For years, Atlantic City, New Jersey, has been considered the East Coast's Las Vegas, and on paper, it truly isn’t a stretch. Both tourist-driven cities welcome consumers looking to gamble, eat well and smoke freely indoors without being shamed or escorted elsewhere. In many ways, however, the Jersey city has struggled to keep up with its Nevada counterpart’s nightlife, food scene or luxurious accommodations.

As a California girl who’s taken more than her fair share of Vegas road trips, Borgata Hotel & Spa is the absolute closest thing you’ll find to Sin City on the East Coast. Sure, there are nine major casinos in Atlantic City with slots galore, but Borgata truly stands alone as an entertainment destination in the beachside city. Grammy winner Toni Braxton recently graced the stage of its Event Center for an emotional performance alongside opening act SWV. The Borgata venue has also hosted acts such as Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige and Maxwell, to name a few.

Toni Braxton performs at the Borgata Hotel & Spa Event Center. Courtesy: Borgata Hotel & Spa.
SWV performs at the Borgata Hotel & Spa Event Center. Courtesy: Borgata Hotel & Spa

If hitting the club is more your style, Premier Nightclub features names such as Lil Jon, with DJ Mustard providing the soundtrack to your night. Bottle service optional, of course.

Even in Vegas, partying isn’t the only goal in mind. When you’re ready to unwind, the Borgata offers several spa options to fit every budget. Those willing to splurge can indulge in hot steam facials, full body massages and several other personalized treatments for an additional fee, but simply staying at the hotel allows you access to Spa Toccare. The relaxing facility includes men and women’s whirlpools, saunas and steam rooms, a full-service hair salon, barbershop, pool and access to the property’s fitness room.

One of several indoor and outdoor pools on property. Courtesy: Borgata Hotel & Spa

Several celebrity chef’s have made the Borgata their home, including Bobby Flay and Wolfgang Puck. Flay's blackened prime rib may just be the best I've ever had: tender, juicy and flavorful with a crisp sear. Japanese pub Izakaya and Michael Symon’s Italian eatery Angeline are also standouts. The Borgata Buffett offers a variety of options, including cocktails. For those more low-key moments, the Marketplace Eatery comes through with burgers, pizza, ice cream and other cheap eats that will keep your wallet full and the kids happy.

Sake Bar at Izakaya. Courtesy: Borgata Hotel & Spa
Bobby Flay Steak. Courtesy: Borgata Hotel & Spa

As the East Coast continues to defrost from the winter's cold, consider the Atlantic City hot spot for your spring or summer getaway. There's plenty to do for couples, kids and singles alike looking to the experience the glitz and glam of the Vegas strip without a cross-country flight or shoveling out wads of cash for a good time. Whether it's stellar entertainment, great food or a relaxing retreat you need, Borgata has you covered.