Atlantic City, NJ: Always Turned On

The famous Steel Pier in Atlantic City
The famous Steel Pier in Atlantic City

Trendy hotels, vibrant nightlife, luxury shopping, and indulgent spas – the new, hip Atlantic City is targeting Millennials with upscale attractions and entertainment.

Atlantic City’s glitter and glam are expanding beyond casinos. The famous gaming spots are still high-rolling, but there’s a new emphasis on non-gambling diversions.

atlantic city shopping

For shopping, it’s still the Boardwalk for salt water taffy, but elsewhere, it’s elite shopping. At The Pier Shops at Caesar’s, find Gucci and Burberry in a glass pavilion overlooking the ocean. In town, Tanger Outlets – The Walk features over 80 name brand outlets. Find Edwin Pearl and Godiva at The Quarter at Tropicana.

Pamper yourself with a spa treatment. The immersion spa at Borgata has floor-to-ceiling water views, Harrah’s and Seaview both have Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas, while Qua Baths and Spa at Caesar’s promises rejuvenation through the healing power of water.

Atlantic City Dining

While the casinos have great restaurants on-site, don’t miss the fabulous local places. Girasole Ristorante serves Mediterranean specialties under the stars in their enclosed garden patio (;  Dock’s Oyster House, open since 1897, has fine seafood and an award-winning wine list (; Kelsey’s has the only soul food menu in Atlantic City with live jazz on weekends (  

atlantic city nightlife

For nightlife, dance to DJs or live music at dozens of lounges and nightclubs, sip signature cocktails at the sophisticated Blue Martini, or go retro under the Boogie Nights disco ball. Entertainment headliners this summer include Melissa Etheridge, George Lopez, and Tony Bennett with Lady Gaga.

Where to stay? The Courtyard by Marriott (non-casino) and The Golden Nugget both recently finished multi-million dollar renovations. The Claridge on the Boardwalk is a gem. Built in 1927 and restored to its glory, it’s welcomed the likes of Princess Grace, Frank Sinatra, and Al Capone.

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Insight Guides | Fran Severn