Being from Philadelphia, Atlantic City is a typical stomping ground for me. AC is only a one hour drive from the city and it serves as a nice getaway on a lazy Saturday. Over the past few years, though, AC has taken a huge tumble with multiple casinos closing and just a general disinterest from outside investors. It’s been a sad sight to see. The good news is that recently, AC has seen a number of new investments such as the Hard Rock Atlantic City and the Ocean Resort Casino by Hyatt. With these two hotels as well as a couple of other factors, optimism for AC is heating up. Here are a few reasons why you should visit the AC this summer.

New resorts

Hard-rock-atlantic-city

As I mentioned, two new hotels are opening (in already existing properties). Both the Hard Rock Atlantic City and the Ocean Resort Casino are set to open on June 28th and excitement is at an all-time high.

The Hard Rock is going to feature a 400-seat Hard Rock Cafe and performance venue with entertainers like Pitbull, Carrie Underwood, and Maroon 5 already lined up for this summer.

On top of that, the Daer Nightclub at the Hard Rock will have Tiesto as the headliner on June 29th with tickets starting at $75 for general admission — not too bad!

The Ocean Resort Casino, on the other hand, is opening in the former Revel casino (with the worst elevator/escalator setup known to man).

hyatt-ocean-resort

The property features a redesigned 125,000 square foor casino, 160,000 square feet of meeting space, 16 restaurants, two nightclubs, a live entertainment venue, Top Golf, Spa, Fitness center and multiple swimming pools. The resort features a 2-acre landscaped rooftop deck containing outdoor pools, cabanas and fire pits (known as Sky Garden) with more than 30,000 live trees and plants.

Since Ocean Resort is a Hyatt property, using points for rooms is possible. I searched a random weekend in July (hot time in Atlantic City) and the cost is 12,000 Hyatt points per night.

Sports betting

Recently, the Supreme Court paved the way for sports betting to become legal in the United States. As you can imagine, states have been racing to cash in. The town most prepared for this from the get-go is Atlantic City. The city has relied on gambling as a source of revenue since as far back as I can remember and lately they’ve admitted times have been tough. Now with sports betting being open and legal, I imagine casinos and sportsbooks will see a resurgence. I know for me personally, I can’t wait to get down there and place a wager on the Eagles repeating as Super Bowl champions!

Food scene

I’m a huge foodie. In fact, I like traveling primarily to experience the cultures, eat the food, and drink the drinks. Atlantic City has a surprisingly awesome food scene and one of my favorite restaurants – The Iron Room.

iron-room-ac

Once you hit The Iron Room, make sure to check out the Knife & Fork Inn, one of the late Anthony Bourdain’s favorite restaurants.

Feeling Italian? Chef Vola’s has entrees as big as your head and they’re delicious! Beware, though, reservations for the summer are booked months in advance so you really have to plan this stop out. Maybe a job for the Amex Platinum concierge?!

Final word

If you live close to the South Jersey Shore, go visit Atlantic City this summer, even if it means driving a couple of extra hours. I haven’t had a chance to go down this summer yet, but I here the vibe is upbeat and positive. To give you an idea, comedian Sebastian Maniscalco added at least a dozen shows at the Borgata — more than any other venue in the country!

Don’t get me wrong, Atlantic City can be crusty and sketchy, but I think it’s what gives the town its charm 🙂

Ever been to Atlantic City? What are your thoughts?


Images (1, 2, 3)

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