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Atlantic City Guide

Atlantic City: A Brief Chronology

1853: Atlantic City’s first commercial hotel, the Belloe House, opens. Others soon follow suit. Developers can’t resist the city’s waterfront location and nearness to Manhattan. * 1870: A boardwalk is installed to help keep sand out of hotel lobbies. It will eventually become one of the most famous walkways in the country. * 1920s: Prohibition ushers in a boom era of speakeasies, backroom gambling, and organized crime. Atlantic City develops a carnivalesque atmosphere and becomes a capital of illicit thrills. On a more wholesome front, the Miss America pageant is born. * 1976: After years of decline, New Jersey voters legalize gambling, leading to a glut of new casinos and hotels—the Tropicana, Trump Taj Mahal, and, later, the Borgata—and an Atlantic City resurgence.

On the Boardwalk

A stroll along this iconic wooden sidewalk is a must. As you make a tour of the casinos, be sure to stop for some saltwater taffy, Atlantic City's classic candy. In addition to the hotels, there are souvenir stores, restaurants, and kid-friendly attractions galore. Across from the Trump Taj Mahal hotel, you’ll find Steel Pier, an amusement park that juts out into the Atlantic.

Where to Stay

A parade of hotels and casinos lines the Boardwalk, offering rooms to suit any taste, from kitschy to luxurious. In keeping with its namesake’s more-is-more aesthetic, the Trump Taj Mahal hotel has golden elevators, crystal chandeliers, and rooms with sweeping views of the sea. The highest-grossing hotel in town is the Borgata, which stands out thanks to its 43-floor, gold-tinted glass tower. Other options include the Vegas-y Tropicana Casino & Resort, and Bally's, located at Park Place and Boardwalk—an address dear to players of the Atlantic City-themed Monopoly.

Beyond the Casinos

  • Lucy the Elephant: This six-story wood-and-tin pachyderm has stood in nearby Margate City since 1881. Climb a spiral staircase to the carriage on her back for a view of Atlantic City and the ocean.
  • Absecon Lighthouse: If you still haven’t had your fill of ascending to the top of 19th-century structures, take the stairs up to the lantern room of New Jersey's tallest lighthouse.
  • The Quarter: For shopping, head inside the Tropicana’s Havana-themed area, which features more than 40 shops and restaurants.
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Market Picks

The Trump Taj Mahal Casino featuring Chairman Tower
The Trump Taj Mahal Casino featuring Chairman Tower
Atlantic City, New Jersey
From $70/nt
Marriott Courtyard Atlantic City
Marriott Courtyard Atlantic City
Atlantic City, New Jersey
From $168/nt
Resorts Casino Hotel Atlantic City
Resorts Casino Hotel Atlantic City
Atlantic City, New Jersey
From $180/nt
Atlantic Palace Suites
Atlantic Palace Suites
Atlantic City, New Jersey
From $200/nt
Baymont by Wyndham Atlantic City Madison Hotel
Baymont by Wyndham Atlantic City Madison Hotel
Atlantic City, New Jersey
From $105/nt
Bally's Atlantic City Hotel & Casino
Bally's Atlantic City Hotel & Casino
Atlantic City, New Jersey
From $360/nt
Caesars Atlantic City Resort & Casino
Caesars Atlantic City Resort & Casino
Atlantic City, New Jersey
From $170/nt
Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel
Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel
Atlantic City, New Jersey
From $100/nt
Golden Nugget
Golden Nugget
Atlantic City, New Jersey
From $360/nt
Harrah's Resort Atlantic City
Harrah's Resort Atlantic City
Atlantic City, New Jersey
From $310/nt
The Chelsea
The Chelsea
Atlantic City, New Jersey
From $130/nt
Travelodge by Wyndham Absecon Atlantic City
Travelodge by Wyndham Absecon Atlantic City
Absecon, New Jersey
From $55/nt
Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club
Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club
Galloway, New Jersey
From $144/nt
Clarion Hotel & Convention Center - Atlantic City West
Clarion Hotel & Convention Center - Atlantic City West
Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
From $89/nt
Residence Inn Atlantic City Airport Egg Harbor Township
Residence Inn Atlantic City Airport Egg Harbor Township
Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
From $180/nt
Clarion Inn and Suites Atlantic City North
Clarion Inn and Suites Atlantic City North
Galloway, New Jersey
From $150/nt
Sonesta ES Suites Somers Point
Sonesta ES Suites Somers Point
Somers Point, New Jersey
From $440/nt
Homewood Suites by Hilton Atlantic City/Egg Harbor Township
Homewood Suites by Hilton Atlantic City/Egg Harbor Township
Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
From $180/nt
Econo Lodge
Econo Lodge
Hammonton, New Jersey
From $131/nt
Wingate by Wyndham Vineland/Millville
Wingate by Wyndham Vineland/Millville
Vineland, New Jersey
From $119/nt
Ramada by Wyndham Vineland Millville Area
Ramada by Wyndham Vineland Millville Area
Vineland, New Jersey
From $80/nt
Virginia Hotel
Virginia Hotel
Cape May, New Jersey
From $333/nt
Congress Hall
Congress Hall
Cape May, New Jersey
From $130/nt
Wingate by Wyndham Voorhees Mt. Laurel
Wingate by Wyndham Voorhees Mt. Laurel
Voorhees, New Jersey
From $110/nt
Hyatt Place Mt Laurel
Hyatt Place Mt Laurel
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
From $115/nt
HYATT house Mt. Laurel
HYATT house Mt. Laurel
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
From $114/nt
Residence Inn by Marriott Cherry Hill
Residence Inn by Marriott Cherry Hill
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
From $160/nt
Residence Inn by Marriott Deptford
Residence Inn by Marriott Deptford
Deptford, New Jersey
From $160/nt
Wyndham Philadelphia-Mount Laurel
Wyndham Philadelphia-Mount Laurel
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
From $140/nt
Courtyard by Marriott Mt. Laurel
Courtyard by Marriott Mt. Laurel
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
From $140/nt
Hotel Runnemede
Hotel Runnemede
Runnemede, New Jersey
From $99/nt
The Westin Mount Laurel
The Westin Mount Laurel
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
From $189/nt
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Mt. Laurel
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Mt. Laurel
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
From $140/nt