The New Jersey Shore has always had its fair share of spectacular sights to see, but there is nothing quite like Lucy. The world’s largest elephant, and the only one in America designated as a National Historic Landmark, is waiting to be explored in Margate Beach, right next to the ocean shore. Lucy the Elephant, the six-story tall, elephant-shaped example of novelty architecture, was built to attract tourists. Today she is the oldest surviving roadside attraction in America, and attracts people from all around the world. Read on as we explore this roadside marvel, and see why Lucy the friendly elephant is a must visit.
Lucy is a truly amazing sight. Peeking above the neighboring buildings – driving up to see Lucy is a an absolute treat. Our little guy was on watch; Mommy – I see the Elephant! I see Lucy! Was echoing from our car – with a smile from ear to ear.
He wasn’t the only one smiling. Lucy is pretty darn neat.
Located in Margate, New Jersey – a short 2 mile drive south from Atlantic City, this incredible attraction is actually a six-story architecture marvel that you can enter and tour. Made in 1881 (!) as an effort to sell real-estate and attract tourists to the area by a business man, Lucy has seen many different lives. Over the years she has been a restaurant, office, hotel, and even a prohibition tavern. Today – standing proud as a Registered Historical Landmark, she is a delightful tourist attraction and history lesson for children and adults alike.
And delighted we were.
How often in life can you say that you were inside an elephant?
Guided tours lead you through the back left leg of Lucy (so cool!) up to the belly where a quite impressively sized room (dare I say it… larger than most NYC sized apartments…) awaits. The room looks quite stately with elegant wood railings and platform that leads to the eye windows.
There, a tour guide tells you of the history and shows a fun video. After, you are allowed to tour the “belly” including the mini museum of historical items and pictures.
Walking under Lucy’s belly, awaiting our tour. Standing under and marveling at the sheer size of her is truly amazing!
Inside Lucy the Elephant
The winding, narrow, staircase through the leg.
In the belly of the beast. The meticulous detailing is a must see!
The tour includes a very short video with (a quite catchy) Lucy song that is still stuck in my head… “Lucy the elephant, down by the sea…”. The video was interesting and kept everyone, including the children, entertained!
Peeking at the original artifacts.
A highlight of the tour – looking out Lucy’s eye at the Ocean.
View from the Top of Lucy the Elephant
After another narrow stairway – you reach the top of Lucy’s back, which is the covered basket. Incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean and Margate await. Bring a camera!
Signing the guest book before leaving!
We especially loved Lucy’s well kept toe nails.
Lucy looking over all of Margate.
Bye Lucy – until next time. Thank you for watching over all of us.
Lucy the Elephant. 9200 Atlantic Avenue, Margate, NJ 08402-2449.
Hot tip: Directly next store to Lucy is Ventura’s Greenhouse Café. A beach front restaurant and bar with a great menu and view – a perfect spot for Lunch.