlantic City and Mystic. In our opinion, Atlantic City has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Atlantic City than Mystic. In general, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Atlantic City, and 2-3 days is enough time in Mystic.

Families should spend more time in Mystic than Atlantic City. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Mystic, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Atlantic City than Mystic. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Atlantic City that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Atlantic City than Mystic if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Atlantic City.


  • How many days in Atlantic City or Mystic? Ideal Length of Stay
    Atlantic City 1-3 
    Mystic 2-3

One day in Atlantic City or Mystic?

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Atlantic City. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the quaint destination of Mystic. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Atlantic City or Mystic?

Atlantic City is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Don't miss the nightlife, as that's what most people do. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Mystic. Most people come for the beaches. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. A weekend is usually enough time to experience most activities.


Five days in Atlantic City or Mystic?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Atlantic City. Don't miss the nightlife, as that's what most people do. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the laid back destination of Mystic. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

A week in Atlantic City or Mystic?

Travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the glitzy destination of Atlantic City. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

You'll find food and shopping around the town of Mystic. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America, and The Best Historical Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Mystic or Atlantic City?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Atlantic City is $154, while the average daily cost in Mystic is $210. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Atlantic City and Mystic in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Atlantic City $73
    Mystic $125
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Atlantic City $146
    Mystic $250
Compare Hotels in Atlantic City and Mystic

Looking for a hotel in Atlantic City or Mystic? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Atlantic City


Hotels in Mystic


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Atlantic City Hotel Prices and Mystic Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Atlantic City $40
    Mystic $56

Is it cheaper to fly into Atlantic City or Mystic?

Prices for flights to both Mystic and Atlantic City change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Atlantic City $50
    Mystic $52

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Atlantic City $44
    Mystic $24

Tours and Activities in Atlantic City

Here are a few actual costs in Atlantic City for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 75-Minute Ocean Parasailing Adventure Above Ocean City, MD: $70
  • Atlantic City Adventure Scavenger Hunt: $22
  • Absecon Lighthouse Admission Ticket: $10
  • Dolphin Watching Ocean Cruise Adventure: $53
  • Morning or Afternoon Skyline Ocean Cruise: $27
  • Parasailing Experience: $95
  • Quiet Bay Cruise With Happy Hour Options: $27
  • Sunset Party Cruise with DJ: $33
  • Bay Hopper Breakfast Sandwich Cruise: $35
  • Downtown/Boardwalk Foodie Tour: $119
  • Midtown Dining District Foodie Tour: $110
  • OC Bay Hopper - Assateague Island Cruise (Departs 118th): $45

Tours and Activities in Mystic

For Mystic, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Mystic Moonlit Graveyard Ghost Tour: $30
  • Downtown Mystic Ghost Tour: $30
  • Ghosts of Christmas Past Downtown Walking Tour: $30
  • Mystic Seaport Museum Adventure : $31
  • Moonlit Mystic Graveyard Ghost Tour: $35
  • Guided Ghost Tour of Downtown Mystic at Night: $35

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Atlantic City $39
    Mystic $31

Sample the Local Flavors in Atlantic City

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Atlantic City:

  • Little Water Distillery Spirit Tasting: $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Mystic

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Mystic:

  • Paranormal Pub Crawl: Beer Tour: $75
  • Paranormal Pub Crawl: Beer Tour: $75
  • Spirits of Cocktail Pub Crawl: $100
  • Spirits of Cocktail Pub Crawl: $100


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Atlantic City and Mystic, we can see that Mystic is more expensive. And not only is Atlantic City much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Atlantic City would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Atlantic City and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Mystic would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Mystic than you might in Atlantic City.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Atlantic City Expensive? and Is Mystic Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Atlantic City or Mystic?

Atlantic City has a larger population, and is about 8 times larger than the population of Mystic. When comparing the sizes of Atlantic City and Mystic, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Atlantic City or Mystic?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Atlantic City or Mystic in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Atlantic City as well as Mystic. The summer months attract visitors to Atlantic City because of the beaches and the family-friendly experiences. Also, the beaches and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Mystic this time of year.

Atlantic City is around the same temperature as Mystic in the summer. The daily temperature in Atlantic City averages around 75°F (24°C) in July, and Mystic fluctuates around 73°F (23°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Mystic. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Atlantic City this time of the year. In the summer, Atlantic City often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Mystic. Atlantic City gets 273 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Mystic receives 293 hours of full sun.

Atlantic City receives a lot of rain in the summer. Atlantic City usually gets more rain in July than Mystic. Atlantic City gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Mystic receives 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Atlantic City 75°F (24°C) 
    Mystic 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit Atlantic City or Mystic in the Autumn?

Both Mystic and Atlantic City are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The shopping scene are the main draw to Atlantic City this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Mystic for the shopping scene.

In the autumn, Atlantic City is a little warmer than Mystic. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Atlantic City in October average around 56°F (13°C), and Mystic averages at about 53°F (12°C).

It's quite sunny in Mystic. Atlantic City usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Mystic during autumn. Atlantic City gets 197 hours of sunny skies, while Mystic receives 211 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Atlantic City usually receives less rain than Mystic. Atlantic City gets 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain, while Mystic receives 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Atlantic City 56°F (13°C) 
    Mystic 53°F (12°C)

Should I visit Atlantic City or Mystic in the Winter?

Both Mystic and Atlantic City during the winter are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Atlantic City for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, many visitors come to Mystic in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Mystic can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Atlantic City. In January, Atlantic City is generally much warmer than Mystic. Daily temperatures in Atlantic City average around 31°F (-0°C), and Mystic fluctuates around 28°F (-2°C).

In the winter, Atlantic City often gets less sunshine than Mystic. Atlantic City gets 146 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Mystic receives 170 hours of full sun.

Atlantic City usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Mystic. Atlantic City gets 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain, while Mystic receives 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Atlantic City 31°F (-0°C) 
    Mystic 28°F (-2°C)

Should I visit Atlantic City or Mystic in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Atlantic City and Mystic. Many visitors come to Atlantic City in the spring for the beaches. Furthermore, most visitors come to Mystic for the beaches during these months.

Atlantic City is a little warmer than Mystic in the spring. The daily temperature in Atlantic City averages around 51°F (10°C) in April, and Mystic fluctuates around 48°F (9°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Mystic this time of the year. In Atlantic City, it's very sunny this time of the year. Atlantic City usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Mystic during spring. Atlantic City gets 217 hours of sunny skies, while Mystic receives 225 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Atlantic City usually receives less rain than Mystic. Atlantic City gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Mystic receives 3.7 inches (94 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Atlantic City 51°F (10°C) 
    Mystic 48°F (9°C)

Typical Weather for Mystic and Atlantic City

Atlantic City Mystic
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 31°F (-0°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 28°F (-2°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Feb 33°F (1°C) 2.5 inches (64 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm)
Mar 42°F (6°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 38°F (3°C) 4 inches (101 mm)
Apr 51°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 48°F (9°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm)
May 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 58°F (15°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Jun 70°F (21°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 67°F (20°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Jul 75°F (24°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 73°F (23°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Aug 74°F (23°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Sep 67°F (19°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 64°F (18°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Oct 56°F (13°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Nov 46°F (8°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 44°F (7°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm)
Dec 36°F (2°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 33°F (0°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)