Be sure to ask for one of the new suites, with their stunning, unobstructed views of the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. Pro tip: The room-service half-pound brisket burger topped with avocado and bacon is quite good — and, more importantly, an excellent hangover helper that you can order until 6 a.m. 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, theoceanac.com.
It trumps Ocean Casino Resort on every level. Much better shows. Superior restaurants. And an always-fun crowd. 1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, Hardrockhotels.com.
A.C. has been building out the northern end of its boardwalk for the past several years to provide relief from the bustle of casino central. The stretch that extends past Ocean Casino Resort and then banks to the left along Gardner’s Basin is serene, commercially undeveloped and postcard-perfect.
No offense to the spectacular in-casino eateries (we love you, Izakaya!), but its about time we got a trendy, atmospheric, high-end restaurant that overlooks Atlantic Citys best asset: the ocean. And at Chelsea Prime the crisp black-and-white supper-club-like steakhouse from Stephen Starr, in the Chelsea all of the tiered, oversized booths face the blue Atlantic. Which is why we suggest you have a few drinks while the sun sets before you turn all of your attention to the steak, which is perfectly charred, buttery, and matched only by the close-your-eyes-and-moan loaded potato skins. 111 S Chelsea Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, thechelsea-ac.com/dining.php.
Authenticity is key to the dim sum experience, and the friendly, cart-pushing peddlers at this Chinatown haven do an amazing job of transporting you straight to southern China. The vibe of the room is bright and bustling; the staff is attentive and patient and happy to guide you through a myriad of sometimes adventuresome (chicken feet, anyone?) but always delicious (fresh shrimp dumplings, slightly sweet pork buns, and steamed cream buns heavenly custard-filled pillows of doughy goodness) choices. 1023 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, .
We know, we know. Casinos tend to get a bad rap, and they're most certainly not for everyone. But Parx has proven itself to be a formidable option — it's ranked first in the entire state for revenue. There are more than 80 poker tables; the dealers are well trained, and the regular players are friendly. Plus, the adjacent racetrack is there, should you need to lay down a bet on This Ain't No Bull, one of our favorite local horses. 2999 Street Road, Bensalem, PA 19020, parxcasino.com.
What do you do with a huge casino floor when the actual casino hasn’t been open since 2014? If you’re mega-developer Bart Blatstein, who bought Showboat in 2016 and operates it exclusively as a hotel, you set up a giant indoor track and let folks race really, really fast electric go-karts on it. We had smiles on our faces for at least an hour afterward. 801 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, showboathotelac.com.
Sure, you get free drinks at the blackjack table. But by the time your waitress returns with your watered-down cocktail, you've blown a hundred bucks. In the Borgata's horse-betting lounge (how retro!), a $2 wager gets you a drink ticket (you may have to ask for it) good for most top-shelf liquor, including normally $10-a-shot Patrn. And by the time your (hopefully winning) race goes off, you'll be ready for another bet and another round. Even if you lose all your bets, you're only paying $2 a drink plus tip. Try scoring that deal at Churchill Downs. 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, theborgata.com.
Don't go near a Caribbean ocean, Shore house or backyard pool without coming here first. Plaza at King of Prussia, 160 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406, everythingbutwater.com.
This three-week class focuses on woodworking techniques, but also incorporates whatever refinishing or welding skills you'll need to turn that sturdy piece of driftwood you found in Ocean City into, say, a stool. 1834 East Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125, philadelphiasculpturegym.com.
You can now legally bet on games at nine A.C. casinos, but the best is the Borgata’s new $12 million sports book, with its giant LED video wall, a 35-foot-long bar and a VIP lounge. Because if you’re going to put a grand on the Eagles to win it, you might as well be comfortable. 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, theborgata.com.
There’s nothing quite like screaming your head off on a classic wooden coaster while the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean unfolds before you. 3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ 08260, moreyspiers.com.
Got a dozen or so animal-loving tykes? The Camden aquarium’s birthday team will bring crafts, an ocean creature touch table, and a live snake, turtle or baby alligator right to your backyard. aquaticsciences.org.
The only thing more fun than an old wooden roller coaster is one that looks out on the Atlantic Ocean. The clickety-clack of the car up the first hill still scares the ever-lovin bejesus out of us. Adventure Pier, Spencer Avenue and the Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ 08260, moreyspiers.com/play/adventure-pier/ride/the-great-white.
If you've never seen a squadron of fighter jets screaming over the ocean or paratroopers landing on the beach, you owe it to yourself to get to this annual event. This year: August 17th. Atlantic City, NJ Atlanticcityairshow.com.