It’s been a long time coming, but now it’s here. Open containers are officially allowed on the Boardwalk, the Orange Loop and Gardner’s Basin in Atlantic City. This is big news, as it means America’s Playground is now on par with other party cities such as New Orleans and Las Vegas, each of which have offered visitors the option to take their drinks with them as they walk down the street, while enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the local culture.
In celebration of this fun new privilege, we have put together for you a treasure map of sorts in the form of a bar crawl, highlighting many of the spots you can sip and stroll while hunting for refreshing libations. Of course we suggest you drink responsibly (you don’t need to hit every spot in one day!) and be sure to swap in a water every now and again on your journey.
Back Bay Ale House: We start our adventure off in Gardner’s Basin, which is one of the true hidden treasures of Atlantic City. This gorgeous spot is home to Back Bay Ale House, a relaxed watering hole with waterfront views and an almost Key West vibe to it. Guests can grab a cocktail to go, such as one of their famous Mason Basins and stroll the grounds of Gardner’s Basin, taking in the pleasant scenery and breezes off the back bay. Finish up your drink before heading over to the Boardwalk, where the crawl really starts to take off!
Ocean Casino Resort: First stop on the north end of the Boardwalk is Ocean Casino Resort. The newest — and most visually stunning — casino in Atlantic City, Ocean offers a variety of spots to pop in and grab a beer or cocktail. Places like Villain & Saint, Sky Café Bar or the William Hill Sportsbook all offer some great options, but if you are looking for a South of the border treat, we recommend Iron Chef Jose Garces’ Distrito, where you can grab a fresh margarita to go, such as the El Jefe, made with Don Julio reposado tequila, Cointreau and fresh lime juice. Ocean Casino Resort is located at 500 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Go to TheOceanAC.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City: Just a few paces down the Boardwalk is Hard Rock, a mecca of all things music, with an assortment of great bars and restaurants, all just waiting to serve you up whatever your heart desires. It’s hard to resist a quick stroll around here anytime you are near, just to check out all the awesome memorabilia they have on display, such as Elvis Presley’s Rolls Royce, Bruce Springsteen’s iconic jean jacket and much more. While you are here, grab a beer for the road at Lobby Bar or the Hard Rock Café and toast one high to the gods of rock ’n’ roll. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City is located at 1000 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Go to HardRockHotelAtlanticCity.com
The Steel Pier: Directly across the Boardwalk from Hard Rock is the Steel Pier, a perfect spot to stop and grab a drink while you launch sharp objects through the air at AC Axe & Pub, the Boardwalk’s only axe-throwing bar. Throughout October you can try your hand at Smash-o-Lantern, a slightly modified version of the usual axe throwing experience, only this time utilizing hanging pumpkins in place of the traditional bullseyes. Once you are done smashing pumpkins, grab a Tuckahoe Pumpkin Ale over at the Steel Pier Bar and be on your way. The Steel Pier is located at 1000 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Go to SteelPier.com.
Resorts Casino Hotel: Next up is Resorts Casino Hotel. Resorts offers bar crawlers a number of great options for drinks on both the land — and sand — side of the Boardwalk. Wet Willie’s makes tasty frozen daiquiris and cocktails with names like “Call A Cab” and “Monster Melon,” and their walk-up stand on the Boardwalk makes it easy to grab one and keep strolling. Landshark Bar sits on the sand and offers the only year-round beach bar experience in all of A.C. Stop in and grab a go cup filled with their signature Landshark Lager and you’ll be good “to go” — for a few more steps at least. Resorts Casino Hotel is located at 1133 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Go to ResortsAC.com.
Pic-a-Lilli Pub: After spending a few blocks strolling, it’s time to head into the Orange Loop. Pic-A-Lilli Pub is an old-school Atlantic City dive bar that is best known for serving some truly incredible buffalo wings. Some say the best in the world. Stop in for a quick, no-frills cocktail or beer to-go and maybe sneak in a couple wings while you are there. OK, definitely sneak in a few wings while you are there. Pic-A-Lilli Pub is located at 231 S. Tennessee Ave. in Atlantic City. Go to PicALilliAC.com.
Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall: If you are a fan of the suds, boy are you in the right spot, as Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall has 40 taps and 100 bottles and cans to choose from. Add to that an incredible menu of pub grub from Chef Charles Soreth and you’ll understand why this has become one of the hottest spots in town. Craft beers rotate here regularly, but all of them can be poured into a to-go cup and enjoyed outside. Speaking of outside, the Beer Hall sports one of the best outdoor spaces in the area, complete with picnic tables, live music and a firepit. Be sure to check it out before you head out. Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall is located at 133 S. Tennessee Ave in Atlantic City. Go to TennesseAvenueBeerHall.com.
Rhythm & Spirits: Just two doors down from the Beer Hall is Rhythm & Spirits, a hip cocktail bar with a list of incredible drinks created by Lee Sanchez and a to-die-for menu from Chef Kevin Cronin. A bar crawl is no time for a big sit-down meal, but should you find yourself here for a round or two, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to order up the salami toast, one of the tastiest small plates around. Wash it down with your buddies as you split a pitcher of their fall sangria, made with local apples, orange, vanilla vodka, decanter bitters, sugar and red wine. Rhythm & Spirits is located at 129 S. Tennessee Ave. in Atlantic City. Go to RhythmAndSpirits.com.
Irish Pub: Perhaps no spot on this crawl is more legendary than The Irish Pub, a stunning space with a massive bar and walls that could likely tell the kind of secrets that might get people arrested. Food and drink here has always come at super reasonable prices, and the beer selection is nicely dotted with Irish favorites like Murphy’s Ale. Throw a few bucks in the jukebox, have a round or two while listening to a classic Springsteen track off “Darkness on the Edge of Town” and grab a pint to-go. The Irish Pub is located at 164 St. James Place in Atlantic City. Go to TheIrishPub.com.
Bourre: Right behind the Pub on New York Avenue is Bourre, a New Orleans-themed bar with a large footprint, serving up everything from stunningly delicious alligator sausage bites and jambalaya to a list of fun and festive cocktails. For our money you can’t go wrong with the Frozen Hurricane, a Jersey twist on a NOLA classic made with Bayou rum, passion fruit puree, lime juice and dark cherries. Bourre is located at 201 S. New York Ave in Atlantic City.
Bally’s Atlantic City: Back up on the boards, we head down South to the always-hopping Bally’s. Options here range from tasty celeb chef morsels and creative cocktails at Guy Fieri’s Chophouse to fun and frosty drinks down at the Boardwalk Saloon, but today we are stopping in at Harry’s Oyster Bar, a picturesque Boardwalk-front spot where the clams are as fresh as they come, and the drinks are easy to find thanks to the outdoor bar space. Grab a Goombay Smash to-go and prepare to spend the next few minutes in a heavenly haze of spiced and coconut rums, apricot brandy, pineapple and orange juices. Bally’s is located at 1900 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Go to Caesars.com/Ballys-ac.
Caesars Atlantic City: A few steps from Bally’s is Caesars, its sister property which boasts its own variety of spots to try some tasty drinks on your bar crawl. Toga Bar is lively and fun, as is Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, where you can choose from over 26 beers on tap and another 22 in bottles, along with a list of cocktails that leans toward classics, like their superb Gordon Ramsay Gin and Tonic, made with Bombay Sapphire Gin, aloe vera liqueur, yuzu, simple syrup and Fever Tree tonic. Caesars Atlantic City is located at 2100 Pacific Ave in Atlantic City. Go to Caesars.com.
Biergarten: One of the newer spots on this list is the Biergarten, a popular outdoor space themed as — you guessed it — a German biergarten. A plentiful selection of German dishes fills the menu and many beers are to be found on tap, and while we admit part of the fun is drinking them out of those big glass beer steins, we promise it tastes the same from a to-go cup. AC Biergarten is located at 2700 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Go to BierGartenAC.com.
Tropicana Atlantic City: Here we are, at the end of the line. Did you make it? Are you still standing? We hope so, because if not you would be forced to miss out on all the amazing options at Tropicana Atlantic City. Bars and restaurants are what Trop is known for with The Quarter teaming with various cuisine and cocktail options, but for this adventure we are going to stay closer to the Boardwalk for convenience. And that is hardly a problem, as spots like Chickie’s & Pete’s, Hooters and Casa Taco & Tequila Bar are all within close reach. We suggest you gather treasures from all three, with a pint of Atlantic City Brewing Company’s Diving Horse IPA from Chickie’s, some original style wings from Hooters and, to cap it all off, a glorious Premium Margarita from Casa Taco, made with Clase Azul Platinum, Cointreau, fresh lime juice and agave nectar. Tropicana is located at 2821 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Go to Tropicana.net.
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