Vibrant with life at every hour of the day or night, Atlantic City New Jersey is the king of entertainment. From saltwater taffy on the boardwalk to heart-racing poker games, this city offers excitement for every age and interest. Dock at the Golden Nugget, which is popular with boaters for its outdoor Deck Bayfront Bar & Restaurant, featuring live band performances nightly.
Tourists looking for the classic Atlantic City experience can hop on a jitney to the boardwalk to take in the smells and sounds of the ocean and tasty beach treats. Buy into the bustle and flashiness of urban life with numerous high-end shopping opportunities at the Pier Shops and gift stores. Pamper yourself at The Tropicana Atlantic City or luxurious boutique Water Club Hotel, and take your shot at the 124,720 square foot casino at Caesars.
For those seeking a quieter trip, this amenable city has plenty of history on display. Play a piece on the life-size Monopoly Monument and gaze at Lucy the Elephant, a colossal land mark built in 1881 and weighing 65-tons. The Atlantic City Historical Museum, the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, and Absecon’s Lighthouse provide a glimpse into Atlantic City’s past, as well as a meaningful pause from the glitz and glam of the city.
Finally, visitors can delight in a multitude of fine dining options. Atlantic City New Jersey cuisine is influenced by a variety of culinary backgrounds, including Italian, Southern, Asian, and of course, seafood. Satisfy any craving at restaurants that consistently land the highest rankings, including Dock’s Oyster House and Knife and Fork Inn.
The Hamptons is a unique amalgamation of seaside hamlets and villages, surrounded by white sand beaches with dramatic dunes. Old World charm peacefully coexists with upscale glitz, producing some of most expensive ZIP codes in America. Land that once grew potatoes now yields grapes for vineyards such as Martha Clara, Duck Walk and Channing Daughters Wine. Its golf courses are first-rate and local restaurants draw some of the world's top chefs.
Eating: There's an abundance of fine eateries, including Bistro Ete, Tutto Il Giorno and Nick & Toni's. Easy-going vibe is found at Almond, Vine Street Café, Citta Nuova, Canal Café and Bostwick's Chowder House.
Docking: On Three Mile Harbor, Halsey's Marina offers space for yachts up to 75 feet and clubhouse access along this quiet, picturesque marina basin. Neighboring Gardiner's Marina can accommodate yachts up to 105 feet.
Sag Harbor has morphed from a 19th century whaling port to a lively destination. Quaint cottages and Victorian manors line the streets next to boutiques, galleries and many of the region's best restaurants. The cool waters that surround pristine beaches create an ideal climate for growing crisp, briny oysters. As the hub of dining and nightlife, you'll find a plethora of going out options, from trendy nightclubs and intimate lounges to cigar bars and lazy-day dock bars.
Eating: High-end restaurant recommendations: The American Hotel, Dopo la Spiaggia and Page at 63 Main. Casual spots where locals like to eat include Il Capuccino, Dockside Bar & Grill, Corner Bar, Dock House Restaurant & Fish Market, Wolffer Kitchen & Winery, and The Golden Pear Cafe.
Docking: Near the historic village center, Sag Harbor Yacht Club provides berths for vessels up to 200 feet and fuel.
In 2011, New York launched a 10-year plan to revitalize the city's 520 miles of shoreline. New waterfront developments are bringing the beach back to this urban island where skyscrapers loom in the background. Pier 25 Park on the Hudson River infuses the Lower West Side with outdoor fun including mini-golf, volleyball, skate park and landscaped green areas. Governor's Island, a former military base, has been converted into an historic site and recreation area with bike paths, ballfields, outdoor concerts, sculptures and a grove of red hammocks for relaxing. You'll find lots of new boutiques, bars and great places to eat near the water without cruising into Midtown's sea of humanity.
Eating: Upscale choices: Del Posto, Morimoto, Buddakan, The Park and Old Homestead Steakhouse. Casual digs: Chelsea Ristorante Italiano and White Horse Tavern.
