Five Reasons to Love Atlantic City

Great live music, revamped accommodations and fresh dining options keep visitors coming back.

Marked by the closures of Revel, the Atlantic Club, Trump Plaza and Showboat, 2014 was hardly a banner year for Atlantic City. But the reality is that nearly 35 million visitors come to AC annually. “You’ll never be bored here,” says Jeff Guaracino, executive director of the Atlantic City Alliance, a nonprofit organization working to keep visitors streaming into the resort town year-round. “There are a lot of new things to explore.” 

Here are five reasons to keep AC on your summer radar.

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1. The sea and sand. No hiding from beach-taggers in AC, where you can enjoy the lively surf and ample sand for free. And when was the last time you hung out at a beachfront bar in Avalon? Landshark Bar & Grill at Resorts Casino Hotel and Bally’s Bikini Beach Bar encourage you to stay well after the sun goes down. 

2. New places to stay. The Claridge Hotel is among the Boardwalk properties undergoing a complete renovation. Around since the 1920s, this iconic 500-room hotel has been updated with an indoor pool, a health club, and a 600-seat Vegas-style cabaret showroom. The new TRYP by Wyndham is similar to its neighbor, the Chelsea. It’s also a non-gaming, boutique-type hotel within walking distance to the beaches, boardwalk and casinos. Tropicana Casino & Resort recently received the green light on plans for a $35 million renovation to be finished this summer. And over the past four years, Golden Nugget Casino, Hotel & Marina has been undergoing a $150 million property-wide renovation that includes remodeling more than 700 rooms and suites, the addition of the H20 Pool + Bar, and eight new restaurants.

The Claridge Hotel//photo by jason bleecher

The indoor pool at the Water Club//photo by jared castaldi

3. Top-tier live music. Remember when AC was the final resting place for B-list Vegas acts and little more? That’s hardly the case these days. This summer, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has the Killers (June 20), 311 and the Wailers (July 19), Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga (July 24), James Taylor (Aug. 1), Rob Thomas (Aug. 2), Yes and Toto (Aug. 9), Darius Rucker (Aug. 15), Willie Nelson (Aug. 16), Counting Crows (Sept. 5) and more. You’ll also find A-list talent at the Trop, Harrah’s and Caesar’s Palace. And the Eagles take the stage at Boardwalk Hall on July 17.

4. Fresh dining options. At the new Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Caesars, head chef and Hell’s Kitchen winner La Tasha McCutchen has been receiving well-deserved accolades. And the Italian cuisine, steaks and seafood rival the stunning ocean views at The Twenties in the Claridge. 

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Golden Nugget Casino//photo by jared castaldi

5. Other distractions. Developer Bart Blatstein is preparing to open The Playground, the much-hyped new concept that will replace the Pier Shops at Caesars, by July 4. The $50 million project includes a 2,000-seat performance venue, multiple bars and restaurants, a sports bar, and a bowling alley with live music. And don’t miss the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival July 23-25, one of many events the city hosts throughout the summer.

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