An atom in front of a surface is one of the simplest and fundamental problem in physics. Yet, it allows testing quantum electrodynamics, while providing potential platforms and interfaces for quantum technologies. Despite its simplicity, combined with strong scientific and technological interests, atom-surface physics, at its fundamental level, remains largely unexplored mainly because of challenges associated with precise control of the atom-surface distance. Nevertheless, substantial breakthroughs have been made over the last two decades. With the development of cold and quantum atomic gases, one has gained further control on atom-surface position, naturally leading to improved precision in the Casimir-Polder interaction measurement. Advances have also been reported in finding experimental knobs to tune and even reverse the Casimir-Polder interaction strength. So far, this has only been achieved for atoms in short-lived excited states, however, the rapid progresses in material sciences, e.g., metamaterials and topological materials has inspired new ideas for controlling the atom-surface interaction in long-lived states. In addition, combining nano-photonic and atom-surface physics is now envisioned for applications in quantum information processing. The first purpose of this Review is to give a general overview on the latest experimental developments in atom-surface physics. The second main objective is to sketch a vision of the future of the field, mainly inspired by the abundant theoretical works and proposals available now in the literature.