Docking: Located on the Hudson River, vessels up to 350 feet can tie up at MarineMax at Chelsea Piers. Access New York's ultimate playground including Chelsea Piers Fitness, offering everything from an indoor pool and track to ice rink and soccer fields.
The four-mile long boardwalk is America's first seaside promenade and the lifeline to entertainment in this high rollers' heaven, where you come across everything from saltwater taffy to blackjack tables. The Playground offers high-end shopping, from Burberry to Louis Vuitton and a water show of dancing fountains. The revitalized Marina District is a beacon of nightlife centered on resorts such as Harrah's Resort Atlantic City, The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and the luxurious boutique Water Club Hotel. Nearby are iconic attractions including the Monopoly Monument (a giant version of the board game) and Lucy the Elephant (a 65-ton building erected in 1881 in the shape of an elephant).
Eating: Restaurant recommendations are Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse, Chart House, The Deck Bayfront Bar & Restaurant, Lillie's Asian Cuisine, Grotto Ristorante, Dock's Oyster House, Izakaya and Atlantic City Bar & Grill.
Docking: Senator Frank S. Farley State Marina at Golden Nugget Atlantic City Resort has dockage for vessels up to 300 feet, as well as 630 floating slips and ValvTect fuel.
Museums, thriving arts districts, lively neighborhoods and rich maritime history blend together to create Charm City. Harbor East Marina and Baltimore Inner Harbor Marina are set in prime locations within walking distance of Little Italy, Inner Harbor and Fells Point (a spirited historic district packed with 18th-century buildings, cobblestone streets, hopping restaurants and waterfront bars). While docked, make sure to visit Harbor East, an emerging bayside area with fine dining and ritzy hotels. Savor crab cakes dusted with Old Bay Seasoning at Phillips Seafood or pick steamed Maryland Crabs at Bo Brooks Restaurant.
Eating: Upscale eateries: Charleston Restaurant, Rec Pier Chop House at the Pendry, Ouzo Bay Greek Kouzina, Chingiale Restaurant and La Scala. Casual cuisine: Little Havana, Roy's Hawaiian Fusion, Thames Street Oyster House and Ryleigh's Oyster in Federal Hill. Grab a brew with the locals at Cat's Eye Pub.
Docking: Baltimore's Inner Harbor is home to revamped Harbor East Marina with proximity to the city's finest retailers. Yachts up to 200 feet can be accommodated. Baltimore Inner Harbor Marina offers fuel and dockage for vessels up to 350 feet. With floating docks and a health club, Baltimore Lighthouse Point Marina offers fuel and dockage for vessels up to 350 feet. Tidewater Yacht Service, located in the growing Port Covington area of Baltimore, is a full service boat repair and service center with dockage for yachts up to 200 feet (18-foot dock depth).
Annapolis is steeped in rich Colonial and maritime heritage that attracts hoards of history buffs who get to relish its graceful charm. A trail of unique boutiques and eateries lead from the governor's mansion down the hill to the City Dock where boats of all shapes and sizes bob in the water. Across Spa Creek Bridge is Eastport, a charming seaside community that once prospered from the ship-building industry. Today its narrow streets are lined with vintage houses and local watering holes.
Eating: Fine dining: Harry Browne's, Osteria 177 and O'Leary's Restaurant. Local seafood and casual fare: Boatyard Bar & Grill, Middleton Tavern, McGarvey's Saloon & Oyster Bar, and The Point. For steamed crabs, visit Jimmy Cantler's. Toss back a few with local sailors at Davis' Pub.
Docking: Annapolis Yacht Basin accommodates yachts up to 240 feet and includes three deep-water face docks and five high-speed fuel pumps. Also, Horn Point Harbor on Back Creek in Eastport is an ideal stop with easy access to the Chesapeake Bay.
St. Michaels is one of the loveliest local harbors thanks to Victorian homes, historic churches and sites, and specialty shops. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum presents regional history through interactive exhibits. Quench your thirst with Lyon Distilling Co.'s small-batch rum and whiskey or Eastern Shore Brewery's craft beer. The Inn at Perry Cabin offers an elegant retreat with a spa that will gently rub away your worries.
