How to Spend 24 Hours in Atlantic City, NJ

Atlantic City
Atlantic City | © Shinya Suzuki/Flickr
Photo of Kate Morgan
2 February 2018

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day at the beach or a night out you’ll never forget – or never remember, no judgment here! – you can find it in Atlantic City. But if you only have a day, here’s your to-do list.

Brunch with the best view in town

On a Sunday morning, there’s only one place to be in Atlantic City: at Nero’s Italian Steakhouse, on The Pier at Caesar’s, for what is hands down the best brunch in town. The offerings are unbelievably decadent; beef filet, grilled swordfish, crab claws, oysters and sushi – yes, sushi for brunch. If you’re not already booking your reservation, it’s because you haven’t heard about the Bloody Mary bar. You can create your own perfect cocktail and the best part? It’s totally bottomless. To top it all off, the restaurant overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, and the views are absolutely extraordinary.

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Hit the beach

Just a few miles outside the city, you’ll find one of New Jersey’s last pristine, undeveloped beaches. Brigantine Beach has no boardwalk, restaurants, or arcades. What it does have is clean, warm sand, beautiful views of the AC skyline, and a whole lot of peace and quiet. Take a break and soak up some rays before you head back to downtown AC for lunch.

The view from Brigantine Beach | © Chris Potako / Flickr

Visit the White House

No, not the one on Pennsylvania Avenue. This one’s on Arctic Ave., and it’s an Atlantic City institution and one of the most famous sub (as in submarine sandwich) shops in the country. White House Subs has been run by the Basile & Sacco-Conley families since the doors opened in 1946, and every famous face to pass through AC in the past seven decades has paid the shop a visit. Today their autographed photos decorate almost every inch of the walls. All the sandwiches are great, but they also serve the best cheesesteak this side of the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Atlantic City 2018

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Time to grab a cocktail! Or two. Or more…

Make your way down the boardwalk, back to The Pier at Caesar’s, and grab a seat at the bar in restauranteur Stephen Starr’s Continental. The restaurant is modeled on a bustling, 1960s-style international terminal theme, and it’s easy to feel like you’ve stepped into an episode of Mad Men when you pick up the cocktail menu. There are tons of innovative, whimsical craft cocktails to try, but if you’re only having one, make it “Aloe Me to Introduce Myself.” The perfect mix of Bluecoat gin, Chareau aloe vera liqueur, lemon, lime and tonic, it’s both surprising and surprisingly refreshing.

Aloe Me to Introduce Myself | © Continental

Savor dinner at Buddakan

Great news: once you’re sufficiently liquored up and ready to eat again, you don’t have to go far. Right next to Continental, you’ll find Stephen Starr’s other Atlantic City eatery: Buddakan. The atmosphere is amazing; you’re transported to a starry Asian courtyard, while a giant golden Buddha serenely looks on. Head straight for the edamame ravioli, and if sweet corn tempura is on the menu (it’s a seasonal dish), order as much of each as the kitchen will give you. You definitely won’t regret it.

Buddakan's all-seeing Buddha | © Buddakan

Dance the night away

Atlantic City has no shortage of bars, nightclubs and places to dance. On any given night, there’s a famous DJ spinning somewhere, and a wild dance party is assured. There’s one party, though, that always outdoes all the rest. Located in the heart of the Tropicana Resort and Casino, Boogie Nights is dedicated to the ageless jams of years gone by. On Fridays and Saturdays, you can get down to the hits of the ’70s and ’80s, and Thursdays are ’90s Night. Hit the lighted dance floor and get the party started, under the biggest disco ball you’ve ever seen.

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