Welcome to Atlantic City
Atlantic City has become synonymous with its sparkling strand of hotel casinos, 12 in all – Bally’s Park Place, Caesars, The Claridge, The Atlantic City Hilton, Harrah’s, Resorts, The Sands, Showboat, Tropicana, and three bearing the Trump name, The Plaza, The Marina and The Taj Mahal. Millions of annual visitors flock to the city, on southeast New Jersey’s Absecon Island, to woo Lady Luck in the casinos, where cards shuffle and chips snap 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. But the casinos have more to offer than the chance to make a quick million, and the city has more to offer than just the casinos.
Situated on a vast stretch of white, sandy beaches, Atlantic City has been a tourist destination since the mid-19th century, when it became a favorite of Philadelphia residents seeking a summer refuge. As beach resorts go, Atlantic City boasts an impressive list of firsts: the world’s first boardwalk, first color postcards, first saltwater taffy, and the first Miss American pageant, which continues to be held here every October.
Redevelopers halted the city’s slow decline in the 1970s, when the resort was opened to gambling. The old seaside hotels gave way to glitzy casinos on prime Boardwalk property. Now, more than 34 million people visit annually to experience the casinos’ headline entertainment, fine dining and shopping. A state-of-the-art Convention Center replaced its antiquated predecessor, promising scores of conferences and trade shows to further boost tourism.
The city is working to create a more culturally rich environment as well. A new Ocean Life Center explores the fragile connection between sea and shore, with live fish and marine exhibits. The Atlantic City Historical Museum documents the city’s rich history.