One of America's oldest seaside resorts, Atlantic City is most famous these days as a weekend playground for adults. Now in the midst of an impressive rebirth, its new slogan: "Atlantic City: Always Turned On" speaks to its Las Vegas aspirations. Witness the arrival of luxe hotels, restaurants from celebrity chefs, and serious designer shopping. Don't forget about the free, deep, sandy beaches; they've been drawing people here for well over 100 years.
Things to Do
Inhale the salt air and stroll down America's first boardwalk, dating back to 1870. The neon-dotted skyline spreads out before you when you're on the Ferris wheel at Steel Pier. Let the whir of the casinos lure you in from the street and the boardwalk to try your luck. For a change of pace, you can see divers feed the fish at the Atlantic City Aquarium, and let the bizarre phenomena on display at Ripley's Believe it or Not confound you.
It is now possible to keep apace with fashion trends and buy designer clothing and accessories in Atlantic City. The Pier Shops at Caesars should be your first stop, where Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Betsey Johnson, and Juicy Couture vie for your wallet. Rainy days provide the perfect excuse to snap up outlet bargains at the Walk. Satiate your sweet tooth at Steel's on the boardwalk, which has been making fudge and sticky-sweet saltwater taffy since 1919.
Nightlife and Entertainment
Comedians, musicians, and singers still draw in the crowds at the convention center, casino theaters and refurbished Boardwalk Hall. Dust off your best impersonation for karaoke at Planet Rose at the Quarter. VIPs looking for a pulsating club with fancy bottle service opt for the subterranean lounge Dusk at Caesars. Showboat's House of Blues serves up southern cuisine and soulful tunes.
Restaurants and Dining
Famous chefs such as Bobby Flay, Michael Mina, and Wolfgang Puck have transformed Atlantic City into a fine dining destination. Institutions like the Irish Pub & Inn, just off the boardwalk, serve hearty fare at low prices. For a taste of old Atlantic City, watch skilled sandwich makers at White House Sub Shop load fresh Italian rolls with cheese and meats. Evidence of celebrity visitors lines the walls, including the towel used from Frank Sinatra's last show in Atlantic City.