Eating: Upscale restaurants include Limoncello, Bistro St. Michaels and Stars at the Inn at Perry Cabin. Relaxed waterfront atmosphere: Harbourside Grill and Lighthouse Oyster Bar & Grill. For crabs, go to St. Michaels Crab & Steak House; for fresh oysters, visit Awful Arthur's Seafood Co. Toast a memorable waterfront sunset with cocktails at Foxy's Harbor Grille.
Docking: St. Michaels Marina hosts two main piers totaling more than 300 feet to accommodate large yachts. The marina recently rolled out its Yacht Butler service to provide a wide range of personalized services to visitors.
For decades, DC has been committed to sprucing up its waterfront. National Harbor was the first new venture with 100+ shops, restaurants and hotels. Next for restoration was the Navy Yard, which has packed the streets between the Nationals' baseball stadium and U.S. Navy Museum with restaurants, bars, a brewery and winery, and a pedestrian trail along the Anacostia River. At The Wharf, development for Phase 1 is complete along the Potomac River, retaining the beloved Maine Avenue Fish Market but adding hip music venues, pubs, restaurants, boutiques, an indie bookstore and more all in walking distance to Smithsonian museums and monuments.
Eating: At The Wharf, fine dining favorites are Del Mar de Fabio Trabocchi and Requin; casual fare includes Hank's Oyster Bar and Kirwan's Irish Pub. Navy Yard upscale eateries include Whaley's and Osteria Morini; relaxed food is served at Salt Line and Blue Jacket Arsenal Brewery. National Harbor high-end cuisine: Fish by JosÃ© AndrÃ©s and Bond 45; casual meals: Walrus & Oyster Ale House.
Docking: The Wharf Gangplank Marina offers floating docks and piers to host vessels up 125 feet. The Yards Marina offers alongside dockage up to 120 feet and concrete floating docks. National Harbor Marina has space for yachts up to 200 feet, along with floating docks and fuel.
The High Line, New York, N.Y.
This magnificent example of urban landscape architecture takes you above the streets of Manhattan's West Side on an old elevated freight rail line through a public park filled with thousands of gorgeous flowers, trees and sculptures, while offering unforgettable views of the Hudson River.
Tribeca Film Festival, New York, N.Y.
Co-founded by Robert De Niro, the week-long event holds screenings, lectures and interviews with the movie industry's A-list and newcomers to showcase the latest documentaries, features and short films (April 18-29, 2018).
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, N.Y.
As the oldest incorporated golf club and one of the five founding members of the United States Golf Association, Shinnecock makes the most of the region's natural topography. The private golf club is hosting the U.S. Open Championships this year.
National Aquarium, Baltimore, M.D.
This outstanding marine life sanctuary holds 20,000 different animals from bullfrogs, clownfish and seahorses to crocodiles, stingrays and sharks. Special exhibits of coral reefs, rainforests, jellyfish invasions, extreme Australian wildlife and daily life of dolphins are interactive and engaging.
2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Washington, D.C.
Bringing the top talent from the American and National League, the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game is set to take place at Nationals Park this summer (July 17, 2018).
The Great Chesapeake Balloon & Wine Festival, Easton, M.D.
For three days on Maryland's Eastern Shore you can watch a flotilla of hot air balloons soar up into the sky. Located in the town of Cordova at the Triple Creek Winery, you can sip a chardonnay, listen to bands and take a tethered balloon ride (Aug. 3-5, 2018).
Antique & Classic Boat Festival, St. Michaels, M.D.
Hosted by Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, the Chesapeake Bay's finest classic boats, national and maritime treasures and entertainment combine to exhibit at this waterfront festival (June 15-17, 2018).
District Winery, Washington, D.C.
At this newcomer to the Navy Yards, you can take a tour through the metal tanks and wooden casks to observe the process from vine to bottle with grapes grown across the nation. Pick your favorite of its seven wines.
