From neon-filled nightclubs to posh pools with beer gardens, Atlantic City gets even hotter when the sun goes down.
Lights, camera, action: Borgata’s new Premier Nightclub heats things up for summer with an all-star roster of top DJs. Atlantic City continues to evolve but no matter what happens, you can’t deny this historic Shore town’s unmistakable siren song. This summer, that signature tune ranges from rock to EDM, as the city welcomes new restaurants and nightclubs. Here, our top ways to “do AC” this summer.
Surf’s up (after dark) at WAV Nightclub.
With a grand opening slated for June, Tropicana Casino & Resort will raise the curtain on Ivan Kane’s Kiss Kiss a Go-Go. This Bangkok-inspired, neon-fueled trip down the rabbit hole, created by nightclub visionary Ivan Kane—known around AC as the brains behind Revel’s bawdy burlesque nightspot Ivan Kane’s Royal Jelly, plus a handful of West Coast clubs—is perhaps the most anticipated opening of the summer. “My job is to let my imagination run wild,” Kane says of the plans, adding, “I want people to be overwhelmed by the entirety of the experience.” The party’s already started at Borgata’s Premier Nightclub, where sophisticated design and top-name DJs including Ruby Rose, Brooke Evers, and Samantha Ronson are the name of the game. The reboot of Mixx, Borgata’s original nightspot, boasts more tables for bottle service and a towering digital chandelier that’s nearly eye-level from a perch on the expanded second floor. If just one nightclub isn’t enough for you,head to T Street at Playground Pier. Designed to bring to mind iconic party streets like Broadway in Nashville and Beale Street in Memphis, T Street has all the nightlife you need under one roof. From daiquiris at Wet Willies to karaoke at Purdy, T Street offers a no-cover, multi-venue party spot fit for every mood. The only exclusion to that is WAV Nightclub, the Playground’s newest venue, where you can party right over the Atlantic Ocean until the wee hours.
Toasted Buddha ice cream, Buddakan’s haute riff on a true Boardwalk treat.
With all that drinking and dancing, it’s not a bad idea to start your night with dinner. And who better to feed you than Jose Garces? The Iron Chef and Philadelphia restaurateur is expected to bring multiple seafood-focused concepts to the Tropicana in late 2016. In the meantime, check out go-to Trop spots like Cuba Libre and Carmine’s inside The Quarter. Later on head to The Continental or Buddakan, also tucked inside Playground Pier. Both Stephen Starr restaurants are upping their already broad appeal with the best part of dinner: dessert. While Domonic Tardy whips up his famous S’mores Berries and Chocolate Rocky Road at The Continental—grab a seat at the “outside patio”—Buddakan just unveiled an entire floral and summer-inspired sweets menu nearly as dreamy as the restaurant’s gorgeous interior: Think coconut rice pudding, Zen-Ful Donuts, and Tahitian vanilla crème brulée.
A rendering of the Borgata’s new outdoor pool, open to hotel guests this July.
Sure, there’s the beach. But for a sand-free tropical experience, head to The Pool at Harrah's, where it’s all summery cocktails, palm trees, and cabanas. At night, the indoor paradise becomes The Pool after Dark, a nightclub with celebrity hosts like Ice T and Coco and Scott Disick. If you’d rather take your pool experience outside, check out the new pool at The Borgata. With cabanas, hammocks, lawn games, and—even better—a brand new beer garden within the vicinity, the Borgata Beer Garden and Outdoor Pool are scheduled to open in July. And while the pool is for hotel guests only, the beer garden is there for us all to enjoy.
Tim McGraw headlines Wildwood’s big Fourth of July celebration on the beach.
The beach is the place to be this summer—especially for fans of country music. For the Fourth of July, Wildwood gives Atlantic City a run for its live-music money by hosting superstar Tim McGraw plus openers Hunter Hayes and Maggie Rose as part of its Celebrate America fest. In a true nod to the spirit of the Fourth, a portion of the proceeds benefits veterans. The town’s annual fireworks display caps off the night. Later in the month Toby Keith hits the sand in AC on July 23 outside Resorts. Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band team up with G. Love & Special Sauce on August 13 for a beach concert that will likely include a post-show cocktail at Buffett’s Landshark Bar near Resorts. Buffett friends and collaborators Zac Brown Band take the stage on September 1 with Drake White and The Big Fire. And then Florida Georgia Line closes the season out on September 3 with help from Cole Swindell, The Cadillac Three, and Kane Brown. Other can’t-miss shows: one of only three US concerts from Rod Stewart on August 27; Bob Dylan on July 10 followed by Tony Bennett on July 29 (Borgata) and Eli Young Band on September 1 (Tropicana). And for some true Philly flavor, don’t miss Boyz II Men on July 23 (Tropicana). Those looking to relive the ’90s can look to Alice in Chains (July 23, Trump Taj Mahal) or 3 Doors Down, who debuted their signature song, “Kryptonite,” in 2000 (September 10, Caesars). Rounding things out are operatic pop sensation Josh Groban (August 5, Borgata) and mega-superstar Justin Bieber (July 15, Boardwalk Hall), and, because summer is a great time for laughs, Jerry Seinfeld (August 12 and 13, Borgata).
PhotograPhy by Kevin Mazur/WireiMage (McGraw); Pool RendeRing couRtesy of BoRgata Hotel casino & spa; courtesy of WaV Nightclub (club); casey Weber (food)