Atlantic City, NJ: The ultimate guide to the Boardwalk and beyond
Atlantic City, NJ, is back on its feet and open for business post-Sandy. Discover the best places on and off the Boardwalk to eat, shop, play and get pampered.
Photograph: Courtesy of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority
Take a walk (or a ride in one of the iconic rolling chairs) along the famous four-mile-long seaside promenade in Atlantic City, NJ, and you’ll be partaking in a tradition that goes back to 1870, when America’s first boardwalk was a mere eight-foot-wide strip that was dismantled at the end of each season. Since then, the Boardwalk has been the subject of songs, starred in movies, lent a stage to showbiz legends, beauty queens, high-diving horses and boxing cats, and houses the most expensive property on the Monopoly board (designed by an out-of-work salesman with fond vacation memories).
After the Camden and Atlantic Railroad was built in the mid-19th century and grand hotels sprang up along the seafront, hordes of visitors arrived in “America’s Playground” for its beach, sophisticated entertainment, quirky attractions and undercurrent of sin. Though A.C. has suffered a few turns of fortune over the past century and a half, the old excitement is back. A new generation of casino-hotels offer not just gaming, but a dizzying range of diversions, from early-morning yoga to late-night burlesque. Whether you want glitz or kitsch, it’s all packed into just under 12 square miles. Get some five-star R&R at a luxurious spa, dine at restaurants helmed by some of the country’s top chefs and take in a world-class show (everyone from Ol’ Blue Eyes to Beyoncé has played here). Or head inland for a steak at one of Nucky’s old hangouts, and save a bundle on holiday shopping at the city’s outlet stores. With apologies to Boardwalk Empire’s Senator Edge: You can expect to have everything.