Arena Stage, Washington, D.C.
In 1950, Arena Stage put on its first show in an old movie house and later moved to the gymnasium of the former Heurich Brewery. Today its home is across the street from The Wharf in a renovated performing arts complex. DC's local cultural treasure is a pioneer in regional theater and continues to produce plays by American writers.
D.C. Jazz Festival, Washington, D.C.
This festival presents the jazz world's most acclaimed artists to emerging talent from around the country and DC metro area. The schedule is filled with 125 performances and 40 venues (June 8-17, 2018).
In July, my family rolled four wheelbarrows filled with bedding, frozen meals, and enough clothing to last two and a half weeks, down the docks of Harbor East Marina in Baltimore, Md. When my dad started planning this trip, my first thought was no thanks. I was starting college next fall and wanted to spend the summer working and seeing my friends. As the summer dragged on and my plans quickly crumbled, I realized a change of scenery was exactly what I needed. It didn't hurt that my family recently purchased Sababa, a 59-foot Prestige 560 with a hotel-room-sized cabin, fly bridge and a swim platform with a dinghy.
Sababa, would be our home as we traveled up the coast from Baltimore, arriving at Constitution Marina in Boston, Mass., to visit my sister at camp. I had a few years of sailing experience under my belt, as my dad's enthusiasm for everything boats and water led to the purchase of a sailboat when I was eight. As my siblings and I grew up, my parents traded in the sailboat for a powerboat, and we embarked on week-long excursions on the Chesapeake Bay or to the Hyatt River Marsh Marina in Cambridge, Md. This was the most ambitious trip we'd ever taken.
We left Baltimore for Cape May, N.J., a six-hour boat ride through the Chesapeake & Delaware (C&D) Canal. I spent time on the fly bridge, reading and watching the waves. I forgot how much I missed the feeling of the wind in my hair. I thought about the days ahead of us and was looking forward to taking sunset photos each night.
While my dad docked at Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, N.J., I helped my mom and my 15-year-old brother Benny, prepare the fenders and throw the bow line to a dock hand. We ate dinner on land at La DoÃ±a Mexican Restaurant, passed fudge shops on the boardwalk and watched couples slow dance to the Cape May String Band. At sunset, we hopped on the trolley and walked over a bridge back to the marina, watching the strawberry moon swell above the trees.
We left the peace of Cape May for the bustle and flashiness of urban life. Dolphins greeted us as we entered the Golden Nugget Atlantic City Marina in Atlantic City, N.J. While my dad played poker at the Borgata, my mom, Benny and I took a jitney to the boardwalk, where Benny and I shared Polish water ice and decided it was too hot to play mini-golf.
We took Sababa north from the entertainment capital of the Jersey Shore, to the city that never sleeps New York. We docked at MarineMax at Chelsea Piers with an itch to explore the city. We shopped in Times Square, ate vegan comfort food at by CHLOE., and saw School of Rock on Broadway. We all agreed there was something incredible about watching a group of 10 year-olds more talented than we'd ever be.
We left New York a day early to avoid thunderstorms and headed to Norwalk Cove Marina in Norwalk, Conn. By now we were a seasoned crew. Every morning, we repacked our suitcases and secured the toiletries in the bathroom since we were cruising at a speed of up to 24 knots. We docked with all the lines and fenders on the starboard side. After fueling up, I grimaced and slid on plastic gloves to pump out the waste holding tanks. We showered, having to close our eyes because the water had bleach in it, and drank from our two-gallon cooler, which we had to refill at every stop. On land days, my dad and I went for a run before exploring the new town. At every port, we struck up conversations with shop owners, gallery keepers and waiters about our latest adventure. We stayed out until 9 most nights. By day five, I hadn't taken a single photo of a sunset.
