Atlantic City, New Jersey

Baltimore Sun reporter

Go here: This waterfront city features a slew of attractions, the most popular of which are indoors. We're talking about casinos, casinos, casinos. But there's been a concerted effort over the past few years to expand Atlantic City's attractions beyond the gaming resorts. The Borgata Hotel, a luxury casino resort and entertainment venue, opened five years ago, launching what was heralded as the city'srenaissance. Since then, more upscale and fashionable hotels, like the Chelsea and the Water Club, have joined in. Some of the vintage attractions, like taking a rolling chair down the Atlantic City Boardwalk, remain popular, and the boardwalk is still where you'll find arcades, museums, shopping and, of course, saltwater taffy. And if you're looking for a free and fun day outdoors, there's always the beach. But today, Atlantic City is testing the waters of high-flying style and a return to elegance.

Stay here: The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, 1 Borgata Way, 609-317-1000 The resort offers packages that combine room accommodation with massages, dining specials or even tickets to nightly shows. Between the casino, nightclubs, spa, shopping and dining attractions, you may never have to venture out. The hotel also features live entertainment and recent performers have included Jimmy Fallon, David Cook, Rick Springfield, Frank Caliendo and more. Rooms start at around $129.

Eat here: Chelsea Prime, 111 S. Chelsea Ave., 866-393-3285. A steakhouse and cocktail lounge with decor that's evocative of a 1940s supper club. It has Hollywood-style horseshoe banquettes overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

The Old Waterway Inn, 1700 W Riverside Drive, 609-347-1793. Escape the busy casino buzz and head out to the water for a romantic dinner. The Old Waterway Inn is famous for its steak and seafood, friendly service and perfect view of the waterfront and Atlantic City skyline.

Don't miss this: The Shoppes at the Water Club, 1 Renaissance Way, 609-317-8888. The stores include Fixation (shoes and handbags); Hearts on Fire (brilliant diamond jewelry); Just Cavalli (party clothes for women); and La Perla (intimate apparel).

The Walk, Michigan Avenue, between Pacific and Baltic avenues. This is Atlantic City's premier retail destination, with dozens of designer outlet stores, including Ralph Lauren, J.Crew and Coach.

Get here: It's an easy 150-mile drive from Baltimore to Atlantic City, most of it along Interstate 95 North. Another option is to take Amtrak from Baltimore to Philadelphia and connect there to New Jersey Transit's AC Line train. Go to or call 800-872-7245.

Several bus lines offer economical service from various Baltimore locations, with fares starting at about $30 each way. Greyhound has a Lucky Streak service with several daily departures. Go to or call 800-231-2222.

Bill Rohrbaugh's charter service offers daily departures from Baltimore to Atlantic City casinos. Go to or call 410-882-7501. Other options include Hunt Valley Motor Coach (410-584-7377;; Golden Ring Travel (410-391-8700;; and Superior Tours (410-602-1704;

For more information: Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority

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