So you want to have your bachelor party in ol’ Atlantic City? Good choice. If you live the tristate area it’s easily accessible by car, bus, or train. If you’re coming from further away, there’s actually a tiny airport (Atlantic City Airport) that serves Spirit Airlines. Atlantic City is not just a place for Rutgers students to celebrate their 21st birthday, and old folks to get their groove back. No, it’s a beach town with historic roots in the party scene, full of good food, and great nightlife. Yes, Atlantic City, the city that inspired HBO’s Boardwalk Empire–the show that inspired a nation to see Steve Buscemi as a leading man. This weekend, you’re the leading man, it’s bachelor weekend, let’s get started.
Day 1: AC’s Great Outdoors
Arrive in Atlantic City. For your hotel, if you’re going to do AC, do it right, pick: The Water Club Hotel at Borgata.
10am Hit the Beach
Spend the late morning/early afternoon on the beach, get your tan on, and soak in all the vitamin D you can, it’s good to treat your body well before you destroy it with alcohol and red meat. If you’re feeling active you can go paddle-boarding or wind surfing. You could even charter a fishing boat, and fish, just to make sure you hit every male buddies cliché. If you love a boat, but hate to fish, you can charter a cruise, (they have special bachelor party packages).
2pm Eat Lunch
For lunch, grab yourself some real jersey fare at either: Tony Baloney’s, an awesomely oddball unique pizzeria offering every kind of pie you can think of (a Jewish style pizza complete with brisket and beet horseradish, a Mexican style with Oaxacan chipotle mole roasted carne asada on it), or go to the White House Sub Shop for some classic unbeatable Jersey Italian subs.
4pm Walk The Boardwalk
After lunch check out Atlantic city’s famous, historic, and lively boardwalk; eat some salt water taffy, a bachelor party is all about delaying adulthood after all. If you love a good lighthouse, boy do I have good new for you, check out the Absecon Lighthouse, the third largest lighthouse in country. Walk up the many many many stairs (208), to get to the top, snag a pic for the insta-story. The views from the top are magical, and you’ll have a sober photo of you and your buddies you can actually frame and hang in the house after you’re married.
7pm Grab dinner at Knife and Fork
AC has plenty of cheesy food options, skip that noise, for dinner head to a favorite of Jersey’s own Anthony Bourdain (RIP), Knife and Fork Inn. Knife and Fork was established in 1912 and represents the old glamour of Atlantic City, (it survived serving alcohol during prohibition, un-raided!) It’s a place to eat steak and scallops and enter manhood.
10pm Get drinks at the Gypsy Bar
Check out Borgata’s Gypsy Bar, a bar specializing in tequila which also has a large selection of craft beers. It’s a stylish bar that’s still casual and fun, and every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday it has live music for no cover.
Day Two: Classic AC
11AM Eat a Hearty Breakfast
Snag a late breakfast at Maria’s Luncheonette, a classic little diner spot that makes amazing breakfast food, for amazing prices, it’s a sweet picture of boardwalk nostalgia that will fill you up for a day of gambling.
2PM Play the Casinos
Hit the slots, or the tables. Spend the day checking out the Vegas of the East Coast. You’ve got tons of options, but your big boys are: Borgata, Caesars, Tropicana, Bally’s, Golden Nugget, Harrah’s, and Resorts. Bally’s is conveniently located, and has a ton of variety in games, if you’re a poker man the serious tables are at Borgata and Caesars, for slots try Resorts or Harrah’s, for blackjack, roulette, or mini baccarat check out the Golden Nugget.
8PM Have a Fancy Dinner
For dinner, you can go to another Bourdain favorite (I’d trust his opinion anywhere in the GD world, and the great beyond, but he carries even heavier weight in his and my home state of NJ), Dock’s Oyster House. This classic seafood restaurant, which opened in 1897, is still going strong with its grand raw bar and piano bar. Or, if you’re looking for more contemporary seafood options, go to: Olón, Chef Jose Garces’s coastal Ecuadorian inspired restaurant is breezy cool with a raw bar, ceviche options abound, and a wood fire grill for meat and fish.
10PM Enjoy the Nightlife
Nightlife in AC is nearly unbeatable. Try to book things ahead of time, there are countless amazing music venues in the city, so see who’s playing the weekend of your trip. Boxing is making a huge comeback in Atlantic City thanks to the Hard Rock, check if there are matches happening your weekend. But no matter what, there will be clubs, and lots of them. Haven is for the EDM enthusiast. Boogie Nights (a huge bachelor party scene), devotes itself to 70s and 80s music, Premier Nightclub is in the Borgata, it’s huge, with a diverse music selection. As for clubs with less clothed women, AC can provide. Bare Exposures is a go to, but if you want a little razzle dazzle with your strip Ivan Kane’s Royal Jelly Burlesque Nightclub is old Hollywood, complete with a live jazz band.
Day Three: A Full and Final Day in AC
11AM Go to Brunch
Cure that hangover with a late and long boozy brunch at The Continental, the decor is parts Golden Age of Hollywood, parts Mad Men-esque Mid Century Modern, and parts Jetsons style retro futurism. The food options are varied, delicious, and decadent.
2PM Play some Golf
AC has world class golf courses, so hit a few balls at The Atlantic City Country Club, one of the greatest courses around that also happens to be public.
7PM Have the last Dinner
Your last Atlantic City dinner is Chef Volas, an old school red sauce Italian restaurant that opened in 1921, and makes you feel like part of the family. It’s a basement hideaway with a speakeasy feel harkening back to Atlantic City’s bootlegging history, and it’s BYOB, so bring it. Definitely make a reservation in advance for this one.
9pm Get Drinks for the Road
Before heading back to the real world, enjoy a drink (or 4), right on the beach at Bally’s Bikini Beach Bar. Suck down tropical drinks in a party environment, all while smelling the ocean. Don’t worry about over indulging before you leave, you’re never the only one passed out on NJ Transit.