Where to stay and eat in Atlantic City this summer

With a nightlife that rivals Las Vegas, beaches on par with Miami and a foodie scene comparable with New York City, Atlantic City is deserving of a spot on your summer travel bucket list. 

Hear us out: You don't have to schlep all the way to the south or the West Coast for a pristine summer beach vacation, and the prices for a weekend in Atlantic City at a four-star hotel are still a fraction of what you're paying for a Hamptons share house (if you can even afford that!). 

Plus, the coastal cosmopolitan is an easy trip for many East Coasters: a train from Philly is under an hour and a half, while a drive from Washington, D.C. to the resort city is three hours. The travel time and affordable prices are enough to make even a night in Atlantic City worth it this summer. Here's everything to know about a weekend in AC.

Where to stay in Atlantic City 

Finding accommodations at a high-star resort in Atlantic City is surprisingly easy and affordable. And while it might be nice to find a lowkey Airbnb for the weekend, the hotels in Atlantic City are essentially Vegas-style works of art with murals, palm trees and Bellagio-style fountains. It's worth a stay! 

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (around $99 per night) is the Steel Pier's newest, and although Caesars Atlantic City is slightly pricier, its unparalleled amenities and history may make it worth it. As one of the top hotels in Atlantic City, the hotel offers incredible avenues for dining and entertainment, including live shows! 

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Vintage photos of Atlantic City
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Vintage photos of Atlantic City
Bathers on the beach at Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
A view as tourist walk on the Atlantic City Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Circa 1890. (Photo by Herbert/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
A beach scene where women and men wore styles of the day in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Circa 1890. (Photo by Herbert/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

New Jersey, 1878, Atlantic City, New Jersey Coast

(Photo: Getty Images)

Beach at Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, late 19th century. Illustration from Portfolio of Photographs, of Famous Scenes, Cities and Paintings, published by the Werner Company, (Chicago, c1899). (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)
A view as tourist walk on the Atlantic City Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Circa 1890. (Photo by Herbert/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Crowds on the beach and the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Beach, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1895. (Photo by Geo. P. Hall & Son/The New York Historical Society/Getty Images)
High-angle view of city, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1895. (Photo by Geo. P. Hall & Son/The New York Historical Society/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1900: Beach and Boardwalk goers in Victorian garb enjoy the sights of the shore on the New Jersey coast. (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1900: Down by the Sea, people of all types take a stroll along the boardwalk. (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1900: Wicker chair carts became synonymous with the Atlantic City boardwalk and were something everyone had to try. (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
A promenade lithograph graces the cover of Atlantic City Boardwalk Promenade March, published in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1898. (Photo by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1930: Steel Pier, Atlantic City, N.J. Postcard. 1904, Steel Pier, Atlantic City, N.J. Postcard (Photo by LCDM Universal History Archive/Getty Images)

Easter Promenade On The Boardwalk

(Photo: Getty Images)

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1930: Postcard of The Breakers in Atlantic City. ca. 1916, The Breakers, Atlantic City, N. J. (Photo by LCDM Universal History Archive/Getty Images)

Easter promenade on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, 1920's

(Photo: Getty Images)

(Photo: Getty Images)
A view as tourist rest on a Double Decker pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Circa 1900. (Photo by Herbert/Archive Photos/Getty Images) 
A view of Hotel Traymore on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Circa 1920. (Photo by Herbert/Archive Photos/Getty Images) 
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1900: Atlantic City, Roscoe Conkling Fatty Arbuckle (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
The Elephant Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, with an functional edifice built in the shape of an elephant. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1930: The Elephant Hotel. ca. 1913, Margate City, New Jersey, USA, THE ELEPHANT HOTEL AT MARGATE CITY, ONE OF THE OLDEST LANDMARKS, ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (Photo by LCDM Universal History Archive/Getty Images)
1921: Full-length portrait of the first Miss America contestants, wearing their sashes over swimsuits, standing in a line on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Margaret Gorman (second from left), Miss Washington, D.C., was the winner. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
1921: American boxer Jack Dempsey (1895 - 1983, left) training in the ring with Wrestler 'Bull' Montana (1887 - 1950) at Dempsey's Stadium at Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Hirz/Getty Images)
An aerial view of the pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey.Circa 1940. (Photo by Herbert/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1950s:  Sea-side board-walk scene.(Photo by George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1950s:  Atlantic City, NJ.  (Photo by George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1903: Postcard view of three young women sitting on mules and two young men riding in a cart pulled by a small horse on the beach in Atlantic City. (Photo by Lake County Museum/Getty Images)
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Where to eat in Atlantic City

The resort city is filled to the brim with a rainbow of cuisines and restaurants, and no matter your budget, there is definitely an opportunity for a top-rated dining experience. Our favorites include Buddakan and Nero's Italian Steakhouse (located at Caesars), while Kelsey's and Chef Vola's are the perfect options for more low-key meals. 

Editor's tip: Don't forget your own bottle of wine at Chef Vola's, as the old school Italian joint is BYOB! 

What to do in Atlantic City 

If you're looking for a little more than gambling and days spent along the boardwalk, Atlantic City is home to a number of exciting and off-the-beaten-path opportunities, like touring the Absecon Lighthouse, which was constructed in 1857, channeling your childhood at the Steel Pier Amusement Park and checking out the happenings at Little Water Distillery. 

Check out more summer travel tips in the video above! 

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