The boardwalk. The casinos. The pageant. The concerts. The restaurants. No town has quite captured the imagination of both beachgoers and gamblers alike, families, and singles, quite like the lure and glitz that is Atlantic City. The beachfront city has been featured in countless places in the media from HBO's Boardwalk Empire to Judy Blume's teen novel Tiger Eyes to Bruce Springsteen's famous song of the same name. The popular Monopoly game is based on streets in Atlantic City. But behind the neon lights of the casinos, there are residents who call it home.
Atlantic City Listings
Atlantic City, located in Atlantic County, has been a resort area for more than 150 years. In fact, the Lenni Lenape Indians enjoyed the cooler temperatures along the coastline long before the first hotel was built in 1853. Dr. Jonathan Pitney, a physician from Absecon, thought that the area which is now Atlantic City had all the makings for being a health resort. Unfortunately, it wasn't easy to get to the island, so he promoted the idea of building a railroad to service the area. In 1854, the first train chugged into Atlantic City. Rail service from Philadelphia helped bring in visitors and by 1874, more than half a million tourists were pouring into town. The boardwalk was built in 1870 as a means of keeping beach sand out of hotels. That boardwalk was later rebuilt after being destroyed in a hurricane. Prominent people set up summer homes in Atlantic City and amusement piers began to pop up along the boardwalk to provide entertainment. The Miss America Pageant was first held in Atlantic City in 1921.The town was busy with entertainers and excitement. Atlantic City was at its heyday during the 1920s and 1930s. Not even Prohibition had much of an effect to stifle the drinkers and backroom gamblers. But after World War II, things declined. People took vacations elsewhere and tourism, which had sustained Atlantic City for years, was gone. In 1976, New Jersey's voters approved casino gambling in an effort to reinvent the former resort. Casinos and hotels were built. No one imagined that Atlantic City would compete with Las Vegas, but after a number of years, various boxing matches that drew in both the media and visitors, and the building of new homes, condos, and apartments, the town has become a tourist mecca once again, bringing in people from all over the world. Atlantic City borders Absecon, Brigantine, West Atlantic City, Ventnor, and Pleasantville. It is governed by a mayor-council form of government. Nine Council members serve four-year terms in office, as does the mayor. Students attend Atlantic City School District, which serves children in preK through 12th grades. Atlantic City High School not only serves students within the city limits, but also students in Brigantine, Ventnor, Longport, and Margate. Atlantic City consists of several neighborhoods including: Bungalow Park, Chelsea, Chelsea Heights, Ducktown, Inlet, Marina District, Venice Park, and Westside. Nearly 40,000 people live within the city's limits. There's enough to do within Atlantic City without ever stepping foot inside a casino. New Jersey's tallest lighthouse (Absecon Lighthouse), which was first lit in 1857, is located on Rhode Island Avenue. The Atlantic City Aquarium is home to various species of sea life and both the young and old can learn about the creatures swimming in our oceans. Shoppers will enjoy Tanger's Outlets, where Coach, American Eagle Outfitters, DKNY, Michael Kors, Skechers, and a number of other major brands have stores. Restaurants are everywhere in town from five star dining establishments to pizza parlors. There is much to do in the evening hours as Atlantic City hosts concerts, shows, and other entertainment for nightlife. And the casinos! One can't talk about Atlantic City without mentioning the casinos (there are 11). The Borgata has the most hotel rooms out of all the casinos with over 2,700.Of course, as a resort town, people come to Atlantic City for sun-drenched days on the beach and to stroll the boardwalk. It's a place for vacationers, but it's also a town where many have found the summer homes of their dreams or have dropped anchor and decided to stay for good. Atlantic City is definitely a playful town and its residents like it. You can do nothing here or everything. And boredom is not an option. Too many opportunities are just around the corner and there is no shortage of places to eat, people to see, or attractions to visit.