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Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Atlantic City

June 23, 2012 6:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Harrah's the Pool After Dark/Facebook

Photo Credit: Harrah’s the Pool After Dark/Facebook

Whether you’re looking for a weekend at the beach with the whole family, or one playing poker and hobnobbing with celebrities, Atlantic City has something for everyone. This east coast beach is perfect for a good party, couple’s retreat or family bonding time any weekend. From strolling the world’s largest boardwalk to trying your luck at the slots, there are endless opportunities for entertainment and adventure at the playground by the sea.

Getting There

Located only about 2.5 hours from New York City, getting to Atlantic City is easy and convenient whether you take a bus, train or drive. For those who prefer to drive, go south on the Garden State Parkway to the Atlantic City Expressway. Greyhound runs the Lucky Streak line that goes nearly every half hour from Port Authority to several of the major hotels for only $35 round trip. NJ Transit also offers train service from Penn Station to the train station in Atlantic City for $25.50 each way.
 
On the way to Atlantic City, travelers may make a pit stop in Asbury Park to take in a little Rock ‘n Roll Nostalgia and see where acts like Bruce Springsteen, Steve Van Zandt, Elvis Costello and a host of others played at the Stone Pony, or stop in Smithville, a historic village perfect for families with shops, cafés, restaurants, a duck pond and even a carousel.

beach Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Atlantic City

Photo Credit: Traci Tournoux

The Boardwalk and Beach
Madison Avenue to St. Martindale Avenue along the beach
Atlantic City, NJ 08401

The longest boardwalk in the world at 5.5 miles, this promenade provides easy access to shops, casinos, resorts, hotels, food and the beach. Every few feet there is a ramp directly onto the beach so you may pick the perfect spot to sun or take a dip in the ocean. You are only permitted to swim when lifeguards are on duty, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the summer. The boardwalk also houses a number of novelty shops and beach bars, and hosts seasonal parades and concerts.

ferris wheel Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Atlantic City

Photo Credit: Traci Tournoux

Steel Pier
1000 Boardwalk
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
(866) 386-6659
www.steelpier.com

Price: $1 single tickets/$30 for 35 tickets/$60 for 80 tickets/$120 for 200 tickets

Located just off the boardwalk by the Taj Mahal casino, the renowned Steel Pier is a cornerstone for family entertainment. Originally  built nearly 115 years ago, Steel Pier boasts amusements including a two-story carousel, tea cups and a ferris wheel with beautiful views of the ocean. Thrill seekers may enjoy adrenaline-pumping rides such as the Rocket which launches you 225 feet in the air in 2.5 seconds. For those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground, but still want a little adventure, try out the traditional carnival games to try and win a prize.

abescon lighthouse Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Atlantic City

Photo Credit: abseconlighthouse.com

Absecon Lighthouse
31 S. Rhode Island Ave.
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
(609) 449-1360
www.abseconlighthouse.org/

Price: $7 for adults/$5 for seniors 65 and older/$4 for children ages 4 to 12/$3 for Atlantic City residents with ID

This 150-year-old, historic structure is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey, and the third tallest lighthouse in the U.S.  Get ready for a work out, because it’s a bit of a trek. At 228 steps, the climb up the winding stairs may seem hard, but the spectacular panoramic views of the Jersey Shore make it worth the effort. Visitors may also take a stroll along the two-acre grounds, including a visit to the gift shop and Keeper’s Cottage museum.

Where to Stay

p1010495  640x411  Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Atlantic City

Photo Credit: Traci Tournoux

Harrah’s Resort
777 Harrah’s Boulevard
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
(609) 441-5000
www.harrahsresort.com

Price: from $79 per night

More than 1,600 lavish suites and rooms featuring impressive views of the bay and the ocean make up this hotel and resort. Guests indulge in the lap of luxury with access to everything from an award-winning restaurants, deluxe services from the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, a 25,000-square-foot, adults-only pool enclosed in a giant dome kept a balmy 82 degrees all year round, and a 175,000 square foot casino complete with slot machines, video poker and gaming tables. In addition, there is also a Family Fun Center with a family friendly pool, arcade and mini-golf.

