Written by Nell McShane Wulfhart
As a renowned summer playground, Atlantic City has always had appeal, but the city is developing new attractions and celebrity-helmed restaurants that are just as much of a draw as the beach.
An hour’s drive from New York and Philadelphia, Atlantic City (‘AC’) has been a summer playground for decades. The seven-kilometre boardwalk is packed with T-shirt shops and salt water taffy (similar to toffee) vendors, as well as amusement parks, like Steel Pier, that are bursting with energy at night as kids and couples ride the Slingshot and compete at the games. This is classic AC, but in the last couple of years the city has become increasingly cosmopolitan.
Celebrity chefs are upping the culinary ante: the Gordon Ramsay serves up a twist on British fayre; the Wolfgang Puck American Grille is altogether more classic American, and Guy Fieri’s Chophouse serves up Java-rubbed rib-eyes. Buddakan does Asian fusion gone very, very modern, with lobster fried rice and Wagyu beef satay. But if it’s something more old-school you’re looking for, check out the Knife & Fork Inn: an AC landmark since 1912, this was a regular hangout of ‘Nucky’ Johnson, a famous gangster and the inspiration for TV series Boardwalk Empire’s Nucky Thompson.
Bargain-hunters should check out the 100 outlet stores north of the boardwalk at Tanger Outlets The Walk, which is home to Coach, DKNY, and Banana Republic discount stores. Then, for a proper dose of relaxation after a day out, dip into the pool, complete with 360° views of the city and the ocean, at the Immersion Spa, 32 storeys up.
Swimming is all very well, but spice up a trip to the shore with a surfing lesson. AC Surf School offers surf camps and stand-up paddling classes with instructors who are also champion surfers. If you prefer not to get wet, go dolphin-spotting around the coast on a two-hour expedition by Atlantic City Cruises.
acsurfschool.com / atlanticcitycruises.com
Distance: 10,892 km
Flight Time: 13 hour, 50 minutes
Frequency: Daily Flights