A week into our trip and we were feeling good with what had been accomplished so far. I was more excited about getting to spend a few nights in the same hotel. And for my first visit to Atlantic City.
This post coincides with the launch of our seventh Advantage site, Atlantic City Advantage. It is 30 pages and about 28,000 words of content. It also includes hundreds of pictures.
We were motivated to get our day started early. Our visit to Parx Casino was too early to get to visit the racetrack, which is in a separate building from the casino. Going through Philadelphia, we visited the Rivers, Live! and Harrah’s properties. The Live! Casino Philadelphia is located next to the Phillies’ stadium. We bet, and lost, on another harness horse race while at Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack.
We were able to get to Atlantic City early. The check-in process at Caesars Atlantic City was not impressive. There were a few kiosks to help alleviate the long line, but they were not clearly marked for use and operated at minimum speed. The line at the elevators throughout our visit gave me more appreciation for smaller hotel towers. The room was nice and roomy and the view was pretty.
We decided after seven days of riding in the car, we would stretch our legs with a walk down the Atlantic City Boardwalk. We grabbed a couple slices of pizza at 3 Brothers from Italy and enjoyed the nice ocean breeze. Taking pictures, we walked up to Oceans down to Tropicana. Chickie’s & Pete’s Crab House and Sports Bar is where we enjoyed dinner. We headed back to Caesars. John enjoyed a successful night of gambling downstairs, while I relaxed in the room.
|The event||The original plan||The reality|
|Start time||10 am||9:16 am|
|Drive time||3 hours 5 min||3 hours 13 min|
|Ending location||Atlantic City, NJ||Atlantic City, NJ|
|Hotel Check-in Time||5:00 pm||3:45 pm|
|Total casinos visited||32||32|
Days 8 & 9
The next two days were spent visiting Atlantic City casinos for both information and entertainment. The first day was mostly work. We walked through each casino from Caesars to Ocean Resort. We ate lunch at the Resorts food court. We then decided to take a Boardwalk Tram ride to Tropicana. We enjoyed dinner at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill inside Caesars.
The second full day in Atlantic City was spent mostly in the Marina District. We started at Golden Nugget, then walked through Harrah’s. We grabbed lunch at Borgata’s food court before walking around the casino. We each got a massage at Spa Toccare inside Borgata. We did not plan ahead enough to get a couples room, but we both enjoyed the relaxation. After the massages, we headed to Harrah’s for dinner at Martorano’s Italian Restaurant.
Instead of driving around the Delaware River, we decided to take the Cape May-Lewes ferry to Ocean Downs Casino. Our reservation required an early morning departure to catch our ferry. The ferry ride was a fun experience. I had been on one a couple decades ago in Beaufort, NC. This was John’s first experience on a ferry that held vehicles. The weather was nice for the ride across the Delaware River.
When we made it across the river, we headed to Ocean Downs. Fish keeping is a hobby of mine, so I absolutely LOVE the spade fish décor theme at Ocean Downs! There were not any races to enjoy, so we headed on to Hollywood Casino Perryville, Horseshoe Baltimore and Live! Maryland. Horseshoe Baltimore has a fun three-story Ravens Nest sportsbook and bar. Live! Maryland casino is located at the Arundel Mills shopping mall. Unlike the Pittsburgh property, it is an outparcel. Horseshoe and Live! have outdoor smoking gaming areas.
With it being a weekend night, we decided to wait on MGM National Harbor and checked into our hotel instead. An attempt to eat at a restaurant in DC, failed when two-way streets became one-way streets due to street parking. Unable to find parking, we canceled our reservation and headed back to the hotel. We walked to the nearby Hamilton restaurant. The food was decent, but a lack of drink service put a damper on the experience.
|The event||The original plan||The reality|
|Start time||9 am||7:40 am|
|Drive time||6 hours 5 min + ferry ride||6 hours 9 min + ferry ride|
|Ending location||Washington, DC||Washington, DC|
|Hotel Check-in Time||9 pm||7:41 pm|
|Total casinos visited||47||46|
The weather was not cooperative during our time in Washington, DC. We were hoping to spend the day walking the National Mall, but the rainy weather drove us inside instead. We enjoyed a lazy morning before heading to MGM National Harbor. We started off having lunch at MGM Tap Sports Bar. MGM National Harbor has a decorated atrium that reminded me of walking into the company’s Las Vegas Strip properties. We ended up spending most of the day at the casino.