Visit Margate to meetLucy, a local landmark in the shape of a circus elephant. Learn its historyduring a guided tour in summer.
When James Laffertywanted to attract people to south Atlantic City in the late 19th century, hedecided he would build a six-story hotel with a remarkable appearance, and Lucythe Elephant was the result. Lucy has stood in Margate for more than 130 years andhas become a symbol of the Jersey coast.
Once made from almosta million individual pieces of wood, Lucy the Elephant was considered a feat ofarchitecture at the time. The now predominantly steel structure has weatheredmany a storm and famously survived Hurricane Sandy, which came ashore at thisvery spot in 2012.
Lucy has had acolorful life, being used as a hotel, a bar and a restaurant. The bar wasclosed during the prohibition years and bootleggers used it for signaling tosmuggle alcohol ashore.
Every half hourduring summer you can join a guided tour. Learn about the architecture of thestructure and climb the spiral staircase inside Lucy’s hind leg to reach thehowdah at the top. From there, enjoy 360-degree views across Margate and theJersey Shore. See Atlantic City in the distance on a clear day. The howdah ischild-friendly and the stairs can be climbed by people of varying heights andfitness.
The Josephine HarronPark, where Lucy stands, is a stunning coastal park, which is fenced off toensure that your kids are safe while you relax. Enjoy a family picnic at thetables provided here.
Lucy the Elephant islocated in Margate, about 6 miles (20 kilometers) south of Atlantic City, andcan be reached by car or bus from downtown. There is free parking for visitorshowever, a 30-minute limit is enforced in the small car park.
Lucythe Elephant is open daily throughout the summer months, but hours vary duringthe off-season, so check the website before visiting.