Atlantic City is one of the most exciting places to stay on the Jersey shore. We all know it as the east coast epicenter for casinos, but it’s also a seaside resort that’s perfect for family vacations, honeymoons, girlfriend getaways, mancations, plus conferences and conventions.
I recently visited Atlantic City with 39 other women, and my family in tow, to promote New Jersey tourism, courtesy of Caesars Entertainment. Caesars is a self-contained resort that provides hotel accommodations, restaurants, bars, cafés, shopping, a spa and salon, gaming, a nightclub, shows, pools, and meeting rooms. It’s conveniently located in the center of the seaside resort, that adds the amenities of the beach; boardwalk with its many shops and eateries; outlet stores and upscale shopping, and the famed Steel Pier known for amusements. I am so thankful to have had the quintessential Atlantic City experience, and now it’s one of my favorite places in Jersey to visit.
My family and I stayed in a Premium 2 Double Beds room in the newer Centurion Tower. While the rooms are somewhat similar, the decor is likened to a boutique hotel. A headboard made of wood and mirrors tastefully graces the bed that has one of the best mattresses I’ve ever slept on. There’s a mini-fridge (no minibar); a flatscreen TV (with a sound bar and subwoofer), and a clock radio (with an iPhone dock in some rooms). The marble bathroom is separated from the sleeping quarters by a sleek, frosted glass pocket door; has a water closet, and a frameless glass-enclosed shower stall that has a large shower head with good water pressure. There’s a TV embedded in the mirror, and complimentary Qua Baths & Spa products. They also supply a blow dryer, iron and iron board, plus a safe in the closet. This room is spacious, bright, quiet, and filled with a good selection of amenities for seasoned travelers.
The eateries range from a coffee shop to upscale restaurants. The restaurants listed below are where I had the most impressive meals, and I would highly recommend them. They are even worth the drive just to eat there if you’re within a 60 minute radius.
Mia – First of all, the beautiful façade is of classic Corinthian columns with sheer voile panels and accent lighting, fitting to Caesar’s Roman theme. I enjoyed a fabulous four-course meal that included an antipasto platter, salad, salmon, and crême brulée. The highlight for me was the entrée. The Norwegian Salmon alla Plancha was moist, buttery, and the skin was very crispy, which is where many restaurants fail. The salmon rested over a creamy, herb risotto surrounded by a vermouth foam (nice touch of molecular gastronomy), and topped with a cool, crisp, arugula salad. Divine! I heard the filet mignon was also delicious.
Atlantic Grill Seafood & Sushi – I ate here with some friends, and shared the grilled diver sea scallops with sautéed spinach, jasmine rice and lentils, plus the Chilean seabass with miso, shrimp lo mein and lobster broth. The scallops were succulent, and nicely combined with the side dishes. However, the miso combined with the Chilean seabass knocked it out of the park! I was told the Maine lobster bisque was absolutely sublime.
Caesar’s Sunday Brunch at Nero’s – Now this is a brunch! Smoked fish; bagels; stations for omelets, crêpes, and carved meats; clams on the half shell; crab legs; caviar (fish roe) with toast points, finely chopped onions and eggs; a large selection of other warm and cold dishes, plus desserts were offered. This is one of the best premium brunch buffets I’ve been to. (The photo on the site doesn’t do the food justice.)
The Tanger Outlets offers over 140 outlet stores, plus 11 restaurants. You can spend an entire day at this outlet mall that houses Nautica, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, and more beloved name brands. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it there to shop, but my family did.
The Pier Shops at Caesars – There’s a walkway connecting Caesars to this three-level mall. I HAD to stop by Tiffany’s, and was impressed by the upscale shops here, including Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Apple, Janie and Jack, and Tommy Bahama. My daughter was excited to shop at LUSH and It’Sugar.
Atlantic City Boardwalk
The iconic boardwalk is a bustling promenade filled with souvenir shops, fast food eateries, and entertainment. The highlights for me were Fralingers Salt Water Taffy shop for the best taffy, and the Steel Pier, including the heliport for helicopter rides. I wanted to check out Ripley’s Believe It or Not, but didn’t have time.
Home to arcades and amusement rides that entertain kids, or make adults feel like kids again! This is a must if you want to experience some rides that give you the feeling you’re directly over water. Steel Pier owner Anthony Cantanoso told us he will transform the pier from a six-month out of the year venue to a year-round destination. He plans to add an extension to the pier, construct an indoor level for a family restaurant, plus build a 200 foot observation wheel that will be the highest in the country until the one in Las Vegas has been built. It was raining when I arrived at the Steel Pier Pub, and the weather had just started to clear after we toured the pier. It will fantastic to have some indoor attractions for kids with cabin fever on inclement days. I had a blast with my family and friends on the rides and walking around.
The Atlantic City Beach across from Caesar’s is fairly wide. The sand is fine and fairly clean. You can rent cabanas, chairs and umbrellas to relax in the shade without having to bring it with you. No badges are required since entry is free, and it’s great for families, sunbathers, and surfers (at designated beaches). This is a great place to unwind after shopping or fun at the Steel Pier.
We took cabs over to the marina side to go to Harrah’s Pool After Dark. The colors of magenta, blue, and green give the right flair for a club with a dance floor with palm trees that surrounds a domed. indoor swimming pool. There are even cabanas for smaller groups providing personalized service, and the loft has tables for gaming. We had our own little party in a large roped off section in the back. Famous DJs spin tunes here nightly, and celebrities make appearances. Drake Bell of the former Nickelodeon show Drake and Josh was on hand to greet us. It was fun to watch the crowd in action.
I didn’t gamble, but some ladies did. A few won money, and I believe somebody walked away with about $700 from the tables! In hindsight, I should’ve joined them for the adventure.
Check-in was a little slow, but Kevin came to the rescue to speed up the process. I had a minor issue, and Kevin (again) at the front desk quickly resolved it. We were able to comfortably check out on TV and drop the keys in a box in the lobby, and walk straight to the car. The garage is a bit of a walk, but it’s connected to the hotel via a walkway. The internet was occasionally spotty, but I was always able to get work done. Overall, I enjoyed my stay at Caesar’s and would definitely return.
This was indeed the quintessential Atlantic City experience! There’s even more to do, but I felt I had the opportunity to sample the best activities, dining experiences, and accommodations. It was a wonderful chance to rediscover the shore, especially after Sandy, and help spread some #JerseyLove during the process. That’s how I #DoAC! What about you?
Disclosure: Caesars Entertainment generously sponsored the weekend. All opinions are my own.