Having grown from a relatively small and low-keyed party into one of the East Coast's top gay circuit parties, Sand Blast Weekend took place over three days in mid-July in the famed casino center and Jersey Shore getaway Atlantic City for the first time last year. The event had previously taken place in Asbury Park, which still hosts a popular Jersey Pride celebration in early June. The dates of Sand Blast Atlantic City in 2016 have not yet been announced. If the event is brought back this year, we'll post an update here as soon as we have more details. More than 4,000 gay revelers attended last year.
As Atlantic City has become an increasingly welcoming and popular gay getaway for the Mid-Atlantic region, Sand Blast had been expected to draw plenty of revelers last year, with organizers booking some of the country's top gay circuit DJs. Events during this high-energy weekend include pool parties, hanging out on the beach, tea dances, and more.
The main host hotel of Sand Blast Atlantic City last year was the Claridge Hotel, which overlooks the beach at Park Place and Boardwalk. The swanky and luxurious Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is also offered a special Sand Blast party rate.
Although shore traffic in New Jersey can present some challenges (give yourself extra time to get out here on Fridays and Sundays), Atlantic City is very close to several big cities in the region. Without traffic, the town is just over an hour south of New York City, an hour east of Philadelphia, and 3.5 hours northeast of Washington, DC. There's also frequent bus service from NYC and Philadelphia.
You can find out more about the Jersey Shore gay scene by checking local resources, like OutInJersey. Also stop by the helpful GLBT visitor page of Atlantic City's official tourism bureau.