Scott Michielli, of Chalfont, Pa., and Anna Marie Brancato, of Staten Island, dance together as the band, Shorty Long and the Jersey Horns, performs at the Hilton Beach Bar on Saturday afternoon, July 2. Photo by Stefanie Campolo

Stefanie Campolo

1 The Beach Bar between the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort and the dunes fully opened in 2003, shortly after it became legal to serve alcohol on the beach in the city. Years before that, the Hilton already was positioning itself as a beach resort, with cabanas, chairs umbrellas and private service for favored guests under a special permit. Today, it remains one of the city's only three bars serving drinks to the public on its deck in the sand off the Boardwalk.

2 One thing that separates this beachside venue from others is simply distance. The bar is farther downbeach from the most beaten path of the Boardwalk, attracting people looking for a lower-key atmosphere closer to a less-crowded beach. That's why instead of just barstools and plastic chairs it also has couches to lounge on and enjoy the ocean breeze.

3 In addition to a menu of the usual wines, light beers and cocktails, the bar has a list of eight different tequila shooters and a signature "Shake and Take" menu, with eight different specialty drinks in 22-ounce souvenir shakers. That includes everything from the "Horny Margarita," a mix of 1800 Silver Tequila, Cointreau, cranberry and lime juices with grenadine, and the "Man Overboard," made with Absolut, sour-apple schnapps, pineapple juice and green creme de menthe.

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4 While a huge portion of the city's clientele is typically out-of-state, the Hilton has been trying to attract more locals with the "Locals Plus" program it started last year. The promotion rewards nearby residents with 20 percent off restaurants, rooms and services at the property, as well as a variety of businesses elsewhere in Atlantic County - from Wonder Bar Waterfront Dining on Sunset Avenue in the city to Harbor Pines Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township. Ask about it inside the casino.

5 No true beach bar would be complete without a full selection of items to munch on, and the Hilton Beach Bar's menu includes the familiar fare of "u-peel" shrimp and fresh fruit to wings and enchiladas, all for under $10 each.

The Scene

Music: There are live bands and DJs each day it's open, including band's like Steal Your Face, covering classics from the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan, and 11:11, covering a variety of party hits, from "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield to "What I Got" by Sublime.

Vibe: Typically, an older crowd relaxes here on the weekends, grabbing a drink and bite before or after hitting the beach or to just enjoy some music in the sun. About a quarter-mile downbeach of the most traveled section of the Boardwalk, the bar is a more relaxed, quiet daytime atmosphere than the city's two other large beach bars.

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What They're Saying About Hilton Beach Bar

Cathy Rueblinger
Ventnor
"I just love the Beach Bar, and it's a great place to watch the airshow."


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