Going out in A.C. used to mean braving the notoriously seedy downtown—for the most part, you just didn’t do it. Now, casinos are funneling money into casual beach bars, posh martini spots, jock-populated taverns, and Vegas-style clubs.
After a day in the surf, grab a cold one at Bally’s Bikini Beach Bar (Park Place and the Boardwalk; 609-340-2000), which has beach-side seating, live music, and unlike many of its neighbors, on-site bathrooms. Clean up before heading to the plush, Russian-themed Red Square, where the house specialty is, naturally, vodka. Check out the Soviet propaganda, grab a seat at the 60-foot ice bar, and order a caviar-smothered blini to go with your top-shelf Jewel of Russia on the rocks.
Eventually, you’ll wind up back at the Borgata. Go around 10 p.m. to avoid long lines at the bi-level Mixx, a raw, industrial space blasting house, hip-hop, and reggae. End the night around the corner at the subterranean mur.mur, where performers often go for after-parties. Check the nightly schedule at the city’s big three venues—Boardwalk Hall, Borgata Event Center, and the House of Blues—to find out who’s likely to be there. If you don’t like the scene, head instead to Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club, near the entrance to Caesars Palace.