Atlantic City’s new slogan is “Do AC”! Have you seen and heard the new ads? They shifted the focus from gambling to everything else the city and its beach have to offer, and I say it’s about time. Many places near and far have casino gambling nowadays, but how many have gambling, the ocean, and the most famous Boardwalk in the world? (Which, btw, was NOT destroyed by Hurricane Sandy! Don’t let the msm’s sensationalism keep you from a visit. All those doomsday pictures are of a section of the boardwalk on the inlet side that’s been decrepit for years!)
So in the the spirit of the advertising campaign, I bring you my Atlantic City. I may not be a native, but consider myself a local after 12 years in Lower Chelsea. Join me on a trip to some of my favorite spots.
The first spot is here-our house. Yes, we live in Atlantic City; yes, lots of people live in Atlantic City.
A particularly beautiful sunset from our back porch
Kayaking on the Intracoastal Waterway, otherwise and lovingly known as the ditch
Under the Albany Ave bridge
Then there’s the Boardwalk. Our end is a little sleepy, but that’s the way we like it.
Biking on the Boardwalk is a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning, or anytime during biking hours for that matter, and in any season. It’s a bit nerve-wracking in the middle of the summer, though. Everyone wants to get out on the boardwalk for a stroll with the baby carriage, a bike ride, or a run. Summertime traffic requires keeping your wits about you!
And of course the beach-there’s nothing like a lazy day on our free beach. My favorite time of day? Late afternoon. Everyone is packing up to go, and after a while it’s just me and the lifeguards. Heaven!
Some of my favorite spots along the Boardwalk include but certainly are not limited to:
The Tropicana and the Quarter, with the Blue Mercury store and spa. There’s also a comedy club and an Imax theater, along with more shops and restaurants.
The best and coolest non-casino hotel is clearly the Chelsea!
They pamper you on the beach
At their beautiful steakhouse overlooking the ocean, Chelsea Prime
At their Sea Spa and salt water pool. The salt water jacuzzi is indoors on the other side of the pool. Just the thing for a cold winter’s day.
I love their funky little 24 hour spot Teplitzky’s! I love their mid-century modern vibe. And they serve La Colombe coffee everywhere on the property-but shh-that’s our little secret. I hear they also have a great nightclub inside on the fifth floor that spills out onto the pool area. Maybe someday I’ll stay up late enough to check it out!
Sunrise from an ocean view tower room
Right in the middle of the Boardwalk is the Pier at Caesar’s. Although many of the stores have closed during the ongoing recession, you can still window shop to your heart’s content at the upscale stores, watch the fountain and light show near the end of the Pier, stroll outside for a view out on the ocean, or relax inside with a view of the city.
Across the Boardwalk on the skybridge from Caesar’s
Check out the third floor beach chairs in the sand outside the restaurant row. Stephen Starr fans will find Continental and Buddakan here, along with Phillips Seafood, sushi, and an Irish pub.
View from the Starbucks
Down at the other end of the Boardwalk is the cool new Revel. The indoor spaces there didn’t do too much for me, but the outside-well it’s spectacular! Bad news though-when I tried to go back to these spaces, I was told access is restricted to hotel guests only, so I won’t show you those pictures. You probably heard that Revel is in a bad way, and they have all new management and hopefully a fresh start. Maybe they will see fit to open those spaces to everyone. I can recommend the Jose Garces restaurant, and the margaritas at the Mexican food truck in the food court are killer.
From the Boardwalk
Before we head over to the marina district, let’s stop at the lighthouse. Don’t look for Atlantic City Lighthouse, it’s called Absecon Lighthouse. Isn’t that a town out on the mainland, you ask? Yes, but it’s also the name of our island! You can feel the history here, and of course the views are beautiful, from the inlet and Brigantine, to downbeach and the mainland.
Moving along to the inlet, there’s a lot to do at the Borgata, the first casino to focus on high end dining and entertainment as a draw instead of gambling. Thank goodness, because everyone stepped up their game as a result, and the city has so much more to offer. My favorite spots at the Borgata? The Chihuly glass sculptures! Plenty of chandeliers, of course, but don’t forget to mosey around to the lobby and the glass “garden” back by the simulcast horse racing room. Beautiful!
Across the highway on the other side of the marina is the new Golden Nugget. You may remember this property as the tired and old Trump Marina, well you won’t recognize her now. The Revel is the cool new place in town, but the Nugget is HOT!
The indoor spaces are beautifully done, but the focus remains on the marina, and yes it is a real marina. Oogle the yachts from the marina deck bar and restaurant outside
or the Chart House inside. The renovations here are a labor of love-I promise you won’t regret stopping by.
Back to my house, but first a look at our 9-11 Memorial, located on the Boardwalk at the border between Atlantic City and Ventnor. Did you know that two Atlantic City natives, Victor Saracini and John O’Neill, were heroes that day? Now you do. (We have many monuments and memorials to our heroes here in AC. Check out my “What about the Monument?” post here.)
Now that I’ve shared some of my favorite places and things to do, come back to my house for a drink on the porch
That’s all for now. Thanks for Doing AC with me. I promise there is more to come. Next time someone says. “Let’s do AC!”, you’ll know there is no gambling required! Enjoy!