Atlantic City, N.J.
Travel time: 2hrs
What to bring: An open mind
Best for: The bachelor party, as well as the occasional gambler
Don't believe what they tell you—Atlantic City is hardly the Vegas of the East. But it's as close as you'll get to the real deal. Sure, the idea of hitting up AC for the weekend seems a bit played out, but it's slowly starting to get some of its swagger back (just don't call it a comeback). Now, when you get there, the obvious choice would be to immediately blow all your money at one of the big casinos on the boardwalk. But, instead, play it wise, keep those stacks in your pocket for now, and go immerse yourself deeper into what AC has to offer. We're talking historic sightseeing at the recently restored Absecon Lighthouse, or perhaps grabbing a surfboard and catching a few waves. The surf's not half bad out here. Because if there's anything AC has on Vegas, it's water. If you're a family man, or a stoner, there's even a half-decent aquarium that is worth checking. It's not world-class, but it sure as hell tops the fish bowl they try to pass off as an aquarium at Coney Island.