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Your Atlantic City Holiday-Escape Plan Tradition, Innovation, Relaxation, Excitation

Updated: Jan 11

From the moment you enter the massive and breathtaking lobby of Ocean Casino Resort, you’ll know you’re in for something special. Upon checking into your beautifully appointed room, you’ll be welcomed by incredible floor to ceiling views of the Atlantic Ocean and city skyline. While you might never want to leave your plush accommodations, we promise the night we’ve planned for you will be worth it.

A short Uber ride from Ocean, Little Water Distillery offers tours, tastings, and plenty of seating, depending on how you’d like to enjoy your pre-dinner libations. You can sample their rum, whiskey, vodka, and gin on their own or from their rotating, seasonally inspired cocktail menu. Both the atmosphere and the staff are laid back and very welcoming. This is one of our favorite spots to strike up a conversation with the bartender.

After a drink (or two), you’ll head over to the stunning Borgata Hotel and Casino, for dinner at Angeline by Michael Symon. Angeline is built on nostalgia, from the charming, yet sophisticated interior to the menu of modernized family recipes. While the wine program is excellent, we recommend starting with a Manhattan Figura and The Lola Cocktail and ordering a glass or a bottle of wine with your entrees, if it fits your taste and budget. We suggest sharing the tasting board of meats (prosciutto, salami, soppressata) and cheeses (parmesan, fontina, ricotta) and the baked clams for your appetizers. There is nothing more comforting or nostalgic than a Sunday sauce, and Michael serves his over cavatelli. You can’t come to Angeline, named after Michael’s mother, and not order his Mom’s Lasagna. Finally, end your classic Italian feast with the Traditional Ricotta Cheesecake, a pound cake soaked in limoncello and cointreau, over a chocolate chip crust.

Back at Ocean, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the casino in the 1927 Lounge, is the quintessential holiday pop-up bar, Jingle Bell Bar. The space is decked out from floor to ceiling in festive decor, and the drinks are impeccably on-theme. There is abundant comfy seating for you to sit back and soak up the spirit of the season before you tuck in for a long winter’s nap in your room.

The second day of your getaway will take you back to Borgata to further explore this stunning property in all its holiday splendor. You’ll start your morning with a diner style breakfast in a more upscale setting at The Metropolitan. We think the indoor patio seating is perfect for people watching, and there is also a very charming, traditional dining room if you prefer to be removed from the excitement of the casino. We recommend the Classic Benedict and Build Your Own Omelet, with a short stack of buttermilk pancakes to share.

After a cozy breakfast, you’ll be a quick elevator ride from a soft, snuggly robe and a bevy of soothing amenities at Spa Toccare. You’ll have access to the spa relaxation lounges, showers, whirlpools, steam rooms, and saunas prior to your appointment. The 50 minute signature massage combines multiple techniques and incorporates stones for a unique service that is sure to leave you relaxed and refreshed. Spa Toccare offers luxurious surroundings and treatments at one of the best price points in the city.

Following your rejuvenating spa service, your next destination is downstairs for a comforting lunch in a secluded nook at Noodles of the World. We suggest sharing the cream cheese rangoon, its sweet and sour plum sauce elevates this appetizer past typical takeout fare. In the cold weather months, we dream of our next bowls of Vietnamese pho with thinly sliced rare beef. This meal will warm your belly without weighing you down while you take in the boutique shopping, try your luck at the wide variety of casino games, sip on a flight at The Wine Bar, or carefully select a treat at Borgata Baking Company to take back to your room for a late night treat.

After some down time, you’ll experience some of the rich culinary history that Atlantic City has to offer, beginning with happy hour at Dock’s Oyster House. Since 1897, this establishment has been a haven for locals and tourists alike. It is somehow both classic and contemporary in its atmosphere and menu. Take a seat at the bar to enjoy a variety of oysters (we love the Cape May salts and fried oysters marinara) and snack on some popcorn. Sip on a seasonal old fashioned or sangria as you listen to the piano tinkling away in the background.

For dinner, our recommendation is Dock’s sister restaurant, The Knife & Fork Inn. Dim lighting and curtained dining rooms make for an intimate setting. Step back in time with your cocktail order. Named for the year of its establishment, the 1912 focuses on Woodford Reserve Barrel Select with Luxardo liqueur, orange bitters, and gum syrup. Another must-taste classic is the Dirty Sue, a Belvedere dirty martini. It’s not often we wholeheartedly recommend a soup, but at Knife & Fork, we absolutely have to recommend two. The corn and crab chowder is a taste of New Jersey summer, suited for a chilly winter evening. The French onion soup is one of the best we’ve tried. For your main course, the 10 ounce barrel cut ribeye is accompanied by broccoli rabe, mushrooms, long hots, and parmesan. The hearty braised short ribs are served with mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, brussels sprouts, shallots, and red wine. End your supper with a slice of banana cream pie before you make your way over to Tennessee Avenue.

After a thoroughly relaxing day, it’s time for a bit of excitement. Tennessee Avenue is part of the Orange Loop, Atlantic City’s miniaturized answer to New Orleans’s Bourbon Street, Nashville’s Broadway, and Philadelphia’s South Street. On this street, you’ll find one-of-a-kind bars and restaurants. Tonight, you’ll visit two of our favorites. Bar 32 is a bean to bar chocolate shop and dessert bar. Stop in for the brown butter chocolate chip cookie and a couple of dessert drinks. We can’t get enough of the aptly named Intense Orange Old Fashioned and Death by Chocolate.

Right next door, wrap up your evening with craft cocktails and live music over at Rhythm & Spirits. Our suggestions include 2 seasonal drinks and 2 staple items. The Warlock 14 is sweet (cranberry), spicy (jalapeno), and smoky (mezcal) and the Fall Manhattan is a maple twist on the classic. The Stromfather 2.0 combines Little Water Distillery Whitecap Whiskey, DiSarrono, Bar 32 chocolate, boardwalk beans, and vanilla. Particularly on trend, the Espresso Martini is a Stromfather 2.0 with added 48 Blocks Espresso and handshaken cream.

It’s hard to say goodbye to a memorable weekend in Atlantic City, and we like to stay in our room a little longer for breakfast. Ocean offers generous portions, great for sharing. We recommend splitting a fresh fruit smoothie, breakfast burrito, and French toast. It’s a tradition of ours to take a little piece of the city home after every trip by ordering takeout from Tony Boloney’s. If Willy Wonka made pizza and sandwiches instead of candy, you’d find them here. Each item is a foodie’s fever dream of never seen before combinations of ingredients. We suggest trying two sandwiches, two orders of fries, and three slices of pizza for the full experience. Our favorites are the Ducktown melt (garlic bread ribeye cheesesteak), Diving Buffalo (fried buffalo chicken sub), elote fries, Monopoly fries (all the cheeses), Ay Dios Mio (chipotle mac and cheese pizza), Pinky (vodka sauce and pepperoni), and Mexican corn husker pizzas.

These establishments keep us coming back to Atlantic City, time and time again. This itinerary is a combination of tradition, innovation, relaxation, and excitation that we know you’ll enjoy. We hope that you’ll look back on this getaway and want to make Atlantic City a part of your annual holiday celebrations for years to come.


Please remember to drink and play responsibly.


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