The non-skiing, café-lounging, nightlife-loving New Yorkers will come flocking in the middle of winter. If Atlantic City is lucky. With offers of free money and a restaurant week in tow, the warm season destination has enough going for it to make a quick weekend getaway to the snow-covered beaches in New Jersey seem like a cool idea.
In addition to free wi-fi, power outlets, roomy leather seats, and an open-ended ticket option, Greyhound’s Lucky Streak bus is a steal at $37 round trip fare, half the price of the ACES train. Plus, the bus charter is known to put $1 fares on the table, so it’s worth checking the site if you’re thinking of getting away.
The casino cafeteria’s are on a par with college dining halls, but the restaurants are nothing to scoff at. After its successful Food & Wine Festival, Atlantic City is back with the its ever popular restaurant week beginning March 8 through 13. In between gambling and shopping, travelers can have a three-course lunch for $15.20 and supper for $35.20 at any of 81 establishments. During restaurant week, AC is providing special “foodie vacation” hotel packages, like $69 a night at The Chelsea or $49 at the Hilton. (If you haven’t yet done the math, including transportation, lodging, and dinner, you’ve spent less than $200 for two.) Consider a meal at Chelsea Prime or Michael Molina’s SeaBlue.
While you’re in town, walk 223 steps to the top of Absecon Lighthouse, the third tallest lighthouse in the country. The stunning views and awe-inspiring sunsets make for a picturesque end of day commencement for AC’s well-renowned nightlife.
If you were up but then got the crazy eyes and forgot the “quit while you’re ahead” rule, check out the tourism board’s list of Free Things to do in Atlantic City. A tour of the Atlantic City Historical Museum or the water show at the pier shops oughta take your mind off things.
Oh, and the casino drinks are free. Spring will be here in no time.
The co-founder and editor-at-large at offMetro, Lauren is a sustainable travel specialist and freelance journalist with frequent bylines in National Geographic, Bicycling Magazine and Shape. Follow Lauren’s adventures at @laurenmati.