Hotel at a Glance: The Claridge Hotel
A 1920’s-era hotel that was once nicknamed “The Skyscraper of the Sea,” The Claridge Hotel recently returned to the Atlantic City Boardwalk with a slew of updated amenities. The hotel’s choice location puts guests just minutes from the beach and shopping destinations.
- Glitzy history: Built in 1929, the Claridge has hosted such celebrities as Marilyn Monroe, Al Capone, and Frank Sinatra. It’s one of the oldest remaining skyscrapers from the early boom of Atlantic City, channeling the Roaring Twenties feel popularized by the TV show Boardwalk Empire.
- Dine back in time at the 6th-floor Twenties Restaurant, an Italian eatery with a Prohibition-style bar and lounge that has served John F. Kennedy and Princess Grace of Monaco.
- Hit the jackpot at Bally’s Casino, directly accessible from the hotel.
- Where you’ll stay: Guest rooms have been completely renovated, and feature complimentary WiFi and K-Cup coffee.
- Browse the art at the onsite Holtzman Gallery.
- Take a dip in the indoor pool.
- Break a sweat in the fitness center.
Atlantic City, New Jersey: Casinos and Carnival Rides Lining Historical Beachside Boardwalk
No trip to Atlantic City is complete without a stroll along its signature boardwalk, which stretches for 6 miles along New Jersey’s eastern coast. Originally built in 1870 to keep sand out of hotel lobbies, the boardwalk grew in popularity as a place where you could drink and gamble during Prohibition without much trouble from the police, as depicted in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. The boardwalk is still popular for its casinos, but it’s family-friendly, too; visitors are just as inclined to sit at the beach or stop at one of the many carnival rides.
On the boardwalk, it’s worth it to check out the Absecon Lighthouse, which is more than 150 years old. It’s possible to climb its 228 steps to the top, which features sweeping views of the city skyline and the sea. Down at the base, you’ll find a replica of the original light keeper’s lonely cloister and the collection of sock puppets he created to keep him company.
Proving further that Atlantic City isn’t all nightclubs, boardwalk, and casinos is Gardner’s Basin, a maritime village along the bay. Here, a community of artisans uses seashells and driftwood to hand-make items such as wind chimes and picture frames. However, the Basin’s biggest claim to fame is the 25,000-gallon Atlantic City Aquarium swimming with turtles and rays.