Half an hour into our departure from Norwalk, my dad burst into the cabin and exclaimed that our chart plotter had no data. He navigated with his phone to Mystic, Conn., where we docked at Fort Rachel Marina, ate at the famous Mystic Pizza, paddle boarded up to town and spent four and a half hours touring historic boats and replicas of Old Mystic. Departing Mystic, Conn., our radar was still not working properly so we used dad's phone as our main source of navigation to Martha's Vineyard, Mass. A heavy fog had decreased our visibly to less than quarter of a mile. We slowed to seven knots, blasting the horn every minute. I looked out for crab pots as we exchanged a few rounds of honking with a fishing boat, which materialized from the fog like a ghost ship and disappeared just as quickly. Some people were less adept at handling the pressure. Over the radio, we heard someone say, Go faster, you moron. As we started laughing, my dad reminded us that everything that goes wrong on a boat is the end of the world. You can't take anything somebody yells at you personally. After docking at Oak Bluffs Marina, we escaped the mask of fog covering the waters of Martha's Vineyard and explored the town of Oak Bluffs. We toured the cluster of fairy-like wooden houses, known as Gingerbread Houses, visited The Flying Horse Carousel, the oldest operating carousel in the United States, and then took a bus to the nearby town of Edgartown.
Leaving Martha's Vineyard, Mass., we headed to Nantucket, Mass., and secured a mooring ball at Nantucket Moorings. We took the dinghy to town for a bike tour, visiting the lighthouse on Brant Point, (officially named Brand Point Light and the second-oldest lighthouse in America) and passing by Tommy Hilfiger's former home. The next day, we walked along the beaches of the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge as seagulls and seals waded in and out of the water. A stop for vegan strawberry-Oreo ice cream at The Juice Bar cost me another sunset picture. I was starting to doubt I would ever get one.
After traveling two hours to Falmouth, Mass., we docked at the Kingman Yacht Center in Cataumet, Mass. That night, the sun turned red and the clouds gold and orange. I took pictures until the sky went dark. At our second-to-last stop in Providence, R.I., my dad finally bought a chip with the missing chart data. We visited with my aunt and uncle, took my little cousin for a dinghy ride and celebrated my brother's birthday with Indian food at Rasoi in Pawtucket, R.I.
Finally, we tied up at Constitution Marina in Boston and spent the day at the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, sipping bubble tea while the Boston Piano Kid played Billy Joel. The day before my flight home, we rented a car and drove to New Hampshire to visit my sister, Tamara.
She was freckled and had a sore throat, but she gushed about her activities at camp with a huge smile. I walked around camp speechless, seeing the path I used to run and the lake where I avoided free swim. Before I knew it, I was hugging my sister goodbye and driving back to Sababa to pack. It poured the next morning. My dad walked me to the Lyft car so I could get to the airport to begin the journey back home to Baltimore. Once I returned home, I had to deal with a dead car battery and then had to drive an hour to teach Zumba, while my family got caught in a storm and had to take shelter in a cove. Although lucky to be home, I missed the most eventful part of the trip and realized it was the first of many family moments I will miss in college. I recalled my childhood memories of the sailboat picking up speed, how my brother, sister and I put our legs against the table to avoid tumbling to the other side as the boat heeled over. I'm grateful for the new memories I made with them before I leave home.
Elana Rubin is a freshman at Johns Hopkins University, where she will major in writing seminars. Her first book, Culture Shock, is available on Amazon.
Our summer boating season has begun! My husband Rick and I cruise on Artemis, our Offshore 54 Pilothouse, which we purchased in Ft. Lauderdale in 2014 with plans of completing the Great Loop over a three-year period. Last year was our first year cruising and it consisted of four legs beginning in Ft. Lauderdale in March and ending in the Chesapeake Bay by September.
For the 2015 summer season, we will be working our way north from the Chesapeake Bay, taking a detour from the Great Loop, toward Maine then back to the Hudson River, finishing the season in Winter Harbor, N.Y. I am looking forward to New York City, the Boston Harbor for 4th of July, Acadia National Park and then The U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
We left from Pleasure Cove Marina in Pasadena, Md., in mid-May. They stored and maintained our boat for the winter and they prepped her for departure. Their team was great to work with and handled our punch list perfectly.
