Beaches! Casinos! Spas! Nightlife! Atlantic City has it all, and it’s easily accessible from Philadelphia along the Atlantic City Expressway. Even before gambling was legalized here in the 1970s, Atlantic City was a happening destination for vacationers. The area has seen its share of ups and downs over the years, but today the resort town is one of the nation’s biggest casino destinations—second only to Las Vegas. From the boardwalk to the blackjack tables, Atlantic City is a high-energy haven for sun worshippers, shoppers and, of course, high rollers.
Virtually every hotel in Atlantic City offers exceptional restaurants and celebrity chef-driven concepts, including outposts from some of Philadelphia’s favorite culinary masters. Michael Schulson, the chef behind Philly’s Double Knot, Sampan and Independence Beer Garden, serves sushi, sashimi and casual Japanese dishes at Izakaya at the Borgata. For stellar fish and chips, shepherd’s pie and other British classics, try Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesar’s Palace. After a night at the tables or on the dance floor, hungry visitors and locals enjoy pizza and Italian fare at Tony’s Baltimore Grill, which operates 24/7.
Grab a drink at Boogie Nights before showing off your moves on the lighted dance floor. This hot spot in the Tropicana brings the party, with celebrity impersonators, a disco ball and a soundtrack of chart-topping hits from the ’70s and ’80s. Who needs a name when you have a hashtag? A new addition to the lobby at Harrah’s Resort, #BarWithNoName is the perfect spot to stop in for original cocktails, craft beer, wine and a whiskey list with more than 200 options.
Atlantic City is well known for its many hotels, casinos and spas, but there are plenty of other activities to engage travelers. Located right on the boardwalk, the Steel Pier is a wonderland of amusements, including a carousel, the adrenaline-pumping Freedom Flyer and loads of carnival-style games. For killer views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlantic City skyline, climb the 228 steps to the top of Absecon Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in the state. Shoppers rejoice at Tanger Outlets, where more than 100 brand-name stores like Coach, J. Crew and Michael Kors, offer deeply discounted merchandise.
Located off of the main drag, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa features 2,000 spacious guest rooms, a massive casino, a 54,000-square-foot spa, a wide array of dining and nightlife options, and the Water Club, a hotel-within-the-hotel.
If you do just one thing…
Stroll down the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk, the beachfront wooden promenade lined with hotels, souvenir shops, confectionaries and boardwalk eats. Don’t leave without trying a piece of Atlantic City’s signature saltwater taffy.