Related: New Yorkers’ Travel Guide To Casinos

revel Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Atlantic City

Photo Credit: revelresorts.com/Facebook

Revel
500 Boardwalk Revel Beach
Atlantic City, N.J. 08401
(609) 340-0003
www.revelresorts.com

Price: from $399 per night

This new, completely smoke-free, beach-front hotel offers more than 1,800 ocean view rooms. Designed to bring the outside in, Revel’s hotel and casino is home to gardens, lounges, indoor and outdoor pools, a 130,000-square-foot casion, a 32,000-square-foot spa and 14 restaurants, including restaurants by Iron Chefs Jose Garces and Marc Forgione. This hotel also boasts a 5,500-seat concert hall that has booked the likes of Beyonce, Kid Rock and Sugarland.


Dining

irish pub Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Atlantic City

Photo Credit: Traci Tournoux

Slightly off the beaten path, this pub was a former speakeasy and is a must see for anyone visiting Atlantic City. The pub is also no stranger to celebrities, having hosted the likes of Joe Dimaggio and George Carlin over the years. The gritty décor includes mismatched Tiffany lamps hung from the ceilings, and memorabilia covering the walls from over the decades. The beer flows, with a large selection of draught and bottled options, and the food is delicious. The corned beef sandwich is piled high with perhaps the best thinly sliced corned beef you’ll ever have — a steal for only $5.50 — and the fish and chips is perfectly fried, golden and delicious, especially when smothered in malt vinegar.

borgata hotel casino spa Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Atlantic City

Photo Credit: theborgata.com/Facebook

Izakaya
1 Borgata Way (At the Borgata)
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
(609) 317-1000
www.theborgata.com/

This contemporary Japanese pub from executive chef Michael Schulson transports you from the hustle and bustle of the casino into an Asian oasis with high ceilings, dimmed lights and lots of glamour. The seemingly endless menu combines shareable plates, freshly made sushi, robatayaki, and succulent meat and fish entrees. Must-have starters include the spicy tuna cracker’s spicy tuna on top a bed of crispy rice; and the beef short ribs robatayaki featuring succulent, grilled short ribs doused in a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce and topped with kim che. From the sushi menu, order the dragon roll, a hearty sushi roll stuffed with salmon, yellowtail and topped with avocado and spicy tuna. For the main course, go with the peking duck breast, which is perfectly cooked and crispy, and served with scallion buns, and an addicting hoison caramel sauce.

Night Life

harrahs the pool after dark Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Atlantic City

Photo Credit: Harrah’s the Pool After Dark/Facebook

Pool After Dark
777 Harrah’s Boulevard (At Harrah’s)
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
(609) 441-5585
www.facebook.com/thepoolafterdark

The Pool After Dark is a pool turned entertainment complex enclosed in a 90-foot high dome. It is a tropical oasis featuring a huge heated pool, private cabanas, outdoor and indoor deck areas, and multiple hot tubs. Anyone looking to dance, party and listen to music will love this indoor paradise, featuring poolside performances by world-renowned DJs and some of the biggest names in music and entertainment. Head straight to the bar for the best piña colada you’ll ever have, check out the view from the balcony, take a spin on the dance floor, or bump into celebrities including Kim Kardashian who have been known to make an appearance.

Related: NYC’s 5 Best Clubs For Spotting Celebrities

Mixx
1 Borgata Way (At the Borgata)
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
(609) 317-1000
www.borgatanightlife.com/

This chic, bi-level lounge is all about the hottest DJs from across the globe, mixing the latest hits from Katy Perry to Bon Jovi. The expansive dance floor is the perfect spot to put your moves to the test under a multi-colored LED light-show that pulses to the music. For the VIP experience, reserve a private table with plush seating and bottle service.
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Traci Tournoux is a freelance writer living in New York. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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