The Jersey Shore has received a ton of press lately—be it MTV’s cringe-worthy guilty pleasure of the same name or Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey (they taped their explosive reunion in Atlantic City). On September 19th, HBO is hoping to add some highbrow coverage to A.C.’s lowbrow past with the premier of the new series, Boardwalk Empire at 9 p.m.

The show, written by Soprano’s writer Terence Winter and directed by Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese, follows Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi), the corrupt treasurer of Atlantic City. Eye-candy comes from bombshell Paz de la Huerta as Nucky’s girlfriend (and ex-Ziegfield Follies gal) Lucy Danziger.

Perhaps I’m just a sucker for period-dramas (see my homage to 1960’s Mad Men), but the star-power and ripped-from-history storyline have me suddenly swooning for the pre-, pre-Snooki days. For those looking for post-Prohibition era fun along the Jersey coast with none of the backstabbing, T+L has you covered:

The Borgata harkens to the megalith resort and casino at the center of Boardwalk Empire called "The World’s Playground." A few miles away, Daddy O embraces the rat-pack era with a décor of mahogany and fake red suede banquettes. Oppulent oysters are just a small part of Matt and Ted Lee’s culinary tour of the Jersey Shore and there’s no shortage of booze on the mini-trip to Long Branch beach.

Just make sure you're back in time for the premier (or set your DVR). And for a sneak peek at the reconstructed A.C. boardwalk, check out this cool time-lapse video:

Charlotte Savino is the online listings editor at Travel + Leisure.