Our son Brian and his wife Amanda hopped aboard for our first leg from Pasadena to the C&D Canal. This manmade canal is busy with commercial barges, but is also pleasure boater friendly. In Chesapeake City, we docked at Schaefer's Canal House with side-tie along the banks of the canal. The marina had full accommodations along with live music and delicious traditional Maryland fare, consisting of delicious crab pasta and local oysters on the half shell.
Today we cruised from Chesapeake City, continuing through the C&D Canal. The Canal dropped us into the Delaware Bay, where we continued to South Jersey Marina in Cape May, N.J. about a six-hour excursion. This marina offered full boat services, a shuttle to town and excellent suggestions for dining and taking in the charm of this historic community. We walked the town center, stopping for drinks at a local watering hole called the Ugly Mug, then had an amazing dinner at the Marion Inn, known for its prime rib.
Departing at 8:45 a.m., we headed offshore and ran directly north for three hours, 39 nautical miles to Atlantic City. We arrived just in time to place our bets for American Pharoah running in the 140th Preakness Stakes. We tied up right in front of the casino at the Golden Nugget Marina where marina guests can access all of the hotel amenities. We took a quick cab ride to the Atlantic City Boardwalk to take in all of the sights and sounds that it has to offer. In the evening, one of our other sons Anthony joined us for a lovely dockside family dinner at Chart House Seafood Restaurant. Atlantic City lived up to its colorful reputation as all three kids came back to the boat with stories of cold dice and empty wallets.
Leaving Atlantic City, we cruised north on the Atlantic, three miles off the Jersey Shore toward Manasquan, N.J. We docked at Hoffman's Marina, a full service marina, offering high-speed fuel pumps and clean restroom facilities. Rick and I took a three-mile walk around the small and sleepy commuter town that was filled with new Victorian-style homes that were rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy. Dinner that evening was delicious at the onsite marina restaurant, Waypoint 622. Rick enjoyed the house specialty, pork chops with clams and sausage in a tomato broth.
We were met by four-to-six foot swells and heavy fog during our departure from Hoffman's Marina. It took about four hours to go 44 nautical miles to reach the New York Harbor. But once we went under the Verrazano Bridge and were in sight of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline, pride and patriotism filled us and all thoughts of the rough crossing were forgotten. Also, standing majestically in the overcast sky was the new World Trade Tower. We continued up the Hudson River to see Manhattan Island by water before turning back and arriving at Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City, N.J. It was the perfect location to catch the ferry to Manhattan. After a pleasant stroll viewing all the sites, Rick and I dined in the Financial District at Delmonico Restaurant, known for its power dinners for Wall Street's elite.
Waking up and seeing New York City through the windshield of Artemis was quite a sight to take in. We headed up the East River passing all the major tourist sites of Manhattan on our port side and Brooklyn on our starboard side. With only an occasional tugboat and barge, the channel was clear for cruising. Artemis cruised steadily to Oyster Bay on the Long Island Sound. The scenery changed dramatically from cityscape to forested regal mansion estates. We were now entering Great Gatsby country.
Oyster Bay Marine Center was exactly what East Coast boating should be. Beautiful classic sailing vessels dotted the bay. We docked Artemis next to the famous ketch Knickerbocker, a 117-foot luxury yacht named after the owners of the NBA Knicks. To our starboard we had a 57-foot commuter yacht Vendetta, which has been featured in several yachting magazines, as the reincarnation of the Vanderbilt, Whitney and Pulitzer families mode of commuting to lower Manhattan in the 1920s and '30s. Oh, but I failed to give you a hint, its owner is the Piano Man.
We took a dingy ride around Oyster Bay to take in the beautiful landscape and manicured estates before walking a quick quarter mile into a darling seaport village. We ate dinner at a local favorite, Jack Halyards Tavern, that offered a delicious sushi bar with live music.
Tomorrow we depart for Sag Harbor and then on to Block Island for the weekend. Look for us on the waterways as we cruise toward Maine this summer!