Atlantic City Beach Bars

Bally’s Bikini Beach Bar
Park Place and Boardwalk, 609-340-2000,
Bally’s casino floor may be far from where it’s at, but its yellow umbrella-ed outdoor bar takes full advantage of its first-from-points-north location to lure in liquor-thirsty crowds for early-bird pitchers of MGD and late-afternoon bump ‘n’ grind on the wee dance floor. This one has the most winding path to reach — and eight “private cabana” gazebos reserved for rarely there guests — but it’s almost quaint, with its cutely cheerlead-esque servers (wearing bikinis, weather permitting), taproom-style spindle-topped bar and plenty of tables populated with bachelor partygoers. This is not the place to dine fine, but if you’ve had one too many sips from the souvenir shaker of Malibu strawberry surprise, you can order chips, peanuts and pretzels to tide you over.

The Beach Bar at Trump Plaza
Mississippi and the Boardwalk, 800-677-7378,
The Donald’s is the biggest (15,000 square feet), most tricked-out spot by the sand. Among the royal blue, Hawaiian shirt-splashed complex are a couple of regular bars — one with a grill — an oxygen bar, and a stage fronting the ocean (better to hear the cover of Three Doors Down, my dear). The vibe is Mark Harmon in Summer School with a hint of NASCAR. Best of all, on weekends, it’s open until hours when most grandmothers wake up for the day (4 a.m. Saturday and Sunday mornings). Although venturing beyond standard fare — cheeseburgers, nachos grandes and grilled chicken sandwiches — into the realm of maki, crabcakes and clams on the half shell would be bold, there’s no going wrong with a Coors Light “party pitcher.”

Hilton Beach Bar
Boston Avenue and Boardwalk, 609-347-7111,
We’ll be blunt: This is the beach bar your mom would like. She would. Maybe she wouldn’t like the people hanging over the boardwalk railing ogling her as she sipped her watery piña colada, but she’d look around the bar itself, which stretches lengthwise along the boards, and she’d see people that look like nice people, many around her age. If it’s hot out, she might remark that the menu’s offering of $4 frozen grapes sounds like a good idea. Maybe she’d nibble on a prepackaged shrimp croissant. After dark, she’d appreciate the tabletop candles and the more mature music selections. Heck, she might even get up and boogie when the three-person band — “My oh my, that singer must be Wayne Newton’s brother!” — launches into “I Will Survive.”