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Atlantic City Attractions and Things to See

Atlantic City, New Jersey is famous for its resorts, excellent dining, gambling and shopping, the opulent hotels and the inspiration for Monopoly, the board game, sitting on Absecon Island, on the Atlantic Ocean, some 120 miles south of New York City and 62 miles southeast of Philadelphia. It was its excellent location in South Jersey that would encourage real estate investors to come here so that a resort town could be developed, which began in 1853, with the construction of its first hotel, the Belloe House, that would cause the new town to become incorporated in 1854, the same year that the Camden and Atlantic Railroad train service started, making it the perfect getaway for the residents of Philadelphia, and by 1874, over half a million passengers were traveling here by rail. As it became more popular, it would need to enlarge and expand, until by the 1940s, it would be more than seven miles long, but, in 1944, a hurricane would arrive and whittle that number down. In the earliest part of the 20th century, the city would enjoy a radical building boom, as quite a few of the boarding houses that had grown up along the boardwalk would be replaced by bigger hotels, with the two most significant being the Traymore Hotel and the Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel. During the 1920s, when tourism had peaked, historians considered this to be the most important decade of the city's golden age, and when prohibition arrived, liquor and gambling would be provided in the back rooms of the restaurants and nightclubs that had sprung up.

Gambling would be legalized in 1976, and the first legal casino in the eastern US would be opened in 1978. As the development of Las Vegas grew, and the state of Connecticut opened two of its own casinos in the early 1990s, Atlantic City's tourism would began a slow decline, until 1999, when the city's redevelopment Authority partnered with Vegas casino mogul, Steve Wynn, to develop a new road to a barren area of the city by the marina. That deal would fall by the wayside, but the idea of a tunnel to connect to the development from the expressway opened in 2001, but MGM Mirage would open the Borgata in 2003 that would instigate the mega casinos that would slowly be constructed and bring more visitors to the city.

Today the city is considered the "Gambling Capital of the East Coast" and is second to Las Vegas in the number of casinos, number of rooms and yearly gaming revenue. Some of the most prominent hotels, resorts and casinos include; the Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City Hilton, Trump Plaza, Bally's Atlantic City, Trump Marina, the Borgata, Tropicana, Caesar's Atlantic City, Showboat, Harrah's Atlantic City and Resorts. There are two currently under construction called the Revel and the Golden Nugget Atlantic City and one in the planning stages the will be called the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

The City has a number of magnificent shopping areas that include; the Atlantic City Outlets that is called "the Walk", Spice Road inside Trump's Taj Mahal, the Quarter at Tropicana that houses an old Havana-styled indoor shopping center, the Waterfront Shops inside Harrah's, Pier Shops at Caesar's that houses an underwater themed indoor high priced shopping center on a pier across from their casino, Borgata Shops and the Shoppes at Water Club inside the casino, Shore Mall in Egg Harbor Township and the Hamilton mall in Mays Landing.

The city also has its share of sports teams that include the Diablos, a soccer team; the Boardwalk Bullies, an ice hockey team; the Seagulls, their basketball team; the Cardsharks, an indoor football team; and the Surf, a baseball team. The city has outstanding spas that are sure to give visitors their best looks and feelings, an IMAX theater in the Tropicana, the Absecon Lighthouse, a Ripley's Believe It or Not, the magnificent and famous boardwalk itself that has been such a vibrant attraction here for over a century, the city's aquarium and so much more to keep a family occupied in the daytime and the casinos with their fabulous shows and gambling in the evenings.