Fine Dining and Nightlife amid Chic, 1940s-Style Decor at Four-Star Atlantic City Hotel
Purple neon lights cast a glow onto a slender 20-story tower topped by a violet-colored sign reading "the Chelsea" in cursive lettering. This is the centerpiece Luxe tower of The Chelsea, a four-star hotel that looks like it was plucked from a film-noir classic and placed right along the ocean, just a short walk from Atlantic City’s iconic boardwalk. Inside, retro-chic decor—such as crystal chandeliers in the ballroom and abstract lamps elsewhere—fits right in with the city’s glamorous past. Each Luxe king and queen room embodies the hotel's signature style and overlooks the bay. This getaway includes two passes to the solarium, which has a coed jacuzzi, a sauna, and a steam room.
Atlantic City, New Jersey: Casinos and Carnival Rides Lining Historic 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 can peruse amusement parks, arcades, and carnival-style food vendors; several businesses stay open year-round.
It's also worth checking out the Absecon Lighthouse, which is more than 150 years old. Climb 228 steps to the top for 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 and casinos is Gardner's Basin, a maritime village along the bay. Here, artisans use seashells and driftwood to handcraft items such as wind chimes and picture frames. However, the basin's biggest claim to fame is the 25,000-gallon Atlantic City Aquarium, home to turtles, rays, and other denizens of the deep.