At the risk of alienating friends, I have to say I'm not a huge Jersey fan. But I LOVE Atlantic City. Among a series of "firsts" I've accomplished in the last year (first real job, first apartment, first move-in with a boy) I've actually won money via gambling. I won $120 three weeks ago playing craps. We went back last week and I lost $40 back. And I have never had so much fun losing at something!
I've been to Atlantic City five times since January. I'd be going every weekend this summer had I inherited baller funds from a rich dead aunt or something. My avid gambler boyfriend (think Bling Bling meets Kung Fu Panda) will have to suffice. Even when I think we should stay home and save money, he's always enticing me with "I'm due for a win" and other lofty lines. Leaving the City is what keeps us sane, and I have Atlantic City to thank for that. Here's just a few of the things I love...
The Beach: Even if you're not into gambling, chances are you're at least a fan of lying on the beach and sipping frosty drinks. Hungry? No prob. There's at least two full-service bikini bars on the beach. And you can't miss the scrappy beach vendors lugging large ice boxes full of $1 treats.
The Bums: I've found Boardwalk Bums to be a lot more creative in their peddling methods (i.e. guitar guys doing Johnny Cash voice-overs) than NYC bums. Using one's musical talents - or lack thereof - tends to be the rule. And then there are entertainers by default, such as the ripped runner we saw toting an oversized piece of driftwood across his shoulders. We couldn't help chuckling over how ridiculous he looked - "Gee whiz... can I get a lift? teehee"
Free Drinks at the Tables: Need I say more?
Free Trip Money: This is a big IF, but if you come out ahead at the tables, the winnings can be used to pay off the trip. We only broke even once, but let me say this prospect is enough to get me on a crappy Greyhound bus. Which, by the way, is $15 round trip per person - less than what you would spend on a taxi ride to the Upper West Side.
Great Food: Two words - Stephen Starr. We're talking top-notch food at very reasonable prices here people. My personal fav is the trendy Buddakan, a restaurant fit for a Buddhist colony. Their asian fusion theme transcends everything, from its meticulous food designs to an atmosphere of dark wood swathed in sheets of satin. And PS - their chickpea ravioli is to DIE for. If you look closely at this picture, you'll see there are lights glowing from within the table. Not bad, eh?
And if the food isn't enough to get you there, maybe this terrace view will: