Atlantic City, NJ

The Perfect Girls Weekend Getaway in Atlantic City

offMetro.com

By Suzanne Russo

A light ocean breeze cuts through the sun’s glow, but I am sweating. It streams across my forehead, and from a hands-and-knees position I watch it plop and pool on my workout mat while I try to keep my achy arms from collapsing and my contorted leg from shaking. Not my most dignified moment, and yet I feel completely badass.

When we’ve planned girlfriend getaways in the past, my pals and I have admittedly written Atlantic City off as the gathering place of old gamers and boozy bachelorettes, but a recent quest for a wellness weekend that wasn’t (ahem) all wellness happily plopped us in Boardwalk Empire territory.

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Atlantic City.Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Here, a little bit of everything—from intense workouts and rejuvenating spa days, to sun, sand, and decadent food and drink—proves just the right recipe for a perfect girls weekend getaway in Atlantic City.

Water babies

We kick things off at The Water Club at Borgata. Set on Renaissance Pointe, away from the Boardwalk, the hotel has an exclusive air and offers all the action in one glitzy spot. Our room is sleek and streamlined, with comfy beds, a roomy bathroom, and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the port and Boardwalk beyond.

We spend the afternoon perusing upscale shops and tippling poolside—the Water Club offers five adult-only pools, both indoor and outdoor. Then it’s off to dinner at Fornelletto, a subterranean hideaway with a “modern-rustic” vibe, marked by low lighting, dark wood, and an entire wall of wine. With our wine we share delicious Italian dishes, the standout being simple yet exquisite, melt-in-your-mouth squash blossoms, stuffed with a dollop of gooey mozzarella cheese.

Check out the Water Club at Borgata in this short clip:

Soak up the sun

The first Boardwalk in the United States was built in 1870, and quickly became beloved and iconic. It was then and continues to be the pulsing heart of vacationland (it’s also the most expensive and coveted Monopoly property). Here, casinos glitter, bikini babes saunter from one beach bar to the next, and men in track suits push tourists in rolling chairs, a singular tradition dating back almost as far as the Boardwalk itself.

We skip the chair ride in favor of a stroll, taking in the old-fashioned revelry—smells of hot dogs and funnel cakes, happy shrieks floating off the rides at Steel Pier, candy shops selling salt water taffy (according to local legend, it started here in the 19th century, when a candy stand was flooded with seawater).

If the Boardwalk guards the traditions of Atlantic City, ARTLANTIC looks to its future. This five-year project brings art to vacant spaces in the city. Etude Atlantis, situated on the Boardwalk near the Tropicana, is part optical illusion (colliding black-and-white-stripes), part water park (a cistern of cascading water), part community center, and so much more.

ARTLANTIC: Wonder, meanwhile, is a vast public space, just beyond the Boardwalk but removed from the bustle. On these undulating terraces, amid a sunken pirate ship and uplifting words like “Glorious” and “Possible,” boardwalkers can relax, commune, and find a little quiet amid the chaos. Additionally, for wellness seekers, “Mind, Body, & Soul ARTLANTIC” brings fitness classes and performances to both spaces all summer long.

Girls just wanna have fun

The first boutique, non-gaming hotel of Atlantic City’s casino-era, The Chelsea Hotel is pretty and playful. Its facade screams ‘50s roadside motel, while the interior channels the glamour of the same era, throwing a little modern flair into a retro-chic, Rat-Pack-esque style. We get a kick out of the gorgeous fifth-floor parlour, with its wing-back chairs and black-and-white photos of Atlantic City days gone by.

Our room looked out at the Boardwalk and ocean, and had a delightfully feminine air, with pretty headboard, far-out lamps, and leopard-print chair. We checked out all the beautiful people at the fifth-floor Cabana Club pool but opted for a quieter scene, sailing away in the saltwater Oasis pool, and then claiming lounge chairs to enjoy the only beach service in Atlantic City.

Check out this clip to get a glimpse of the hotel:

Equally swank is The Continental, a swank Stephen Starr spot located in the Pier Shops at Caesars. The squat ’50s facade recalls a summer lodge, replete with fire pit, stone floor, and “creek,” while inside, the joint has the feel of “diner revisited.” Slick vinyl booths and a psychedelic cheer have us ready to don white go-go boots and shout “yeah baby, yeah.” In the center, the funky bubble room, with its rounded windows, purple blacklight glow, and white modular furnishings, feels like the sort of place where Judy Jetson would hold a dance party.

By day the menu offers an array of beachy sandwiches, while at night the food is served tapas- style. We share tangy Cantonese ribs, crispy Szechuan shoestring fries, and rich French Onion Soup Dumplings, washed down with fun cocktails and followed by a whimsical treat. The S’More Berries are a work of art: strawberries on sticks dipped in marshmallow meringue, with chocolate and graham cracker crumbs for dipping. Divine.

Sun salutations

The Chelsea’s first-floor restaurant, Teplitsky’s, is named for the proprietors of the popular kosher hotel that once stood on this spot. A true old-fashioned diner, it’s the perfect place to soak up last night’s party. All the greasy spoon standbys are available, plus some healthy options like granola and yogurt and yummy smoothies.

A mixture of comfort and health foods fortifies us for Sun Salutation Yoga on the Beach, another BASK offering, and a great way to stretch out sore muscles and savor the last of our happy weekend. Relaxing in corpse pose, I take in sand below me, sun above, waves crashing, muffled voices, thumping music, seaside and summer smells… and feel completely at peace, one with Atlantic City past and present.

How to get there from NYC

Take Megabus from 34th St between 11th Ave and 12th, or Greyhound from Port Authority (it drops off at a number of the casinos).

How to get around Atlantic City

The Atlantic City Jitney runs regularly, picking up and dropping off in front of most major casinos.

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offMetro is a travel resource for city dwellers who want to get out of town–car-optional. oM reports on the best day trips and weekend getaways that are easily accessible via alternative modes of transportation, be it by bike, bus, subway, or boat. If you can’t make the weekends longer, strive to make them better.

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