11 Best Bars in New Jersey Shore, New Jersey


Fodor's choice

The two places for drinks at The Water Club provide a welcome respite from the chirping casino floors and the hectic dance clubs. The Sunroom is a sedate wine and tapas lounge just off the hotel lobby. In the summer, the pool moonlights as Sunbar, serving up outdoor cocktails and music well into the night.

The Irish Pub

Fodor's choice

Locals love the simply named watering hole on the ground floor of an inn that was a longtime haunt of Joe DiMaggio. Elsewhere, the primped and prepped are hittting the casino nightclubs, but a jovial and relaxed crowd prefers to tip them back here, at the mahogany bar, amid vintage posters and prints, and beneath stained glass hanging lamps. Some rarely leave, because the bar never closes.

Bally's Atlantic City

When you land at Park Place and the Boardwalk, you know you're standing on prime real estate. The property, which includes the historic 1860 Dennis Hotel and the grand old Claridge Hotel from the city's heydey, is actually several casinos in one, with multiple gaming floors, 13 restaurants, and two nightclubs. Bally's has a six-story-high escalator, twin waterfalls, and tropical plants. The centerpiece of nightly entertainment is the "Legends in Concert" series, which brings celebrity impersonators to the stage, and sometimes to the tables to deal blackjack. There's always an Elvis, of course, but also Madonna, the Blues Brothers, Adele, Bobby Darin, and a rotating cast of performers. The attached Wild Wild West Casino is a themed frontier town with animatronic prospectors and other sordid characters. This is where you'll find some of the lowest table minimums in town and a hard-partying atmosphere exemplified by beer pong tournaments.

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Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

Parker Brothers may have to rejigger the Monopoly board to reflect this newcomer. One of the hottest properties in town is not on the Boardwalk but in the Marina district, way on the other side of the city. When it opened in 2003, the $1.1 billion casino-hotel was the first addition to Atlantic City since 1990 and exists on a scale more akin to Las Vegas than anything in these parts. Glitzy yet trendy, Borgata encompasses a 161,000-square-foot casino with more than 250 table games and 3,475 slot machines, 12 restaurants (including offerings from Bobby Flay and Wolfgang Puck), and two theaters that each seat more than 1,000 people. The architecture and interior design, a blend of modern elements and old-Italy motifs, combined with the Borgata's nightclubs and specialty boutiques pull in a younger, hipper crowd than the other area casinos.

Caesars Atlantic City Hotel/Casino

Where else can you see a replica of Michelangelo's David surrounded by slot machines? Caesar's invented the theme casino and here, as in Las Vegas, it continues to be a pantheon of gaudiness. In the main Temple Lobby, the ceiling is a faux night sky, and Caesar and Cleopatra themselves make regular appearances. As far as entertainment goes, it rules this stretch of the Boardwalk. Big name musicians and comedians take the stage every weekend at the Circus Maximus Theater and DJs keep the coifed and buffed kids dancing well into the night. The connecting Pier Shops offer dozens of high-end stores and waterside restaurants. There are even few a low-stakes tables in this high-rolling 145,000-square-foot Roman empire.

2100 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, New Jersey, 08401, USA
nightlife Details
Rate Includes: Tee times available for Atlantic City Country Club

Cape May Stage

The actors are often Broadway veterans and the diverse selection surpasses most regional companies at Cape May's best equity theater. Recent productions include God of Carnage, The 39 Steps, and Uncle Jacques Symphony, written and performed by Ovation Award-winner Dominic Hoffman. "Dinner & A Show" deals with some of the best local restaurants make for a full night.

Golden Nugget Atlantic City

The former home of the Trump Marina, the refurbished and rebranded waterside casino markets itself toward a raucous younger crowd by booking mixed martial arts events, rock tribute and cover bands, and bawdy comedians. Gamblers tear into steaks at Vic & Anthony's or take in ocean views and seafood at the Chart House before hitting the 80,000 square-foot gaming floor. The hotel runs the adjacent state marina and is one of the only casinos in town you can arrive by yacht.

Harrah's Atlantic City Casino Hotel

Off in the Marina District, near the Borgata and Trump Marina, Harrah's has a distinct, perhaps mellow, vibe compared with the other casinos in town. It's known as a haven for slot players. The hotel also has eight restaurants (including Dos Caminos and Luke Palladino), several shops, and a large theater where seasoned crooners and comedians grace the stage and entertain an older crowd. But it's not entirely sedate. The Pool After Dark ropes in effortlessly fit twenty-somethings with its popular weekend dance parties.

777 Harrah's Blvd., Atlantic City, New Jersey, 08401, USA
nightlife Details
Rate Includes: Tee times available for Atlantic City Country Club

Resorts Atlantic City

When it opened in 1978, Resorts was Atlantic City's first casino and, for a time, the world's most profitable. A remnant of the city's grand hotels, Resorts has an understated art-deco style and a bit of an identity crisis. A few unique nightlife venues have planted their flag here, including the city's first gay dance club, a cocktail lounge with a singing bartender, and a new piano bar. Entertainment at its Superstar Theater can range from ballet to cage fights, and there are monthly classic car shows outside the casino's entrance on the Boardwalk.

The Fifth Floor at The Chelsea

At the Boardwalk's premier boutique hotel, revelers can choose from three distinct options, all part of the nightlife collection known as "The Fifth Floor." The Cabana Club is a pool and deck that hosts daytime weekend parties and dancing until 4am on weekend nights. Inside the Cabana Club is the stylish C5 cocktail lounge, where DJs spin and the trendy shoot pool. It's even more laid back at the neighboring Living Room, where champagne and conversation flows and views are taken in from the outdoor terrace.

Tropicana Casino

The house may always win, but this casino doesn't take itself too seriously. It is, after all, a place where once upon a time you were able to play tic-tac-toe against a live chicken. Such gimmicks may be gone, but with the addition of "The Quarter" entertainment complex, the Caribbean-themed hotel is welcoming guests to sing karaoke at the gleefully gaudy Planet Rose, pause for some laughs at The Comedy Stop, and disco dance at Boogie Nights. There's also an IMAX theater that showcases spectacular documentaries and the latest 3D Hollywood blockbusters. Sure, some things are a bit out of place—is that a Soviert-themed restaurant with a statue of Lenin in the middle of Old Havana? But it's all in good fun. For those who take their poker seriously, the casino has one of the better rooms in Atlantic City.