Atlantic City: The Comeback Kid

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Last summer’s World Championship of Sand Sculpting. (Photo credit Peter Tobia/Atlantic City Alliance.)
Last summer’s World Championship of Sand Sculpting. (Photo credit Peter Tobia/Atlantic City Alliance.)

In 2013, the Miss America pageant returned to its birthplace in Atlantic Cityand will be there again this year on Sept. 14th, and the new Atlantic City Alliance (ACA) promoters expect that millions of visitors will continue to make the same choice. During The New York Times Travel Show in New York City, the ACA staged an exciting display of why Atlantic City is one of the country’s most visited destinations and how to “Do AC” a host of different ways: as a beach resort; as a family vacation; as a spa getaway; as a short stay add-on to a New York City sojourn; as a sporting choice for surfers, kayakers and golfers; and as a destination indeed for 11 world-class casinos and celebrity nightlife entertainment.

Known throughout the late-19th and early-20th centuries for its grand boardwalk and ocean side amusement piers, in the early-1960s, it was the Eastern seaboard’s go-to summer resort. The 1970s brought the approval of gambling in New Jersey, and in recent years, specifically following Hurricane Sandy, Atlantic City has been turning up the bright lights, adding attractions, and getting out the message that “from sandals to stilettos, from foie gras to funnel cakes, Atlantic City has something for everyone.”

This famous East Coast resort is making a strong pitch for vacationers to drive on down or fly on in to see what huge investments have done for the area: world-renowned casino resorts that have changed the skyline, expanding with new towers and new amenities for their guests, including the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa, the equally luxe The Water Club by Borgata, and the newest addition Revel. The later showcases the shore via a 6.3-million-sq.-ft., 47-story, light-filled glass tower in which guests enjoy ocean views from every room and suite, assures a complete resort experience without setting ever foot in the casino.

Other assets on the AC roster are the finest dining—a whole new world of cuisine, from top celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay and Wolfgang Puck; ethnic restaurants such as the famous Carmine’s and Cuba Libre to mom and pop experiences on the Jersey shore; shopping “therapy” like the Pier at Caesars, whose spiffy shopping mall juts out into the Atlantic. Actually, from salt water taffy to designer brands, AC says it “has the goods,” and in New Jersey, clothing is tax free.

The iconic Steel Pier is a legendary part of AC history. Now under the ownership of local entrepreneurs, Steel Pier delivers the cutting edge in extreme rides and family fun. On the quieter side of sightseeing, the Atlantic City Historic Museum offers a quirky look at AC’s past. Then of course there are the new Arts Garage and Arts District showcasing a variety of local artists and craftsmen.

Spirit Airlines is the leading carrier into Atlantic City International Airport (ACY), joined in April by United opening direct flights from Houston and Chicago. Clients staying in Washington ,D.C. and Philadelphia may want to break out by rail for a special “fun in the sun and sea” casino break, while visitors to New York City can train-in aboard the Atlantic City Express Service departing from  Pennsylvania station.

For information about vacationing in Atlantic City, visit