Atlantic City, New Jersey
Along the southern shore of New Jersey, Atlantic City boasts one of America's oldest and most famous boardwalks. The city's downtown beaches feature a lively and social scene (during the summer). There are beachfront bars and burger joints, and most of Atlantic City's major hotels offer oceanfront rooms. The waves are often surfable during the tourist high season, drawing some of the East Coast's best wave riders. If you don't care for beaches, you can, of course, stroll the historic boardwalk area and do some shopping, eating, sightseeing and people watching. The city's many casinos are within walking distance of the sand, as are additional shopping options. And Atlantic City was doing live entertainment back when Las Vegas was nothing but a patch of Nevada desert. The only drawback for this New Jersey destination is that it's not warm enough for swimming year-round.